Research Methods: Ways to Build a Paper

Before you can write any credible research paper, you need to plan it out and do your research. Without the proper research to back it up, your paper will not be able to stand up to scrutiny. There are a few different methods to researching information for your paper and this blog post will cover just a few ways. Before you can decide how to research, you must decide what to research.

The first category of research is called Quantitative Research. This research method is a more scientific approach to your research. Quantitative research leaves little room for bias as it deals more with number statistics than anything else. Things like surveys (without open-ended questions) and instrument based questions (which you can directly measure) are the basis for most Quantitative research. According to South Alabama, Quantitative research sticks to a strict structure and is centered around the variables that you are observing. Your findings should be presented in a statistical report, again, in a specifically structured format.

Quantitative is the more scientific approach to your research and should be used when researching something that is…well, quantifiable. Something measurable. If you were researching the relation between jump scares in horror movies and the increasing of viewer’s heart-rates, you would use this research method because that is measurable.

The second category of research is called Qualitative Research. This is used when there is interpretation involved in your findings, whether it’s your interpretation or interpretation through participants. Anytime that you are working with people and having them respond to variables, this is Qualitative because it is not measurable. This research method is more for a narrative paper.

Qualitative Research is often used in instances when you are making a report on something. Such as entering yourself into a new situation and making a study based off of your experience. This is another example of the narrative report. This type of research is called an Ethnography. There are some famous examples of this type of research used in different environments. The book “Gang Leader for a Day” follows a sociologist who immerses himself in the gang culture. Another famous example is the reality show “Undercover Boss”  in which the CEO of a company disguises themselves and enters one of their locations at an entry level position. In both of these cases, one person is immersing themselves in a culture to understand better how it works. These are just some instances that you might have heard of. In a research paper, the conditions of an ethnography are much more strict.

It is possible to combine these research techniques, it is called Mixed Methods. This is sort of like having the best of both worlds! Combining the two methods creates the strongest research. A purely statistical paper, using Quantitative Research, might seem to lack an element of interpretation by the researcher or by participants who might be involved. A purely narrative paper, using  Qualitative Research, might seem to lack the hard evidence that is found in a statistical paper. Combining the two provides a nice balance.

It seems that most people choose Mixed Methods because of the balance. Also, you don’t have to worry about sticking strictly to one side of the spectrum. Mixed Methods provide a little wiggle room and many more options.

Hopefully, explaining these methods of research have helped you understand what research is which!


Heard It Through The Grape Vine: The Impact of Vine in Pop Culture

Vine is a video sharing social media service owned by Twitter. The videos on Vine are limited to a quick 6 seconds long and loop immediately after the video finishes. The format has sent Vine to the forefront of social media with a recorded 40 million registered users. Arguably on the same level as popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, Vine now boasts 1.5 billion videos played in a single day. With such a large audience and participating in the Vine community, and almost 30% being teenagers, one must be curious of the cultural waves that Vine is making. A force this big is bound to create some sort of cultural impact.

The Popularity of Vine

Users on Vine have been very creative when it comes to creating content. Popular “Viners” like Thomas Sanders and Marcus Johns have found success on Vine through interactions with strangers and characters they portray.. Other Viners have reached internet fame through 6 second clips and adventures.

Jerome Jarre is one of vines top content creators with nearly 8.5 million followers. He is a french entrepreneur who noticed Vines potential and began posting videos the day Vine launched. Almost immediately he became popular on the forum, yet at this time, Vine was not a large digital presence. It would take an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show to propel him from 20,000 followers to 1 million in the span of a month.

Jerome Jarre - Vine Star
Jerome Jarre – Vine Star

But fame in a digital world is not the same as fame achieved by actors or musicians. The majority of “internet celebrities” don’t deal with paparazzi or tabloid magazines. Internet Celebrities might deal with fans recognizing them on the street and such, but not the same recognition as others.

But things seem to be changing, as Jerome Jarre and other Internet Celebrities from social media have been invited to the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

The Language of Vine

Vine has given birth to many new words. Through these six second videos, these new terms spread like wildfire, especially due to the age group that watch these vines. The majority age group of 13-17 accept these terms and use them among friends. You might have heard of some of them:

Even celebrities are accepting the new terms.
Even celebrities are accepting the new terms.
  1. On Fleek – Meaning on point. It was first used in a vine by Peaches Monroe to describe her eyebrows. This was first used by Peaches but became exponentially more popular when musician Ariana Grande recreated the vine on her channel.
  2. Bruh – A way to refer to a male acquaintance. While not created by viners, it was popularized by the vine population and is used by the vine audience.
  3. Or Nah – A term used following a question or request. This term was introduced in the song “Or Nah” by Ty Dolla $ign before becoming popularized on vine. It spread through vine and gained traction. Same has happened with the songs, “Tueday” by ILOVEMAKONNEN and “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun” by Finatticz, raking tens of millions of views to the music videos.

The Future of Vine

Vine is a strong platform with a loyal and interactive audience. There is an intimate and personal aspect about vine that sets it apart from other social aspect platforms. Vine stars have gained their audience through 6 second clips of their life. Some viners have millions of followers with only 30 minutes of video on their profile.

Vine will continue to grow and become part of the leading social networks. It can and will compete with the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. This competition is good for the consumer and promotes new features and better products from the producers. Vine will continue to strongly influence the culture around it.

The “Death” of the English Language: Or How Language Will Never Die

Texting and texting shorthand have claims thrown around of people proudly proclaiming that texting is ruining the English language. News sources claiming that “Texting fogs the mind like cannabis” were common in the early 2000’s when texting was just growing in popularity. Before texting had entered, even if reluctantly, the more traditional generation, it was seen as a destructive and distracting fad that was ruining the brains of the youth. I think it’s safe to say that claims like stated above would be wildly criticized with today’s popularization of texting.

Graduation: Class of 2020
Graduation: Class of 2020

The Guardian put out an article in 2012 stating that 4 billion people were now texting across the world. This is a vast difference from the average of .4 texts sent per person per month in 1995. The Guardian also claimed that over 6 trillion text messages were sent in 2010. Almost no form of technology has had such amazing growth at such an alarming rate. Even the internet took almost twice as long to catch on with the general population. Now, as with any sort of non-traditional advance in technology, there are naysayers claiming that texting will be the death of language. I disagree, and here’ why:

1. Reading is reading, no matter where it’s done.

Look at this litter nerd.
               Look at this little nerd.

In the past few years, I’ve noticed a large amount of “book shaming” and “smart shaming” in the youth culture. Book Shaming occurs mainly in the elementary to middle school age, where some children look down on others that enjoy to read. I’ve personally experienced Book Shaming and been ridiculed because I chose voice my love for reading. Smart Shaming is nearly the same, but instead of ridicule coming from choosing to read books, it’s ridicule caused by succeeding in school. The worst part is that this doesn’t end at middle school, as this was very noticeable at a high school level as well.

This is terrifying to me.

Which is one of the reasons that I choose to believe that texting is helpful for developing the reading skill in the youth of today who choose to actively not read. Communicating through text is now a necessity in an adult world and children who choose not to read will be at a disadvantage when they realize this.

Texting, on the other hand, is a great way to develop many skills you would find in reading books. Skills like context clues, interpretation, and rhetorical communication are developing when communicating through text. These are skills that don’t require the “right” form of communicating. Texting short hand is irrelevant when it comes to these skills.

Reading is practice at communication. Whether it’s a book or a text, that skill is being developed. Many kids who choose not to read, yet choose to text, can at least have some practice at reading and communicating through written communication. And that’s important to have.

2. Language is a tool and will adapt.

Not this kind of tool.
Not this kind of tool.

There is no “right” form of language, because we use language to communicate effectively. Whatever forms gets our message across quickly and efficiently is how we should use language. Of course, discourse communities each have different dialects to their language. A discourse community that uses hashtags and abbreviations will not communicate the same way as an academic setting. The point is communication is still occurring in a way that is rhetorical to members of that discourse community.

Claiming that this or that is “ruining language” is ridiculous. In the past, there have been events that have been dangerous to the English language. In 1066, the Duke of Normandy, called William the Conqueror took the throne of England. He did not speak any English, but he spoke French and Latin. Effectively, this meant that the royals of England for years to come would speak mostly French or Latin, not English. Somehow English survived in the laborers and peasants of England. For nearly 300 years, English was kept alive only by the peasants and generations of bilingual children. In 1377, King Richard II became the first king to use English exclusively since William the Conqueror. Thus, bringing English to the house of the royals again.

Thank this dude.
         Thank this dude.

What does this mean?

It means that language will develop with the society and culture surrounding it. Our language cannot be killed by us using it in different ways. It is meant to be used in whatever way is most effective between people. There is no “right way”. There are right ways for certain discourse communities, but we will all use our language differently.