We revisit some results from M. L. Adams [Nu cl. Sci. Engrg., 137 (2001), pp. 298- 333]. Using functional analytic tools we prove that a necessary and sufficient condition for the standard upwind discontinuous Galerkin approximation to converge to the correct limit solution in the diffusive regime is that the approximation space contains a linear space of continuous functions, and the restrictions of the functions of this space to each mesh cell contain the linear polynomials. Furthermore, the discrete diffusion limit converges in the Sobolev space H1 to the continuous one if the boundary data is isotropic. With anisotropic boundary data, a boundary layer occurs, and convergence holds in the broken Sobolev space H with s < 1/2 only © 2010 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.