Media Theory Week 2

This week my Media Theory class is studying the research process. We are looking at what it means to be a critical thinker and writer. Students are learning the importance of doing a literature review, as well as, what are good primary and secondary sources to use for research papers.

Chapter #2 – Focus Questions:

What are the two “basic” search strategies? 1. Going from the specific to the general. 2. Going from the general to the specific.

What are some of the most important sources of information? Google Scholar, Google, Bing, Wikipedia along with … Computer-based central catalogs, Bibliographies, Indexes to specific periodicals, Abstract collections, Guides to research, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Yearbooks, Statistical sources, and the Internet.

How does one ready analytically? What tips are offered?

1. Tips: Find the thesis statement, Look for conclusions, Look at methodology employed, Look for important theories and concepts, If data are used, look at how they are used, Look for arguments made by the author, Look at the sources used by the author, Look for contrasts and comparisons, Look at examples offered, Look for threads, Look for insights, and Consider the style of writing.

Watch 3 videos on how to read, write, and think analytically.

2. Critical Thinking – is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe to engage in reflective and independent thinking.

What is Critical Thinking? Video  /   5 Ways to Improve your Critical Thinking Skills Video   /   5 Simple Strategies to Sharpen your Critical Thinking Skills.

Critical Thinking Skills include: Understand the logical connections between ideas. Identify, construct and evaluate arguments. Detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning. Solve problems systematically. Identify the relevance and importance of ideas. Reflect on the justifications of one’s own beliefs and values.

3. Literature review – is a particular kind of library search, which summarizes the major findings of scholars & researchers who have conducted research in the area you are interested in investigating. How to Write a Literature Review Website Link – Then Watch Video

Read: Social Media, Social Avatars & the psyche Is FB good for us by David Brunskill

What are the most important points made in the article about social media?

It is a popular topic and written in an accessible style, the author uses definitions and avoids the jargon of academic papers, yet follows the rules of grammar. Social Media has a dark side, as It is often the root cause of cyberbullying, depression, anxiety, and addiction. It plays on a person’s psyche. A business or individual may not always be truthful or considered trustworthy, People tend to be biased or easily make assumptions based on the possibility of fake news. Many only look at the surface and not what is underneath, which can involve one’s values, beliefs, culture, economic status, and even controlled sometimes by the country’s governing of one’s usage of the internet to only see certain content.

What is the difference between primary and secondary research sources?

Primary Research – involves firsthand observations and study by a researcher. Secondary Research – uses research performed by others to come to some conclusion about a topic or make some kind of argument. Interpretations – of text and other phenomena are based on concepts from famous philosophers, thinkers, and scholars that can be applied to whatever is being studied.

What steps should one take in analyzing the methodologies of research articles?

Chaim Eyal – Analyze Research by … 1. Identify the method or methods used in the research. 2. Determine the research questions and hypothesis. 3. Identify the independent and dependent variables. 4. Consider the sample size: N = ? 5. Evaluate the sampling method that was used. 6. Ask yourself how the survey was conducted. 7. Make note of the major results and conclusions.

What ethical problems were involved in the Cambridge Analytica research?

Cambridge Analytica Research Video – The whistle blower reveals data grab of 50 million FB profiles, which were illegally obtained for political propaganda and gain. FB users’ feeds were then shown political ads for Presidential Candidate Donald Trump of the Republican party vs. Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party. Since this fiasco, FB has tightened its reigns on users’ data that is requested for use by anyone including academics.

Using Journals for research in media and communication – See list Page 52-53. Useful Internet Addresses and Web Search Engines – See list Pages 53-55. Searching on the internet or find the info if you can – use search engines along with boolean operators (and, or, not) and specific date ranges when searching library databases.

Note: The Literature Review is just part of the Research Process.

The Research Process

Note: Not covered in Chapter 2: There are actually 4 types of Review: Narrative Review – assessment and summary of research completed on a specific topic (a typical literature review & is qualitative). Systematic Review- assesses and summarizes research on a specifc topic using a standardized methodology to gather and evaluate the research studies (Systematic only looks at primary sources & can be either qualitative or quantitative). Meta-Synthesis- a qualitativereview of research studies which synthesizes information from multiple studies on a specific topic. Meta-Analysis- a quantitative review of research studies which gathers together and analyzes data from multiple studies on a specifc topic. See Marist Library – Systematic Review Link / Systematic Review vs. Literature Review Video

Week #2 Resources:

Marist Library

Library Guides

Annotated Bibliography

Citation Help – APA

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Newspaper Source Video


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