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How to Do Critical Discourse Analysis

A Multimodal Introduction

David Machin Cardiff University
Andrea Mayr Queen's University Belfast
© 2012   240 pages   SAGE Publications Ltd   
Complimentary Review Copy
Individual Purchasers
Paperback ISBN: 9780857028921 $51.00
Hardcover ISBN: 9780857028914 $112.00

How great to have this practical introduction to doing critical discourse analysis, especially one that provides examples of multimodal discourse analysis. Extremely useful for students in media and cultural studies who need tools for the study of text, talk and images.

Teun van Dijk

Pompeu Fabra University

The authors have truly achieved the impossible: to make extremely complex phenomena accessible for students and scholars alike. Thus, this textbook will provide a most helpful guide when looking for adequate ways to grasp and analyze the intricate interdependence of written, oral and visual forms of semiosis.

Ruth Wodak

Lancaster University

David Machin and Andrea Mayr have written a well informed book combining critical discourse and visual analysis. They present, in a very accessible way, a range of semiotic tools introducing readers to both theory and practice. Highly useful to students of communication studies in general.

Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard

Centre for English Language Studies, The University of Birmingham

Media and cultural studies scholars have needed this book for some time - a critical and comprehensive introduction to the themes and tools of multimodal critical discourse analysis and, importantly, a clear framework for applying them in analysis. The book both summarises and develops a critical approach to analysing visual and linguistic communication, and should be mandatory reading for every student and scholar interested in examining how text and talk function.

John Richardson

Newcastle University

This book is a must for any student or scholar who is interested in ‘doing’ critical discourse analysis. At present, it is not easy to find a book like this one which is dedicated to providing a practical introduction to the analytic tools used by CDA practitioners...I am impressed by the fact that the authors explain extremely complicated phenomena in such an accessible way, which shows their excellent understanding of the subject in question.

Song Guo

School of Foreign Languages, Tianjin University of Commerce, People’s Republic of China

A brilliant, hands-on introduction to CDA that will inform one of the key approaches of my forthcoming module on the Falkland War's legacy in Argentine culture.

Dr Tilmann Altenberg

School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University

May 13 2015

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Machin lays out the foundation for approaching CDA without getting too bogged down in history, linguistics and semiotics. There is enough here to get started and learn as you go or learn by doing. This book will be a nice addition to our new Multimodal research course.

Dr Tim Atkinson

PhD in Interdisciplinary Leadership, University Of Central Arkansas

Feb 26 2015

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The book is highly recommended for post-graduate students doing critical discourse analysis. It is comprehensive and well-organized. The book guides researches gradually to different approaches to CDA with a special contribution of introducing multimodal CDA.

Mrs nermin ibrahim

Department of English Language and Literature, Menoufiya University

Feb 20 2015

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Highly relevant for any student or academic engaged with discourse analysis.

Professor Beschara Karam

Department of Communicatin Science, University of South Africa

Aug 12 2014

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Definitely worth using for students looking into more complex notions of language and text.

Mrs Sue Martin

BCAT, Basingstoke College of Technology

Mar 10 2014

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This is a really accessible text book that I recommended to my students this past year and will continue to use in other modules in the future.

Dr Laura Paterson

School of English, Leeds University

Feb 05 2014

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This just wasn't very helpful.

Melissa Camacho

Broadcast Electronic Comm Dept, San Francisco State University

Oct 30 2013

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A specialised understanding is provided of this much misunderstood area.

Professor Paul Hackett

Marketing Communication Dept, Emerson College

Sep 06 2013

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Provides a nice framework for students to analyse contemporary culture

Dr Joanie Willett

Department of Politics, Exeter University

Jun 24 2013

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Good examples, clear definitions, easy to read. Same information is often rephrased in 2-3 consecutive sentences, redundant to the lecturer but good for students new to the subject. I thought I would miss provided exercises, but I don't. ;-)

Dr Daniela Kolbe-Hanna

Faculty II: Language & Literature, University of Trier

May 02 2013

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This represents one of the clearest discussions of discourse theory that i have come across. As such its extremely useful for our undergraduate students as preparation for dissertations. We have a growing number that are choosing forms of media analysis due to ethical and practical difficulties and constraints in other research areas involving subjects. The worked examples are especially helpful. I have recommended that our library purchases a number of copies and know that they will prove very useful additions.

Mr Kris Christmann

Centre of Applied Criminology, Huddersfield University

Apr 17 2013

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In 2012 I wrote a book myself about discourse analysis. At that time I had doubts about the possibility to extend the analysis to images. I decided not to do so, because I thought it would be a tricky combination. Peter Machin succeeds convincingly to bind analysising image and text in a similar vocabulary. Critical discourse analysis is a book that I will heartily recommend this book to all students and will use it myself in the courses that we do in our masterstudies.

Dr BF Lagerweij

Department Educaton, Hogeschool Utrecht

Apr 10 2013

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This is an excellent textbook, illustrated with many specific case studies. It will be exceedingly useful in introducing undergraduate media students to these analytical techniques.

Dr Robert Shail

School of Creative Arts & Humanities, University of Wales, Trinity St David

Mar 11 2013

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This book is very useful to students as it offers an accessible route for exploring Critical Discourse Analysis, and explains multimodal techniques very clearly. I have also recommended it to those dissertation students who are considering methods for exploring visual material as part of their MA degrees in branding and/or promotional media.

Dr Clea Bourne

Media and Communication, Goldsmiths College

Feb 19 2013

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An excellent book which has been added to the essential reading list for those using discourse analysis in their research.

Mr Chris Briggs

Teac, South Essex College

Jan 26 2013

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This is a very useful book for introducing the practical of critical discourse analysis. The authors combine a clear theoretical introduction to different aspects of communication with many real examples of multimodal discourse. I would have liked a chapter on basic methodological issues to help students in the first steps of this kind of analytic approach. In any case, the conclusion of the book includes some methodological suggestions. Although the book has many practical examples and case studies, would be nice to include some activities for students.

Dr Fernando Ramallo


Jan 22 2013

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The approach to CDA in this book doesn't quite have the psychological emphasis I'd want for a recommendation for a whole module on our psychology programme. Will be asking the library to get a couple of copies, though, as I'm sure it will be of use to individual students, especially at Masters and Doctoral level, perhaps even some of the stronger undergrads for their dissertations.

Dr Alasdair Gordon-Finlayson

Division of Psychology, Northampton University

Dec 14 2012

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A very good introduction to CDA for undergraduate students. Recommended!

Dr Hayes Mabweazara

Media and Performance, University College Falmouth

Nov 13 2012

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Extremely challenging with the departure of our own custom is languages. The author compiled with cases and some images inside, it was attractive and exemplify to the real critical research design with sense of discourse.

Dr Abdullah Sumrahadi

COLGIS, Northern University of Malaysia (UUM)

Nov 01 2012

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Excellent resource. Will consider adopting it for term after next.

Ms Isamar Carrillo-Masso

School of Creative Studies and Media, Bangor University

Sep 30 2012

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An accessible and engaging introduction for both undergraduates and postgraduates.

Dr Beth Fielding-Lloyd

other, Sheffield Hallam University

Aug 21 2012

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A very clear discussion of all aspects of CDA, and finishing with a good critique of CDA

Mr David Orr

Dept Education & Social Science, Central Lancashire University

Jul 12 2012

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This books offers a clear introduction to the key concepts and approaches associated with Critical Discourse Analysis. It is written in an accessible style and uses lots of good examples to illustrate complex ideas. It will be particularly appreciated by first year students.

Dr Lisa El Refaie

English, Communication & Philosophy, Cardiff University

Jul 02 2012

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A clearly laid out text book that gives practical applications of conducting critical discourse analysis. A very useful book for both undergraduate and post graduate students considering using CDA.

Mr matt grimes

Birmingham School of Media, Birmingham City University

Jun 30 2012

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A good text.

Mr Andrew Edwards

stud, Glyndwr University

Jun 21 2012

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I was hoping that this book would serve as a replacement for my current CDA text, Fairclough's Language and Power. However, although the practical aspect in Machin and Mayr is wonderful, the theory is too thin. I need my students in CDA to have a good grounding philosophically and that is just much more detailed in L&P. In Machin and Mayr's book, the discussion of Ideology and Power, for example, is just over a page, which is much too brief for my purposes. I'll recommend it to students when they do their coursework analysis, but not as the course text book. I will also be recommending it to all my research students, who number about 9 or 10 each year. For them it is perfect. I really like the way the analysis has been divided up - it will be enormously useful in practical applications - and the addition of the visual dimension, although it sometimes feels a bit like an add on, is helpful.

Dr Sally Hunt

Linguistics , Rhodes University

May 18 2012

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This book offers a critical approach to analysing visual and linguistic communication in an accessible format.

Mrs Pam Lavender

Access, South Staffordshire College

May 08 2012

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This is an accessible and useful addition to the texts we recommend to our students to help them reflect on their supervisory interactions in the workplace.

Ms Alison Devine

Clinical Education, Edge Hill University

May 04 2012

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A must for students who really want to get invloved with doing practical work on CDA.

Dr Ayo Amuda

Faculty of Humanities &Social Sciences, Glamorgan University

May 02 2012

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This is an excellent book which I will be using as a main textbook.

Dr Arran Stibbe

Department of Humanities, Gloucestershire University

May 02 2012

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How to Do Critical Discourse Analysis

A Multimodal Introduction

David Machin Cardiff University
Andrea Mayr Queen's University Belfast
© 2012   240 pages   SAGE Publications Ltd  

Available Formats

ISBN:   9780857028921 Paperback Suggested Retail Price:   $51.00 Bookstore Price:   $40.80
ISBN:   9780857028914 Hardcover Suggested Retail Price:   $112.00 Bookstore Price:   $89.60

About This Title

Language and communication shapes and is shaped by the society we live in. Using a multimodal approach –graphic, vocal, written – the book guides students to an understanding of how language, power and ideology are negotiated in visual communication and media texts, from magazine and advertising, to YouTube and music videos.

It draws on discourse analysis, appraisal theory, stylistics and conversation analysis to present a systematic toolkit for doing language and image analysis. Using case studies and examples from a range of traditional and new media content, the book equips students with the necessary tools to analyze and understand the relationship between language, discourse and social practices.

Timely and relevant, How to do Critical Discourse Analysis is a unique and compelling textbook for students in media, communication, linguistics and journalism.

Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to

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