Critical discourse analysis

Paper details


The purpose of this essay is for you to carry out a study using critical discourse analysis as an approach. You have the opportunity to apply the different levels of investigation (micro-macro) on a topic and formulate these within the format of an academic essay. This entails formulating a relevant research question (aim), using appropriate theory/concepts to analyse the collected data, as well as integrating and referencing secondary sources. You are not expected to contribute to the field of linguistics in terms of new findings (but of course that would be a bonus). Instead, your task is to prove that you can perform systematic, theoretically-sound, scientific analysis by applying theory and concepts to data in an effort to support or challenge previous research. The essay is your chance to prove and fine-tune your analysis skills before moving on to essays of a more substantial scope. The essay must follow the structure/numbering of subtitles given in these guidelines (see below). The content in each of the sections of the essay must be correctly integrated in accordance with the guidelines. Academic essays require good language proficiency. Furthermore, a developed capacity for critical thinking and an advanced level of language proficiency will increase the value of your work. 2. Length and scope of the Linguistic and cultural semiotics essay The essay should be in total min 1,500 words and max 2,000 words long, not including, title page, table of contents, references or appendices. Please respect these word limits! (previous instructions regarding number of pages serve only as an approximation) After the conclusion of your essay you have to write the number of words your essay contains. Here is a suggestion for how your essay can be distributed as regards words (based on 1,500 words): Title Table of Contents 1. Introduction (150 words) 1.1 Aim (50 words) 2. Background (550 words) 2.1 Social and political context 2.2 Theory/Previous works (Theoretical Background 3. Secondary Sources In your Theoretical Background, you should clearly point out what your main theory(ies)/concept(s) is/are. This will be the “main” carrying point from which you will conduct your study and analyze the data. Thus, make clear which are your main concept(s)/theorist(s)/theory(ies) and, if any, which are secondary concept(s)/theorist(s)- theory(ies). In your Design of Study section, you should find studies that are related to the method you are using in this case you are applying Faircloughian Critical Discourse Analysis approach to language based studies. You can for instance use one of the suggestions below or any other that you have preferred from the course literature. You can use one concept only or you can combine different concepts for greater complexity. 1. Grice’s Maxims 2. Positive/Negative Face 3. Stance, Identity and Agency 4. Searle’s felicity conditions 5. Deixis and Reference 6. Information Structure 7. Power Relations (you can also supplement the tools given in the course book with other concepts/theories on social issues eg race/ethnicity, gender, political discourse, representation, etc). Please note, the concepts and theories must be described in your work and not just referred to. The theoretical background information must be relevant to achieving the aim of the study and must be relevant for application on the data analysis. The level of complexity and degree of depth you achieve in your paper as a whole will be judged. The theoretical section must contain references to the course book ie Strauss, Susan and Feiz, Parastou. Discourse Analysis. Putting our Worlds into Words. You should also include at least one article from an academic journal of your own choice In your Methodology/Design of study section, you should, among the other aspects that are required for this section, include information of CDA as a method. You will find information in the course book. You should find an academic article/or academic book that deals with or uses Fairclough’s approach to CDA as their method. You should further relate this to the information in the course book. You are most welcome to include the other CDA approaches eg van Dijk, to supplement your writing on Fairclough’s method. You should briefly describe the main results of your selected previous works and how they relate to your study. If these criteria are not fulfilled, your essay will not be considered for grading and will have to be resubmitted. 4. Data: The data eg political speech, advert, blog, etc 5. Referencing Please use APA guidelines ( for help on intext referencing and referencing of complete cited works at the end of the essay. Try to be consistent in the presentation of referencing in your essay. A simplification for intext referencing is that intext referencing should have Author, Year and in the case of a direct quote page numbers also eg One Author citation: Smith (1999:24). Smith (1999, p.24), (Smith 1999:24) or (Smith 1999, p.24). Two to five author citations: Smith, Jones and Kelly (1999:24), (Smith, Jones and Kelly 1999:24), etc. Six or more author citations: Smith et al (1999:24), (Smith et al 1999:24), etc. Do not use Footnotes or Endnotes for intext referencing