Cengage Learning

Higher Education

The Basics of Communication Research, 1st Edition

  • includes InfoTrac®
  • Leslie A. Baxter University of Iowa
  • Earl R. Babbie Chapman University, Berkeley
  • ISBN-10: 0534507786  |  ISBN-13: 9780534507787
  • 480 Pages
  • © 2004 | Published
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Combining the time tested classical work of Earl Babbie with the insights of one of the most recognized and respected names in speech communication research, THE BASICS OF COMMUNICATION RESEARCH is the book for the Communication research methods course. With the authors' collective experience teaching research methods and as active researchers themselves you will find this text to be the authoritative text for your course. The authors frame research as a way of knowing, and provide balanced treatment to both quantitative and qualitative research traditions in communication research and present it in a student friendly and engaging format. It provides in-depth treatment of the role of reasoning in the research enterprise and how this reasoning process plays itself out in planning and writing a research proposal and report.

Table of Contents

1. Human Inquiry and Scientific Inquiry about Communication.
2. Basic Building Blocks in Conducting Communication Research.
3. Paradigms of Knowing in Communication Research.
4. Logic Systems and Theory in Communication Research.
5. The Ethics of Communication Research.
6. Conceptualization and Operationalization.
7. The Logic of Sampling.
8. Survey Research.
9. Experiments.
10. Quantitative Text Analysis.
11. The Basics of Quantitative Data Analysis.
12. Inferential Statistics in Quantitative Data Analysis.
13. Participant Observation.
14. Qualitative Interviewing.
15. Social Text Analysis.
16. Qualitative Data Analysis.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I would highly recommend this text to any instructor teaching a communication specific research methods course. I think it provides a strong foundation for introductory students and covers each of the areas of qualitative and quantitative methodologies appropriately. Additionally it does an effective job of incorporating existing communication research from a variety of fields into each of the chapters. This provides a much needed connection for communication students to better understand the application of various methodologies to their discipline."

— Paul Turman, University of Northern Iowa

"This textbook frames research as a common sense, everyday activity that students already know something about, although not necessarily something that they always do well. It balances attention between both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and helps students think about how to make choice in doing research."

— April Trees, University of Colorado, Boulder

"Its organization introduces students to the breadth of perspective in communication research early in the book. Students are introduced to the basics of both quantitative and qualitative designs in separate chapters-rather than a single chapter that suggests that there is "one" way to create a research design. This pluralistic approach is extremely helpful in avoiding the creation of strong positivistic biases early in the semester. This helps students to be aware of the many ways of approaching research and the values of each approach."

— Melissa Aleman, James Madison University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Resourse Manual  (ISBN-10: 0534508413 | ISBN-13: 9780534508418)

Online Instructor's Resource Manual  (ISBN-10: 0534507921 | ISBN-13: 9780534507923)

This essential teaching resource includes test questions, activities, assignments, and sample syllabi.

ExamView (Windows/Macintosh)  (ISBN-10: 0534507964 | ISBN-13: 9780534507961)

Create, deliver, and customize tests and study guides (both print and online) in minutes with this easy-to-use assessment and tutorial system. ExamView offers both a Quick Test Wizard and an Online Test Wizard that guide you step-by-step through the process of creating tests, while the unique "WYSIWYG" capability allows you to see the test you are creating on the screen exactly as it will print or display online. You can build tests of up to 250 questions using up to 12 question types. Using ExamView's complete word processing capabilities, you can enter an unlimited number of new questions or edit existing questions.

SPSS Student Version 15.0 CD-ROM  (ISBN-10: 0495505226 | ISBN-13: 9780495505228)

SPSS Student Version for Windows® provides real-world software for students to do sociological data analysis. This student-friendly version is based on the professional version of one of the world’s leading desktop statistical software packages.

InfoTrac® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

This online research and learning center offers over 20 million full-text articles from nearly 6,000 scholarly and popular periodicals. The articles cover a broad spectrum of disciplines and topics--ideal for every type of researcher. Learn more at www.cengage.com/infotrac. (Access code/card required).

Student Supplements

SPSS Student Version 15.0 CD-ROM  (ISBN-10: 0495505226 | ISBN-13: 9780495505228)

SPSS Student Version for Windows® provides real-world software for students to do sociological data analysis. This student-friendly version is based on the professional version of one of the world’s leading desktop statistical software packages.

A Simple Guide to SPSS for Windows for Versions 8.0, 9.0, 10.0, and 11.0 (Revised Edition), 5th  (ISBN-10: 0534610048 | ISBN-13: 9780534610043)

Students will find this no-nonsense, streamlined book teaches everything students need to know about SPSS for Windows for versions 8.0 through the new version 11.0. This guide gives students just the right amount of information and instruction to effectively use SPSS for Windows to perform such procedures as stem-and-leaf displays, t-tests, multiple regressions, and scatterplots. In addition, it makes learning the SPSS program simple, whether students need it to do homework problems or to conduct statistical analysis for a research project. The authors wrote the book to cover what the first-time or casual user needs to know to conduct data analysis in SPSS at the level of an introductory statistics course in psychology.

InfoTrac® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

Save time, save money, and eliminate the trek to the library and long waits for reserved readings with InfoTrac® College Edition, an online university library of more than 5,000 academic and popular magazines, newspapers, and journals.

The Art and Strategy of Service-Learning Presentations  (ISBN-10: 0534566316 | ISBN-13: 9780534566319)

This handbook is an invaluable resource for students in a communication course with a service-learning component. The handbook provides guidelines for connecting service learning work with classroom concepts and advice for working effectively with agencies and organizations. It also provides model forms and reports and a directory of online resources.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Earl R. Babbie

Earl R. Babbie graduated from Harvard University before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and began teaching shortly thereafter. Credited with defining research methods for the social sciences, Dr. Babbie has written several texts, including the bestselling THE PRACTICE OF SOCIAL RESEARCH and THE BASICS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH.