Length: 2000 words (+/- 200 words), excluding references and appendix (if any)
Weight: 70% of module grade
The module COM221 Research Methods in Media Communication aims to help students to take the important first steps on the road to completing their BA dissertations in the following academic year. To that end, among other requirements, students write a research proposal as part of the coursework (70% of final mark). The proposal should take the form of an essay that addresses the issues listed below.
The essay needs to include an introduction, a main body that addresses issues including relevant literature, research design and method(s) of data collection and analysis, timetable, and a reference list at the end.
You are advised to follow the outline below to structure their essay:
Working title of the research project
In this section, introduce the research topic (which should be a topic in the field of media and communication) and among other issues, explain why you became interested in the topic.
Give rationale(s) for the scholarly (and possibly societal) importance of the research project.
Present the relevant literature on your research topic and question(s) and give your assessment of the literature.
Discuss what is known and not known about the research topic and question(s) and evaluate the significance and/or limitations of the existing research.
Also discuss the implications of the theories and findings from existing studies for your research project.
Present your research question(s) and explain why you come up with this/these question(s), i.e. justify your choice.
Research design and method(s)
Present the research design and method(s) you used and justify your choices, i.e. analyse their strengths and limitations in the context of your study.
Describe in as much detail as possible your primary data you will gather, including details on the sampling strategy to be used, if applicable.
Describe your data analysis method(s).
Indicate what (if any) problems you may come across while doing the research, including gaining access to documents, organizations and people.
Indicate which (if any) safety issues you may come across in conducting the research, and the possible ethical problems associated with your research. Refer to the relevant university guidelines on ethics.
Explain how you will analyse the primary data.
Present a timetable which details the start and end dates of every major step in the research process, including literature review, sampling, data collection, data analysis and writing up.
List all the references you used in the essay.
Use the APA referencing style (author-date). See ICE for guidance.
The items in the reference list should be in alphabetical order.
The literature review should include at least 10 academic references.
The text should be double spaced and word processed in 12-point Times New Roman fonts. Be sure to include page numbers and a comprehensive bibliography.
Fill in a Cover Sheet and attach it to the front of the essay.
Late submissions will be treated according to university regulations.
Plagiarism will be punished. See the university regulations.
In addition to the XJTLU Marking Guidelines, the following grading criteria are applied:
Clarity, focus, importance, and originality of the research question(s).
Quality of the research proposal within the available time period and resources.
Quality of the analysis of the relevant literature.
Quality of the justification of the research design and methods chosen.
Quality of the writing (clarity, elegance, grammar, spelling).
Correct use of APA referencing style.
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