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Purpose

To conduct research on a topic related to communication and media. An important part of the process of social science inquiry is reporting the results of your research. You have a responsibility to do this in a formal, structured written report that will be evaluated by your instructor according to a set of rubrics similar to those used to evaluate such works by journals for publication (only, not as strict!).

Research Report Tasks (summative assessment):

The Research Report should be prepared in strict accordance with the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association accessible via: http://www.apastyle.org. Sexist language is prohibited, including gendered pronouns.

If done individually, the expected length of your Research Report is 2,400-2,500 words (about 9-10 full A4 pages, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font) excluding title page & references. Set uniform margins of at least 1-inch (2.54 cm) on the top, bottom, left, and right of every page. Subject to instructor approval, you may elect to work as a group (not to exceed 3 students) for which the word-count increases to 3,500-4,500.

Use your word-processing software to add a header that will appear at the top of every page that includes the report title (everything before the colon!) and the page number. The header appears within the top margin, not below it.

You are allowed (encouraged!) to use tables, graphs and charts in reporting your findings, but no more than four (4) and no larger than half a page in sizetables, graphs and charts will NOT be included in the Research Reports word-count.

Your Research Report should have the following content and section headings in the specified order as presented below (note: no table of contents required):

A. Title and Title Page:

Title should identify the studys variables and/or theoretical issues under investigation and relationship between them. On the title page include all authors and their affiliation (in this case, each students specialization).

EXAMPLE:

The Influence of Social Networking Sites on  Political Behavior: Modeling Political Involvement via Online and Offline  Activity

Tonghoon  Kim, Doctoral Candidate, Dept. of Communication, University of Connecticut

David J.  Atkin, Professor, Dept. of Communication, University of Connecticut

Carolyn A.  Lin, Professor, Dept. of Communication, University of Connecticut

B. Abstract: Write an abstract of approximately 100 words. It should be included on the same page as the title page but below author(s). The abstract should:

Summarize the studys focus and intent.
Identify the problem under investigation
Identify the study participants and/or observations and sample size or number of observations
Identify the data/information gathering procedures and research design
Identify the major findings
Identify the conclusions and implications of the study

C. Introduction: Write an introduction that includes:

Importance of the problem (theoretical &/or practical implications)
Review of relevant scholarship (your studys relation to previous work; i.e., your literature review)
Specific research questions and/or hypotheses and/or objectives
How research questions and/or hypotheses and research design relate to one another

D. Method: The method must:

Include a description of the participant and/or observation(s) characteristics including eligibility and exclusion criteria and major demographic and/or descriptive characteristics.
Explain how sample size was determined and what sampling procedures were used for selecting participants and/or observations.
Explain what was the intended sample size and the actual sample size if different from intended.
Explain the type of research instrument and/or procedure used, how was it used and in what setting/location.
Explain how ethical standards were met.

E. Results: The research results must include:

Total number of participants and/or observations and dates defining the period of data collection.
Information concerning problems with quantitative and/or qualitative assumptions and/or data distributions that could affect validity of findings.
Statistical software program used and/or means of analyzing qualitative data.
Report all analyses performed and describe the results.

F. Discussion: The discussion includes:

A statement of support or nonsupport of all original research questions and/or hypotheses and/or objectives. Distinguish between primary and secondary research questions and/or hypotheses and any post hoc qualitative explanations.
Similarities and differences between result and the work of others (from your literature review).
Sources of potential bias and/or other threats to internal validity.
Limitations and/or identifiable post hoc weaknesses of the study.
Generalizability (external validity) of the findings, taking into account the target population and/or other contextual issues related to understanding the communication topic under examination.
Concluding paragraph, discussing implications for possible future research.

G. References: All works cited in the Research Report are to be listed in alphabetical order in APA Style with a hanging indent, single-spaced, with a line break between references.

Write the paper well (check your grammar, spelling & punctuation). Work from an outline!

Additional information:

Your work will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Extent of compliance with the expectations outlined above and in the assignment specifications sheet.
If you have any questions, please ask during class or visit your instructor during office hours.
You will not be given a second chance to do your work, so make sure to do it well the first time. The instructor is happy to give you feedback so that you can improve on any assignment BEFORE you hand it in. Make an appointment or drop in during your instructors posted office hours if you have questions or desire feedback.
For each day an assignmentor parts thereofis handed in late, 10% of your final grade for the assignment will be deducted.
Remember that you also need to upload your Research Report to your CCMS E-Portfolio if you do not upload it by the end of classes, you will loose 10% of your grade for the Research Report.

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