Discourse & Discourse Structure


For ‘A’ Level purposes, discourse can be said to be any use of language of different social groups or occasions.  It is the ‘putting of thought into langauge’.  Note that the ‘discourse’ (and ‘text) applies to written and spoken modes.


This term refers to the ways that discourse is organised into coherent wholes.  The structure gives cohesion.

You will be acquainted with a huge variety of discourse structures: they are the means by which text producers create text cohesion.and you will have employed a huge variety, yourself.  Discourse structures include:

Lists/instructions e.g. recipes; self-assembly furniture

Problem/solution e.g. speeches; advertisements

Counter argument / argument / conclusion e.g. persuasive writing

Logical argument e.g. Reason 1, Reason 2, Intermediate Conclusion, Reason 4, Main Conclusion

GCSE literature essays: e.g. PEA paragraphs Point, Evidence, Analysis

Narrative structue in novels might include elements such as: chronology; parallel plots; flashback; different narrative voices.

Lexical Connectors

These are ‘linguistic signposts’.  The fulfil a variety of functions such as:

Addition e.g. also, too, as well, moreover

Consequence e.g. so, as a result, consequently, thus

Comparison and contrast e.g. just as, similarly, in contrast, unlike

Temporal e.g. later, then, next, afterwards

Enumeration e.g. first, finally.

Summative e.g. To conclude, all things considered, at the end of the day, on the whole

 See my main Language Notes webpage


Michael Goldberg’s site page:

The English Biz Glossary of Linguistics is a very useful site which explains complicated matters clearly.

i love english language’ is a well informed, anonymous blog, giving clearly explained synopses of theories and terminology:


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