3 Ways Discourse Analysis Can Optimize Your Organization

Discourse Analysis

Discourse analysis is the analysis of a cross section of predominantly written language.  Do not confuse it with literary analysis.  The purpose of discourse analysis isn’t necessarily to understand the text itself, but to understand the sociocultural world the text is caught up in.  In this type of analysis, the text is considered suspended in webs […] Read more »

3 Ways Conversation Analysis Benefits Your Organization

Communication is like the rainforest

When you analyze something, you break it up into smaller pieces, examine those smaller pieces, and discover how those smaller pieces work together to create the whole.  Conversation analysis is basically that process applied to a conversation.  In conversation analysis, you take a transcript (or written version) of a conversation and find its smaller pieces […] Read more »

The 6 Steps of Transcribing

Transcribing Step 5

One of the main pieces of conducting research in linguistic anthropology is transcribing. There are six steps for transcribing according to the most frequently used transcription conventions of linguistic anthropology.  However, transcription conventions will vary depending on the theoretical foundation of your research. Step 1: Listen to the Audio Listen to the clip once before transcribing […] Read more »

3 Challenges to Recordings & Their Solutions

"The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes." ~ Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

Two people can witness the exact same conversation and have two different interpretations of what happened.  It’s called marriage.  Jokes aside, this differentiation is rather common.  I’m not necessarily saying that people are liars, but rather that their perceptions of a conversation will differ from that of others.  Recordings offer the chance to view a […] Read more »

6 Steps for an Effective Research Interview


For better or worse, someone somewhere has been where you are now.   Step 1: Decide on Objectives What exactly are you trying to find out?  Write out your objectives on a notecard.  Keep that notecard in front of you while you write out your questions.  Your questions should, for the most part, be based […] Read more »

8 Steps to Implementing an Excellent Survey

A survey is a form of art: carefully crafted to reveal truth.

#1: Determine Objectives As an inquisitive person, I understand the allure of wanting to ask as many questions as possible. However, if we want our participants to be respectful of our surveys, we must first be respectful of their time. Once you determine your objectives, you can use them to take out the “fluff” or […] Read more »

4 Benefits to an Expert Observing Your Organization

Is the gravity pulling you down a fact of life or an opportunity for growth?

Participant-Observation is a technique used to not only collect information about a group of people but to also experience the group’s activities first hand.  The technique involves simultaneously participating while observing a group of people.  In my own research on a university writing center, for example, I worked as a writing tutor and went to […] Read more »

3 Uses for Ethnographic Methods

The ultimate research instrument connects researchers to a world normally beyond our own reach, the truth of the social world.  This instrument is the researcher.

Imagine this: you’re looking through a microscope at the very essence of what makes up our universe.  The microscope connects you to a world normally beyond your reach.  This instrument allows researchers to discover problems right within the molecular composition of your blood cells.   The ultimate research instrument connects researchers to a world normally beyond […] Read more »