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Theories of Mass Communication (20-320): Methodology

Methods of research

  • Numerical findings (often expressed in charts and graphs)
  • Surveys, questionnaires

Zuckerman, E., Matias, J. N., Bhargava, R., Bermejo, F., & Ko, A. (2019). Whose death matters? A quantitative analysis of media attention to deaths of black Americans in police confrontations, 2013-2016International Journal of Communication 13, 4751–4777.

(If an article doesn't have a DOI link listed, end your citation after the page number.)

[ numbers ]


  • Descriptive findings
  • Interviews, focus groups

Perks, L. G., & Turner, J. S. (2019). Podcasts and productivity: A qualitative uses and gratifications studyMass Communication & Society22(1), 96–116.

[ focus group ]


  • Controlled experimental factor 
  • Dependent and independent variables

Khattab, L., & Mahrous, A. A. (2016). Revisiting online banner advertising recall: An experimental study of the factors affecting banner recall in an Arab contextJournal of Arab & Muslim Media Research9(2), 237–249.

[ experimental design image ]


  • Text/communication is broken down into coded categories for analysis.

McLeod, A. N., McKee, V., Woodall, S., McKee, B., & Rumble, J. (2018). Why websites work: An examination of interdisciplinary agricultural center websitesJournal of Applied Communications102(4), 1–14.

[ coded categories image ]


Structure of a Research Article

[ research graphic ]

Credit: Acupuncture Council of Ireland‚Äč

Original, primary research article sections:

  • Title & Author Information:  briefly summarizes the subject or purpose of the article & documents the author's credentials in the field of study
  • Abstract:  summarizes the research study and results of the study
  • Introduction:  states the hypothesis or purpose of the research
  • Review of Literature:  summarizes previous research that relates significantly to the research study/hypothesis. 
  • Methodology:  describes what kind(s) of research methods were used and how the study was constructed/implemented
  • Findings/Results:  collates and summarizes the data collected and calculates totals or trends, statistically significant findings, etc.
  • Conclusions/Discussion:  discusses applications or implications of the findings/results
  • Further Study:  suggests areas where more complete data or findings are needed and related areas for future research
  • Works Cited/References:   lists the sources cited by the author(s) of the article

How do I know if an article has been peer-reviewed?

1. Click Journal Title and enter the name of the publication 

[ journal title example ]

2. In the results list, click the matching name:

[ click the title matching your search ]

3. If the publication is peer-reviewed, the listing says Yes:

[ peer reviewed articles have yes indicator ]

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