fundamental of communication research

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Communication research

Fundamental of Communication researchByDr. Anamika RayAssistant Professor in Mass CommunicationGauhati University, India

Concept of ResearchResearch: Unfolds new dimensions of knowledgeIs systematic and scientific processBased on relevant logicEstablishes the cause and effect relationship of an incident depending upon the various discovered true facts

What is Research?Research is-asking questionsfinding out the truth/factis a continuous processcant stopis Communicationis investigationis discovering a fact

We communicate every time we do research On the other hand when we research, it is not completed until it is communicatedSo we can say Communication = Research or vice versa. As research is something to find out, we cannot find out the facts without the help of communication. So, whatever the subject is for doing a research, there is no other option except communication to accomplish it.

Common sense on ResearchResearch is to enlighten a new area or new dimensionTo do a research we need necessary information For research a new direction is needed to be shownResearch is identifying new factsResearch is to recognize the original facts

Research should not cross the common understanding levelResearch should be complete in natureResearch should be explicable for the society for all total developmentResearch is based on relevant and required logic Something new should be explored through research

Significance of fact in ResearchFacts should be authentic, correct, precise

Fact should not be at all misleading, wrong and irrelevant

How message is different from information-Message is something to be communicated within a small audiencee.g.- from friend to friend

Information is disseminated in a large audienceHere various types of media are used.

Why Research is interesting?

Knowing the unknown Establishing the cause- effect relationship in every incidentUnearthing the truth behind the truthTesting the older doctrine, value and opinionLighting the dark

Research process step by stepThe research process should be planned, deliberate and sustainable effortChoosing the area of interestSelecting the particular topicSelecting the specific titleAnalyzing the relevance and significance of topic in current situation.

Establishing the purpose of the studyFixing a particular research problemIdentifying the objectives of the studyFormulation of final hypothesis or research questionsReview of existing relevant literatureFraming the research design

Relevant required data collectionAnalyzing the gathered dataFinding out the resultPreparation of required suggestions and recommendationResearch report writing

Discussed accordinglyResearch TitleObjectiveHypothesisLiterature ReviewResearch Method

Discussion on Research Title

Phases from Research Question to Final Title

Research Question: A question or set of questions carry the research root to its completion E.g. Does the youth read newspaper?2. Research problem: Many come forward like:Newspaper reading habit in rural youthNewspaper reading habit in urban youthBut researcher will take the decision which research problem (s)he will take

3. Selecting Research Problem based on various aspects:Usefulness to the societyCompletion within pre fixed time frameNo over burden on affordable moneyInteresting and explorative in natureMore scope of further study4. Defining Research Problem:One research question may have many research problems. Selecting one proper research problem out of those is important task. Proper understanding and planning is necessary for the same.

5. Deciding Research Topic:The more focused Research problem out of others is called Research topic. E.g. Newspaper reading habit.Then comes the question- which newspaper- Morning, Evening, Daily, Weekly or Fortnightly. Proper observation, social relevancy, fulfillment of need, command over subject, background, own experience, literature review, understanding need of the hour- can help to decide a proper topic in a research process.

6. Title should be-

InterestingExplorativeSimpleFocusedTo the pointCrispyConciseRelevantMeaningful

Discussion on Objective


After finalizing the research title, second phase is framing the relevant objectives. It meansfixing a clear cut direction to study the research problemhelping to design the researchguiding the procedure of analyzing factsassisting in report writing

Example of objective

If the research topic is A study on science coverage in regional media of Assam, there the objectives may be to analyze the status of science coverage in regional mediato investigate the various challenges of science coverage in regional mediaAim may consists of many objectives. Two or three should be selected for research work.

Discussion on Hypothesis


It is a tentative assumption on approving or disapproving, agreeing or disagreeing the result based on would be collected data.Characteristics of Hypothesis:Clear BriefLimitedEasy to testPower to add on knowledgeStraight forwardGoal orientedArticulated

Classification of hypothesis:General hypothesisSpecific hypothesisNarrative hypothesisCause and effect relationship hypothesisDirectional hypothesisNon-directional hypothesisAlternate hypothesisHypothesis TestingParametric test: Z, X2, F t testNon parametric test

Literature ReviewConcept:A study on the existing literature available and accessible within the specific time frame and determined affordability level to have a clear knowledge on the taken research area. The findings from relevant books , journals, web sites etc should be written according to APA style aiming to focus pertinent research theme. Advantages:Gives clear focus to the research problemHelps to frame research designBroadens the knowledgeDisadvantages:Time consumingFrustratingBoring and tedious

Discussion on Research Methodology

Concept of VariableVariables means characteristics or various factors in an incident/event that can be measured and manipulated based on facts and logic

Example of variable:

More one will earn, s/he will have more wealth. Wealth variable depends on earning variable.Dependent variable: Wealth depends upon earningIndependent variable: Earning is independent variableWealth is effect and earning is causeEarning = Independent variable = causeWealth = dependent variable = effect

Research is a process of systematic enquiryMethodApproachA way to collect dataThe outline of research patternSurvey, case studyHistorical, anthropological, experimental sociological approach A study on Women empowerment in Akbar regime method of case studyHistorical approachThe difference between Method and Approach

Various research methods

ObservationContent analysisExperimentSurveyCommunicating and listening DiscussionCensusCase studyFocus group studyInterview

Research toolsScheduleQuestionnaireQuestionsCase studyRecallScales

Brief of research toolsSchedule is a set of questions along with some blank tables and fill in the blanks, which is used to collect the information from the respondent through direct interview or direct observation and is filled up by the investigator himself.

1. Schedule


Interview schedule: Purpose is to use in interview method.Rating schedule: Purpose is to develop scale or rank.Document schedule: Purpose is to document autobiography, case history, dairy or official recordObservation schedule: Purpose is to observe (what should be observed, what not to observe), it is basically used in field.

Questionnaire looks like a schedule but it is not filled up by the investigator, it is handed over or posted, mailed to the respondents and filled by them only.2. Questionnaire

Advantage:Less expensiveLarge coverageLess time consumingDisadvantage:No confirmation of reply back100% unbiased, authenticated, non manipulative answers cannot be expected always.Literacy is bar.Important Note: In everywhere (Questionnaire/Schedule)The title of study, clear questions, enough space to answer, proper address of interviewer and date should be mentioned carefully.

Case Study: The relevant incidents of the chosen research area help to identify various aspects of research. It is not only a tool, it is also considered as method in Research world.Scale: The scale is used to categorized variables as well as to measure, which helps in data analyzing.Recall: Many times the respondents give new direction to the research flow by recalling various past information.

Brief on various research methods-A. Census: A complete study on entire population aiming to get demographic, socio-economic-cultural data.Advantages: It is a complete study, not dependent on sample.Less scope for unauthenticated information.Disadvantages: Time consuming Expensive

Case study

It is a study on previous incident (which is relevant as well as similar but true) in support of present research.Advantage: Opens up the eyes for the scope of future studyHelps to work in wider rangeUnfolds hidden angel, unexpected factorsDisadvantage:Biased to some extentTime consumingTough to summerize the conclusion due to over burden of information

It is a study along with analysis of relevant content on the research issue.AdvantagesFrequently used research method.Comparatively easy method.Analysis of content, verbally communicated material various forms of symbolic and audio visual communication.A study of already existed record.

C. Content AnalysisDisadvantagesTediousTime consuming Sometimes confusing in selecting the contentSometimes impossible to include all relevant contentSomet

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