Politeness in an Educational Context


  • Areej Albawardi Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam 34212, Saudi Arabia
  • Albandari Alqahtani Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam 34212, Saudi Arabia




Discourse Analysis, Politeness, Digital interaction, Computer-mediated communication, Emails


Human daily social interaction is anchored in interpersonal discourse, and linguistic politeness is thus vital to our everyday language including face-to-face and computer-mediated communication. Politeness conventions in emails are not being taught to students and seem to be a work-in-progress. In a power-asymmetrical context such as student-teacher interaction, requests are pragmatically demanding, complex, and inherently face-threatening acts (Brown & Levinson, 1987). Little research has been conducted on face-saving and politeness in requests produced by a sufficient number of participants. This paper attempts to investigate requestive emails written in English by Saudi students directed to instructors belonging to the same Saudi academic institution. The study attempts to examine how English language female students employ linguistic politeness in composing their requestive emails. In more detail, it aims to examine English language students’ use of email openings and closings and uncover the different devices employed in both, including address term’s presence/absence and formality/informality. Results show that most students (97%) in the current data opt for including an opening pre-request, while only 72.5% of their emails include a closing.


Received: 31 August 2022 / Accepted: 12 October 2022 / Published: 5 November 2022


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Research Articles

How to Cite

Politeness in an Educational Context. (2022). Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 11(6), 284. https://doi.org/10.36941/ajis-2022-0168