COM 201: Introduction to Mass Communication Research - Course Outline

Department of Mass Communication
COM 201: Introduction to Mass Communication Research

Course Instructors: Dr. Vitalis Torwel and Dr. Daniel Chile
Course Description
This course is designed to introduce students to the rudiments of sourcing for topics and conducting mass communication research. As an introductory course, it will focus on the initial process involved in planning and conducting mass communication research. It will also examine, briefly, some quantitative and qualitative methods for conducting communication research.
Course Objectives
At the completion of this course, the students is expected to:
-          Understand the basic steps in mass communication research process
-          Understand the differences between primary and secondary data
Group Assignment (20%): Each group is expected to identify three research communication topics and develop a research proposal with one of the topics. The research proposal must cover all the different components of a proposal as outlined in the course.
Test (20%): There will be one test during the semester. Test date will be announced in class
Examination (60%): Examination will take place at the end of the semester.

Course Content
1.      Process of Academic Writing (Dr. Torwel)
·         Pre-Wwriting
·         Writing
·         Post-writing
2.      Introduction to Research (Dr. Chile)
ü  What is research?
ü  What is scientific research?
ü  What is the nature of social science research?
3.      Research Objectives (Dr. Chile)
ü  Why do we engage in research?
ü  Exploratory
ü  Descriptive
ü  Explanatory

4.      Mass Communication Research (Dr. Torwel)
·         The nature of mass communication research
·         Components of mass communication research
·         Sources of communication research topics
·         Mass media, academic journals, books, the internet.
5.      Planning and Designing Mass Communication Research Projects (Dr. Chile)
ü  Preliminary literature review
ü  Deciding on a topic for research
ü  Delimiting a topic
ü  Determining the feasibility of the study 
ü   Defining the communication research problem
ü  Incorporating theories and methods in the research plan.
6.      Conducting Mass Communication Research (Dr. Chile)
ü  Writing the research proposal
ü  Components of the research proposal
ü  Three focal areas of ,mass communication research and levels of analysis
7.      Introduction to Quantitative Methods of Data Gathering (Dr. Chile)
ü  Sampling
ü  Survey
ü  Questionnaire construction
8.      Introduction of Qualitative Methods of Data Gathering (Dr. Torwel)
·         Nature of qualitative research
·         Difference with qualitative research
·         Research reviews
9.      Review and referencing (Dr. Torwel)
·         English Usage: voice, grammar and tenses
·         In-text citation
·         Referencing
·         The American psychological association (APA) referencing style.
10.  Course Review. 

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