This study presents a contrastive analysis of the pronominal uses of bu and şu and this and that in written academic discourse within the framework of Rhetorical Structure Theory (Mann and Thompson, 1988; Marcu 2000). The comparative analysis of these pronominals is done with respect to the rhetorical relations in which they are used. Data for this study were retrieved from journal articles on linguistics and education. The results show that bu-şu and this-that are sensitive to rhetorical relations. Although bu and this are used in similar rhetorical functions (i.e. interpretation, explanation and reason relations), in some occurrences they are used in different rhetorical relations (i.e textual organisation and hypothetical relations). On the other hand, şu is used differently from that and this in the establishment of rhetorical relations. Şu is used in the subtypes of elaboration relation (i.e. elaboration-set-member, elaboration part-whole), while that is not used in elaboration relations. That is used in antithesis, list and contrast relations, where occurrences of şu are not seen. While this is used in addition, interpretation, hypothetical, summarisation and concession relations, şu is not.