This subject guide has been designed to assist you in finding resources for research in Human Communication Studies and related fields. Feel free at any time to use our Ask Us Anything chat, email, or instant answers service for additional assistance.
A comprehensive resource for communication research. Communication Source was developed from a merger of Communication and Mass Media Complete and Communication Abstracts (formerly published by Sage), and includes many unique sources not previously available in other databases. Communication Source offers abstracts and indexing as well as full-text content from publications worldwide pertaining to Communication, Linguistics, Rhetoric and Discourse, Speech-Language Pathology, Media Studies and other fields relevant to the discipline.
With more than 300 entries, these two volumes provide a one-stop source for a comprehensive overview of communication theory, offering current descriptions of theories as well as the background issues and concepts that comprise these theories. This is the first resource to summarize, in one place, the diversity of theory in the communication field.
Quantitative Research vs. Qualitative vs. Rhetorical Criticism
The following are links to examples of three kinds of empirical studies: qualitative, quantitative, and rhetorical critical studies. Examine the abstracts of these studies (or the studies themselves). They share a "common" topic - parent communication - yet they are examples of the three different types of communication research studies:
Qualitative Research Study - qualitative communication studies focus on the behavior of people and why they think and behave in particular ways. A study is constructed to examine a group of participants which is carefully selected (and described) to be representative of the group being studied. Texts of various sorts may well be studied (such as interviews or survey results) in order to understand particular behavior.
Quantitative Research Study - quantitative communication studies focus on understanding why people behave in particular ways. Studies are constructed to try and determine cause and effect relationships between particular variables. Samples of participants are randomized with the goal to find variables that show statistically significant causes and effects.
Rhetorical Criticism Study - rhetorical critical communication studies focus on understanding communication texts through rhetorical analysis. Terms such as "rhetoric", "narrative', and 'discourse" are indicative of this type of analysis. The focus is on the texts and their rhetorical function in specific rhetorical environments.