Views on Discourse Structure refer to the way in which sentences are connected to one another, which can have an effect on how readers understand the overall meaning of your writing. That may sound confusing, but it’s actually pretty simple. One of the most common ways that discourse structure affects meaning is in how it influences the way readers understand relationships between concepts in your writing.
Understanding how discourse structure works
The discourse structure, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, refers to the arrangement of paragraphs and sentences in a document. A paragraph can be defined as a block of text that develops one point or idea about the topic being discussed. There are two types of discourse structures- linear and hierarchical.
Linear discourse involves giving information linearly from beginning to end, which is most common in instruction manuals or recipes because they focus on a particular step-by-step process. Hierarchical discourse follows a logical progression from general topics to specific details and back again. An example of this type of organization would be an essay discussing different views on something like human rights.
The importance of dialogue
Dialogue is important for the reader to feel a sense of connection with the characters in your story. The more dialogue there is, the easier it will be for readers to connect. Dialogue also moves the plot forward. If you are writing a first-person narrative, this becomes even more important because then readers only have one character’s thoughts to connect with (so they’ll need as much dialogue as possible). When you’re drafting dialogue, keep in mind that dialogue is not just what people say but what they do when talking. In other words, a lot of people talk with their hands, so their gestures should be included in the conversation. Make sure that your dialogue sounds natural and doesn’t seem like an author was trying too hard to create realism or detail for no reason.
Example #1 – Dialogue
It’s so cute, she said. That painting you did.
Do you like it? he asked, trying to fight back a smile.
I love it, she assured him, grinning widely. And I love you too. It was always the small things that mattered most and made her feel the happiest.
She didn’t need anything else in this world but him. He meant everything to her. He was all she ever wanted or needed, but all of that changed when he betrayed her for another woman. She thought their relationship had been perfect until it wasn’t anymore.
He lied about everything from their future together to where they were going on vacation next year.
Example #2 – Narrative Essay
It’s easy to see why it’s important to know what type of discourse structure you’re working with. If a group is discussing narrative essays, they may bring up topics such as characterization, point of view, theme, and so on. On the other hand, if they’re discussing expository essays their focus would be more on the content that is being presented and the reasons why it is presented. By knowing which kind of essay they are speaking about, students can better prepare for class discussions and writing assignments.
Discourse structures also help readers understand how an author structures his or her ideas. For example, an author might choose to introduce an idea in the beginning before going into details or jumping right into details before giving any background information. Knowing what type of essay they are reading allows readers to follow along easier and figure out how best to process all the information.
Example #3 – Argumentative Essay
Many people in society have different views about the discourse structure and whether or not it really matters. The main question is what type of audience you are speaking to and who will be more receptive to your message. If you are looking for answers, the style of discourse that you choose can make all the difference in how well you get them. Whether or not you should create a topic sentence and then use supporting details from there, or if an outline will work better when constructing your argument depends on where your audience resides.
Work Cited Page
1. The following system will explore the definition and usage of discourse analysis, including its strengths and weaknesses as a form of analysis.
2. Dissertation Abstracts International (DOAJ) is a freely accessible digital repository for Doctoral dissertations in the arts and humanities, natural sciences, technology, social sciences, education, and law. Started in 1994 with indexing from US libraries only. By 1995, DOAJ had expanded to include doctoral dissertations from other countries as well. Over 60 countries are now indexed by DOAJ. Available in English and German