3rd Edition

Understanding Communication Research Methods A Theoretical and Practical Approach

    334 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    334 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Using an engaging how-to approach that draws from scholarship, real life, and popular culture, this textbook, now in its third edition, offers students practical reasons why they should care about research methods and offers a practical guide to actually conducting research themselves.

    Examining quantitative, qualitative, and critical research methods, this new edition helps undergraduate students better grasp the theoretical and practical uses of method by clearly illustrating practical applications. The book features all the main research traditions within communication including online methods and provides level-appropriate applications of the methods through theoretical and practical examples and exercises, including sample student papers that demonstrate research methods in action. This third edition also includes additional chapters on experimental design and methods of performance, as well as brand new case studies throughout.

    This textbook is perfect for students and scholars using critical, cultural, interpretive, qualitative, quantitative, and positivist research methods, as well as students of communication studies more generally.

    It also offers dedicated student resources on the Routledge.com book page and instructor resources at https://routledgetextbooks.com/textbooks/instructor_downloads/. These include links, videos, outlines and activities, recommended readings, test questions, and more.

    Section One: Research Paradigms

    Chapter 1: Introduction and Ethics

    Chapter 2: The Social Scientific Paradigm

    Chapter 3: The Interpretive Paradigm

    Chapter 4: The Critical Paradigm by James P. Dimock

    Section Two: Research Design

    Chapter 5: Data

    Chapter 6: Evaluating Research – Warrants

    Chapter 7: Hypothesis and Research Questions

    Section Three: Research Methods

    Chapter 8: Ethnography

    Chapter 9: Interviewing

    Chapter 10: Focus Groups

    Chapter 11: Content Analysis

    Chapter 12: Discourse Analysis by Margarethe Olbertz-Siitonen

    Chapter 13: Surveys

    Chapter 14: Descriptive Statistics

    Chapter 15: Inferential Statistics

    Chapter 16: Experimental Design

    Chapter 17: Mixed Methods by Malynnda Johnson

    Chapter 18: Rhetorical Criticism

    Chapter 19: The Process of Critique by James P. Dimock

    Chapter 20: Methods of Performance by Desirée D. Rowe and Michael Tristano, Jr.


    Stephen M. Croucher is a Professor and the Head of the School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing at Massey University, New Zealand. He is also Lead Research Fellow at the National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Russia. He serves on the editorial boards of more than 10 journals and served as the editor of the Review of Communication (2022–2025), Frontiers in Communication (2019–2022), Journal of Intercultural Communication Research (2010–2019), and Speaker & Gavel (2010–2015). He has held and holds various leadership positions in the National Communication Association, the International Communication Association, and the World Communication Association. He serves as President of the World Communication Association from 2019–2023.

    Daniel Cronn-Mills is a Professor and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Minnesota State University, Mankato, USA. He has authored and co-authored three books, five book chapters, and a stack of journal articles. He served for more than a decade as the editor of Speaker & Gavel (1997–2010) and has served on the editorial board of 11 scholarly journals. Dan has served in numerous leadership roles from local to national levels including the National Communication Association, the American Forensic Association, and the Communication and Theatre Association of Minnesota.

    "Easy to follow, well-organized, comprehensive, solidly grounded in scholarship and real-life applications, this textbook will stimulate your interest and help you to move from understanding communication research to conducting it."

    Igor Klyukanov, Professor of Communication, Eastern Washington University, USA