Discourse strategies and politeness in academic discourse


Maya Khemlani David


Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya, Malaysia


This paper examines the discourse strategies used in academic discourse in a professional setting. The study analyzes the politeness strategies used to show agreement and disagreement in an academic discourse specifically in an international conference where researchers gather together to share and discuss their research findings. The research was drawn from a five-day international conference which was attended by 250 participants. Twenty-four countries were represented at this international conference and 48 presentations were observed. The findings show that certain strategies are used to mitigate a face-threatening response like setting the scenario, disagreement by asking questions, softening a criticism, indirect attack, making comments, giving reference to the issue, making inquiries, asking rhetorical questions, criticizing through suggestions and making conciliatory statements. To resolve disagreements usually politeness is done in various ways like showing an initial agreement, avoiding conflict, apologizing and counterattacking, rationalizing stand taken, repeating and cross-referencing, dismissing criticism, accepting criticism, claiming ignorance and teaming up with the presenter. Generally, in an academic discourse certain politeness strategies are used to maintain politeness in an interaction.


academic discourse; discourse strategies; politeness

Publication Date

June 1, 2009


Volume 3, Issue 1

Citation information

David, Maya Khemlani. 2009. “Discourse strategies and politeness in academic discourse.” Language. Text. Society 3 (1): e12-e25. https://ltsj.online/2009-03-1-david. (Journal title at the time of publication: SamaraAltLinguo E-Journal.)


author = {David, Maya Khemlani},
title = {{Discourse strategies and politeness in academic discourse}},
journal = {Language. Text. Society},
year = {2009},
volume = {3},
number = {1},
pages = {12–25},
url = {https://ltsj.online/2009-03-1-david/},


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