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Business Communications - Module 18

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BUSI 1020U
William Thurber

Unit Five: Researching and Reporting Business Communication March 12 2012 How Do I begin my research? - Focus your search: identify your objective, and draft a purpose statement. - Draft a thesis or working purpose statement to clarify your objective. o Narrows your research parameters o Structures your document or presentation o Becomes part of your document or presentation introduction. - Include the situation and your rhetorical purposes. How Can I find Information? - Learn what resources are available, and how to use them. - Internet - Libraries - Databases of journals, periodicals, magazines and newspapers How Can I search Efficiently? - Use keyword searches. - Thesaurus lists synonyms and the hierarchies that index information in various databases. - Skim several of the first sources you find; if they use additional or different terms, search for these new terms as well. - Refine your search: o Use root words to find variations.  A root word such as stock followed by the plus sign (stock+) will yield stock, stocks, stock market, etc. o Use quotation marks for multi-word terms.  If you want only sites that use the term “business communication”, put quotes around the term. o Use a Boolean search to get more specific hits.  For example, to study the effect of the minimum wage on employment in the restaurant industry, you might specify: (Minimum wage) and (restaurant or fast food) and (employment rate or unemployment) o Use a variety of search engines; you can Google “search engine directories” for an apha list of search engines and directions that can both widen and deepen your resources. o Use all available resources. Search engines and databases offer search tips, topic browsing, advanced searches and refined search topic phrases to help you navigate, and focus your search.  Also provide citation styles. o Create an RSS (Really simple syndication) feed for the most current information available.  RSS sends subscribers up-to-date news articles: you get all the latest news right away without having to search the web. Where else can I find information? - Internet - Ask your reference librarian for research ideas, including print sources. - Textbooks and on-file company information are useful sources. - Primary research to get new information - Use your own observations and experiences. Random Sample - Because it is not feasible to survey everyone, you select a sample. - In a random sample, each person in the population theoretically has an equal chance of being chosen. - True random samples rely on random-digit tables generated by computers and published in statistics texts. Convenience Sample - A convenience sample is a group of respondents who are easy to reach : students who walk through the student centre, people at a shopping mall, etc. - Useful for a rough pre-test of a questionnaire. Judgment Sample - A judgment sample is a group of people whose views seem useful. - Someone interested in surveying the kinds of writing done on campus might ask each department for the name of a faculty member who cares about writing and then send surveys to those. - Often good for interviews, where your purpose is to talk to someone whose views are worth hearing. How Do I decide whom to survey or interview? - Use a random sample for surveys, if time and money permit. Use a judgment sample for interviews. - The population is the group you want to make statements about. - Defining your population correctly is crucial to getting useful information. How Do I create surveys and write questions for interviews? - Test your questions to make sure they’re clear and neutral. - A survey questions a large group of people, called respondents or subjects. - Create a questionnaire, a written list of questions that people will respond to. - Although survey and interview queries are based on your ideas and a theory – or working purpose statement – it’s important to phrase questions in a way that won’t lead the respondent to the answer you want, or bias th
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