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MCOM 600: Research Methods Seminar

Research Methods Seminar: Overview

GALEX (Galaxy Evolution Explorer): launched April 28, 2003. Image credit: NASA's GALEX via Flickr.


The following guide supports the research needs of CSUN Mass Communication students taking MCOM 600.

Research Methods

What are Research Methods?

Research Methods are the techniques and procedures you carry out in order to create information and data to be analyzed. These methods taken to collect the data can include experiments, survey research, observations, performance assessment, and data collected through case studies.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative researchers [methods] stress the socially constructed nature of reality, the intimate relationship between the researcher and what is studied, and the situational constraints that shape inquiry. Such researchers emphasize the value-laden nature of inquiry. They seek answers to questions that stress how social experience is created and given meaning (USC Research Guides).

Qualitative research methods are used to understand people's beliefs, attitudes, behavior, experiences, and interactions.

For more on qualitative research methodologies, see Research Guides at USC.

Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements and the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques (USC Research Guides). 

For more on quantitative research methodologies, see Research Guides at USC.

Also see, Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector's Field Guide by Family Health International.

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