Themes and Topics
* Theme, according to the text, tells what the sentence is all about and is considered as the first element of the sentence. Once the theme is identified the rest is then considered “the rheme”. The rheme here acts as the supporting details. According to Van Dijk, the theme is called the sentential topic which indicates a special function of semantic units. Thus, it has two main functions according to Brown and Yule, one is to connect back to the previous discourse another is to provide a starting point for the development of the discourse. Thematisation, therefore, plays an important part in the combination and sequencing of clauses.
* The theme of the text is called “discourse topic”. However, as Fries would stress, the first sentence of the text does not usually contain its discourse topic. Sentence ...view middle of the document...
However, sometimes headlines may express secondary topics. Headlines of this kind are called "biased" as well as lead too. The discourse topic is the main topic of the article. We are able to discover possible bias by comparing the headline and lead with the discourse topic of the article. If they reflect the discourse topic poorly or not at all, they are considered to be biased. Quotations or indirect speech may not be objective, as reporters can choose to report only those statements that serve their ideological aims. Use of scare quotes is not a clear cut thing with some being debatable
Grammar and Syntax
* grammatical and syntactic means are not used in the realization of bias
* for thematisation, there are cases where it is used in a slightly biased way
* it can strengthens the negative impression that the reader receives from the lead paragraph of the story
* the lexical choice has a certain effect on the impression that the reader receives from an article
* adjectives ought to be used with care in news text, so that their use would not contribute bias.
* some of the articles analysed include parts where the reporter is speaking himself without quoting or paraphrasing anyone. These are the reporter’s own evaluations of things
* some evaluations in the articles are relatively mild and implicit, other stronger and explicit
* in the case of more explicit evaluations, the reporter’s personal opinions may show through in a way that constitutes bias
The Use of Paragraphs
* the way in which paragraphs are arranged has an effect on how the readers absorb the text
Element of Surprise
* the element of is one of features of presentation involving the order of paragraphs
* the article contains a paragraph that does not directly relate to the main subject matter and seems therefore, surprising and out of place