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COM 465 (Communication Theory & Research): Scholarly Research

This guide provides direction for communication researchers enrolled in COM 465.

The Basics of Scholarly Research

Um... could you remind me about scholarly sources?

  1. Empirical studies are based on actual and objective observation or experimentation.
  2. Articles that describe empirical studies are published in academic journals or research monographs.
  3. Many of these publications are peer-reviewed, meaning that experts screened each chapter or article prior to publication.

Scholarly research articles usually have 5 main sections plus a list of references:

  • Abstract/Introduction
  • Review of the literature
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion and/or conclusion

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary Sources serve as a record of first-hand experience, including the collection and analysis of raw data. Just like diaries share an author's personal life, research articles describe the author's own studies or other work.

Secondary Sources report, describe, or analyze someone else's original work. Books and articles that present overviews or summaries of previous research are usually secondary sources.

Scholarly vs. Popular Articles