My research interests cover academic discourse, persuasion and rhetorical stylistics. My most recent book is Seductive Academic Writing (Cambridge Scholars Publishing), and I maintain a style website on figures of speech.

My other research interests combine the discursive and rhetorical analysis of communicationmy PhD developed new semiotics for understanding vernacular argumentation on the internet.

I began teaching English in the UK in 1998 before teaching in Taiwan for several years, where I also worked in EFL publishing. I taught at Southampton University, Chinese University of Hong Kong and City University of Hong Kong before joining HKUST in 2013.


PhD (Applied Linguistics)

City University of Hong Kong


Aston University

B. Eng.

Coventry University