June 4, 2018, by Sunita Tailor

Discourse analysis, dissertations and dystopian fiction

This blog post was written by second year English and Philosophy student, Emily Patel.

In just over a week, my second year at university will be over. I know I’ve repeated this in my previous blogs, but it’s hard to believe it has gone by so quickly! All my coursework has been handed in so I just have exams left – as I’m sure is the case for most of you if you haven’t finished already (good luck!). This gives me the opportunity to reflect on what I have learnt through my course this year.

My favourite English module has definitely been ‘Language in Society’, in which we discussed topics in sociolinguistics. This includes how language varies across groups around the world, and how different contexts have an impact on the language that we use in written and spoken texts. I found it extremely interesting to look into how the media has an influence on the public through the language choices used. We had a range of topics we could do our coursework on, and I decided to research how immigrants were presented in right – wing newspaper articles. I found that they spread conservative ideologies which are generally against large levels of immigration into Britain. I have also enjoyed the module ‘Twentieth Century Plays’, in which we read plays including ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.

Although I preferred studying literature before university, I am now more interested in studying language. I have also realised that through a lot of my work, I have enjoyed writing about how marginalised groups are presented within texts (including themes of race, gender, and sexuality). As well as my English modules, this semester I did a philosophy module about race. Due to these reasons, I have decided to do a discourse analysis for my dissertation about how certain groups (probably women and immigrants) are presented in the media. Although my coursework involved these ideas, I was told it was fine to repeat the theme as long as I changed it in some ways. Surprisingly, a dissertation is not compulsory for my course, but I have decided to do one despite previously being unsure about what to do for it.

As well as a dissertation, the other English modules I am doing next year are ‘The discourse of Health and Work’ and ‘Dystopian and Gothic Fiction.’ Through my language module this year, I enjoyed exploring how our language changes when we are in professional settings. In ‘Dystopian fiction’, we will read books such as Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty – Four’, which I look forward to!

Posted in Student Words