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essay 78

essay 78


This is a timely and very important topic, that you properly address through a communication and media-related lens.

I would like to start from the method section, which was not due for the first draft but that I think works. You may decide to do qualitative semi-structured interviews, as you suggest, or to instead develop a survey to try to reach more people and collect quantitative data about their TV consumption habits and their opinions. Up to you. I would still recommend that you revise the method section for the final draft and make adjustments now that we have gone through the entire textbook and learned more about different ways of conducting research.

Moving backwards (upwards in the text), the research question you ask is too broad. The media play many roles in society, and here you are only talking about news media, and even news media have subgroups depending on how we want to classify them: mainstream, alternative, niche, with a left slant, with a right slant, liberal, conservative, etc. 

Also, are you referring to U.S. society? American society as a whole is difficult to consider. There are countless subcultures based on geography, ethnicity, language, religion, gender relations, minority groups, etc.

I would recommend rephrasing the research question to match what you ask in the questions listed at the end and to narrow down your study in order to investigate something that is manageable. What are you actually trying to find out about the audience members you are thinking about interviewing?

By the way, who are those audience members? It depends on the media that you are interested in. There are thousands of TV stations in the U.S. and hundreds of millions of viewers. Find a small market and concentrate on that, so you can come up with a reasonable sample of viewers to interview or survey.

The introduction and literature review are extremely dense. You use APA style well, citing sources where appropriate. For the final draft, you are going to need to integrate 4 additional sources which must be academic sources. 

My other suggestion is that you review both intro and lit review and remove all the parts that are not essential. See where the same concepts are repeated and edit out the redundancies. Some terms and ideas also require that you define them.

Guidelines for Phase 2

  • Check the rubric attached to this assignment to get an idea of how it is going to be graded.
  • Utilize the feedback you received on your first draft to revise the information already included in your manuscript.
  • Make sure that your research project is about a topic investigated through the lens of communication and/or media.
  • Build on your introduction to write a 1 to 2-page (no more than 2 pages) Literature Review for your research project that relies on at least four (4) sources.
    • A lit review summarizes previous research done on the subject you are studying, informs your research question(s) and/or hypothesis/es and explains to the reader how your study produces new knowledge about the subject at hand.
    • A lit review is made mostly of information published in peer-reviewed academic journals and books written by scholars. No newspaper, magazine, trade publication articles, blog posts, Wikipedia entries, etc. will be accepted as sources for the lit review. Only academic publications (again, peer-reviewed journal articles and books) will count for this portion of the assignment.
  • Revise your original research question or hypothesis on the basis of what you have found in your lit review. Include in the final research project only one research question (no need for more or for hypotheses). Make sure that the research question is about communication or media and sufficiently specific to be investigated.
    • Pro Tip: A research question such as “What is the role of cats in people’s consumption of social media?” is not a good research question because it is vague and may mean anything. A good research question is detailed and relies on objects or ideas that are operationally defined. “Which breed of cats is the most popular in viral cat videos published on YouTube in 2020?” is a well phrased research question because it sets clear parameters about what to study and can realistically be answered. A researcher “only” needs to do a search of all videos of cats published on YouTube last year, select a random sample of said videos, and count the frequency with which each breed of cats appears on the screen in the sample.
  • Write your method section: 1-2 pages but no more than 2 pages. To look for an answer to your research question, select one of the methods that you have learned about over the course of the term: semiotic analysis, rhetorical analysis, ideological criticism, qualitative interviews, participant observation, content analysis, surveys or experiments.
    • Choose the method that you think is the most suited to finding the answer. State in your paper what method you are going to employ.
    • Describe the method. That is, explain in detail how you are going about collecting the data to find an answer to your research question.
      • For example, “To answer the research question, I am going to employ quantitative content analysis. According to Asa Berger (2014), content analysis is…” And then proceed to explain what population of artifacts you are going to analyze, how big of a sample of artifacts you are going to select from that population, and what precisely you are going to look at. Back to the example above, having decided I want to know which cat breed is the most popular in viral YouTube videos, I am going state in my paper that I am going to search YouTube for the term “cat video” published this year (2021) and consider all videos that have at least 200 million views. Say I found that there are 1,000 such videos: I am going to explain that I am randomly going to sample 400 of them. Then I am going to also explain that I am going to catalog each video by recording how long it is (how many minutes), how many views it has at the time of data collection, how many cats appear in the video, and what breed each cat is.
      • If I am thinking about interviewing people, I am going to explain how many people I am going to interview (bearing in mind that each interview requires at least one hour of time, several hours to transcribe the content of the interview, and many hours to code that content), how I am selecting the interviewees, in what context (where and when) I am going to interview them, what questions I am going to ask, etc.
      • If I am planning to administer a survey, I am going to illustrate how I am going to select the sample of respondents/participants, whether the survey is going to be in person, on the phone, or online, what exact questions I am going to ask, etc.
      • For an experiment, I am going to detail both the sampling and the way the experiment is going to be conducted step by step. What exactly is going to happen, when, where, etc.
    • Double-check that all sources used are listed in the References and that they are presented in APA style.
    • Revise the title of your manuscript in light of the changes you have made.


  1. Title Page: 1 page (revised)
  2. Introduction: 1/2 page (revised)
  3. Literature Review: 1-2 pages [NEW]
  4. Research question: 1 research question phrased in 1 sentence (revised)
  5. Method: 1-2 pages [NEW]
  6. References: 8 entries (4 entries for introduction and 4 entries for lit review) (updated)