This Research Guide has been designed to assist you in doing research on interpersonal communication. In particular, it is designed to help you find empirical research articles, both qualitative and qualitative, for your research projects.
Feel free at any time to use our Ask Us Anything chat or email reference service for additional assistance. Please click the "Schedule Appointment" link beneath my profile picture to make an individual appointment, or, if none of those times work contact me by clicking the EMAIL ME button.
Identifying Primary Research Literature
The following are links to examples of three main kinds of primary research studies in the field of communication: 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.
A key way to identify empirical research articles is by the structure of the article itself. Although not every article has every section, an empirical research article (quantitative or qualitative) will always have a Methods and Results section or it is not an empirical article. The following is the basic structure:
Introduction/Literature Review (may not be labeled)