Assignment 3:
(Mini) Discourse Analysis


For this assignment, you will collect some naturally occurring data involving two or more speakers. This data can be in institutional contexts, such as classrooms, or it can be from more 'mundane' settings such as apartments, coffeshops, and shopping malls.

Step 1. Develop a RQ.
Come up with a research question that you think can be illuminated by examining naturally occurring talk. Remember that DA is a good way to 'check' ideologies that people produce in narratives and interviews. DA is one way to create triangulation in qualitative interpretive research.

Step 2. Collect Data

You will need to record speech for at least one hour. This will be far too much to include in your analysis, but based on this one hour, you will eventually select the equivalent of no more than 2 pages of data (transcribed with single-spaced formatting, 12 point font). Use a reliable recorder and make sure that you are in a place where noise is reduced (as much as possible).

Step 3. Align with a framework.
Choosing from the overviews by Gee (2004), Heller (2001), and Eades (2004), develop an approach to the data that you feel comfortable with. Respectively, these frameworks offer perspectival takes on 1) Critical Discourse Analysis, 2) Ethnographic Discourse Analysis, and 3) Critical Interactional Sociolinguistics. Additional perspectives exist on these frameworks, but for this assignment, limit your theory and methodology to the course readings. It's quite possible to blend two or more of these approaches in fruitful ways as well.

Note that if you choose to follow Heller's (2001) Ethnographic DA, you might include a text analysis alongside an analysis of naturally occurring talk. If so, you may limit your transcript to one page. Generally speaking, the goal is to get at least 2 pages of data combined.

Step 4. "Apply" the framework to your data.

Writing it up
On the due date, turn the following items in together in a folder:
a. 5 page research report detailing the 'chronology' of your discourse analysis. What was your first step? What made you think of your RQ? Why did you link the framework to that RQ? How did you go about applying the framework to your data? What did you find out? (This refers to the 'whats' of research).
b. 2 pages of transcription as an appendix.