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Example 1: Comparative Study of Policy Documents by Political Party

In the study proposed in Table 15.1, as in the BP study, a single mode (writing) is investigated, as well as a homogenous medium (political documents, for example, manifestos). A similar approach could also be used for political speeches, where the mode is that particular kind of “written-like” speech that is characteristic of the genre. In this case, the research is synchronic. The purpose of this particular example would be to explore the linguistic constructions of a political issue, according to parties engaged in the debate. Language features might include, as for BP, the naming of the issue or of items related to it, modal constructions and discourses. Rhetorical figures of different kinds or patterns of argumentation might prove interesting for study. As was the case for the BP data, preliminary analysis would suggest the relevant discursive features.

Example 2: Comparative Study of Policy Documents Over Time

In a similar study (Table 15.2), the emphasis is diachronic, investigating how a single party has dealt with the issue of, say, Europe over time. This design has something in common with the time-based approach to the BP data. In this example, a timeline of external events which might affect attitudes to Europe would be useful information to accompany the analysis.

Table 15.1 A comparative study by political party

Political issue, e.g. Britain's newrole in Europe

Party A Party B Party C

Language feature 1

Language feature 2

Language feature 3

Language feature n

Table 15.2 A comparative study of a political issue over time

Political issue, e.g. Britain's role in Europe

Party A Election year 2005

Party A Election year 2010

Party A Election year 2015

Language feature 1

Language feature 2

Language feature 3

Language feature n

Table 15.3 A comparative study by mediums

The construction of an issue e.g. child obesity or domestic violence

Magazine (e.g. Bella)

Printed

advertising

Blog

Language feature 1

Language feature 2

Language feature 3

Language feature n

 
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