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Introducing Communication Research
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Introducing Communication Research
Paths of Inquiry

Fourth Edition
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July 2019 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Introducing Communication Research: Paths of Inquiry teaches students the basics of communication research in an accessible manner by using interesting real-world examples, engaging application exercises, and up-to-date resources. Best-selling author Donald Treadwell and new co-author Andrea Davis guide readers through the process of conducting communication research and presenting findings for scholarly, professional, news/media, and web audiences. The Fourth Edition continues to emphasize the Internet and social media as topics of, and tools for, communication research, and incorporates new content on online methodologies, qualitative research, critical methodologies, and ethics.

 
List of Exhibits
 
Preface
 
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

 
Ethics Panel: A Health Communication Dilemma

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Reading

 
Recommended Web Resources

 
References

 
 
Chapter 2 • First Decisions: From Inspiration to Implementation
Chapter Overview

 
Chapter Objectives

 
Starting With Basic Beliefs and Perspectives

 
Starting With a Focus

 
Starting With a Purpose

 
Starting With the “What” Question

 
Starting With “Who,” “Where,” and “When” Questions

 
Starting With the “How” Question

 
Starting From the Work of Others

 
Ethics Panel: Do Some Research Methods Have More Ethical Implications Than Others?

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
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

 
The Internet and Research Ethics

 
Ethics Panel: Data Security and Access

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
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 Strategies: General to Specific and Specific to General

 
Search Terms and Search Fields

 
How Can the Library of Congress Help My Literature Search?

 
Other Resources

 
Being Skeptical About Information: Websites and Fake News

 
Mr. Boole and the Three Bears

 
Saving Your Search Results

 
Reviewing the Literature

 
The Literature Review: Writing Your Search Results

 
Ethics Panel: The Ethics of Scholarly Publication

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
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

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Reading

 
References

 
 
Chapter 6 • Sampling: Who, What, and How Many?
Chapter Overview

 
Chapter Objectives

 
Introduction

 
Nonprobability 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

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Reading

 
Recommended Web Resources

 
References

 
 
Chapter 7 • Summarizing Research Results: Data Reduction and Descriptive Statistics
Chapter Overview

 
Chapter Objectives

 
Introduction

 
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

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Reading

 
Recommended Web Resources

 
References

 
 
Chapter 8 • Generalizing From Research Results: Inferential Statistics
Chapter Overview

 
Chapter Objectives

 
Introduction

 
Generalizing From Data: Inferential Statistics

 
Testing for Differences Between and Among Groups

 
Testing for Relationships Between and Among Variables

 
Two Final Decisions

 
Ethics Panel: A Communicative Tension

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
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

 
Survey Methods

 
Writing, Introducing, and Formatting Questions

 
Survey Wording: “If It Can be Misinterpreted, It Will Be”

 
Improving Survey Response Rates

 
Using Other People’s Surveys

 
Big Data and the End of Surveys?

 
Ethics Panel: Clients and Methods as Ethical Decisions

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
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

 
Factorial Designs

 
Between-Subjects and Within-Subjects Design

 
Time Series Analysis

 
Validity and Experimental Design

 
Online Experiments

 
Ethics Panel: Two Famous and Controversial Experiments

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Reading

 
Recommended Web Resources

 
References

 
 
Chapter 11 • Quantitative Understanding of Content: Content Analysis
Chapter Overview

 
Chapter Objectives

 
Introduction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Content Analysis

 
A Basic Content Analysis

 
A Basic Content Analysis: Further Questions

 
Content Analysis of Human Interaction

 
Content Analysis of the Web

 
Computer Analysis of Content

 
Content Analysis as Quantitative and Qualitative

 
Ethics Panel: Could Content Analysis Result In Harm?

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Web Resources

 
References

 
 
Chapter 12 • Qualitative Understanding of Content: Rhetorical and Critical Analyses, and More
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

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Reading

 
Recommended Web Resources

 
References

 
 
Chapter 13 • Qualitative Understanding of Communication Behavior: Interviews, Focus Groups, and Ethnography
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

 
Ethics Panel: In Which a Professor Becomes a Student

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Reading

 
Recommended Web Resources

 
References

 
 
Chapter 14 • Research Results In Print and Online: Writing and Presenting for Scholarly and Other Publics
Chapter Overview

 
Chapter Objectives

 
Introduction

 
The Publics of Research

 
The Voices of Research

 
Disseminating Research

 
Visualizing Research

 
Ethics Panel: Balancing Between Scholarly and Popular Writing

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Application Exercises

 
Recommended Reading

 
Recommended Web Resources

 
References

 
 
Glossary
 
Index
 
About the Authors

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site

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supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:

  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources; 
  • a test bank in Word® and ExamView that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save you time. You can also easily edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions;
  • web resources that meet the learning needs of today’s media-savvy students and brings concepts to life;
  • sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses that provide suggested models for structuring your courses;
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course;
  • lecture notes that summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions;
  • recommended readings of suggested books and articles to supplement the textbook;
  • chapter-specific discussion questions that allow students to engage with the material; and
  • class activity suggestions to help students engage with the text content in class.
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for students enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:

  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime;
  • eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they've learned and where they need to focus their attention;
  • learning objectives that reinforce the most important material; 
  • web resources that facilitate student use of Internet resources and further exploration of topics; 
  • industry case studies that can be used as a basis for "research in practice" discussions; and 
  • a five-minute APA guide to help students structure their papers and properly cite their sources.

"Introducing Communication Research is the one-stop shop for teaching communication research. It covers every fundamental an undergraduate or graduate student needs to know in a remarkably accessible style."

Sandra Duhé
Southern Methodist University

 “This text is distinct in that it makes a large, complex topic very easy to break down for students of all abilities!”

Patricia Atkinson
Marist College

For instructors

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