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COM 304 (Communications Research): Qualitative Research

This one goes out to all the COM 304 students, journalism majors, media research lovers, and anyone else who is interested in these types of resources.

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Finding Qualitative Research Articles

Qualitative research doesn’t rely on calculated data quite as much as quantitative research. The qualitative method may include performing interviews, ethnographies, literature reviews, or other kinds of interpretive research, and searching or these terms will help you substantially. Some places to find qualitative research articles are in these major databases:

  • Academic OneFile offers peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sources covering the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects.
  • Lexis-Nexis is the best legal source available. It has every state and federal law, thousands of court cases, law journals full-text, and thousands of newspapers. Lexis-Nexis also provides detailed financial reports on businesses and industries.  You can search the database individually, or you can use the One Search option.
  • ERIC is the standard research database for all education topics. Searches can be limited to full-text results. In the Advanced Search, use the Subject Heading or Descriptor "Qualitative Research" with a topic to find qualitative data. You can search the database individually, or you can use the One Search option.

Performing Your Own Qualitative Research

  • Semiotic Analysis Checklist - Dr. Andrew Wood of San José State University's Communication Studies department created this list for his Visual Communications class, but you may find it helpful as you start your assignment.
  • Understanding Misunderstandings: How to do a Rhetorical Analysis - A lengthy but helpful guide to rhetorical analysis is presented here from Professor Trish Roberts-Miller at the University of Texas.
  • Marketing on the Internet: A Semiotic Analysis- This international study, presented at a 2004 conference on information systems, is a great example of a semiotic analysis that also provides a grounded explanation of what semiotic analysis is and why its relevant.
  • Rhetorical Analysis in Three Easy Steps - A guide from Wayne State University that provides resources for Composition students, this blog is particularly helpful for breaking down rhetorical analysis into concepts that are easy to understand.

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