Research Project Draft #1
To put into practice the communication and media research concepts learned throughout the term.
Write a 6-page manuscript outlining a research project to study a communication or media-related topic. Use APA style.
The final manuscript must include the following sections:
Introduction (1/2 page)
Literature review (1-2 pages)
Research question(s) AND/OR Hypothesis/es
Method (1-2 pages)
The project will progress in three phases:
Phase 1 (Draft #1: Due Jan. 24 at 11:59 p.m.)
Overarching research question(s) [This is the general question about the topic you are interested in.]
Guidelines for Phase 1
Think about a situation in which you have found yourself that involved some form of interaction between human beings that had to do with communication and/or media. A night out with friends, a family meal, an afternoon at the movie theater, using social media while sitting in a coffee shop, watching the evening news on TV, reading a newspaper or magazine (either in hard copy or on a screen), going to the stadium, attending a concert, flirting with someone, arguing with a friend or relative about politics, sharing information about a class with another student, playing video games with siblings, friends or strangers (in person or online), etc. The possibilities are countless.
Think about that situation in terms of the messages and channels involved in the interaction, and about something that you find particularly interesting, peculiar, or otherwise unique connected with it. Something you makes you ask yourself a question. For example: Why do the people involved in that kind of interaction behave the way they do? What kind of information do they exchange? What channels, what media, do they use to communicate? Do they use spoken or written words only, or also images and sound, or also other forms of nonverbal communication? Is there anything concerning about the information they exchange, or the way the people involved in the interaction exchange that information, the way they react to the exchange, and maybe seem to act upon those information exchanges?
Use this reflection to identify a preliminary research question for your research project. For example, you might be interested in how people use the internet to socialize remotely when they are unable to do so in person, and decide to focus your research on how younger people “date” virtually. Research questions aimed at investigating such a topic could be, “What online dating services do 18 to 24-year-old Americans us to pursue romantic relationships while socially distancing during the current coronavirus pandemic?” and/or “What factors motivate 18 to 24-year-old Americans to choose a particular online platform to ‘date’ virtually while distancing socially during the current coronavirus pandemic?”
To begin, just phrase a research question. You will have time to refine and narrow it down over the course of the term.
Based on your question, do some basic research on the topic of your research using the library resources and write an introduction for your manuscript. The introduction may rely on both academic and non-academic sources, the latter including news outlets, trade publications as well as non-peer reviewed reports issued by research institutes and governmental agencies. Following our example of a research question on online romance during a pandemic, the introduction could report the latest statistics on the available dating apps, number of users of those apps, number of couples who have gotten married after meeting through online dating services over the past 15, 10 and 5 years, etc. In other words, your introduction should explain why the topic you want to study is relevant – why your reader should care about your research.
In your manuscript draft, reorder the content as indicated above:
Title page (10 points)
Introduction (40 points)
Preliminary research question (40 points)
References (10 points)