Discourse analysis is one of the most popular qualitative analysis methods. It is a research method used for studying and analysing written or spoken language. So, it is about linguistics, and this method is mostly used in English literature dissertations. Discourse analysis in dissertation aims to understand how language is used by different people in different situations. Do you know how to use this analysis in a dissertation?
Most probably, you do not know about its use in a dissertation. Well, you do not need to worry. In today’s article, we will give discuss the top guidelines that can help you use discourse analysis in dissertation. There will be a mention of all the steps that you have to take to perform the discourse analysis. However, before that, let’s define the term discourse analysis.
What Is Discourse Analysis?
Discourse is just a fancy word for written or spoken language. However, discourse goes beyond the language and explains how language functions. The discourse analysis explains how meaning is created from the language used in different social contexts. For example, the meaning of a politician’s speech would be different in a public gathering than in a conference of world leaders. Thus, it is an analysis which depends on the social setting. When you use discourse analysis in dissertation, you might focus on the following:
- The purposes of different languages and tones in the discourse
- Cultural rules and conventions of a particular language
- How to communicate values, beliefs, and assumptions effectively
What Are The Top Guidelines For Using Discourse Analysis In Dissertation?
Discourse analysis is a qualitative analysis. Therefore, it is mostly used in qualitative research studies. Using this, you analyse the given text and unearth the hidden patterns and themes. Do you know the guidelines for doing it? Most probably, no. Thus, a brief description of all the top guidelines is as follows:
Define The Research Question
The first guideline is about defining the research question. A clear research question is of much importance when you have to perform a discourse analysis. It is because there can be many interpretations of the text, and you may get lost in those interpretations if you do not have a clearly defined research question. A clearly defined research question sets the direction for your analysis. Therefore, first of all, define it and then move on to the second guideline.
Choose The Target Content
Once you have defined your research question, the next step is to choose your target content for discourse analysis. Select all the material written or spoken related to the research question and gather it in one place. Pile up as much data as possible. It is because a discourse analysis can be applied to both large volumes of data as well as small. Hence, the size of your data does not matter; just collect it for now.
Gather More Information
The 3rd guideline that can help to use discourse analysis in dissertation is to gather more information to answer your research question. It is because a dissertation requires tons of related information to the topic to be called a dissertation. Thus, go to the internet, paste your research question in the search box, and search for it. Gather as much information as you can. However, when you are gathering information, remember one thing, and that one thing is to collect only relevant data only.
Analyse The Gathered Content Well
Once you have gathered all the content related to the dissertation topic, it is time to analyse it. As the method of analysis is also defined, which is discourse analysis, just start reading the content. You should closely examine elements of the content, e.g., words, sentences, paragraphs, sentence structure, tone of a sentence, and related elements. By analysing all these elements, identify themes and patterns hidden in the text under study. However, if you cannot, take help from dissertation writing services UK.
Examine The Discursive Statements
Once you have a good idea of the macro features of the selected content for discourse analysis in dissertation, examine the discursive statements. Zoom into the text and analyse each statement made by the speaker or writer of the text under study. This step is known as the analysis of discourse fragments. The good practice for examining the statements is to collect them first and then perform the analysis. Analysis done using this approach will allow you to unearth all the hidden truths.
Review The Analysis And Draw Conclusions
The last guideline suggests reviewing the trends and patterns you have obtained after the analysis. For this, you do not need to read the whole text again and again. Just skim through the text and see if all the trends have been unearthed. If you feel like everything is fine, then move on to the conclusion section. Summarise the discourse analysis in dissertation conclusion section, and do not add anything new. Just discuss what you have done.
What Are The Advantages Of Discourse Analysis?
Discourse analysis is a relatively new qualitative technique. It takes a text, analyses it, showcases the hidden themes, and presents it. Discussed below are some of its advantages:
- Discourse analysis can be used to study the language, written or spoken, in different situations, contexts, and subjects.
- It allows the researchers to uncover the deeply covered meanings of the text and perceptions of the writer about the topic.
- It is a very flexible method to analyse a text, and it can account for many social and cultural changes in society.
- The main advantage of this analysis is that it takes context into account, which ultimately helps in a better understanding of the topic.
To sum up, discourse analysis can reveal deep motivations and themes hidden behind spoken and written communication. Students of humanities and social sciences mostly use discourse analysis in dissertation. To help such students, in this guidepost, we have discussed the top 6 guidelines for conducting good analysis. Thus, follow all the guidelines and perform the analysis accordingly.