DEPARTMENT OF MEDIA, CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

Academic Year: 2011-2012
MODULE CODE: ELA020C013A/S

MODULE TITLE: Language Society and Power

MODULE CONVENER: Carole Sedgwick Email: c.sedgwick@roehampton.ac.uk Tel: 020 83923364 Room: QB114

Study Skills Booklet

Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12

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Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12

Contents
Academic Year: 2011-2012.......................................................................................1
Contents................................................................................................................ 3 Required self study tasks.......................................................................................4 Evaluating your work: the assessment criteria .....................................................5 Reading and notemaking ......................................................................................7 Critical thinking: What is a good argument? .......................................................23 Effective citation .................................................................................................24 Avoiding Plagiarism ...........................................................................................27 Defining terms & reading strategically................................................................29 Accurate language use and proofreading ...........................................................32 Essay planning ....................................................................................................33 Assessment Criteria: Written Work......................................................................34

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Essay planning. Week 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Self-study task Reading and notemaking. Evaluating your work: the assessment criteria. Critical thinking: What is a good argument? Moodle quiz on critical thinking and argument. 11 4 . In class week 12 (evaluating your work only). In class week 2 Effective citation moodle quiz and assignment. For some weeks (indicated in the schedule below) you should also bring the completed exercise to discuss in class. Moodle quiz on library skills Analyse a student essay. In class week 11 Accurate language use and proofreading. Defining terms and thinking strategically (questions 1-3). In class week 6 Avoiding plagiarism. Moodle quiz on writing accurately and clearly.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Required self study tasks Click on the link for each task in moodle for the appropriate week and submit your answers.

Linguistic relativity underlines how differences between two languages would cause the speakers of each language to perceive the world in completely different ways. An upper second and a lower second? 2. 2. Older adults also face unfair discrimination in the workplace based on stereotypes about their ‘lack of energy. c.2 etc. however.1. at that 5 . The following four paragraphs are extracts from student essays.) Be prepared to explain why in relation to the criteria. 1st. they most likely would be asked about their physical and mental capabilities. it seems to control the world as a whole. A first and an upper second? b. The interviewees were both high ranking individuals in the Australian government. then it has the power to both unify and separate. In a study by Carver and de la Garza (1984 as cited by Coupland et al 1991b:89).g. a. What are the main differences between: a. it was shown that following a road accident.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Evaluating your work: the assessment criteria 1. What class would you put each one in? (e. b. They all have some good qualities but the grades they were given vary. flexibility. A potential employer may reject an older adult in favour of a younger person purely based on these stereotypes. and ability and willinglnes to learn’ (Kirton & Green. these ageist stereotypes can lead to unfair discrimination. if the accident included a young person. If older adults were involved in the accident.2005:57). language would be the first and most important issue to address. Unfortunately. one conducted by a male interviewer and the other a female interviewer. Joanne Winter (1993) compared two political interviews. 2. they would most likely be asked if they were speeding or had been drinking alcohol. For example. the questions asked by police were different depending on the ages of those involved. These cultural differences emphasise the truth behind Scruton’s statement. if different languages cause different cultures to occur. Look at the assessment criteria for written work on page 34.

such as China and India. 6 . People are prone to make assumptions about people based on the way they speak. and this can lead to a reduced understanding of rapid or whispered speech.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 time. where elderly people are viewed with respect and prided for their wisdom. From comparing these two interviews. Whereas the female interviewer did not interrupt her interviewee at all. Peccei (2004:124) suggests that so many of us are prone to doing this because of the following reasons: Hearing often becomes less acute as people get older. In our society it is quite often the opposite. or speech in a noisy environment. but was interrupted five times (Coates 2003).. Winter found that the male interviewer used an aggressive style of interviewing. and often do so in a very patronising way. d. such as interrupting his interviewee.. The language that is used when talking to young children and the elderly can often be very similar. The normal ageing of the vocal chords and muscles controlling breathing results in slower speech and a voice which has a higher pitch and weaker volume and resonance than that of younger adults. In both cases it seems to be the case that younger and middle aged adults talk down to children and the elderly. as we find the elderly generally ignored and rejected for their old age rather than embraced because of it. This contrasts with certain societies.

His definition of the sign makes a distinction between the sound we hear (signifier) and the concept this makes of think of (the signified). Parole – as individuals we can do things in language that we haven’t done before. Words in language are therefore signs. a concept and something that is connected to the concept. For de Saussure a sign is made up of two thins. There is not straightforward connection between a concept and a sound. What strategies did they use to organise the information? c. 1. Think about: a. A bee in Englihs will buzz.23-29). Which student thought through the ideas more? b. The arbitrary connection between words and their meaning was one of Ferdinand de Saussure’s insights. how this can change. I could take a photograph of something. There are two parts of language. Only when we have this module is it possible to discuss what ‘politically correct’ means and how such language functions. Student 1 Ferdinand de Saussure’s theory of signs will provide a way of discussing how meaning is constructed at the level of a word. In Japanese it makes the sound ‘boon boon’. how words fit together into larger structures (sentences) and what happens when we make choices in sentences. All signs have two parts. Pick out only the important points and organise the notes carefully.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Reading and notemaking This week you need to read chapter 2 of the ‘Language Society and Power’ coursebook and complete the following task before the next class session. Decide which set of notes is the most worthwhile and be prepared to say why. Finally. How useful will the notes be when they have to write an essay later on? 2. You will compare your notes with other students’ in the next class. Language is a way of representing reality. paint a picture or even write a piece of music. langue and parole. make your own notes on the rest of the chapter. a signifier and signified. Langue is the system that makes parole possible – chess game you play by the rules. The pedestrian signals that tell you when to walk or not are signs because of the connection between the red light and the concept of stopping. Read the whole chapter through then look at the two sets of students notes on the first part (p. 7 . Try to do this on just the one page of A4.

In Indian English. Spaces in the linguistic system reconfigured to accommodate the new word.‘wallah’ can be an insult.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 One way of changing is to legislate.g. Synchronic refers to a particular point in time.B. Student 2 1. 8 . ‘taxiwallah’. Language can change • • By legislation (uncommon) Individuals use a new word or old word in different way and it is accepted. ‘Niggardly’ very different meaning unrelated to ethnicity. It may not be relevant in other parts of the world . Language changes. bee ‘buzzes’ in English and ‘boon boon’ in Japanese Signs get meaning partly from relationships to other signs: • ‘march is not the same as ‘stagger’ or ‘amble’ Signs get meaning from relationships to other signs within a speech community • ‘wallah’ in Indian English relates to tradesperson.g. Two aspects to the study of language change • Synchronic: language at a particular point in time. ‘wallah’ is used for tradesperson or worker. Other parts of English speaking world not understood or perjorative term 2. performing a play N. like the dictator in Turkmeinistan. Linguistic SIGN = SIGNIFIER (label) + SIGNIFIED (concept) Link between signifier & signified is arbitrary: • no natural connection between sound and concept e. e. script of a play • Unconscious and abstract Parole Actual use of language: • Playing chess. Language ‘always implies both an established system and an evolution. accepted conventional rule of the language. diachronic to talk about how language changes over time. that is. at every moment it is an existing institution and a product of the past’.g. stagger is not march or amble. • Creative – can construct sentences never said or written before 3. Two aspects of language: Langue Rules of language system: • Rules of chess. Meaning of a sign is the space that sighs occupy and fit together. (de Saussure 1966:8). e. recognised. The new bahaviour has to become part of the langue.

9 .Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 • Diachronic: how language changes over time.

In this essay. description of actors. What class would you put it in? (e. language usage and the underlying news values. but a highly constructive mediator' (1991:1). Thus. Discuss in relation to the pieces from two newspapers (attached) paying attention to the specific linguistic choices made. it is nearly impossible for facts to be completely objective and accurate when put into words. a. angles of telling can do nothing to change this. 1st." While it may be true that a "fact is a fact. Roger Fowler writes that 'language is not neutral.1. Read the example essay below and the criteria for marking written work on page 34. b. I will examine the different emphases of the two articles through their leads. Example essay "Facts are facts. I will attempt to demonstrate the partiality of. sources.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Analysing a student essay 1.g.2 etc. 2. What are the strengths of this essay in terms of the way it is written and presented? Essay question Facts are facts. and the influence of social contexts on language using examples from two newspaper articles—one from The Sun and one from The Times—both writing on the same event and published on the same day. headlines. angles of telling can do nothing to change this." language is a medium of expressing a fact—a medium that is guided by the values and ideals of the speaker or writer and the social norms of the culture. 2.) Be prepared to explain why in relation to the criteria. This theory holds true of the media— especially the news media. 10 .

their lead sentences could not be more different.' This lead sentence. The Times' lead sentence states: 'The parents of Madeleine McCann have pleaded for an end to the distressing smear campaign that has suggested that they may have killed their missing daughter. however. The Sun makes it clear with which side they most sympathize. the lead is essentially a summary of the rest of the article. does not claim to know who the culprits are. like the one in The Sun.' Before even getting into the body of the article." The author also subtly sneaks in the term "little"—often seen as a term of innocence —before Maddie as if to contrast the malicious-intending "Portuguese cops" with naïve "little Maddie. It is clear that the Portuguese "cops"—a term full of negative connotations—are to blame for this "sick" rumour against the McCanns. acknowledges the ongoing "smear campaign" against the McCanns. unlike The Sun." Even though both The Sun and The Times are describing the same event. The lead sentence in The Sun's article reads as follows: 'PORTUGUESE cops came up with their sickest slur yet against the McCanns yesterday – claiming little Maddie’s body may have been kept in a FRIDGE before being dumped. The Sun's lead makes the "Portuguese cops" the subject of 11 . The presupposition behind this statement is that there have been several others and that the Portuguese police are behind all of them. This statement emphasizes the brutality of this "slur" and the alleged culprits behind it by capitalizing the words "fridge" and "Portuguese. Though short.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Lead Bell describes the "lead sentence" as the 'most distinctive feature of the news discourse' (1991:176).

Even the alleged "smears" are different in the two newspapers: The Sun focuses on the rumour that Madeleine's dead body "may have been kept in a fridge" while The Times focuses on the rumour that the McCanns may have "killed their missing daughter. "The parents of Madeleine McCann" are the subject. whereas in the lead sentence names "The parents of Madeleine McCann" as the subjects. The headline from The Sun's article takes a very different viewpoint.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 the sentence whereas in The Times. It is done in a "double decked" fashion with one smaller headline above another. it names "Kate and Gerry McCann's friends" as the subjects who are refuting the "smear". The Times' headline reads: 'Kate and Gerry McCann's friends refute ‘missing hours’ claim as smears continue. then in large.' There is an interesting distinction between this headline and the lead of this article. In the headline. Both are misleading." Headline The role of the headline is to catch the public's attention and to pare down the lead sentence into a "single main event" (Bell 1991: 187). The upper headline says: 'Cops' Most Sickening Slur Yet'. however. Whereas The Times' headline focuses on the main event of the story—the continuing smears—The Sun's headline focuses on minor detail: the rumour that Madeleine's body may have been kept in a fridge. only one short paragraph out of 12 quotes a "source close to the McCanns" and one sentence mentions that the McCanns' "friends" are aiding in refuting the rumour. As for mention of the McCanns' friends. but rather their spokesman. The article does not quote the McCanns at all. 12 . Clarence Mitchell.

that throughout the articles the most outrageous claims are always backed by the weakest sources. The Sun writes: 'Detectives are convinced… Police sources revealed…Portuguese police have leaked…' The Times.’' Obviously. Bell claims that headlines that focus on secondary events or details are particularly revealing cases: 'The very fact that a headline features something which the story presents as lesser re-weights the news values in the story' (Bell. describes the same sources with a low degree of certainty and using the passive voice: "It was claimed yesterday that police in Portugal believe… [The] Diario de Noticias newspaper said that officers 13 . In The Sun.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 bolded letters below. vivid and grotesque—thus "hooking" the reader into finishing the article. on the contrary. Most likely The Sun chose to focus on this secondary aspect of the story because of its inherent news value—it is negative. For example. concerning the Portuguese police. 1991:188-189). The Sun also quotes the Spanish civil guard spokesman. however. Neither article has more or better sources than the other." However. Antonio Castilla. The sources range from "detectives" and "police sources" to "a source" and "a family friend. It should be noted. it says: '‘Maddie’s body was kept in fridge. the point is to "grab the attention." The only definite sources named in both articles are Clarence Mitchell—the McCanns' spokesman—and the Diario de Noticias newspaper in Spain. however the certainty with which the sources are described is significantly different from one newspaper to the other. the story itself discusses the many other "smears" and allegations far more than this particular one. Sources The sources in both articles inspire less than full confidence in their veracity. sources are described with high degree of certainty and almost entirely using the active voice.

The Times is not as overt in blaming the Portuguese police for the continuing slurs. however.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 believed… The report [is] credited to anonymous detectives from the Polícia Judiciária. however. At one point the article says.. The Sun's article is quite clear in its opinion of the Portuguese police as frantic to accuse someone for Madeleine's disappearance and almost villainous in their continuing "smear campaign" against the McCanns." The article uses words like "extraordinary" and "bizarre" to describe the theory that the Kate McCann may have killed her daughter." and throughout the article itself. In the synopsis of this story on the first page of that day's newspaper. 'The police theory was described as “total rubbish. they are seen as the ones spreading what are described as "sick allegations" and "sick slurs. Although both seem to favour the McCanns." The difference between the two is enough that one could read The Sun's article and assume certainty where it is clearly not deserved. gives little space to discussing this theory and why it may be relevant and far more space to the refutation of it. the Portuguese police are described as "desperate cops. Description of Portuguese Police The newspapers are different in how they portray both the Portuguese police and the McCanns.' It.. The article uses the passive voice insofar as it regards the Portuguese police: 'It was claimed yesterday that police in Portugal believe that Kate McCann killed Madeleine.”' 14 . they go about portraying the police in very different fashions. it does imply that they probably are to blame.

the second paragraph in the article makes a point of mentioning that '[Tomorrow] Kate and Gerry McCann will attend a church service near their home…'—a point which it restates further in the article again. shows its bias for the McCanns more by making them seem victimized by the smears and by personalizing them. The assumption is that readers will make the connection that if the McCanns are pious. innocent. both articles favour the McCanns. The Times' article displays Gerry and Kate McCann as pro-active in their daughter's search. in contrast. innocent of the circulating rumours. which always refers to the McCanns and Madeleine formally. And. It does this in three ways. it heavily emphasizes that the McCanns are a church-going family. unlike The Times' article. they are shown as active not only in finding their own daughter but also in saving other families from similar fates. they must be true to their word and. This can be seen in their apparent desire to give interviews and use their campaign as 'an opportunity to raise awareness about other missing children and to call for better alert systems. The picture that accompanies the story shows Gerry and Kate McCann outside of their local church. thus. It draws a harsh distinction between the "desperate" Portuguese police and the innocent McCanns. The Sun calls the 15 .' The Sun's article. Firstly.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Description of the McCanns As mentioned above. the fact that the article mentions that the McCanns' friends are refuting these claims helps readers see them as innocent—they have both "witnesses" and support. Thirdly. Secondly. as already mentioned. and as good people with whom we can identify.

while The Times uses the passive voice." "extraordinary theory" and "bizarre claim. Between the two articles. "little Maddie"—suggesting a sense of intimacy. The Sun and The Times have many differences in their linguistic usage. Gerry." "series of allegations. the victims of what is described as a "smear campaign" or "black propaganda." I have already discussed the differences in voice—The Sun uses the active voice more. and this one was only the latest of several. the headline and lead in The Sun's article presupposes that the Portuguese police were behind the leakages and smears against the McCanns. the greatest similarites are related to the rumours being spread. The Times uses phrases such as "distressing smear campaign. News Values Every article that is published in a newspaper has gone through several processes to establish its news value." while The Sun uses "sickening slur. The Sun writes more simply and informally. Both articles have instances of presuppositions. This is directly tied to modality—The Sun expresses strong certainty in its facts and sources while The Times is more vague and doubtful. Language Usage The use of language in newspaper articles can be an interesting clue to their underlying perspectives and values." and "black propaganda." As a whole. There are several principles 16 . The clearest presupposition in The Times is that the McCanns are innocent. using shorter paragraphs and shorter sentences while The Times writes more professionally and formally using longer paragraphs.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 McCanns by their first names and nicknames—Kate. As I already mentioned.

fascinating story. 2007:2). but it is also a major. Though both newspapers are covering the same event. I have illustrated the biases and differences of the two articles by examining their leads. In this essay.. the articles are completely different.. until you put them into words. the largestcirculation newspaper in Portugal. But this is certain: facts are never "just facts" in the news. headlines. but the simple truth is that we have sold more newspapers' (Cited in Pfanner. on whatever is represented. The facts of the event may be the same. Leonardo Ralha. are facts "just facts"? Perhaps. sources. but the expression of these facts—what little is known of them—produced two very different articles. it imposes a structure of values. understands the importance of news values and how they relate to the Madeleine McCann story: 'Whatever happened is a tragedy. what will sell and whether it is unique. social and economic in origin. It's [terrible] in a tragic case like this. language usage and the underlying news values. News values are essential to the survival of a newspaper. and so inevitably news. and description of actors. 1991: 4) 17 . News is a representation of the world in language. because language is a semiotic code. editor at Correio da Manhã. constructively patterns that of which it speaks. The Sun and The Times are clearly writing for different audiences with different expectations. So. like every discourse.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 that authors and editors use to determine this and it differs from newspaper to newspaper depending on who its audience is. (Fowler.

Fowler. Pfanner." International Herald Tribune. Internet WWW page at URL: http://www. "Tabloids keep Madeleine McCann in Headlines. A.php (accessed 10/11/07) 18 . (1991). R.com/articles/2007/11/04/business/MCCANN05.iht. (1991). (4 November 2007). Oxford: Blackwell. Language in the News. London: Routledge. The Language of News Media.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Bibliography Bell. E.

Supports her comments with a quotation. Comments on the statement. g. What does ‘discuss’ mean in this context? Facts are facts. c. Analysing the introduction 3. it is nearly impossible for facts to be completely objective and accurate when put into words. This essay question has quite a typical wording. First it gives you a statement. (4) Thus. a. (6) In this essay. Do you think the lecturer usually expects you to agree or disagree with the statement in this kind of question? b. (3) Roger Fowler writes that 'language is not neutral. but a highly constructive mediator' (1991:1). Repeats the statement from the question. angles of telling can do nothing to change this. and the influence of social contexts on language. (5) This theory holds true of the media—especially the news media. Gives the thesis of the essay – the main idea and the response to the question. e. using examples from two newspaper articles—one from The Sun and one from The Times—both writing on the same event and published on the same day. Then it asks you to discuss the statement. angles of telling can do nothing to change this. Explains how the student intends to support her thesis in the rest of the essay.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Analysing the question 2." language is a medium of expressing a fact—a medium that is guided by the values and ideals of the speaker or writer and the social norms of the culture. b. Gives an outline of the main sections of the essay. (7) I will examine the different emphases of 19 . (1) "Facts are facts. Narrows the focus down to a more specific context." (2) While it may be true that a "fact is a fact. d. Decide which sentence in the introduction (below) does each of the following: a. Discuss in relation to the pieces from two newspapers (attached) paying attention to the specific linguistic choices made. I will attempt to demonstrate the partiality of. f.

language usage and the underlying news values. headlines. sources. description of actors.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 the two articles through their leads. 20 .

thus. innocent of the circulating rumours. it heavily emphasizes that the McCanns are a church-going family. Thirdly. The Times' article displays Gerry and Kate McCann as pro-active in their daughter's search. they must be true to their word and. Firstly. What role do the extracts from the newspaper article play? Description of the McCanns As mentioned above. a. the second paragraph in the article makes a point of mentioning that '[Tomorrow] Kate and Gerry McCann will attend a church service near their home…'—a point which it restates further in the article again. they are shown as active not only in finding their own daughter but also in saving other families from similar fates. the fact that the article mentions that the McCanns' friends are refuting these claims helps readers see them as innocent—they have both "witnesses" and support. and as good people with whom we can identify. This can be seen in their apparent desire to give interviews and use their campaign as 'an opportunity to raise awareness about other missing children and to call for better alert systems. How would you describe the structure of the paragraph? d. The assumption is that readers will make the connection that if the McCanns are pious. Secondly. Below is one of the paragraphs from the body of the essay. innocent. Which sentence contains the main idea of the paragraph? b. It does this in three ways.' 21 .Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Analysing a body paragraph 4. as already mentioned. What is the purpose of the rest of the paragraph? c. The picture that accompanies the story shows Gerry and Kate McCann outside of their local church. both articles favour the McCanns.

We could represent the structure of the above paragraph in an outline like this: Main point: Article shows McCanns as good & innocent • • Supporting point 1: Emphasises that friends support them Supporting point 2: Highlights churchgoing o Evidence: Picture of church shown o Evidence : Mentions will attend church • Supporting point 3: Shows them as helping others o Evidence: Mentions they want to raise awareness etc. For next week do a similar outline below for one body paragraph in the essay you are going to write: Main point: • Supporting point 1: o Evidence: • Supporting point 2: o Evidence: • Supporting point 2: o Evidence: 22 . This is also a good way of planning out what you are going to write.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 5.

the way that women speak disadvantages them at work. Women also have a tendency to apologise for slip-ups and look after everyone else before themselves’ (2008). p. According to Jo Cameron. supported by evidence. How would you have to change this text to make it into a ‘good argument’? Women’s talk at work It is well known that women talk more than men. It is clear that if women want to be taken more seriously at work they have to learn how to talk like men. Therefore. They use passive language and think out loud. or I think. Women are weak and indecisive when putting forward their point of view. logical and leads towards a conclusion. 155). because they are naturally less competitive and more polite in the way that they speak. ‘Women are traditionally more modest than men when it comes to putting themselves forward. a former contestant on BBC programme The Apprentice.] and you know some other people may have commitments / so i don’t think we’re going to run two groups/ Men do not express uncertainty about what they say and statistics show that women's pay is on average 17.. She claims that women need to be trained to communicate more effectively in the male-dominated work environment. where the speaker talks about a meeting she is organising: HELEN: but what it means about next week is we may not have enough for two groups ‘cos i had two apologies in advance/ [. probably. Read the following argument carefully and answer the questions: 1. What is the conclusion? 2. What problems are there with the argument? (There are at least eight criticisms you can make!) 3. This is proved by the following example from Coates (1996. Bibliography 23 . using ‘hedges’ such as may. Women can either continue to be marginalised in the workplace or change the way that they speak.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Critical thinking: What is a good argument? One of the things lecturers are looking for in your work is a good argument. However. 2008).2 per cent less than men's pay (Women and equality unit. they may not be so successful at work.. This means that what you say is carefully expressed.

3. Although explicit reference to ethnicity is now rare.95). 2. cultural tradition and language’ (Singh 2004 p. Complete the quiz on moodle in relation to the Essay extracts and the Bibliography below. J.html (accessed 20th June 2008) Coates. while more positive news items are ‘de-ethnicised’. Singh (2004 p.htm (accessed 20th June 2008) Effective citation Citation means using something that you have read in your writing. 1. The word ethnic originally comes from the Greek word for nation. I will use these two aspects to analyse articles from The Sun newspaper. Singh (2004 p.100) argues that the constant repetition of such negative associations ‘works to reflect and reinforce a strong perception of the dangerous outsider. (1996). practices may have changed in recent years. Internet WWW page at URL: http://www.uk/women_work/pay. the term ‘asylum seeker’ appears in negative contexts. Internet WWW page at URL:http://www.com/articles/2008/05/27/46024/ women-in-hr-must-end-seen-but-not-heard-mentality.101). there are two tasks this week. The ethnicity of known criminals is not reported. In this essay. As Singh 24 .equalities.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Cameron. According to Van Dijk (1991 cited in Singh 2004 p. associated with terms such as ‘scam’. the quiz and moodle assignment.gov. which may reinforce a negative perception of ethnic minorities. ‘cheat’ ‘paedophile’.’ 5.personneltoday. J. when tabloids report negative topics. Oxford: Blackwell Women and equality unit. It seems that an us and them mentality still persists in the British tabloid press. they tend to be ‘over-ethnicised’. 4. However. including crime. We are going to look at some good examples of citation and see how it is done. which can be defined as ‘a community which has a common history. and ‘perv’. Women talk: conversation between women friends.98-103) discusses two aspects of ethnic prejudice in language: the use of an us and them division and the use of negative labelling. Essay extracts 1. My analysis of crime articles suggests that ethnicity is only mentioned as part of a description of a person the police are looking for. (2008) Women in HR must end seen but not heard mentality. Please note. (2008) Gender pay gap.

J. J. since they are disseminated through the mainstream. I (2004). D. G. The book is edited by Florian Coulmas. • A chapter by Joshua A. Thomas. Thornborrow & J. Use the examples above as a model for formatting. Jones (eds. Feminism and Linguistic Theory. (1995). in Oxford. S. Write out a bibliography for the following three items. 2. 2nd edn. A journal article by Benjamin Bailey called ‘Language and negotiation of ethnic/racial identity among Dominican Americans’. Waring. S. in L.). in L. Language in Society. London: Routledge. Bibliography Singh. ‘Language and Ethnicity’. (1992). Language Society and Power. • A book by Jen Coates called ‘Women. I. (1988). Basingstoke: Macmillan Cameron..97). Fishman called ‘Language and ethnicity: the view from within’ in a book called ‘The Handbook of Sociolinguistics’. ‘Language and Ethnicity’. 43-49. Thornborrow & J. It was published in 1997 by the publishers Blackwell.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 asserts ‘the angles on ethnic minority groups . 237-257. J and Martohardjono. Language Society and Power. Discourse and Society. Stilwell Peccei. Waring. X (2006). Volume 17/1. I.). Singh. Stilwell Peccei. Volume 17/ 2. It was published in 1993 in London by the publisher Longman. Singh. J. J. I (2004). Singh. “normupholding” branches of institutions such as the media’ (Singh 2004 p. can have a powerful effect on perception. ‘Cultural pragmatic differences in US and Chinese press conferences: the case of the North Korea crisis’. ‘Communication in a multilingual society: some missed opportunities’. Bibliography Cameron. Men and Language’. Singh. London: Routledge Jiang. Thomas.. Jones (eds. D. London: Routledge. Verbal Hygiene. R. The journal it comes from • 25 . Lele. 2nd edn.

4th issue of the journal. The article was published in 2000 on pages 555-582 of the 29th volume. 26 .Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 is called Language in Society.

Stilwell Peccei. You probably know that plagiarism is considered a very serious offence at university. Young children are usually perceived to be incompetent turn-takers. Jones. I.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Avoiding Plagiarism Plagiarism means representing someone else’s words or ideas as you own work. For each one decide: • • Is there any plagiarism? If not. Language Society and Power. Students’ citations 1 Stillwell Peccei. Waring. Singh. p. London: Routledge. Thornborrow & J. Compare the original passage from your course book with the five student attempts at using it. The younger the child. ‘Language and Age’. have they chosen a sensible way to use citation? Original text1 Observational studies of parents’ conversations with their children have also highlighted several common features in the way the interaction proceeds. We saw in week 3 that you have to give a reference for any ideas or information that you use. in L. don’t do that – or by ‘talking over’ (talking about people in their presence and referring to them as we. either by blunt commands – be careful. J. with older speakers having expectations that their contributions will be irrelevant or delayed. 1. 125-126 27 . and provide a bibliography at the end of your essay. There is a relatively high proportion of ‘directive’ and ‘instructive’ talk from adults. J. Thomas. (2004). put quotation marks when you copy the wording. S. 2nd edn. If you don’t follow these rules. J. the more likely their attempts to initiate a new topic will be ignored by older speakers and the more likely they are to be interrupted or overlapped (two speakers taking simultaneously). she or he). then it looks like the words and ideas are your own and so this is plagiarism. Why do you think that universities are so concerned about plagiarism? 2.

Talk to children frequently includes orders or instructions. the more likely their attempts to initiate a new topic will be ignored by older speakers and the more likely they are to be interrupted or overlapped (two speakers taking simultaneously). This pattern becomes stronger with younger children. e. overlap or ignore children when they speak. Adults may expect that a child’s contribution to the conversation will be irrelevant so often interrupt or ignore them. Students often resort to plagiarism because they are overwhelmed by the work. Studies of parent-child interaction show a number of typical characteristics. There is a relatively high proportion of ‘directive’ and ‘instructive’ talk from adults.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 a. What study habits can help you avoid plagiarism and get good grades? Think about the following areas: • • • • • Time management Doing the reading Making notes Understanding the ideas Approach to essay writing 28 . c. b. Adults may interrupt. talk to children includes a high proportion of directives. Compared to talk with other adults. 3. d.125).125-126). which means to talk about someone when they are present (Stillwell Peccei 2004 p. Interaction between parents and children often follows certain patterns.125). The younger the child. she or he’ (Stillwell Peccei 2004 p. either by blunt commands – be careful. Adults also tend to ‘talk over’ children. But that’s not accepted as an excuse! You have to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Their attempts to initiate a new topic will be ignored by older speakers and there is a high proportion of ‘directive’ and ‘instructive’ talk from adults (Stillwell Peccei 2004 p. with older speakers having expectations that their contributions will be irrelevant or delayed. the more to be expected their effort to commence a novel theme will be uncared for by grown-up orators and the more probable they are to be episodic or partly covered (two speakers chatting concurrently) (Stillwell Peccei 2004 p. ‘Young children are usually perceived to be incompetent turn-takers. The more youthful the kid. don’t do that – or by ‘talking over’ (talking about people in their presence and referring to them as we. Observational studies of parents’ conversations have shown that children are usually perceived to be incompetent turn-takers.125-126).

This makes you think about what the term means and shows your understanding. Therefore. c. a. It can also be useful because terminology is often used in different ways by different writers. TERM + VERB + TYPE OF THING + DEFINING CHARACTERISTIC An accent is defined as features of a speaker’s pronunciation that can signal their regional or social background. Convergence can be defined as ‘a process in which speakers change their speech to make it more similar to that of the hearer’ (Mooney et al. Definitions are often structured like the following example. 2. you will remember that proper use of terminology is one of the criteria we use for marking. NB. 1. a.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Defining terms & reading strategically It is important in academic writing to use the proper terminology for the concepts you are talking about. 2011:226). Identify the same four elements in the definitions below. You will need a copy of your course book to do this week’s task. b. Write a definition for the following terms based on the skeleton information. Received pronunciation is a prestige accent that is associated in Britain with educated speakers of ‘high’ social class (Mooney et al. Crossing / process / speakers of one group use the speech patterns of another group b. Speech community / group of people / members share a common language variety and set of linguistic norms 29 . It is a good idea to give a definition of key terms. 2011:229). which are based on your course book’s glossary (a list of key terms with explanations). A linguistic variety is taken to mean ‘an identifiable language system which is used in particular geographic or social situations and has its own linguistic norms’ (Mooney et al. Notice that there are four key elements. 2011:222). Indeed. it may be necessary to make clear what definition you are using.

an extended definition of these may well be useful for your next assignment. 30 . working as a nurse involves a high level of skill and responsibility. It must include: • A one sentence definition. find a definition of the term. Economic status is crucial but other important factors include level of education or training and the extent to which a person’s job involves responsibility and management of others. 6. For example.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 3. What kind of additional information has been added? Extended definition of social class A social class can be seen as a group of people who have similar status within a society. • • What kind of a thing is it? What are the defining characteristics? 5. Read through the following definition paragraph to see how this has been done. it is difficult to say exactly what the criteria are for this social stratification. structured in the way we discussed earlier. despite the comparatively low salary (Jones 2004). Classification schemes usually place such jobs in one of the higher levels. As a group choose one of the concepts and make some initial notes on how you could define it. Sometimes you will want to extend a definition into a paragraph by going into more detail or depth. Both of them are quite broad concepts. and not equal to. which can be difficult to define. the people on other layers’ (Jones 2004 p. 4. However. The concept of social class depends on the assumption that society is hierarchically structured such that ‘people on each layer have similarities with each other and are considered equal but they are different from. Does it match your own ideas? Skim through the other entries on this topic to find other information that will be useful for writing an extended definition. You are going to work in a group to produce a definition paragraph for one of the following key terms: POWER or IDEOLOGY.144). Work together to write a short definition paragraph. Using the index in your course book. However.

31 . It can be positive or you can make (polite!) suggestions for improvement. Look at the criteria for marking to help you do this. References and quotation marks as appropriate.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 • • Some of the other elements of an extended definition. Read another group’s definition and give them some short written feedback on it. 7.

8. It is important then to make sure that you check through your work carefully for mistakes. the article remains unconvincing. 9. 35% of the women were managers while the other 65% were men. 3. within a certain social group the accent of dominant members might carry more prestige. There are some roles in society. 32 . The following sentences include the kinds of mistakes that students often make in their writing. men are not expected enter ‘caring’ professions such as nursing which often have comparatively low pay. we can see that men are more likely to interrupt women than other men. The varied languages and cultures of Britain need to be embraced by all communities and not to suppress those that do not have a British background. I think Whorf has a point but I don’t really buy the idea of linguistic relativity. It is dependant on many factors. In general Received Pronunciation may be considered ‘prestigious’ however. Can you find the mistakes and correct them? There are 17 mistakes altogether. 2. 6. or you can lose valuable marks. Now check your answers on moodle. grammar. spelling and style. The media very often uses stereotypes with regards to the elderly.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Accurate language use and proofreading It can be difficult to focus your attention on expressing difficult ideas and writing accurately at the same time. Being more dominant in the interaction. which only women are supposed to take on. including problems of punctuation. which may include specific grammar and lexis as well as accent. The language that newspapers use effects our perception of events. Regional dialects can be an indicator of social class. 4. 5. After reading the original study. 7. 10. 1.

Essay outline Thesis: it is nearly impossible for facts to be completely objective and accurate when put into words 1. prepare your own essay outline for assignment 2. Headline • Role of headline (Bell) • Times o ‘Friends’ in headline but not lead • Sun o Focus on fridge – Grab attention o News values (quote Bell) 3. Below is an example outline plan for part of the essay we analysed earlier in the course.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Essay planning You need to read the following information and prepare an essay plan before the class. Before the class. Sources • Don’t inspire confidence • Similar sources • Sun o More certainty o Active voice • Time o Less certainty o Passive voice 33 . Make sure you include a full thesis statement and show clearly which are the main points and supporting points. Research shows that good writers spend more time planning. Lead • Definition (Bell) • Sun – sympathetic to McCanns o Negative connotation – ‘cops’ o Presupposition – police behind smears o Capitalisation – FRIDGE & PORTUGUESE o ‘little Maddie’ – contrast • Times – different o Cops not culprits o ‘smears’ different 2.

Original aspects in your approach to the topic: for example. 4. successfully using an analytic method not usually applied to your kind of data. The ability to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your research and to develop that evaluation to a level not usually found in undergraduate work. Address the exact title given to you. 2. the grade you get) will be decided by how well you meet the detailed requirements given below.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 Assessment Criteria: Written Work To pass. or making a convincing original claim. or one agreed in person by your tutor. Demonstrate that you have done reading relevant to the module in the content of your essay. 34 . Meet the required length (where word length is specified). Having met these six pass requirements. your work must demonstrate: 1. The following scheme describes the qualities that we look for when we grade written work. FIRST / A / 90-100% In addition to meeting the requirements for a first graded between 80-89%. Evidence that you have followed the module and have a thorough and perceptive knowledge of the module content. 3. Evidence of having read and understood the recommended reading. 4. 5. supported by your reading or research to a evaluation to a level not usually found in undergraduate work. Reflect some awareness of the module content. The ability to see the implications of your research for future research projects. 80-89% Your work must demonstrate: 1. and can make links between them. Evidence that you have understood the issues covered by the module. Conform to the conventions of academic writing and presentation. Contain a bibliography which includes all the references that you make in your assignment. The ability to identify and develop interesting aspects of your research to evaluation to a level not usually found in undergraduate work. 6.e. your assignment needs to do the following: 1. how well you pass (i. 3. 2. 3. 2.

supported by your reading or research. An astute and comprehensive description of the linguistic background to the topic. 13. The ability to organise your ideas clearly and logically. 6. 13 Original aspects in your approach to the topic: for example. 8. successfully using an analytic method not usually applied to your kind of data. 7.The ability to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your research and to develop that evaluation in an original way. 2. 11. Evidence of having made your own literature search. Evidence that you have understood the issues covered by the module. 3. 7. 12. A knowledge of appropriate terms and the ability to use them appropriately. UPPER SECOND / B / 60-69% Your work must demonstrate: 35 . Evidence of having made your own literature search.The ability to see the implications of your research for future research projects. 5.The ability to criticise relevant published literature where appropriate and to suggest alternative perspectives. or making a convincing original claim. using an analytic method not usually applied to your kind of data. 12.The ability to identify and develop interesting aspects of your research. 5. 10. The ability to express what you mean clearly when you write. and having found up-to-date and relevant materials beyond those on your reading list. and possibly having found upto-date and relevant materials beyond those on your reading list. 11.The ability to identify and develop interesting aspects of your research. Evidence that you have followed the module and have a thorough and perceptive knowledge of the module content. 14. 4. 9. and can make links between them.The ability to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your research. supported by your reading or research. 6.Original aspects in your approach to the topic: for example. 8. 10. An astute and comprehensive description of the linguistic background to the topic. The ability to organise your ideas clearly and logically. Evidence of having read and understood the recommended reading.The ability to criticise relevant published literature where appropriate. The ability to express what you mean clearly when you write. or of the title that you are responding to. A thorough understanding of the requirements of the question that you are answering.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 4. A knowledge of appropriate terms and the ability to use them appropriately. or making an original claim. A thorough understanding of the requirements of the question that you are answering. 9. 70-79% Your work must demonstrate: 1. or of the title that you are responding to.

The ability to express what you mean clearly when you write. 8. 36 .Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 1. 2.The ability to critically comment on the strengths and weaknesses of your research. 6. Evidence that you have understood some of the most important issues covered by the module. 6. 7. 5.The ability to criticise relevant published literature where appropriate. Evidence of having read and understood the recommended reading. Evidence that you have followed the module and have a solid knowledge of the module content. 7. A thorough and accurate description of the linguistic background to the topic. Evidence of having read and understood the recommended reading. The ability to organise your ideas clearly and logically. A knowledge of appropriate terms and the ability to use them appropriately. 4. Evidence that you have understood the important issues covered by the module. and possibly having found upto-date and relevant materials beyond those on your reading list. Evidence that you have followed the module and have knowledge of the module content. LOWER SECOND / C / 50-59% Your work must demonstrate: 1. 9. A clear attempt to meet the requirements of the question that you are answering. Evidence of having made your own literature search. or of the title that you are responding to. An understanding of the requirements of the question that you are answering. THIRD / D / 40-49% Your work must demonstrate: 1. 11. A knowledge of appropriate terms and the ability to use them appropriately. 3. 10. An adequate description of the linguistic background to the topic. 3. The ability to organise your ideas clearly and logically. 3. Evidence of having read and understood key texts from the recommended reading list.The ability to produce work which is stimulating and thought-provoking. and can make links between them. 8. 2. Evidence that you have understood the issues covered by the module. The ability to express what you mean clearly when you write. 4. 2. or of the title that you are responding to. 12. Evidence that you have followed the module and have good knowledge of the module content. 5.

An attempt to organise some of your ideas clearly and logically. Little attempt to differentiate between knowledge which is the result of wellconducted research. An attempt to express what you mean clearly when you write. 30-39% (condonable range) Your work will show: 1. or of the title that you are responding to. 6. 8. 4. then the following comments will apply. and knowledge which is based on intuition or personal experience (whether your own. 37 . Little understanding of the requirements of the question that you are answering. or of the title that you are responding to. A description of the linguistic background to the topic. or anybody else's). 6. Little evidence that you have followed the module or have knowledge of the module content. 2. 9. Little knowledge of the appropriate terms and an inability to use them appropriately. 7. Little evidence of having read and understood key texts from the recommended reading list. 5.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 4. or anybody else's). Little description of the linguistic background to the topic. An understanding of the requirements of the question that you are answering. 5. Minimal evidence that you have followed the module or have knowledge of the module content. Little attempt to express what you mean clearly when you write. FAIL / F / 39% and below If your work does not meet the six pass requirements given at the start of this grading scheme. An attempt to differentiate between knowledge which is the result of wellconducted research. 7. 3. and knowledge which is based on intuition or personal experience (whether your own. Little evidence that you have understood some of the most important issues covered by the module. 8. A knowledge of the appropriate terms and the ability to use them appropriately. Little attempt to organise your ideas clearly and logically. 20-29% (non-condonable range) Your work will show: 1. 9.

No attempt to differentiate between knowledge which is the result of wellconducted research. An unsuccessful attempt to organise your ideas clearly and logically. Lack structure both of the content and of the sentences themselves.Study skills booklet Language Society and Power 2011-12 2. or anybody else's). An unsuccessful attempt to express what you mean clearly when you write. Hardly any description of the linguistic background to the topic. Minimal evidence of having read and understood key texts from the recommended reading list. 4. A totally incoherent piece of writing. Minimal evidence that you have understood some of the most important issues covered by the module. 38 . 8. 5. Very little understanding of the requirements of the question that you are answering. 3. 9. Demonstrate no relevance to the module topic. 6. Minimal knowledge of the appropriate terms or how to use them. and knowledge which is based on intuition or personal experience (whether your own. 3. 2. 7. or of the title that you are responding to. 0-19% Your work will be: 1.

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