Posts Tagged ‘research’

Assignment: Research Topic

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Assignments
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This assignment is available on Blackboard, and that’s where you submit it. Please ask questions about the assignment in the comments below.

Research Plan

Draft due Oct . 6; Finalized version due Oct. 27

By answering the questions below, you create a plan for your class research project. Please answer the first 3 questions in detail by Oct. 6.

Draft answers to the other questions, but you don’t have to finalize them until Oct. 27. Please answer in italics the parts that you are really not sure about.

Research goals – intellectual and practical

What do you hope to accomplish with this research? Please explain it to me in detail. What difference will your research make for theory and/or practice?

Personal goals

How does this research project align with your long-term life and career goals? How is this research project a step towards your thesis, dissertation, a publication, your dream job, etc.?

Research question(s)

List your RQ(s) here. Please make sure they are specific (particularistic). As we discussed in class.


What are the main concepts and possibly theories that define your perspective on this topic? For example, are you looking to increase profits, examine strategy, decision making, risk taking, etc.? These are all concepts that are linked to theories and theoretical perspectives. Please explain to me what your angle, or point of view, is.

Data Collection Methods

What are the concepts that you hope to capture or measure with your data? E.G.: influence of A on B. Define A and B for me (e.g. self-esteem, risky behavior, cultural values, satisfaction with life, etc.).

How can you operationalize and actually assess or tap into each one of the concepts that you want to capture? Is there a scale for self-esteem that you can use? Do you need to create one? What are the research instruments that you need? If they are available, include them here. If not, draft them here.

How do you plan to collect data for this class project? Will you use interviews, surveys, collect tweets, etc. Why is this method the most appropriate for your research purpose?

Please describe the exact procedures you will use, including details about how you will record and store the data.


What sampling strategy will you use? Why did you choose this sampling strategy? If your sampling strategy is not the ideal one, what would be an ideal sampling strategy for this research?

If you are using social media content: please include some information to let me know that you are able to find sufficient and relevant data. Try out your search strategy and see what you find. Fine-tune it so you find what you need.

Data Analysis

How will you analyze the data you collect? What data analysis methods will you employ?.

Other notes you wish to make:


Questions for Dr. V:




(Please insert rows as needed to share with me the steps you plan to take to complete the project.)


Activity Completion Date
Finalized research plan Oct 27 (P/F)
Literature review part of the paper Nov 10 (5 points)
Final project draft Dec 8 (5 points)
Final project presentation Dec 8 (P/F)
Final project Dec 15 (15 points)





Grading criteria:

The research plan is graded only as Pass/Fail. You cannot proceed with your final paper unless you have an Pass for your research plan. Even if you proceed, your paper will not count for a course grade.

I expect to see that you have thought everything through to the best of your abilities. Know what you plan to do and why. The more detailed and specific the plan, the better it will be. Think of it as a recipe for your research. Make it sufficiently detailed so that if you get run over by a bus, someone else can conduct exactly the same research by following the steps you outlined here.

This is not easy, and it requires a bit of research to refine your topic and your research question, and a bit of learning of new research methods. Do remember I can help, so consult with me.

LOLspeak study

Posted: December 12, 2011 in Food for thought
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[cross-posted from PR Connections]

I have been arguing for a while that LOLcats belong in graduate courses and they are worthy of scholarly research.

So, here is a presentation about the linguistic study of LOLspeak (the language cats speak). It is analyzed as language play that has a function in the construction of online identity – as a cat and Internet savvy person.

Assignment: Research Plan

Posted: October 6, 2011 in Assignments
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If you have an approved topic for the final project, it is time thinking about your research plan.

Please download this file, think through it, then fill it out. This file will be the road map for your final paper in TECH 621. It is also available on Blackboard. Please submit it on Blackboard (look under Assignments) no later than Oct 13 by midnight.


Class notes: Craft of research

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Class notes
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Besides literature reviews, rick-rolling, epistemology, Kant, ceiling cat, and Hello Kitty superman costumes, here’s what we talked about in class tonight:

  1. Interacting on Twitter and blogs – remember to post your advice on how to find interesting people and blogs, and how to interact. Remember to read, comment, and archive your blog comments.
  2. The craft of research – please find slides below for the second part of the conversation:

You’re in charge of next class about Internet culture, but that information is in the next blog post.


I just uploaded on Bb, as promised in class, one of my older papers, so you can see yet another example of a literature review. I’ve made comments on the side and highlighted text to draw your attention to the organization of the literature review, and how I used it to build an argument for the study.

Note that although the paper is about corporate presence on Facebook, there’s almost no research I review on that particular topic. Instead, I review research on closely related ideas. This is one common mistake students make: If they can’t find research on their particular topic (which is actually a very good thing!), they don’t look one level away, to topics that are related, but not quite identical.

A good literature review funnels ideas, concepts, methods, findings from several areas of research into this one thing, which becomes your research question. Speaking of research questions, if you don’t know what they look like, take a look at the slides below to see some examples. Ideally, your literature review should end in a specific research question.

I prepared these slides for a presentation about scholarly research I gave to an Intro to Grad Studies class (CGT 501), but I’d like all of you in TECH 621 to review it.

In addition to helping students understand the characteristics of scholarly research, I mentioned a few helpful blog post from my other blog, PR Connections. They are:

Head over to my other blog and look over a presentation embedded there from a Google UX researcher. Note the close connection between social science (understanding people’s social behaviors) and interface design.