Building Block III: Method Section (approx. 2-3 pages; 50 points)
The final component of this major assignment involves the method and analysis for your Hs/RQs. This assignment is the culmination of your original communication research project and builds upon BB1 and BB2.
When you submit this paper you MUST include: (1) a cover page; (2) abstract; (3) review of literature from BBII; (4) methods section; (5) appendix with all scales/measures you propose to use; and, (6) references (if you included new citations in your method section then you must redo your references).
Cover Page: The cover page should be in APA format (APA cover page example is on Blackboard)
Abstract: The abstract should be one paragraph, not indented, on a page by itself after the cover page. This paragraph should summarize the literature and method sections of your paper in approximately 250 words or less. [1 paragraph]
INTRO/LITERATURE REVIEW:Please include your literature review (BBII) in this paper so I can be reminded of how you have conceptualized your variables, as well as how you have set up your arguments to arrive at your H/RQs.
Methods: The last section of the paper consists of methodological considerations—in other words, how would you conduct a study that could be used to test your RQs/Hs? The method section should be approximately 2–3 pages in length (double-spaced) and you should begin each subsection with its own heading in correct APA format. Headings are required. This section should be organized as follows (do not depart from the general outline below):
RQ/H: State your RQ or H in appropriate format. This will be the first part of your paper that will lead into to your methods. If you needed to do edits/changes to your RQ/H – please make sure you do this. If you have questions, please come see me.
First, briefly describe your research method using the appropriate terms, such as experiment or survey. Also, explain why this type of method is being used (i.e., why the specific method is appropriate for this topic in terms of why exploratory or descriptive research is more appropriate than correlational or experimental – or vice-versa). Please make sure to write in future tense throughout the method paper as you will not actually conduct the study.
The participant section should explain who (or what) will be the source of data for your study. Some questions you should ask yourself, include: Where will your data come from? How will your participants be chosen? How many participants will there be? What are participants’ ages, ethnicity, or other important demographic characteristics? Please consult published articles to see how this is done. For example, you might explain that you would like to use a sample of participants from a particular demographic, a random sample of individuals in a given town, or transcripts from particular conversations. Whatever the case, explain in detail what sample you need to test the RQs/Hs and provide explanation for why the sample is appropriate. Be specific and concise.
Measures(use appropriate level headings for each measure, if necessary)
Second, explain the measures that you intend to use to test your RQ/H; that is, describe how all of your variables are operationalized. This includes all demographic, independent, dependent, moderating, control, or other variables. These measures must coincide with the variables in your RQ/H and must be established, validated measures. The description of each measure should contain: variable name, whether it is a scale, how many items are on the scale, an alpha coefficient describing the reliability of the scale (report what past studies have found with regards to reliability), the response categories (e.g., 5-point Likert scale [1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree]), and at least 3 sample items per measure. Use established measures (rather than making up your own) whenever possible, and always cite where you got the measure from when applicable. If you would be using observational or coding methods, explain what coding procedures would be used (again, they should be pre-existing coding measures). Essentially, your job here is to explain how you will get your data into an analyzable format and justify the method that you choose.
Third, fully explain the procedures of the study. Specifically, indicate how participants will be recruited and what the participants will do during their participation in the study. If they will be participating in an experiment, explain how it will work – bet detailed about the steps of the experimental process. If you are doing a survey, explain how you will recruit participants, as well as how you will distribute and collect responses on the questionnaire. As you explain the procedures, be sure to note the reasons for the decisions that you have made.
Discuss some limitations of your design, including potential threats to internal and external validity and how the threats will: A.) not be harmful to the study due to the chosen procedures, or B.) possibly impact the conclusions/results. It should not be difficult to be specific and accurate here, since your book discusses all of these issues in chapters that we have read. The content of this section will reflect the content of your article critique assignments.
Appendix (use page break)
Turn in a copy of the measures you propose to use in your study. You may have to re-type these. Appendix format can be found in the APA manual.
References (use page break)
Have an appropriate reference page in correct APA format. This section should be up-to-date and include any and all citations utilized in both the literature review and methods section.
Due to SafeAssign by the specified due date in the syllabus.
- The method section should be written in future tense since you have not completed the study (e.g., “Undergraduate students from ASU will be recruited to participate in this study.” versus “Undergraduate students from ASU participated in this study”).
- Since you will not actually be conducting the study, you will not have “real” research participants. For the purposes of this paper, you should “make up” the numbers for the research participants section. What I will be looking for is whether you pick numbers that make sense. For example, if your target population is college students, I would expect to see a mean age of about 20 not 35.
- Your operationalization (how you will measure) of your variables must correspond to the conceptualization you provided in the literature review. Hence, even if your operationalization is structurally correct, if it does not align with your conceptualization, you will lose points.
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