Do a critical discourse analysis

CDA involves taking a deeper, qualitative look at different types of texts in advertising, literature, or journalismAnalysts try to understand how language connects to different structures.All forms of writing and imagery can convey and shape cultural norms and social traditions.There are some steps you can take to make sure that your critical discourse analyses are done well.

Step 1: Pick a specific text that you would like to analyze.

In critical discourse analysis, the term "text" has many meanings because it applies to any type of communication, whether it's words or visuals.Speech, images, and written texts are included.A text can contain more than one of these.A text could have both written language and images.If you read how the item conveys a message, you can conduct a discourse analysis on items without text.If you're working on a college-level course, your professor may have already assigned you a text to work with.Choose your own.Texts could include things like a conversation between a doctor and patient, or a piece of journalism about an election.

Step 2: The text's attitude to its subject is revealed by words and phrases.

Look at the words of your chosen text to start your CDA.Word choices can show how an author feels about a text.What tone or attitude are these words conveying?The first step is to circle all of the words in the text.Consider what they might say about the tone of the piece.Tone words help you figure out what the author is trying to convey.Say you're looking at a piece of journalism about the president.The attitude is sarcastic and critical if the text describes the president as the goofball in the Oval Office.The attitude is respectful if the president is described as the leader of the free world.The article's attitude is deliberately neutral if it simply refers to the president as "the president."

Step 3: The text may exclude readers from a community.

CDA claims that all language is social and communicative.Texts help readers feel understood and engaged.You can spot a few places where your text works to build a community by looking at it.Explain why you came to that conclusion when you identify the audience the author is addressing.Think about a news report about international immigrants.The newscaster can create different types of community by referring to immigrants as "strangers," "refugees," or "aliens."

Step 4: The text has already made interpretations.

It's your job as a critical reader to analyze the assumptions in texts that are less critical.There are spots where language, tone, and phrase choices reveal biases about the subject matter.It's your job as a CDA analyst to identify implicit assumptions in every text.The 18th century short story, "The savages attacked the unarmed settlers at dawn," contains implicit interpretations and biases about indigenous populations.The natives and settlers made a peaceful arrangement in the beginning of the story.

Step 5: Have you thought about the way your text has been produced?

Textual production includes how a text was created, as well as the historical context and cultural context.This can have a lot of meaning.Many of the author's personal views may be expressed in the text and give it a bias.The text will not show a single individual's beliefs or biases since it has been written by multiple authors.Think about the difference between an author who writes a novel for money and one who only writes for their own pleasure.The first author would want to profit from popular trends at the end of the day, while the second would be more interested in pleasing the public.

Step 6: Do you know who has access to the text?

A text's form and audience are related to each other.The form of a text can be more accessible in ways that show who the text's creator wants to have access to and who they don't want to be associated with.Consider the case of a CEO delivering a speech in person.Openness and transparency are important to the company culture and the fact that they're not sending an open letter shows that.If the CEO did not deliver a speech, but only sent an email to board members and top executives, the formal change would imply that the text had a different audience.The email would make the CEO seem less personal and less interested in their workers.

Step 7: Borrowed language and quotations are analyzed.

Think about what the author is trying to communicate with these quotes.Texts often include quotes, borrow passages from other texts or pay homage to famous texts.It is possible to place a text into a certain literary or journalistic tradition, to show a reverence for history and the past, or to reveal the type of community that the text's creator would like to build.Quoting Charles Dickens at once shows that the author is well-read and also grounds their writing in the English Victorian literary tradition.

Step 8: Look at ways in which texts reveal traditions.

Texts can reveal and create cultural values.Cultural clues can be found within the texts that you're analyzing.A text can show how the text's creator feels about cultural traditions or how a culture develops.If a political speaker says, "our forefathers smile upon us today," they are using patriarchal language.The term culture should be broadly used.Businesses can have cultures, as can communities of all sizes, countries, language groups, and even racial groups.

Step 9: There are differences between the social cultures.

It's good to compare similar texts when you're doing a CDA analysis.This can lead to new understandings of the texts.The social values held by different communities and cultures can be compared.Consider two different magazine ads for trucks.In the first ad, a man sits in a truck with the words "The vehicle for men" written on it.

Step 10: Determine if the norms are held by a culture or a sub-culture.

Many large groups contain smaller sub-cultures.These sub-cultures have their own traditions that may not be shared by the large culture as a whole.Understanding how the text is received by different groups can help you determine if a view is held in a large culture or a small sub-culture.You may think that the candidate is representing a fringe party that doesn't share many of the mainstream party's views.Look at other candidates' speeches to see how they address the fringe candidate.The fringe candidate is likely part of a sub-group whose views aren't shared by the main political culture.

Step 11: There are ways in which cultural norms may exist outside of the US.

Power grounded in texts and practices creates a strong culture that crosses national boundaries.It's your job to figure out where this type of culture is.Positive or negative effects can come from a strong international culture.A shared culture could encourage exploitation and abuses of power in the corporate world.Ikea, Emirate Airlines, and McDonald's have strong cultures that exist internationally.

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