Understanding Communication Research Methods: A Theoretical and Practical Approach, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Communication Research Methods

A Theoretical and Practical Approach, 1st Edition

By Stephen M. Croucher, Daniel Cronn-Mills


368 pages

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Paperback: 9780415833110
pub: 2014-10-14
Hardback: 9780415833103
pub: 2015-02-12
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203495735
pub: 2014-10-17
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Comprehensive, innovative, and focused on the undergraduate student, this textbook prepares students to read and conduct research. Using an engaging how-to approach that draws from scholarship, real-life, and popular culture, the book offers students practical reasons why they should care about research methods and a guide to actually conduct research themselves.

Examining quantitative, qualitative, and critical research methods, the textbookhelps undergraduate students better grasp the theoretical and practical uses of method by clearly illustrating practical applications. The book defines all the main research traditions, illustrates key methods used in communication research, 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.


"I absolutely love [the] text Understanding Communication Research Methods. I usually pull things from a number of different texts when teaching research methods but that is no longer needed! The text is well written, rigorous but in language that my undergraduate students can understand and grapple with. Many of the supplemental materials are more helpful than I ever imagined."

—Kesha Morant Williams, Penn State University

“Overall, it’s like a gift to not only students but also instructors by compiling this insightful and user-friendly exploration of the somewhat bewildering and confusing concepts on Research Methods.”

– Chin-Chung (Joy) Chao, Asst. Prof., Communication, University of Nebraska Omaha

“This is an accessible text book. It does not frighten students but prepares them to understand the variety of ways they have available to them to study communication.”

– Pamela J. Kalbfleisch, Prof., Communication and Psychology, University of North Dakota

“The most valuable feature of this innovative and very accessible book in my mind is the student papers, a feature that is not found in other textbooks.”

– Ramune Braziunaite, Lecturer, Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University

“The examples and sample student papers make the content tangible to students. This textbook covers important issues and methods, and it is written at the right level for undergraduate students.”

– Yuping Mao, Asst. Prof., Media and Communication, Erasmus Universteit Rotterdam

“I think this book effectively wraps theory, method, and practice opportunities in both the quantitative and qualitative approaches, something I have not seen done so thoroughly in communication research method books in the market.”

– Sudeshna Roy, Assoc. Prof., Communication Studies, Stephen F. Austin State University

“I feel the authors’ emphasis on speaking to students who are at an early stage in their undergraduate study works. The exercises and sample student assignments would, I think, really help my students learn how to actually apply the material introduced in the course.”

– Frédérik Lesage, Asst. Prof., Communication, Simon Fraser University

Table of Contents

I. Foundations of Research 1. Introduction 2. Research Ethics 3. The Positivist Approach 4. The Interpretive Paradigm 5. The Critical Paradigm 6. Data 7. Warrants II. Applied Research 8. Interviewing 9. Focus Groups 10. Ethnography 11. Surveys 12. Experiments 13. Descriptive Statistics 14. Inferential Statistics 15. Content Analysis 16. Rhetorical Criticism 17. Critical/Cultural Studies

About the Authors

Stephen M. Croucher (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is a professor at Massey University, New Zealand. He researches immigrant cultural adaptation, religion and communication, quantitative methods, and conflict management/conceptualization. He is the recipient of numerous conference top paper awards, has authored dozens of journal articles and book chapters, authored/co-edited four books, and given keynote addresses in more than 15 countries. He has explored communication traits and behaviors on five continents. He has served as the editor of the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research and Speaker & Gavel. He is active in the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, and the World Communication Association.

Daniel Cronn-Mills (Ph.D., University of Nebraska) is a professor of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has broad and ranging research interests in religion and communication, intercollegiate forensics, and rhetoric. He has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books. He is a former editor of Speaker & Gavel and served on the review board of more than a dozen scholarly journals. He is active in the National Communication Association, the American Forensic Association, and the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Methodology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies