Being Updated for  Spring 2017 - last update = 3/14/17 ( content section being updated). Expect updates through 3.20-5pm)




- COMM 5899---


              STUDY PREVIEW SHEET FOR  -TEST #1 (a "3/4 -term")



(Test day = W - 3/22/17).  See below for TWO advance test questions  


NOTE --- Remember, this course attempts to examine various factors about Communication Studies, in general and Communication Investigative practices ( a.k.a. Research), in particular.


This includes the development of an INVESTIGATOR MINDSET -- which is less about efficiency & expediency in gathering data / and more about achieving grounded validity, reliability,  and incremental insight.  It helps to think about the various units covered in this course as interrelated and conceptual. This means that knowing specific terms and their definitions is just the beginning of understanding. 


Also, as Communication majors in your capstone course,  you should be prepared to synthesize various concepts and apply them to the explanation of human communication behaviors.  You will be expected to utilize your skills of critical thinking & attention to detail.  

               ADVANCE QUESTIONS :

**[These 2 questions are to be completed at home & handed in along with your in-class test]  [in total, they will be worth: 10-18 pts<tbd>] [typed/double-spaced/ hard copy / 1-2 paragraphs each]


1.   Refer to the chapter excerpt from Frey et al.'s  Chapter 3 --located in the library's  EReserve system. {Chapter is incorrectly listed as  Chapter 35: The Abstract Introduction: Investigating Communication Research} Discuss their recommendations for this common researcher's dilemma:

For most research reports, it will be impossible to mention all existing research studies that have been done in your area-of-study. What are three(3) of the specific selection criteria that Frey recommends that you should use for selecting which sources to include in your paper's Literature Review section?


  In general,  Ereserves can be accessed through Blackboard ( via the "Library Resources" section in left navigation column)




2.   Re-View the  North Omaha Public meeting video- starting at  00:27 - through-00:37 .    Use some shortened form of textual analysis (e.g. either content analysis, conversation analysis, discourse analysis, or rhetorical criticism)  to illustrate why this moment was a pivotal point in the course of this town meeting. Select ONE & be sure to specify which one you are using.   The full video is in Youtube, under the title: IJP2 3(2), Dec. 2009; The Practice of Public Meetings

 [ ]





Emphasis for the in.class test will be on Chapters 1, 2, (3), 4, 5, 6  (Merrigan , et al./3e) -- --as well as the notes & activities  relating to the items covered.  Although we have addressed material in several of the methodology chapters, only general methodology concepts will be included in this current test:  Remember the 2X2X2+2 approach we used for the chapter discussions which means emphasis will be given to items covered by Chapter presenters  [Also, ( ) designates a chapter that was assigned but not separately addressed in class discussions.]

This is not an open book test,  but there are   2  questions  to be completed in advance to be handed  in on test day (3/22) *[listed above]* 




Questions probably will be a variety of  Fill-in, Terminology definitions, Short answer, & Essay types. Possibly some multiple choice questions.  Be prepared to explain, to analyze, to compare and  to contrast. 



I will NOT use the same exact wording as in the books & I expect you to use your own words in your answers. We have covered a great deal of material and it will be difficult to "cram" effectively  at the last minute.  I'd recommend starting now to reread  & outline the chapters.



It is expected that most people will be able to complete the test in 45-55 minutes.



Review the handouts that have been used for class activities.  They also indicate important concepts/terms from the course that your professor wants to emphasize.   As you review your readings, make use of the chapter preview information as well as the post-chapter term lists & the textbook's glossary. Also, be familiar with such terms/concepts as these listed below. (please note that this list is random,  incomplete, & off the top-of-my-head, but it will get you started. You also have several other ways to determine your Professor's items of emphasis:  online slide shows & online quizzes  & your notes [ let's hope you listened effectively! ]  




Variables (all types - esp Independent/Dependent) Random Sample vs Random Assignment
the different types of Sampling 3 way C.A. ( content analysis vs conversation analysis vs discourse analysis)
Quasi-Experimental vs Pre-experimental vs full experiment Compare/Contrast the major methodologies 
& how you decide which one to use
the broad application of Critical Studies -- especially as evident in current events all about Ethnography -- as an indication of  basic INVESTIGATIVE structure
Bias: Researcher / Institutional / etc. RQ vs H
Paradigms ( all 3) Research-as-argument [C-D-W-+]
Everyday Ways-of-Knowing vs formal Epistemologies The micro reveals the macro as applied to all research  methodologies
Axioms  vs  Propositions (internal) Validity & Reliability
etc. , etc.
Representativeness as applied to all research  methodologies na this semester

   In order to print out an old quiz, there us an access protocol listed on the Professor's webpage (left-side column). It MAY (or may not) still work with the current version of Blackboard .




  some SAMPLE QUESTIONS  - from the past, from this & other courses

Below are samples of test questions that I have used in the past in this course as well as in similar, content-based communication courses. These may or may not pertain to your current textbook, therefore they are not provided as review material.  They are simply cut & pasted items from previous tests, in order to give you an idea of how complex and multifaceted my questions tend to be.


Some Sample Objective-type Questions -----

  [F.I.]   1. According to your authors, a person needs to be skilled in several areas in order to considered "interpersonally competent. What are 4 of those competencies?______,______,______,______.


 [F.I.]   2. Making precise, systematic, and repetitive observations characterizes methodologies usually associated with the ________ paradigm.


 [M.C.]  3. We all use our past experiences & frames of reference in order to help us make assessments about current people and situations. When we use such past information to GENERALIZE/PREDICT a stranger's behavior based on our observance of just one aspect, It is generally referred to as: a) prototyping   b) personally constructing   c) stereotyping   d) scripting  


 [M.C.]  4. We use our past experiences & frames of reference in order to help us make assessments about current people and situations. When we use such past information to DEFINE a behavior via a particular person's demonstration of it, we are:  a) prototyping   b) personally constructing   c) stereotyping  d) scripting


 [M.C.] 5.  The Grandma Moses clip was shown as an example of Oral History-- a methodology which could also be classified as "Textual Analysis" Considering this, which two of the following statements  are TRUE.  a) Oral Histories = Interviews therefore Oral Histories = Survey research  b) Oral Histories are not considered "test" until the interview is transcribed into a written form.  c)  etc...


[T/F] 6. According to your instructor & the textbook authors, beginning researchers, such as yourself, need to remember that research investigations is cumulative and self correcting and incremental. In other words, this means that every research project should be structured definitively from the start, A good researcher never changes anything once the study gets started. 



  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * *


Some Sample Short Answer/Essay-type Questions -----

[SA] 7.In all the models that are based on Toulmin's approach to argumentation,  it's easy to know what "CLAIM"  means & what "EVIDENCE/DATA"  means. However, exactly what is the role of the "WARRANT"?   [in your own words]

[SA] 8. If you believe in the effects of what we referred to in class as �survey culture�,  how might you explain the demise of Rudy Guliani�s presendential campaign and the rise of Barack Obama�s candidacy?


[SA] 9. "Mirroring" in terms of nonverbal behavior  is connected to the basic human pattern of seeking  similarity. Explain .

[ES]  10. Two students (who have an acquaintanceship) pass each other on a campus pathway  and say:

      "Hi! What's up?"-"Nothing much" and then continue on their way. This interaction can be discussed in a variety of ways (e.g. as a pragmatic language act / as phatic communication / as situational vs developmental relationship  /  as interpersonal communication, , etc.).
From at least 3 perspectives, explain what could have been going on in this encounter.


[SA] 11. Take one of the competencies you listed in question 1. Explain the item by briefly describing the last time you exhibited such competency during an interpersonal encounter.


[ES]  12. Explain the four basic ways that nonverbal communication channels are used in relation to the words being said.


[ES]  13. This weekend, while working in a box office with a female co-worker, a third party approached each of us and asked if we had some ":Motrin", "Tylenol", aspirin. etc. When we both told him that we didn't, his response was "What kind of  woman doesn't carry Motrin in her purse?  My next  thought was that the guy was so ignorant. ANALYZE this communication encounter by applying relevant concepts from  PERCEPTION and/or  CULTURE.


[F.I.]  14. Define "Attribution Process" in reference to the study of human communication. Support your answer by applying it to a specific current event.


[SA]   15.   In all the models that are based on Toulmin's approach to argumentation, it's easy to know what "claim" means & what "evidence/data" means. However, what's the role of the "warrant"?


[ES] 16. Would you use an ethnographic approach, a content analysis approach or an Interpretive Rhetorical Criticism approach  to investigate the following Research Question: "What Influence do US/Western cultural norms have on the evolution of the Superbowl broadcast from a sports broadcast to a Social Event?"  Support your choice.


[ES]  17. Variations on the In-depth Interview methodology have applications in such diverse research approaches as Oral History / Survey / Ethnography, etc.  The main difference is in the researcher's goal. Explain the 3 differences. (Frey, et al./2e)


[adv]  the RealLifeResearch-Yoga Science activity & pod cast: - {document linked here, posted on Blackboard,  & linked on the Course Calendar @ approx week 6). }

 Complete the  directions for the worksheet for any ONE (1) of the listed utterances. FYI: Mr. Broad wrote a article-length version of his content analysis-type research which was published online on 1/5/12 & in the NYT print  Sunday magazine on 1/8/12.) Reviewing his study in print might give you a stronger sense of his blend of various philosophies within the DISCOVERY paradigm.


page updated 3/14/17







  n.a. this semester or via the library home page: