Posted on: 11th Apr 2020 2490 Views

Discourse Analysis for research paper

Discourse analysis can be referred to as research methodology which the researcher utilizes for analyzing language beyond the sentence. Students often face difficulty in performing the discourse analysis for research. In this article, our expert team is providing you with guidelines about how to conduct.

Discourse Analysis

Discourse analysis: Definition

Discourse analysis is a research methodology that includes studying written or spoken language in a social context. The main purpose of this analysis is to develop an understanding of how researchers can utilize language in real-life situations.

While performing discourse analysis you need to emphasize on:

  • Objectives and influence of various types of languages
  • Rules in culture and conventions in communication
  • How beliefs, values, and assumptions are communicated
  • How to use language associated with social, historical, and political context.

Discourse analysis is a Qualitative research methodology that an investigator utilizes for performing investigation in the field of social science and humanities. You can use discourse analysis for performing research in the field of linguistics, sociology, cultural studies, psychology, etc.

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What is the use of discourse analysis in research?

Execution of analysis includes an examination of how language functions and the way meaning is developed in social contexts. You can apply discourse analysis to both oral and written language. Researchers can also apply content analysis for analyzing non-verbal aspects of communication like gestures and tones.

The sources from where you can take content for performing discourse analysis include:

  • Newspapers and books
  • Marketing material such as advertisements, brochures, etc.
  • Government and business documents
  • Social media posts, websites, forums, etc.
  • Interview and conversations

By analyzing the discourse, you can develop an understanding of social groups and how they exchange a few words.

How discourse analysis is different from other methods?

Like a linguistic approach that mainly emphasizes rules related to the use of language. Discourse analysis mainly focuses on the contextual meaning of language.

It mainly emphasizes communication in a social context. While performing, the researcher mainly focuses on the ways people utilize language for accomplishing particular influences such as building trust, creating doubt, evolving emotions, and managing disputes).

Besides concentrating on small aspects of language such as sounds, words, etc. You can utilize discourse analysis for studying different types of language like complete conversations, texts, etc. After that, you can analyze all the sources at multiple levels.

Discourse analysis: example

Level of communicationThe thing which is analyzed
VocabularyYou can analyze words and phrases in metaphorical content.
GrammarIt includes the manner you frame different sentences.
StructureYou can analyze the structure of the text.
GenreYou can analyze the text in association with conventions and communicative intentions of their genre (political speeches )
Non-verbal communicationIt includes non-verbal aspects of speech like the tone of voice, gestures, and pauses, the intention of the speaker, attitude, and emotions.
Conversational codesThe communication between people in conversation such as the response of listeners, and interruptions, reveals aspects of cultural conventions and social roles.

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How to conduct discourse analysis?

Discourse analysis is a Qualitative and interpretive methodology that researchers utilize for analyzing texts. You need to make interpretations based on knowledge about the concept and also based on the detail of the material. You can utilize several approaches and techniques for performing discourse analysis. The 4 basic steps are:

Step 1: Defining Research Questions and selecting content for research

At the initial step of performing discourse analysis, you need to first define research questions. After designing research questions you need to make the choice of material that is most suitable for answering questions.

Is the research methodology that you can apply to both large volumes of information and smaller samples. It is completely based on the purpose and timescale of research.

Example: A researcher intends to perform research on how changes in specific regime have influence public relations with business. The researcher then has made a decision related to examining the statement of mission and marketing strategies of 20 organizations during the last five years of change in regime.

Step 2: Collection of information and theory on content

It is a step, where you need to create a social and historical context in which you have produced results. After that, you need to collect facts about when and where the content was written, the name of the author, publisher, etc.

You need to write a literature review on the topic and create a theoretical framework. As it is the tactics that will help you in getting guidance during analysis. This technique will help you in developing an understanding of real-life situations.

Example: A researcher investigating gathering the facts related to politics and history of nation researchers need to search for related theory by conducting research. It is the tactics which will help you in developing understanding about the relationship between business and government.

Step 3: Analysis of themes and patterns

It is a step that mainly includes an examination of different components of material like words, paragraphs, sentences, and overall structure. After that, you need to relate all attributes, patterns, and themes that should be relevant to the research questions.

After that, you need to analyze the material of wording and statements which represent the authoritarian and democratic political ideologies that involve the behaviour of people toward authority and liberal values.

Step 4: Review outcomes and draw conclusions

After assigning the specific attributes to different components of the material, you need to reveal outcomes for examining the functions and meaning of language. It is a step where you need to keep in mind information that you have analyzed in association with a wider context that you have developed for drawing conclusions and answering research questions.

Example: After analyzing the information it has been found that there is a difference in the language of material which is published before regimes. When performing analysis you need to focus on the Quality and necessity of products or services. It has also been found that the material which was published after the regime mainly concentrates on requirements and providing value to consumers. After that you need to make a comparison between the outcome and research ideology. The conclusion drawn from the analysis is that it is a shift in political conditions which has drive formulation of effective communication strategy for national businesses.


It has been concluded from the above that discourse analysis helps examine the functions of language. Another fact that has been concluded from the above is that discourse analysis focuses on the contextual meaning of language.

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