Author: Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Title: Lincoln the Inventor , [Yr: ]. Title: Lincoln the Lawyer , [Yr: ].
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Title: Lincoln's America : - , [Yr: ]. Title: Lincoln's Assassination , [Yr: ]. Title: Lincoln's Campaign Biographies , [Yr: ]. Title: Lincoln's Constitution , [Yr: ]. Title: Lincoln's Generals , [Yr: ]. Author: Boritt, Gabor S. Title: Lincoln's Last Months , [Yr: ]. Title: Lincoln's New Salem , [Yr: ]. Stoddard , [Yr: ]. Title: Lincoln, Inc.
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Title: Lincoln, the Cabinet, and the Generals , [Yr: ]. Title: Line Communication System , [Yr: ]. Publisher: New Age International Pvt. Subject: Algebras, Linear.
When you code data, it means that you are assigning attributes to specific units of analysis, such as paragraphs, sentences, or individual words. Think of how many of us tag online information like pictures, links, or articles. Coding is simply an academic version of this tagging process.
For instance, you might be analysing a presidential speech to see what globalization discourse it draws from. It makes sense to mark all statements in the speech that deal with globalization and its related themes or discourse strands. Before you start with this process, you need to come up with your coding categories. A thorough review of the secondary literature on your topic will likely offer inspiration.
Write down your first considerations, and also write down topics that you think might be related to these key themes. These are your starting categories. You then go over the text to see if it contains any of these themes. Take notes on the ones that are not included, since you may have to delete these categories later. Other categories might be too broad, so try breaking them down into sub-categories. Also, the text may include interesting themes that you did not expect to find, so jot down any such additional discourse strands.
At the end of this first review, revise your list of coding categories to reflect your findings. If you are working with several documents, repeat the process for each of them, until you have your final list of coding categories.
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How the actual coding process works will depend on the tools you use. You can code paper-based sources by highlighting text sections in different colours, or by jotting down specific symbols. If you are working with a computer, you can similarly highlight text sections in a word processor. In either case, the risk is that you will not be able to represent multiple categories adequately, for instance when a statement ties into three or four discourse strands at once.
Linguistic Dimensions of Crisis Talk
You could mark individual words, but this might not be ideal if you want to see how the discourse works within the larger sentence structure, and how discourse strands overlap. A real alternative is using other types of software. If you have access to professional research programmes like NVivo , then the software already has built-in coding mechanisms that you can customize and use.
There is also open-source software available, for instance the Mac programme TAMS , but I have not tested their functionality. The first is to copy your text into an Excel table. Place the text in one column and use the next column to add the coding categories. A sensible approach is to place each sentence of your original text on a new line, but you could also choose smaller units of text. You can also customize your tags, create new ones, and easily search and monitor your coding categories and activities. The downside is that you can only tag full sentences, not single words or phrases, but depending on your intentions, this may not be a crucial drawback.
Now that you have prepared your materials and have coded the discourse strands, it is time to look at the structural features of the texts. Are there sections that overwhelmingly deal with one discourse?
Are there ways in which different discourse strands overlap in the text? See if you can identify how the argument is structured: does the text go through several issues one by one? Does it first make a counter-factual case, only to then refute that case and make the main argument? You should at this point also consider how the headers and other layout features guide the argument, and what role the introduction and conclusion play in the overall scheme of things. Once you have a good idea of the macro-features of your text, you can zoom in on the individual statements, or discourse fragments.
A good way to do this is to collect all statements with a specific code, and to examine what they have to say on the respective discourse strand. You have already established what the context of your source material is. Now think about how the context informs the argument.
Does your material contain references to other sources, or imply knowledge of another subject matter? What meaning does the text attribute to such other sources? The next step in your analysis is likely going to be the most laborious, but also the most enlightening when it comes to exploring how a discourse works in detail. You will need to identify how the various statements function at the level of language.
In order to do this, you may have to use additional copies of your text for each work-step, or you may need to create separate coding categories for your digital files. Here are some of the things you should be on the lookout for:. You now have all the elements of your analysis together, but the most important question still remains: what does it all mean? In your interpretation, you need to tie all of your results together in order to explain that the discourse is about, and how it works.
This means combing your knowledge of structural features and individual statements, and then placing those findings into the broader context that you established at the beginning. Throughout this process, keep the following questions in mind: who created the material you are analysing? What is their position on the topic you examined?
How do their arguments draw from and in turn contribute to commonly accepted knowledge of the topic at the time and in the place that this argument was made? And maybe most importantly: who might benefit from the discourse that your sources construct? Once you have the answer to your original question, it is time to get your results across to your target audience. If you have conducted a good analysis, then you now have a huge amount of notes from which you can build your presentation, paper, or thesis.
Make sure to stress the relevance , and to move through your analysis based on the issues that you want to present. Always ask yourself: what is interesting about my findings, and why should anyone care? A talk or a paper that simply lists one discourse feature after another is tedious to follow, so try to focus on making a compelling case.