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Doing discourse analysis


Doing discourse analysis – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Doing discourse analysis

Doing discourse analysis

Criteria for developing a discourse analysis
  • a well-focused idea that is phrased as a question
    or set of closely related questions
  • an understanding of how discourse analytic
    techniques can be used
  • an understanding of why your question/s are
    important in a wider context
  • familiarity with and access to the location where
    your project will be carried out

Criteria for developing discourse analysis
  • ability to get the data
  • the time it will realistically take to carry
    out the project, analyse the results, and write
    up the results
  • being competent in the ways of collecting the
  • being competent in the method/s of analysis

  • Choosing and focussing a research topic an
  • Topic 1 A comparison of Chinese students
    essay writing in Chinese and English written in
    their first year of undergraduate studies
  • Topic 2 A comparison of students Masters
    theses in Chinese and English
  • Topic 3 An examination of newspaper articles
    in Chinese and English from a intercultural
    rhetoric perspective
  • Final topic A contrastive study of letters to
    the editor in Chinese and English

  • A contrastive study of letters to the
  • editor in Chinese and English
  • Turning the topic into a research
  • question
  • What are the differences between letters to
    the editor in Chinese and English?
  • Focusing the question/s
  • In what ways are Chinese and English letters
    to the editor similar or different?
  • Can we use genre theory and intercultural
    rhetoric to understand these similarities and

Kinds of discourse analysis projects
  • Replication of previous discourse studies
  • Using different data but the same methodology
  • Analysing existing data from a discourse
  • Analysing discourse data from a different
  • Considering the validity of a previous claim
  • Focusing on unanalysed genres
  • Combining research techniques

Two sample studies
  • Nakane, I. (2007), Silence in Intercultural
    Communication Perceptions and Performance.
    Amsterdam John Benjamins
  • Wang, W. (2004), A contrastive analysis of
    letters to the editor in Chinese and
    English, Australian Review of Applied
    Linguistics, 27, 7288.

  • Silence in Japanese-Australian Classroom
  • Aim of the study
  • to examine the communication problems faced by
    Japanese students in mainstream English-medium
    university classrooms
  • Summary of the study
  • combined the techniques of conversation analysis
    with ethnographic data in order to get multiple
    perspectives on the question

  • Methodology
  • video and audio recordings of classroom
  • individual interviews
  • focus group discussions
  • questionnaires
  • field notes and artifacts from the classroom
  • stimulated recall interviews and follow-up
  • large-scale survey
  • data from classrooms in Japan - video recordings,
    field notes and artifacts
  • conversation analysis of the English classroom
  • content analysis of the interview and stimulated
    recall data

  • Results of the study
  • silence was one of the major problems for the
    Japanese students in the English medium
    classrooms, both for themselves and for their
  • Commentary
  • Further research

  • Letters to the editor in Chinese and English
  • Research questions
  • In what ways are Chinese and English letters to
    the editor similar or different in terms of their
    rhetorical structure
  • To what extent can systemic functional genre
    theory and intercultural rhetoric be used to
    explore and understand these similarities and
  • What are the reasons for the similarities and
    differences in the performance of this genre in
    the two different linguistic and cultural

  • Methodology
  • 10 letters to the editor in Chinese
  • 10 letters to the editor in English
  • generic structure of each of the two sets of data
  • rhetorical types (such as problem/solution,
    evaluation and exposition) represented in the
    two data sets
  • logico-semantic relationships between the clauses
    and clause complexes in the two sets of texts
  • discussions of differences in collectivism and
    individualism in Chinese and Western writing and

  • Results of the study
  • Chinese and English letters to the editor share
    some similarities at the level of generic
    structures. There are, however, also
    differences. For example, there is often an
    editors preview in Chinese letters to the editor
    that is absent in the English letters. Appeals to
    values and needs are used to support claims in
    the Chinese letters whereas the English letters
    use evidence to do this.
  • Commentary
  • Further research

  • Evaluating a discourse project
  • Reliability
  • Consistency of the data collection
  • Consistency of the data analysis
  • Consistency of the interpretation of results
  • Replicability of the study
  • Validitiy
  • Credibility
  • Dependability
  • Transferability
  • Importance of an audit trail

Further reading