Text Theory

Instructors:Elena Ilchenko and Alexander Filimonov
Liudmila Minaeva and Alexander Filimonov
Updated:4 February, 2016

Course Summary

A successful PR-professional must have the skill to communicate ideas, information and emotions both in oral speech and on paper. The Text Theory course is intended to blend practical learning with academic underpinning and provides the theoretical basis for public relations writing practice. Students learn fundamentals of writing texts belonging to different PR genres. The assignments give students an opportunity to write the texts the PR professional is likely to deal with — writing for the traditional and social media, writing letters, reports, etc.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of discussionHours of independent studyTotal numbers of hours

Please note that the time spent on independent study exceeds hours of lecture and discussion.

Course Content

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. Text as a communicative unit (4 hours)
    • definition and methods of investigation
    • text pragmatics
  2. Structure and semantics of the text (6 hours)
    • semantics categories of the text
    • text cohesion
    • text modality
    • structure and functional elements of PR texts
    • types of texts in corporate and marketing communications
  3. Classification of PR texts (10 hours)
    • information density and compression of information in relation to text genres
    • media, news and official communication texts
    • informational sponsorship/ partnership
    • corporate media texts in a crisis
    • marketing media texts

Reading List

Required reading:

  1. Aronson Merry, Spetner Don, Ames Carol (2010) The Public Relations Writer’s Handbook. The Digital Age. Jossey-Bass.

Recommended reading:

  1. Wilcox Dennis L., Reber Brian H. (2012) Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques. 7th ed. Pearson, New York
  2. Galperin I.R. (2014) Tekst kak object lingvisticheskogo issledovanija. USSR, Moscow.(in Russian).
  3. Svyazi s obshchestvennost’u. Sostavlenie dokumentov: Teoriya i praktika. (2012). Ed. by L. Minaeva. 2nd edition. Moscow: Aspect Press (in Russian).
  4. Brown Gillian, Yule George (2012) Discourse Analysis. CUP.
  5. Panchenko N.V. et al. (2010) Teorija teksta. Moscow: Flinta-Nauka (in Russian).
  6. Studies in Communication Sciences. Elsevier. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/14244896

Online resources:

  1. Websites of public, private, and non-profit organizations.
  2. Websites of news agencies.

Homework Assignments

Homework will be assigned weekly. You will be expected to study the books from the reading list and to analyze various texts. You will also have to draft media communication texts.


It is a pass/fail course. To get a pass, you should complete all the assignments.