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Introducing Communication Research
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Introducing Communication Research
Paths of Inquiry

Fourth Edition
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352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Introducing Communication Research: Paths of Inquiry teaches students the basics of communication research in an accessible manner by using interesting real-world examples, engaging application exercises, and up-to-date resources. Best-selling author Donald Treadwell and new co-author Andrea Davis guide readers through the process of conducting communication research and presenting findings for scholarly, professional, news/media, and web audiences. The Fourth Edition continues to emphasize the Internet and social media as topics of, and tools for, communication research, and incorporates new content on online methodologies, qualitative research, critical methodologies, and ethics.


 
1. Getting Started: Possibilities and Decisions
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Getting Started in Research  
Basic Assumptions Behind Communication Research  
Some Research Possibilities: What Can We Do With an Ad?  
Some Research Possibilities: Beyond the Ad  
A Series of Unavoidable Decisions  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
2. First Decisions: From Inspiration to Implementation
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Starting With Basic Beliefs and Perspectives  
Starting With a Focus  
Starting With a Purpose  
Starting With the "What" Question  
Starting With "Who," "Where," and "When" Questions  
Starting With the "How" Question  
Starting From the Work of Others  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
3. Ethics: What Are My Responsibilities as a Researcher?
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction: Some Ethical Decisions  
Ethics Issues in Communication Research  
Some Classic Ethical Positions  
Two Brief Histories—Or Why We Care About Research Ethics  
Contemporary Codes of Ethics  
Regulations  
Peer Review and Institutional Review Boards  
What Should I Call You? The Ethics of Involvement  
The Internet and Research Ethics  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
4. You Could Look It Up: Reading, Recording, and Reviewing Research
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Library Research: Why Bother?  
Finding Relevance, Finding Quality  
Scholarly Databases Versus Search Engines  
Scholarly Journals: A Good Starting Point  
Scholarly, Popular, and Trade Publications: What Is the Difference?  
Primary Versus Secondary Sources  
Search Strategies: General to Specific and Specific to General  
Search Terms and Search Fields  
How Can the Library of Congress Help My Literature Search?  
Other Resources  
How to Be Skeptical About Information: Websites and Fake News  
Mr. Boole and the Three Bears  
Saving Your Search Results  
Reviewing the Literature  
The Literature Review: Writing Your Search Results  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
5. Measurement: Research Using Numbers
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
What Do Your Head Size, Attitudes, and Readability Have in Common?  
An Introduction to Scales  
Research NOIR  
To NOIR Is Not Enough: Reliability and Validity  
Reliability  
Validity  
Two Common Measurement Scales  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
References  
 
6. Sampling: Who, What, and How Many?
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction  
Nonprobability Sampling  
How Big Does My Sample Have to Be?  
Some Issues With Sampling Frames  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
7. Summarizing Research Results: Data Reduction and Descriptive Statistics
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction  
Data Reduction  
Measures of Central Tendency: Mean, Median, and Mode  
Measures of Dispersion: Minimum, Maximum, Range, Interquartile Range, Variance, and Standard Deviation  
z Score  
The Chi-Square Test  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
8. Generalizing From Research Results: Inferential Statistics
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction  
Generalizing From Data: Inferential Statistics  
Testing for Differences Between and Among Groups  
Testing for Relationships Between and Among Variables  
Two Final Decisions  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
9. Surveys: Putting Numbers on Opinions
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Surveys  
Types of Surveys  
Writing, Introducing, and Formatting Questions  
Survey Wording: “If It Can Be Misinterpreted, It Will Be”  
Improving Survey Response Rates  
Using Other People’s Surveys  
Big Data and the End of Surveys?  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
10. Experiments: Researching Cause and Effect
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Experiments  
Field Experiments and Ex Post Facto Designs  
Basic Experimental Design  
Designing for Control  
Designing for Random Assignment  
Time Series Analysis  
Validity and Experimental Design  
Online Experiments  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
11. Quantitative Understanding of Content: Content Analysis
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Content Analysis  
A Basic Content Analysis  
A Basic Content Analysis: Further Questions  
Content Analysis of Human Interaction  
Content Analysis of the Web  
Computer Analysis of the Web  
Computer Analysis of Content  
Content Analysis as Quantitative and Qualitative  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
12. Qualitative Understanding of Content: Rhetorical and Critical Analyses, and More
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Qualitative Analyses of Content  
Rhetorical Analyses  
Narrative Analysis  
Metaphor Analysis  
Discourse Analysis  
Conversation Analysis  
Semiotics  
Critical Analyses  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
13. Qualitative Understanding of Communication Behavior
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Watching and Listening Methods  
Qualitative and Quantitative: Similarities and Differences  
Researcher-Participant Relationships  
Watching and Listening Methods  
Making Sense of Qualitative Data  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
14. Research Results In Print and Online: Writing and Presenting for Scholarly and Other Publics
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction  
The Publics of Research  
The Voices of Research  
Disseminating Research  
Visualizing Research  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site

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supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:

  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources; 
  • a test bank in Word® and ExamView that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save you time. You can also easily edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions;
  • multimedia content that meet the learning needs of today’s media-savvy students and brings concepts to life;
  • sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses that provide suggested models for structuring your courses;
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course;
  • lecture notes that summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions;
  • recommended readings of suggested books and articles to supplement the textbook;
  • chapter-specific discussion questions that allow students to engage with the material; and
  • class activity suggestions to help students engage with the text content in class
Student Study Site

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for students enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:

  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime;
  • eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they've learned and where they need to focus their attention;
  • Learning Objectives that reinforce the most important material; 
  • Video, multimedia, and web links that facilitate student use of Internet resources and further exploration of topics; 
  • industry case studies that can be used as a basis for "research in practice" discussions; and 
  • a five-minute APA guide to help students structure their papers and properly cite their sources

"Introducing Communication Research is the one-stop shop for teaching communication research. It covers every fundamental an undergraduate or graduate student needs to know in a remarkably accessible style."

Sandra Duhé
Southern Methodist University

 “This text is distinct in that it makes a large, complex topic very easy to break down for students of all abilities!”

Patricia Atkinson
Marist College
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • New vignettes introduce a theoretical or methodological topic using language and contexts that students new to research can easily comprehend.
  • New and updated content includes:
    • “First Decisions”: expanded discussion of basic research perspectives, worldviews, communication metatheories, and communication research traditions.
    • Bibliographic research: new content on identifying and assessing fake news.
    • Ethics: expanded and updated online consent processes as well as guidelines and questions for Internet research.
    • Survey methodology: new content on “big data” and surveys.
    • Content analysis: new material on content analysis of the Internet, updated content on using computers for content analysis, and a discussion of content analysis from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives.
    • Rhetorical and critical analyses: expanded and updated discussion of Marxist and feminist criticism.
    • Qualitative research methods: new content on performance studies.
    • Writing and presenting research: new content on blogs, podcasts and webinars.
  • Expanded emphasis on the Internet and social media helps instructors make communication research topics, issues, and methods more relevant with media students already know and use on a daily basis.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Learning objectives highlight the skills and knowledge students should gain from each chapter.
  • Application exercises help students learn to make decisions about research practice.
  • Ethics panels with questions facilitate discussion of research ethics in practice.
  • Highlighted vocabulary words are defined and explained in the glossary.
  • Chapter summaries provide overviews of chapter content.

 

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