assignment : Gu, Y.G. (1990). Politeness phenomena in Modern Chinese. Journal of Pragmatics, 14
(2), 237-257.

Recommended Format
Cover page (available on Blackboard)

1 A full citation of the article being reviewed
E.g. Glinert, L. (2010). Apologizing to China: Elastic apologies and the meta-discourse of
American diplomats. Intercultural Pragmatics, 7 (1), 47-74.
2 Summary of the article
In this section, there should be a summary of the main points and conclusions made in the
article. For example,
– What the research question is (usually stated in the Abstract and Introduction),
– If applicable, briefly describe the methods: design of the study, how many subjects were
involved, what they did, and where the research was conducted … (in the Methods)
– Describe the findings, etc.
3 Critical evaluation of the article
You should include critical comments on the ideas and information that the author(s)
presents in the article, commenting on its strengths, usefulness, weaknesses, limitations,
problems… In particular, ask yourself some of the following questions (you may not be able
to discuss all of them, choose the ones you think are more relevant and important):
– How does the author(s) support their arguments?
– Is the argument convincing? Is the evidence valid, comprehensive and thorough?
– How does the study design address the research questions?
– Is the methodology appropriate? Any weaknesses?
– What questions remain unanswered? Anything omitted?
– Are the findings presented clearly and fully?
– Could the data be interpreted in another way?
– How does the article contribute to the field?
4 Conclusion
– Make your concluding remarks on the article
– Comment on the implications of the research

Reference List (APA 6 th )


The objective of the article is to offer a description of politeness phenomena in contemporary Chinese. This is because the topic has many different dimensions which will be better understood through the analysis of this paper. The audience of the article is language linguists and the general public who use modern Chinese since these will help in better understanding how to use appropriately in conversation and relating to people. The article falls in the Journal of Pragmatics and fits well in the category since the journal addresses issues that are fundamental to the understanding of the manner in which language works in communication. Gu’s article is conceptual rather than empirical since is based on reasoning by use of logic and persuasion instead of providing empirical evidence to support the claim of the author (Ruhi, 2006).