Classification of Research In Mass Communication

Classification of Research In Mass Communication

Research is a fact-finding process aimed at providing answers to puzzling questions. Mass communication research therefore refers to systematic, organized process of finding answers to puzzling questions in mass communication. The basic research techniques for carrying out studies in mass communication apply to all disciplines in behavioural sciences. So let’s briefly see how research is generally classified.

Before embarking on research you need to be specific on the type of fact-finding approach you would use to accomplish your task. This is the essence of classifying research.

Well, you can classify research by purpose, by intended use, by time dimension of the research, that is, how long will it take to carry out the research or what is the time factor in this research, then by method. But some scholars combine but purpose and intended use together. This is because they are related.

Classification by purpose means what is the basic reason why you are carrying out the research?

Classification by intended use means research can be classified based on what you want to use it for. Though this is related to purpose, some scholars single it out for discussion.

Classification by time dimension means how long will it take to do this research or what is the time factor in this research? Is it short term or long term (longitudinal) study?

Classification by method means how will you carry out the research? How will you obtain data from the field and do your analysis, among others.



Purpose: If you’re classifying based on purpose, you have exploratory research, explanatory research, descriptive research;

Intended Use of Research: If you’re classifying according to intended use you have basic research and applied research. Note that this is often discussed under purpose of research. But some scholars separate purpose and intended use as different sub-headings.

Time Dimension of research: If you’re classifying in terms of   time dimension of the study, you have cross-sectional research, and longitudinal research

Method: If you’re classifying in terms of method you have quantitative and qualitative research. Under quantitative research you have experimental research, survey research and content analysis research. Under qualitative research you have In-depth Interview, Focus Group discussion, observation method, and qualitative content analysis.

These are some examples of how research is classified, whether it is research in mass communication or other behavioural studies. You can get more details by clicking this link here>

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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