Mary Ellen Daniloff-Merrill

Using critical discourse analysis to analyze a basic writing workbook

Mary Ellen Daniloff-Merrill

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2001 pp: 207
  • Advisor: Weiser, Irwin H.
  • Source: DAI-A 63/02(E)
  • Subjects: Education; Language, literature and linguistics; Basic writing; Discourse analysis; Workbook; Rhetoric; Composition; Linguistics; Language arts;
  • ProQuest Document Number: 304723105
  • ISBN: 9780493575834
  • UMI Number: AAT 3043716

Abstract:

This project analyzes the discourse of a basic writing workbook for the purpose of showing who controls the discourse of the text and how the ideological common sense assumptions of those groups influence pedagogical decisions which serve to maintain basic writers at a basic writing level. Using Norman Fairclough’s three dimensional framework for Critical Discourse Analysis and applying it to specific sections of Audrey Roth’s The Elements of Basic Writing with Readings, 2nd Edition, “Discourse as Text” describes underlying meanings in the areas of Wording, Grammar, Cohesion, and Text Structure. “Discursive Practice” interprets the workbook discourse in relation to the text’s production, distribution, and consumption and the subject positions of the discourse participants. “Social Practice” explains the discourse from the perspective of how power relations are either reproduced, challenged, or restructured through the ideological common sense assumptions of those controlling the discourse and how this affects classroom pedagogy. Instructors, consultants, reviewers, and authors need to revise their discursive practices and choose textbooks more carefully for the benefit of basic writers.