Communication Research Design – COMS 680

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The study and practice of the research design, interpretation, and evaluation of audiences, strategies, and issues.

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

This core MA level research seminar will involve careful consideration of the approaches to research commonly employed in the field of communication studies. Traditionally, these approaches have included: (1) historical-critical (or rhetorical-critical) research, (2) qualitative research, and (3) quantitative research. The essential assumptions of this course are that the field of communication is an amalgam of the humanities, arts, and social sciences and that potentially all communication research approaches are valuable in the quest for understanding how communication works, has worked, fails, and has failed. The course is intended to open the door for the student to the major approaches employed in this multi-faceted field so that the student can better decide which direction(s) to take for future research and writing ventures.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Compare the historical roots of the field of communication and the development of its research methodologies.
  2. Evaluate selected communication theories that have guided, or continue to guide, the field of communication study.
  3. Differentiate methodological approaches to communication research.
  4. Utilize a scholarly writing style appropriate to the research methodology.
  5. Create a complete research proposal on a suitable topic within the field of communication.
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Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion Boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 200 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 50 words.

Critical Reflection Papers (4)

The student will write a 1–2-page summary and critical analysis of each chapter in the assigned readings. The purpose of this assignment is to apply content from the textbook in order to enhance his/her understanding of the research process and the writing of the thesis proposal. Each paper must be in current APA or MLA format.

Literature Review

The student will write a 15–20-page Literature Review in current APA or MLA format that focuses on a topic of his/her choosing in preparation for the Thesis or Project Proposal. The paper must include at least 25–30 references in addition to the course textbook and the Bible.

Methodology

The student will write a 6–8-page Methodology in current APA or MLA format for his/her Thesis or Project Proposal. The Methodology must include at least 15 references in addition to the course textbook and the Bible.

Works Cited/Bibliography

The student will write a 5–6-page Works Cited/Bibliography in current APA or MLA format for his/her Thesis or Project Proposal. The Works Cited/Bibliography must include at least 45–50 references in addition to the course textbook and the Bible.

Introduction

The student will write a 2–3-page Introduction in current APA or MLA format for his/her Thesis or Project Proposal. The Introduction must include at least 5 references in addition to the course textbook and the Bible.

Thesis or Project Proposal

The student will prepare a 25–30 page Thesis Proposal or a Project Proposal in current APA or MLA format that focuses on an instructor-approved topic. The assignment is intended to be an appropriate culminating experience for the course and must display the student’s abilities to think and write critically as a communication scholar. The paper must include at least 30 scholarly references in addition to the course textbook and the Bible.

Thesis or Project Presentation

The student will present his/her Thesis Proposal or Project Proposal via YouTube. The presentation must be 8–10 minutes and must be presented as it would at a professional communication conference or a professional workshop/training seminar. The presentation will be graded on delivery, professionalism, organization, content, creativity, visual aids, and preparation.