Texas Tech University

Research Paper Option

Students who take exception to a study within the College of Media & Communication and wish to pursue alternative credit or whose schedules do not permit participation in research projects may elect to write a research paper.

Each paper is worth 1 research credit.

Signing Up for the Research Paper Option

For each paper you want to write, you must sign up or register for one session in Sona Systems.

  • When browsing the available studies, you will see four Alternative Credit Assignments.
  • Each paper must be registered under a different Alternative Credit Assigment (i.e, 1, 2, 3, or 4).

For each paper, you must select an article from one of the scholarly journals most relevant to your discipline:

  • Advertising
    • Journal of Advertising
    • International Journal of Advertising
    • Journal of Advertising Research
  • Journalism
    • Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
    • Newspaper Research Journal
    • Journalism Practice
  • Electronic Media
    • Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media
    • Mass Communication and Society
    • Visual Communication
  • Public Relations
    • Journal of Public Relations Research
    • Public Relations Review

Finding a Journal Article

Visit the library homepage at www.library.ttu.edu

Click on "E-Journals" on the left-hand navigation menu under “Electronic Resources.”

Type in the title of the journal you wish to browse and click “GO.”

These journals are available to browse online via a number of databases, although it varies by journal. Browse the most recent issues of the journal and select an article you wish to read.

Most articles are available in PDF format for downloading and printing.

If you are accessing the journal from off-campus, you will be prompted to enter your E-Raider username and password.

Research Paper Requirements

Read the article, and then write a 1-2 page paper.

Begin your paper with the following heading:

Class for which you'd like to receive research credit

Then provide an APA-style reference to indicate the article you are reviewing. Follow this format:

Author's last name, initial. (year published). Title of article. Title of journal, Volume #, page #s.
For example:

  • Callison, C., Gibson, R., & Zillmann, D. (2009). How to report quantitative information in news stories. Newspaper Research Journal, 30(2), 43-55.
  • Zhang, W., Johnson, T. J., Seltzer, T., & Bichard, S. L. (2010). The revolution will be networked. Social Science Computer Review, 28(1), 75-92.

In your summary, you should address some (but not necessarily all) of the following questions:

  • Start with a general introduction to the topic being examined. Then state the purpose of this particular article. In other words, what are the author(s) trying to do?
  • For example, “The authors note that (topic XYZ) is a growing concern in modern society. They wanted to examine this topic by…”
  • Briefly describe the context of the research (i.e., related literature, theory, historical context, etc.) What is/are the author(s) basing their work on?
  • Perhaps paraphrase the research questions or hypotheses the author(s) propose.
  • How were the research questions/hypotheses addressed (i.e., what method did he/she/they use)?
  • “The authors tested these hypotheses by conducting a…”
  • In general, what did they find out? Were the hypotheses supported?
  • “Their results supported their prediction that…”
  • What's the relevance or usefulness of the information? What does this individual study have to say about research on this topic?

Keep in mind that these are only suggestions, and you will not always address every single point. Decide for yourself what you should include and what you shouldn't. These summaries are not merely your opinion of the article, but more of a summary of past scholarship.

Please note that summaries will be checked via plagiarism software. Plagiarized material will not be accepted.

Submission Requirements

Article summaries may be submitted via email to Dr. Glenn Cummins, director of the Center for Communication Research at glenn.cummins@ttu.edu. Be sure your email indicates that you are submitting the paper in order to receive Alternative Research Participation Credit.

Please type your paper double-spaced, with one-inch margins on top, bottom, and both sides. It must be at least one page long (300 words minimum), but not longer than two pages including references.

If you follow the above instructions, you will earn full credit. If you do not follow the instructions, you will not receive any credit.