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Discourse: Mixed Methods

  1. John H. Parmelee,
  2. Stephynie C. Perkins

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0333

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Parmelee, J. H. and Perkins, S. C. 2012. Discourse: Mixed Methods. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


There are many fields where discourse can be studied, and there are many methods that can be used to study discourse. One such field is political communication, which includes US presidential campaign communication. Research on presidential campaign discourse tends to focus on the candidates' speeches, debates, and political advertising. However, while there are many studies that have examined the discourse found in presidential campaigns, only a few studies have done so using a mixed methods approach (Parmelee, Perkins, & Sayre, 2007). This article offers an example of how discourse can be studied in a more meaningful way using a mixed methods approach than by using any one method. One political ad—the first that Barack Obama's campaign released during his presidential run—is examined with a quantitative method (manifest content analysis), and a qualitative method (frame analysis), to demonstrate the value of mixed methods for studying campaign discourse.


  • discourse analysis;
  • government, politics, and law;
  • methods