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Transcript analysis... writing essays!

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    I have to analyse a transcript for AS English Language. This will be my second attempt and, although I'm comfortable with the various different features and terminology, I'm really having difficulties in structuring it in an essay. I'm referring to a text book (Living Language) which explains that it should be written as followed...

    Describe the context

    Look at the dialogue as a whole

    Look at the contribution of each participant

    Talk about turn taking, interruptions etc.

    Look for non-fluency features

    Analyse sentence types, grammar choices etc.

    Look to see if there are any interesting lexical choices (in reference to dialect, idiolect etc.)

    I've tried to follow this structure, but I'm finding that it's all so repetitive. When I, for example, talk about the contribution of the participants, I describe the turn taking and sentence types used. Also, in the description of the context, I talk about their relationships and therefore the turn taking.

    Can anyone suggest an alternative? I need help! What do I do?

    Do I talk briefly in the context, and then expand on my points further in the essay?
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    In that case, try not to follow the suggested structure like a formula. Choose a feature, comment on it - all the things you mentioned - then move on.
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    Just make sure that you use all of the frameworks: lexis, grammar, phonology, pragmatics, semantics and discourse structure. So long as you've included reference to those frameworks you'll get the marks.
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    Thanks for your advice... I've had another go and this time I didn't stick to any specific structure. I think I've covered all points and so I'm pretty happy. Thanks again.

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Updated: November 2, 2008
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