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The hierarchical organization of meaning in texts. Used most prominently in van Dijk's (1988a; 1988b) analyses of international news stories, macrostructures are a concept developed within the discourse analytic tradition of journalism studies. ‘The point of macrostructures’, van Dijk (no date) argues, is that ‘texts not only have local or microstructural relations between subsequent sentences, but that they also have overall structures that define their global coherence and organisation.’ Macrostructures are derived from three rules: ‘by eliminating those propositions which are not relevant for the interpretation of other propositions (deletion), by converting a series of specific propositions into a more general proposition (generalisation) and by constructing a proposition from a number of propositions in the text (construction)’ (Tomlin et al., 1997: 90). Texts are easier ...

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