"Introducing Communication Research" is an undergraduate text of a size, level, and style that will motivate and enthuse the increasing number of undergraduate students entering communication research. The text will highlight examples of research in real world settings so that students can see the relevance of the basic communication research course to their careers and perhaps, as graduates, keep the text on an office bookshelf. Written in an accessible tone, "Introducing Communication Research" provides an overview of the research process from start to finish covering both quantitative and qualitative methods, statistics, ethics, measurement, and more.
Table of Contents
Preface For Students For Faculty Acknowledgements Prologue: Welcome to Communication Research: Finding your Path Comments on a Conversation Questions About Communication Questions About Communication Research Generalizations About Communication Research Closing Thought 1. Getting Started: Possibilities and Decisions Chapter Overview Starter Questions Some Research Possibilities: What Can We Do With an Ad A Series of Unavoidable Decisions Problem Posing, Problem Solving, Peer Persuasion Ethics Panel: A Health Communication Dilemma Chapter Summary Research Example: Three Views of Pharmaceutical Advertising Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References 2. First Decisions: What, Why, How? Chapter Overview Starter Questions 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 World View: Basic Beliefs Starting With The Work Of Others Firming Up Questions Questioning the Questions Starting With No Questions Ethics Panel: Do Some Research Methods Require More Ethical Decisions Than Others? Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References 3. Ethics: Your Responsiblities as a Researcher Chapter Overview Starter Questions Introduction: Some Ethical Decisions Issues in Commmunication Research Some Classic Ethical Positions Contemporary Codes of Ethics Regulations Peer Review and Institutional Review Boards What Should I Call You? The Ethics of Involvement Ethics Panel: Tainted Data and Deception Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Viewing Recommended Web Resources References 4. Reading Research: To Boldly Go Where Others Have Gone Before Chapter Overview Starter Questions Library Research: Why Bother? Finding Relevance: Finding Quality Databases Versus Search Engines Scholarly, Popular and Trade Publications How Will I Know a Scholarly Article When I See One? Primary Versus Secondary Sources The Champagne Model Of Bibliographic Research 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 Writing Your Search Results: The Literature Review APA(American Psychological Association) Style Ethics Panel: Politics And Publication Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References 5. Measurement: Research Using Numbers Chapter Overview Starter Questions 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 Recommended Reading References 6. Statistics: Analyzing Your Numbers Chapter Overview Starter Questions Introduction Describing Data: Descriptive Statistics Z-Score: The Apples And Oranges Statistic Generalizing From Data: Inferential Statistics Confidence Level and Sample Size Univariate, Bivariate and Multivariate Statistics Testing For Differences and Relationships Ethics Panel: A Communicative Tension Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources 7. Sampling: Who, What and How Many? Chapter Overview Starter Questions Introduction Non-Probability Sampling Probability Sampling How Big A Sample Do I Need? Method and Method Issues In Sampling Ethics Panel: Checking The Ethics Of Survey Research Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References 8. Surveys: Putting Numbers on Opinions Chapter Overview Starter Questions Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Surveys Types Of Surveys Writing Questions Question Formats Survey Wording Advantages and Disadvantages of Specific Survey Methods Improving Survey Response Rates Capturing and Processing Survey Data Using Other People?s Surveys Ethics Panel: Clients and Methods As Ethical Decisions Research In Practice: Using Telephone Surveys To Assess The Image Of A Hospital Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References 9. Experiments: Researching Cause and Effect Chapter Overview Starter Questions Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages Of Experiments Causality 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 Research In Practice: After-School Time Activities Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References 10. Observation: Watching and Listening for In-Depth Understanding Chapter Overview Starter Questions Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Watching and Listening Getting Started Basic Researcher-Participant Relationships Interviews Focus Groups Unobtrusive Watching Other Methods Making Sense Of Qualitative Data Ethics Panel: In Which a Professor Becomes a Student Research In Practice: Promoting Clean Energy Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References 11. Content Analysis: Understanding Text and Image Chapter Overview Starter Questions Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Content Analysis An Exercise In Content Analysis Interaction Analysis Conversation Analysis Rhetorical and Dramatistic Analyses Semiotics Narrative, Discourse and Critical Analyses Ethics Panel: Could Analyzing Media Content Result In Harm? Research In Practice: Reaching Out To Hispanics Living With Paralysis Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References 12. Writing Research: Sharing Your Results Chapter Overview Starter Questions Introduction The Writing Process Writing For Scholarly Publics: The Importance of Style Presenting For Scholarly Publics: Papers and Panels Writing For Other Publics: Interest Groups and News Media Professor Tom Writes a Checklist The Ethics Of Style And Accuracy Ethics Panel: Balancing Between Scholarly and Popular Writing Research in Practice: An Analysis of Online Press Rooms in Leading Companies Around the World Chapter Summary Recommended Reading Recommended Web Resources References Glossary
Donald Treadwell earned his master's degree in communication from Cornell University and his PhD in communication and rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He taught at Westfield State University for 24 years. In addition to developing and teaching communication research for regular classroom settings, he developed and taught hybrid and online versions of the course, and also taught organizational communication, public relations, and public relations writing. His primary research interests are organizational communication and organizational image. Dr. Treadwell has published and presented research on organizational image and organizational image research, consumer response to college names, health professionals' images of AIDS, faculty images of the communication discipline, and employers' expectations of newly hired communication graduates. His work appears in Communication Monographs, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Public Relations Review, Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, Journal of Human Subjectivity, and Criminal Justice Ethics, as well as international health education journals. He is the coauthor of Public Relations Writing: Principles in Practice (2nd ed., SAGE, 2005). Dr. Treadwell also has international educational consulting experience in agricultural extension and health communication.