For the content analysis assignment, follow the general report writing guidelines described on the Research Reports page. However, you do not need to include all of the sections described there. Below is a quick list of what you should prepare for this assignment (due at the end of your lab section on Thursday, October 25), and what you can safely leave out.
- Title page (no need for a table of contents or executive summary)
- Problem statement and research questions
- You may or may not have secondary research to include, which has its own section. If we’ve talked about using, for instance, reports or news articles to bolster your rationale for the project, then it goes here. If you’re not sure whether or not you need a secondary research section, contact me!
- Methods. Here, you explain how you went about identifying your source material, and how you analyzed it. (See the sample content analysis report on Blackboard for an example.) Make sure you include all of the parts described in the Report Writing instructions: sample, time frame, and method specifics.
- Findings. Don’t just post a series of tables or charts; make sure to introduce each one, and summarize what it says below. Each table and figure needs to be labeled with a unique sequential number: Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. (You might just have a single table, depending on your source material.) Again, see the Report Writing instructions and sample content analysis report for details.
- Discussion and conclusions. This is where you explain to the client (in this case, the Cronkite School administrators) what your findings mean. Summarize the key points, and interpret them. Make sure to include a section for limitations; you may or may not need to mention ideas for future research, depending on your project. (If in doubt, come talk to me.)
- Appendix. You can either submit your Excel worksheet, with your coding scheme and actual tallies, in the Appendix of this report document, or as a separate file. For your survey reports at the end of the semester I’ll want them in the same document, but for now, if you’re not sure how to include an Excel file in the Word document, don’t worry about it. We’ll learn more about layout and formatting in a few weeks.
That’s it! As always, let me know if you have any questions.