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Introduction to PR Research # 3 : Bibliographies, Literature Reviews, Field Observations & Case Studies. Based on information from S. Zhou & W.D. Sloan (Eds.). (2011). “Research Methods in Communication” Dr. LaRae M. Donnellan , APR, CPRC School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

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introduction to pr research 3 bibliographies literature reviews field observations case studies

Introduction to PR Research #3: Bibliographies, Literature Reviews, Field Observations & Case Studies

Based on information from S. Zhou & W.D. Sloan (Eds.). (2011). “Research Methods in Communication”

Dr. LaRae M. Donnellan, APR, CPRC

School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

Florida A&M University

Spring 2012

literature reviews
Literature Reviews
  • Bibliography = “List of the printed materials – the books and articles – on a topic or subject area.” (p. 77)
  • Literature review = “Summary and interpretation of that material.” (p. 77)
  • Goal: Add “significantly” to research on a given topic

(http://deborahgabriel.com/2011/06/20/literature-review-completed-at-last/#.TxTxwPnxXVo)

benefits of literature reviews
Benefits of Literature Reviews
  • Give us an understanding of the background of an issue
  • Help us understand what other researchers have already found and how they interpret their findings
  • Categories of topics
    • Broad, general topic (e.g., civil rights movement)
    • Narrow topic (e.g., role of the press in the movement)

(http://legrandcirque.tumblr.com/post/15230335344/malcolm-x-at-a-civil-rights-rally-usa-1960s)

what not to do
What NOT to do
  • Do not over-rely on the Internet.
  • Do not ask for research help on a listserv.

(http://etoolbox.wikispaces.com/Internet)

starting your literature search
Starting Your Literature Search
  • Survey standard textbooks.
    • Check THEIR references!
  • Examine specialized bibliographies.
  • Search annual journal indexes.
  • Search online databases.
  • Find theses and dissertations.

(http://www.psichi.org/pubs/articles/article_733.aspx)

strategies
Strategies
  • Differentiate between scholarly and nonscholarly articles.
  • Take notes as you read.
    • Put the authors’ exact words in quotation marks.
    • Cite the pages in your notes.
  • Watch for common threads.
    • Classify what you discover.

(http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/advice-for-students-taking-notes-that-work.html)

what literature searches do
What Literature Searches Do
  • Provide the contextual background for your study.
  • Explain where your study fits into the broader literature (p. 85).
  • Don’t just list everything you find.
    • CLASSIFY and EXPLAIN!
    • Be exhaustive.

(http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/archives/3438)

structure of literature reviews
Structure of Literature Reviews
  • Introduction
    • Provide an overview of the focus of your paper, review the literature, and offer conclusions & suggestions for future research.
  • State two to four broad themes of the literature on your topic.
  • Explain, if possible, why various schools of thought emerged.
  • Explain how YOUR findings fit into the literature.

(http://us-intellectual-history.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-constitutes-philosophical-system.html)

writing annotated bibliographies
Writing Annotated Bibliographies
  • Content:
    • What is the resource about? Is it relevant to your research?
  • Purpose:
    • What is it for? Why was the book or article written?
  • Usefulness:
    • What does it do for your research?
  • Reliability:
    • Is the information accurate? Do other sources support the conclusions?
  • Authority:
    • Is it written by someone who has the expertise to author the information?
  • What are the author’s credentials?
  • Currency:
    • Is it new? Is it up-to-date for the topic?
  • Ease of use:
    • Can a “real person” use this resource? What is the reading level of the resource?

(From “Annotated Bibliography Example” by Teaching American History, http://www.tahvt.org/AnnotatedBibExample.pdf)

annotated bibliography assignment
Annotated Bibliography Assignment
  • Search the scholarly literature.
  • Review 10-12 articles/books that address the history, causes, effects and targeted publics of hazing, plus strategies and tactics for eradicating this problem.
  • Each annotation should be between 150-200 words and conform to APA style.
  • Use your own words. Give credit to others for their words.
  • Cornell University Library
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab
field observations
Field Observations
  • “Observing the behavior associated with a specific phenomenon and unit of study.” (p. 265)
  • Example: How consumers respond to guerilla marking, such as street performances
    • Unit of study: Individuals, a family, groups of friends, etc.

(http://mattjduffy.com/tag/guerilla-marketing/)

types of field observations
Types of Field Observations
  • Overt observation
    • Disclose intent to observe to participants.
  • Overt participation
    • Inform other participants that you are participating and studying their behavior.
  • Covert observation
    • Unobtrusively observing others.
  • Covert participation
    • Researcher embedded in subculture.

(http://www.ehow.com/info_8411682_observation-step-business-research-methods.html/)

case studies
Case Studies
  • “Empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context.” (Yin, as quoted on p. 269)
  • Four characteristics (Merriam, as cited on p. 269)
    • Particular to a specific situation
    • Provide detailed descriptions in context
    • Provide heuristic, or problem-solving, value and insights
    • Rely on inductive reasoning, such as observation, to discover insights about what you are studying

(http://www.brooksbell.com/blog/2010/09/effective-case-study-creation)

case studies assignment
Case Studies Assignment
  • Explore scholarly literature and popular sources about how another university handled a safety crisis on its campus.
  • Write a five to 10-page double-spaced paper.
    • Follow AP style.
  • Summarize the crisis.
    • Review primary documents, such as campus and local media reports, to chronicle what happened.
  • Review campus crisis communication plan, if any.
    • How did the campus handle communication and PR issues?
    • A review of the scholarly and trade literature will help.
  • Lessons learned that might help FAMU address hazing crisis
  • Literature cited throughout; “References” section at the end
    • Follow APA style.