Theory in Research Exercise
The purpose of this exercise is 1) to give you practice at noticing how theory or theoretical
ideas are presented in research articles (which should help with the paper assignment); and
2) to help you understand how theory fits in the research process.
There are 6 articles posted in the folder for this exercise. Look through the 6 articles and
select 2 articles that most interest you. Read the introductory sections (i.e., the portion
before the “Method” section) of the 2 articles you selected. Then, answer the 5 questions
below for each article that you selected. Remember that this must be typed in advance of
section, and you should be prepared to discuss what you have written. You are expected to
work independently on this exercise.
1. Identification: Give the APA style citation for the article, including authors’ names,
year published, title of study, journal name, volume number, and page number (in
appropriate APA format and order).
2. Area of Communication: What general type of communication is this study dealing
with (e.g., mass, interpersonal, political, computer-mediated, etc.)? What more
specific communication topics does this study address?
3. What theory (or theories) is being used in the study? What are some main ideas
of this theory?
4. What are the specific hypotheses or research questions that the authors argue
come from the theory (or theories)?
5. How is theory being used in this study? For example, is this study specifically
attempting to test the theory (or some part of the theory)? Is the theory being
used by the researchers mainly to “inform” some concepts/terms used in the
study? Explain your response.
Your responses must be typed in advance of discussion section, and you should be
prepared to discuss what you have written. Approximate length is 1-2 pages double-spaced,
with 12-point Times New Roman font.
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