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COMM 4372: Methods of Research in Communication



COMM 4372:  Methods of Research in Communication

Created:  August 3, 2015

Course Description

An overview of the various social science methodologies used in conducting research in the communication discipline. Includes problems formulation, measurement of concepts, design, collecting, and analyzing data.

Course Overview

The goal of this course is to increase the understanding of basic concepts and principles regarding the methodologies used in communication studies and research. This course will introduce you to the research and methods in the area of quantitative research methods in communication, and will also introduce you to qualitative research methods. Finally, the course will also focus on other research methods in communication such as “critical/cultural” research methods. In other words, the course will improve your understanding of communication from different research perspectives. Thus, the course will emphasize a broad approach to communication, and will address the significance of having and knowing various research methods for communication research.

Credit Hours:  3

Prerequisite Courses:  MATH 1320 with a grade of “C” or better


Prerequisite Skills and Knowledge:  Senior standing

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:  

1.    Outline the study of communication and its history.

2.    Summarize research methodologies in communication.

3.    Develop a working vocabulary of terms and concepts that relate to the methodologies used in traditional and contemporary communication research.

4.    Discover the importance of research methods in studying communication.

5.    Demonstrate an understanding of the nuances of research and the differences between research methodologies.

6.    Recognize the influence of methodologies on research discoveries, conclusions, and outcomes.

7.    Identify the requirements for reporting academic research, such as reporting structure, formats, and writing “style.”

8.    Demonstrate an understanding of the overall process of communication studies research.


Course Textbook

·         Leslie, L.Z. (2010). Communication Research Methods in Postmodern Culture: A Revisionist Approach. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Required Materials

·         All additional required readings will be listed and can be accessed on the Library Guide for this course.

Course Reserve Materials can be found here.

The Nature of Rhetorical Criticism.
Discovering Communication: Five Turns Toward Discipline and Association
Doing Rhetorical Criticism.
A Brief History of the National Communication Association, by Gehrke, P.J, and William, M. K.

Course Technology

·         Blackboard learning management system

Technology Requirements

This course is facilitated in the Blackboard learning management system. You will need to schedule a minimum of 7–12 hours of computer access each week for seven weeks to be successful and complete this course.

To ensure your success in accessing the course materials and completing your assignments, it is recommended that you ensure your computer setup for this class meets the following minimum requirements:

·         Broadband Internet connection, such as cable or DSL

·         A modern computer (PC or Mac), no more than four years old, with the following minimum configuration:

o   Processor: Dual-core or better, at least 2 GHZ

o   RAM: 2 GB or better

o   Operating System: Windows 7 or 8, or Mac OS X 10.3.9 or better


Your computer will need the following software:

·         A word processor, such as Microsoft Word or Mac’s Pages—Regardless of your choice, you must save files in a .doc or .docx file format.

·         Presentation-making software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Mac’s Keynote—regardless of your choice, you must save files in .ppt or .pptx format.

·         Java, which you can download here:

·         Adobe Reader, which you can download here:

Tech Support

The University of Texas at El Paso offers complete technical information and online help desk support at

Method of Evaluation





Journal Entries


Reading Quizzes


Practice Quizzes


Final Exam





Grading Scale

Letter Grade

Points Earned












Expectations and Policies

What to Expect from the Instructor

[Please consult the current version of the syllabus located in your course.]


[Please consult the current version of the syllabus located in your course.]

Academic Dishonesty Statement

Academic dishonesty is prohibited and is considered a violation of the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures. It includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and collusion. 

·         Cheating may involve copying from or providing information to another student, possessing unauthorized materials during a test, or falsifying research data on laboratory reports. 

·         Plagiarism occurs when someone intentionally or knowingly represents another person’s words or ideas as his or her own.

·         Collusion involves the unauthorized collaboration with another person or group to commit any academically dishonest act.


Any act of academic dishonesty attempted by a UTEP student is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Violations will be taken seriously and will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution for possible disciplinary action. Students may be suspended or expelled from UTEP for such actions. More information can be found in the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures, under the heading “Alleged Student Scholastic Dishonesty" and the Regents’ Rules and Regulations.

Late Policy

All assignments and quizzes/exams are due on the specific due dates that are posted on the syllabus, and due to the nature of the short, “intensive” mini-semester, late work will not be accepted after the due date without written consent from the instructor.

Library Information

Access the UTEP Library by visiting

Effective Electronic Communication

It is important to share a word of caution, so we can become wiser about interpersonal distance learning communications. In an online environment, many of the feelings or impressions that are transmitted via body language in face-to-face communications are lost. Consequently, interpreting emotions and innuendos can be difficult. Only what is written, or drawn, carries the message. Often, excitement can be misinterpreted as anger or insult. It is important that we all keep this in mind as we communicate.

Words in print may seem harmless, but they could emotionally injure us when working at a distance. Hence, we must be conscious of how we communicate while working at a distance and use good netiquette (i.e., online communication etiquette). For example, your classmates may not know who is posting a comment, so clearly identify yourself when posting to a discussion board. Further, avoid using all capital letters in electronic communication, as all caps come across as shouting.

The standard practice ("netiquette") for participation in networked discussion requires that all comments focus on the topic at hand, not become personalized, and be substantive in nature. In other words, you may certainly disagree with others, but you must do so respectfully; you may express strong beliefs or emotions, but you may not get so carried away that you lose all perspective on the course itself.

More information on netiquette, the etiquette of Internet communication, can be found at

Disability Statement

If you have a disability and need classroom accommodations, please contact The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) at 747-5148, by email to, or visit the office located in UTEP Union East, Room 106.

For additional information, please visit the CASS website at

 [MAF1]Link to be added once LibGuide has been created by Library

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