A class in Communication Research Methods is required of all Communication majors at Bryant. The course is designed to introduce us to the ideas of literature review, hypotheses generation, data collection, ethical practices, and quantitative analysis. The class forces us to engage in communication inquiry in a productive manner so that we may be able to successfully interpret, evaluate, and apply communication scholarship in our undergraduate studies.
I came to discover that most of the work in communication research came not from our own data collection but from the cultivation and analysis of research by professionals in the industry. Their examples of in-depth research offered guidance for what we can and cannot do in this realm. They also showed there is always something new that can be pushed or questioned, giving us the drive to minimize imperfections and wow our peers and professors with proof of hard work and deeply intellectual thinking.
The final product of this class was a research paper. The team I was assigned to researched health communication, and we focused our study on peer influence and self-efficacy in college student drinking habits. While not an easy undertaking for a college sophomore, the course equipped me with the abilities to engage in scholarly discussion about topics in the field by recognizing the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of research studies, many of which go on to be seen as canon in this area of study. The course was also very intensive in nature, and pushed the boundaries of my skills in small group and interpersonal communication.
We were required follow standard APA format and learn what it meant to compile a legitimate research paper - cover page, abstract, page numbers, method, results, discussion, works cited, appendices, and all.
Enjoy my attempt at a professional-level piece of research and writing in my team’s paper “Drink Up, Son.”