Research Ethics and Paradigms

1. Look up a definition of the scientific paradigm and compare the standards, assumptions, and expectations with the social scientific paradigm. Where do the two approaches agree and diverge?

2. You have significant experience with classroom communication. Reflect on your years and write down a list of classroom communication behaviors you can recall. Apply the standards of empiricism to your list. What communication behaviors were observable and could count as data for a social scientific study?

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3. Use a search engine to find the homepage for the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. Dig around on the site until you find the manuscript submission guidelines.

a. Does the journal use a double-blind peer review process?

b. What style(s) does the journal accept for manuscript submissions?

1. What does your campus IRB identify as exempt research?

2. What is your department’s and campus’ policy on plagiarism?

a. If a student is accused of plagiarism, what are the procedures?

b. What are the penalties for academic dishonesty?

3. What is the purpose of communication research for social scientists?

4. How do the requirements for a social scientific study change how we approach the study of communication? What aspects of communication do you see as worthwhile for study? What aspects of communication might be difficult to study from the social science paradigm?

5. How will following the interpretive paradigm alter approaches that you might take for different communication research projects?

6. Researchers, while familiar with all the research approaches, tend to gravitate toward one of the paradigms. What aspects of the interpretive paradigm do you find compelling? What aspects do you find disquieting?

7. What types of research questions do critical theorists ask?

8. How do critical methods of research differ from other methods you have studied in this book?

9. How does Marxist criticism differ from postmodern criticism? In what ways are they the same?

10. To which subscription databases does your school subscribe? Which of those databases are communication-specific or have communication-specific sections? (Hint: interviewing a reference librarian may prove helpful.)

11. What are the strengths or weaknesses between the article-by-article approach vs. the thematic approach?

12. What are the different ways you can organize the body of a literature review? What are the strengths or weaknesses of each approach? (Hint: use your Public Speaking text as a resource!)

13. Why is following a writing style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) important when preparing a literature review?

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