All You Need to Know About Discourse Analysis

Discourse analysis is a crucial skill for students as it enables them to understand the meaning beyond the sentence. This is the basic introduction to discourse analysis. The following article will deal with the meaning of this statement and all you need to know to do discourse analysis.

Definition

Discourse analysis is a revolutionary research method that has gained substantial popularity in modern times. It is an efficient method that helps study written or spoken language in relation to its social context. It allows extensive analysis of the purposes and effects of different types of languages. An overall analysis of cultural rules and conventions in communication can be achieved, with a focus on values, beliefs, and assumptions made in general semantics.

Use

Exercising discourse analytical techniques reveal how language functions and meanings are generated by the same sentences in different social contexts. It can be implemented in any verbal or written form of communication. However, it can be extended further to include non-verbal aspects of communication as well, such as tones and gestures. Learning how to do discourse analysis allows researchers to gain additional information about social groups and how they communicate. This method is especially helpful in linguistic and anthropological studies.

Differentiating Factors

Discourse analysis is different from other analytical methods as, unlike other linguistic approaches that focus more on rules of the language used, it focuses on the contextual meaning of the language. It is centred on the social implication of the language used and its effects on relations (e.g. trust-building, doubt generation, emotion generation, inciting conflict, etc.).

The selected sources are analysed on multiple levels.

Vocabulary

It is analysed for any words or phrases that have ideological associations, higher due formalities, and euphemistic revelations.

Grammar

Sentence construction is analysed to reveal intended and imperative meanings. Slangs can also be identified by successful analysis.

Structure

The keynote of emphasis can be identified by structured analysis and narrative build-up.

Non-Verbal Ques

Non-verbal aspects of speech such as tone of voice, pause, gestures, and sounds such as ‘um’, ‘tsk’, etc., are studied to reveal the speaker’s intentions, attitudes, and emotions.

Types of Discourse Analysis

Before we learn how to do a discourse analysis, we should understand its types. These are implemented according to the different types of assignments.

Reframing

One technique to identify new meanings is to back a sentence and attempt to learn the implicit meaning of the coming sentences. This technique involves identifying the surroundings of the speaker, their emotions, their experience, or the activities that they were engaged in while making the statement.

Turn-Taking

Conversations are dialogues wherein the speaker and the listener exchange statements one after the other. Identification of the ques when the speaker knows to stop, and the listener understands to speak is another type of discourse analysis.

How to Conduct a Discourse Analysis

  1. Research Question

As discourse analysis is a qualitative scientific, interpretive technique, it will follow a strictly scientific framework. As a result, any discourse analysis will begin with establishing a research question. Once that is established, a range of material that is appropriate to answer it should be selected.

  1. Information Procurement

The next step is to establish the background for the information that you have collected. It involves specifying the social and historical context from which the data was extracted. Additional important information would be to identify the intended receiver and the actual receiver. Finally, the real-life context of the discourse can be understood, and a theoretical framework can be formulated to guide further analysis.

  1. Themes and Pattern Recognition

This step involves scrutinising the various elements and construction of the material – such as words used, sentences, paragraphs, length of paragraphs, and overall structure of the body. Furthermore, themes and attributes are associated with repeating patterns that are relevant to the research question.

  1. Results and Conclusion

Once the patterns and attributes of the various elements of the material are identified, reflect on your results and analyse the function and meaning of the language used. Here, your initial analysis is assessed in relation to the broader context to draw conclusions that answer your research question.

Discourse analysis might seem complex to most students. However, follow these steps to navigate yourself to generate a great discourse analysis successfully. Then, if you still feel unsure about your skills to perform a discourse analysis, let our experts help you.