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Introducing Communication Research
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Introducing Communication Research
Paths of Inquiry

Third Edition

Master the communication research process with this easy-to-understand text!

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© 2017 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Master the essentials of communication research!

 

Introducing Communication Research: Paths of Inquiry helps students understand the communication research process from start to finish. The Third Edition has been updated throughout to explain the Internet and social media as tools and topics for communication research. Streamlined, accessible, and with campus-based research examples that students can relate to, this text guides students through the fundamentals of conducting research and presenting research findings for scholarly, professional, news/media, and web audiences.

 

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SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of free tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. Learn more at http://edge.sagepub.com/treadwell3e.

 
Chapter 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  
Problem Posing, Problem Solving, Peer Persuasion  
Ethics Panel: A Health Communication Dilemma  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 2: First Decisions: What, Why, How?
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Starting With The “What” Question: Ideas And Observations  
Starting With The “Why” Question: Goals And Values  
Starting With The “How” Question: Methods and Epistemologies  
Starting With A Worldview: Basic Beliefs  
Starting From the Work Of Others  
Firming Up Questions  
Questioning The Questions  
Starting With No Questions  
Moving In A Hermeneutic Circle  
Ethics Panel: Do Some Research Methods Have More Ethical Implications Than Others?  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 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  
Oh Brave New World, That Has Such Creatures In It: The Internet And Research Ethics  
Ethics Panel: Facebook Faces A Furor  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 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 Terms And Search Fields  
How Can The Library Of Congress Help My Literature Search?  
Other Resources  
How To Be Skeptical About Information, Especially Web Information  
Mr Boole and The Three Bears  
Saving Your Search Results  
Reviewing The Literature  
The Literature Review: Writing Your Search Results  
Ethics Panel: Politics And Publication  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 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  
Ethics Panel: The Ethics Of Measurement Scales  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
References  
 
Chapter 6: Summarizing Research Results: Data Reduction And Descriptive Statistics
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction  
Preliminary Considerations: Missing Data and Anomalous Data  
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  
Ethics Panel: Can Rankings Be Misleading?  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 7: Generalizing From Research Results: Inferential Statistics
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction  
The Language of Curves  
Generalizing From Data: Inferential Statistics  
The Normal Curve and the Central Limit Theorem  
Testing For Differences Between And Among Groups  
Testing For Relationships Between And Among Variables  
Two Final Decisions  
Ethics Panel: A Communicative Tension  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 8: Sampling: Who, What And How Many?
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction  
Non-Probability Sampling  
Probability Sampling  
How Big Does My Sample Have To Be?  
Some Issues With Sampling Frames  
Ethics Panel: Checking the Ethics Of Survey Research  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 9: Surveys: Putting Numbers On Opinions
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Surveys  
Types Of Surveys  
Writing And Formatting Questions  
Survey Wording: “If It Can Be Misinterpreted, It Will Be.”  
Online Surveys  
Improving Survey Response Rates  
Capturing And Processing Survey Data  
Using Other People’s Surveys  
Ethics Panel: Clients And Methods As Ethical Decisions  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 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  
Factorial Designs  
Between-Subjects and Within-Subjects Design  
Validity and Experimental Design  
Ethics Panel: Two Famous And Controversial Experiments  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 11: Watching And Listening: Qualitative Research For In-Depth Understanding
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  
Drowning In Data? CAQDAS To The Rescue  
Ethics Panel: In Which A Professor Becomes A Student  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 12: Content Analysis: Understanding Communication Content In Numbers
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Content ANALYSIS  
A Basic Content Analysis  
An Expanded Content Analysis  
Content Analysis Of Human Interaction  
Content Analysis Software  
Ethics Panel: Could Analyzing Media Content Result In Harm?  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 13: Rhetorical And Critical Analyses, And More: Understanding Communication Content In Words
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  
Ethics Panel: Research As Manipulative Practice  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  
 
Chapter 14: Writing and Presenting Research
Chapter Overview  
Chapter Objectives  
Introduction  
Writing For Scholarly Publics: Voices In The Conversation  
Writing For Interest Groups And News Media  
Writing and Presenting With the Web  
Editorial Processes  
The Interplay of Style And Accuracy  
Presenting For Scholarly Publics: Conferences And Panels  
An FYI on PPT  
Some Communication Guidelines  
Ethics Panel: Balancing Between Scholarly And Popular Writing  
Chapter Summary  
Application Exercises  
Recommended Reading  
Recommended Web Resources  
References  

Supplements

Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • A  customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience
  • Carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter 
  • Chapter-specific study questions are designed to help reinforce key concepts in each chapter for self-review
Instructor Site

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students. 

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring one’s course
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch conversation by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content
  • Tables and Figures are available in an easily-downloadable format for use in papers, hand-outs, and presentations
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students to think critically
  • Carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to ease preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Case Studies from previous editions have been added to the ancillaries website and can be used as a basis for “research in practice” discussions.

The book is very useful and informational. It is particular suitable for students who major in media, communication and journalism.

Leung Rosette
Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University
October 8, 2016

I am teaching a course 'Research Media and Culture' this semester. The book is very useful and informational. It is particular suitable for students who major in media, communication and journalism.

Leung Rosette
Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University
October 8, 2016

This is an essential book for my honours students doing mini dissertations in research; even for communication students beyond honours.

Ms Chilombo Chichi Mbenga
Communications , North West University, Mafikeng Campus
April 20, 2016

Very useful to make the path of inquiry in this field doable for bachelors

Dr Chantal Savelsbergh
Management , Open universiteit Nederland
April 18, 2016

I highly recommend this book for all levels of students. It is both interactive and descriptive.

Miss Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi
Department of Health Studies, University of East London
February 24, 2016
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:   

  • A new discussion of Internet sampling frames and updated discussions of postal and phone sampling in light of advances in survey research bring the book thoroughly up-to-date.
  • New sections on online focus groups and ethnography have been added to Chapter 11 on qualitative methods to expose students to the challenges and techniques of researching online communities.
  • New content on writing for multimedia and hypermedia has been added to Chapter 14, offering students a variety of options to present research.
  • Expanded content on writing literature reviews has been added to Chapter 4 in response to reviewer suggestions, giving students more practice in bibliographic research.
  • New learning objectives in every chapter highlight the knowledge and skills students should obtain from each chapter.
  • Updated end-of-chapter application exercises now include at least one exercise based on accessible Internet content to familiarize students with the practical application of online tools.  

KEY FEATURES:   

  • Ethics panels in each chapter emphasize the implications of research on human participants and help stimulate discussion of research as ethical practice.
  • Campus-based scenarios introduce research concepts that students can relate to, demonstrate the diversity of communication research topics and methods, and demonstrate how concepts and methods apply in practice.
  • Comprehensive learning aids include chapter objectives, chapter summaries, application exercises and recommended readings and Web resources.
  • Research terminology likely to be new to students is highlighted and explained in a glossary to help students master the vocabulary of communications research.
 

 


Sample Materials & Chapters

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Chapter 11


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