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Advanced Research Report - COM4809

Honours NQF level: 8 Credits: 36
Module presented in English Module presented online
Purpose: For this module there is no formal examination but students must submit a research project, which will be examined internally and externally. Details about the extent and carrying out of the project are given in the first tutorial letter for this module. There is thus no formal examination. The purpose of the themes below is to guide students systematically through the research for and production of the project. Theme 01: Research and the research problem: This theme introduces students to research in which they need to identify a communication-related problem suitable for independent research. By the end of this theme students should be able to describe the context of their problem and submit a correctly formulated research problem together with the associated sub problems, research questions, assumptions on which the study is based, limitations to the study as well as working definitions of any concepts found in the statements of the problem. The extent and goal of the resultant research also needs to be set out and motivated. Theme 02: Finding and using information: By the end of this theme, students will need to complete a literature review based on the problem identified in theme 1. In order to do this they will need to gather information on their research problem and will need to practice the various techniques for data storage. They will also be required to distinguish between primary and secondary sources. In the literature review students will need to demonstrate their skills in constructing an argument, critically analyse related texts, and to identify and describe the theoretical approach(es) to be used. Students need to indicate if their argument is inductive or deductive in nature. Theme 03: Research design and methods: Here the student needs to determine the approach to be used, that is qualitative and/or quantitative. Within this context, the method used to gather data needs to be described by referring to the population, drawing of samples gathering of data and establishing of reliability and validity. Having done this, the student needs to begin gathering the actual data required to resolve the problem stated in theme 1. Theme 04: Findings and conclusions: By the end of theme 4, students should be able to describe what they found in the data they collected, present statistics in the forms of a chart and/or graph and to draw conclusions from their findings and resolve their research problem. They should also finalise their list of sources consulted using the Harvard method and present a draft of their research report prior to examination.