A detailed paper giving a good summary of the varieties and potential applications of discourse analysis as a research method in social science. The paper gives a clear explanation of the context of this method and has an extensive bibliography suggesting further reading.
Chapter 3 – Laying the foundations for your project
All the content relating to the chapter above is below
The objective of this short chapter is to help you gain an understanding of how to begin scoping your research, including key considerations in forming your research and identifying sources of data.
It should go without saying that it is impossible to investigate a specific research problem unless that problem is at first articulated and clarified, but you might be amazed at how many novice researchers try to do just that! Commonly, a research project will begin with an interest in a general subject area, or an identified topic. This will lead to the formulation of a working title covering the subject area, such as ‘the geology of the Isle of Lewis’ or ‘the mediaeval history of Tain’. This is enough information to allow the researcher to begin to become familiar with the broad area of the discipline, and perhaps give an insight into some details of a sub-topic, but this is not a research question in itself. To structure a research project – that is, to conduct a systematic investigation of a topic in order to gain new insights – the researcher needs to either identify a particular research question, or propose a hypothesis to be tested. The results from these processes are the focus of the individual research project. We will deal with both of these activities further on, but there are several steps which the researcher can usefully take before she or he reaches this stage.