Old Delhi Walking Tour, India: A Feast To Overcome ‘Delhi Belly’ Fears

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Assessment Type

Critical Essay

Word Count

3000 words




5 Days

Assignment Criteria

Task: 2500 – 3000 words of analysis and interpretation of ideational and textual meanings in your text. 

Your analyses will draw on the theorization of ideational and textual meanings that you have been introduced to in lectures, and very importantly in your readings. 

Note: You must attach all your analyses as an appendix to the assignment. AND you are also advised to incorporate excerpts from your analyses into the body of the assignment to illustrate the points you are making. 

Criteria: To critically deconstruct instances of discourse, demonstrating in the process: 

  • a familiarity with the theoretical models introduced in the subject; 
  • an ability to apply the tools introduced in the subject in the accurate analysis of texts; 
  • an ability to interpret the analyses with reference to the social context; 
  • an ability to represent the analysis and interpretation in a clear and comprehensible way. 

Further guidance 

You should work on the same text that you chose for Assignment 1 (Old Delhi walking tour ) – the one you analysed interpersonal meaning. So you will already be very familiar with the text. Review key readings on SFL and discourse analysis, especially on ideation and on periodicity. Have these resources handy as you work on your analyses. Many of them contain useful examples of analysis and tables of examples to assist you in making theoretically sound decisions. Give yourself plenty of time to do the analyses. 

In relation to ideation, the aim is to be able to discuss how field is construed in the kinds of activities that unfold in the text (activity sequences) and the kinds of settings involved.  You will also be identifying preferences and patterns in how entities are construed (lexical relations). You want to be able to then interpret your analyses as commentary on the way 'reality' is construed in the text. There are many ways a writer could represent the world in the text. What kind of choices does this writer make? 

When you are considering the kinds of entities – you can be thinking in terms of whether they are dominantly human or non-human, and whether they are dominantly concrete / everyday entities, or technical or abstract entities. What kinds of taxonomic relations do these entities enter into? 

How does the ideational meaning in the text pattern across the text? Do you find different kinds of entities in some phases more than others? 

You could do the same for an analysis of settings (circumstantial meaning). 

As with assignment one, you might like to use colour to highlight patterns in the choices the writer is making. 

In relation to periodicity, the aim is to be able to discuss the text from the perspective of mode. This has to do with how the text organizes the ideational and interpersonal meanings into a message – a message organized as waves of meaning. When you are considering periodicity, come in from the top down. Be looking for higher-level waves of meaning in the whole text, then move down to look for waves on smaller wavelengths. 


ALWAYS begin by reading the texts – over and over again with the questions you want to ask in mind as you read. This will help you to see what will be interesting to focus your analytic work on. 

In drafting your interpretation you will work from what your analyses show, identifying the choices and patterns you have found. You will then interpret these in terms of the kinds of meanings they express. You can use the same guidance you were given for assignment 1 on how to construct an analysis and interpretation paper. More guidance on structuring your report will be provided for you during class. 

Always remember to show your analyses in your appendices.

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Assignment Solution


The present paper is a continuation of the assignment submitted earlier with a different approach. It analyses and interprets ideational and textual meaning in discourse in the same text used for the earlier assignment. The undertaken text is named as 'Old Delhi walking tour, India: A feast to overcome ‘Delhi belly’ fears' written by Julie Miller and published on February 27, 2015, at 3:30 PM.  This text is a report in genre presented by J. Miller where the author remembers her Delhi visit with a friend and reflects on the ways her tourist guide wanted to refute that there was actually no reality in the myth of street food sold on the Old Delhi roads. The author takes up a narration style to move on to the further dialogues used by the guide, but subsequently, we get to know author's mood and her experiences about the food in Old Delhi. From the title itself, we hunch the discourse that would be discussed in the article. It also represents author's interest in a different kind of food though she was afraid of losing her normal state with the street food in India. Soon she realizes the delicacies and deliciousness of the street food, and despite being full she couldn't say no to the tasty treat in the form of samosas. The text went to a different mood with a gradual development. It started with a negative attitude about the street food in the author's mind; whereas it ended with the positive experiences. The phases it has undergone would be described and analyzed in the further sections. 

In this paper, I aim to draw on the theorization of ideational and textual meanings of the same text. I would deal with the content of discourse and its ideology. I would also discuss the rhythm that has been used in spoken interactions with the voices and body. The different phases of meaning and their shift would be dealt under ideational and textual meanings (Martin and Rose 2007). The further sections would present some parts from the text to show the analysis through the detailed textual analysis and appendices are attached to the paper.


The present text is based on the theoretical background of Systematic Functional Linguistics which is chiefly known as SFL. The framework has been used for more than two decades in interactional sociolinguistic works. In SFL theory we get to see that language is modeled in different three realms as interpersonal, ideational and textual simultaneously. The theory provides three metafunctions, or according to Martin and Rose, general realms of meaning in discourse analysis which are interpersonal meaning, through which we 'enact relationships'; ideational meaning, through which we 'represent experience'; and textual meaning through which we 'organize text' into a message (Martin &Rose 2007: 7). The present paper is concerned with the ideational and textual meanings in discourse. There are some important theoretical tools that are used to analyze ideational and textual meanings. To analyze ideational meaning, we try to find out the content and topic of the discourse, and then we construe fields of meanings as in participants, processes, and circumstances. The different phases of meaning help in finding the patterns of ideational meaning. The ideology of the discourse and summary writing are other important tools of ideational meaning (Hood 2008). We can also use the multimodal texts as in gesture or image to analyze the ideational meaning. These are some important tools that help us to look into the text with an angle of ideational meaning and analyze it from the same point of view. There are some theoretical tools to analyze the textual meaning of the text. The first tool that we use in this respect is periodic patterning in written discourse. Rhythm is one of the most important tools to analyze textual meaning in voice and body. It provides authors and the characters' mood and attitude in the text. The ups and downs of the text and the characters' lives are caught through the rhythm of the text (Martin and Plum 1997). It also helps in indicating the direction in which the text is being developed. The change in the phases of the text can be identified by rhythm. How the information has been patterned and salience of the image are also important tools for textual analysis. Lastly finding the textual meaning in multimodal texts as in images and gesture is another crucial tool in textual analysis (Hood 2011).

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