Exam Material Research Methods in Mass Communication Part – I  (5629)

Mass Communication Semester-III

Important Questions with Answers prepared by Faiza Gul, FR ILMI TEAM (Errors and omissions acceptable) Disclaimer: All Questions and Answers are Based on self assessment and It is only Guess material. TO join whatsApp group contact with 03068314733

Q.1   what sources can be used for selection of good research topics?

When selecting a good research topic, it’s important to consult various sources to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the subject and to generate ideas. Here are some sources you can use for selecting good research topics:

  1. Academic Journals: Read scholarly journals in your field of interest to identify current research trends, gaps in knowledge, and areas where further investigation is needed. Journals often publish articles that highlight research gaps or propose new avenues for exploration.
  2. Books: Explore books written by experts in your field. Books can provide in-depth knowledge and different perspectives on a subject, helping you identify potential research topics. Check out textbooks, monographs, and compilations of research papers.
  3. Conferences and Proceedings: Attend conferences or browse through conference proceedings to discover the latest research and emerging topics. Conference papers often present cutting-edge research and can inspire you to explore related areas or identify research gaps.
  4. Research Databases: Utilize online research databases like Google Scholar, PubMed, IEEE Xplore, or JSTOR. These databases allow you to search for scholarly articles, conference papers, and other publications related to your field of interest. Use keywords and filters to narrow down your search.
  5. Professional Organizations: Visit websites or publications of professional organizations and associations in your field. They often provide valuable insights, reports, and publications highlighting current research topics and areas of interest within the industry.
  6. Government and NGO Reports: Government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) often publish reports on various topics. These reports can shed light on pressing issues, gaps in knowledge, and areas that require further investigation. Check the websites of relevant governmental departments and NGOs for their publications.
  7. Online Communities and Forums: Engage in discussions on online platforms, such as research forums, social media groups, or specialized communities related to your field. These platforms can help you identify current debates, emerging topics, and research gaps through conversations with experts and enthusiasts.
  8. Literature Reviews: Read literature reviews and meta-analyses in your field. These comprehensive analyses of existing research can help you understand the state of knowledge, identify research gaps, and find potential research questions that need further exploration.
  9. Consult with Mentors and Peers: Seek guidance from your mentors, professors, or colleagues who have expertise in your area of interest. Discussing your research ideas with them can provide valuable insights, help refine your topic, and identify potential research directions.

Remember, a combination of these sources can provide you with a well-rounded understanding of the research landscape in your field and inspire you to select a good research topic.

Q.2   Discuss the need, importance and technique of literature review.

A literature review is an essential component of research that involves identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing existing knowledge and research findings on a particular topic. It serves several important purposes and plays a crucial role in the research process. Here’s a discussion on the need, importance, and techniques of conducting a literature review:

Need for a Literature Review:

Contextualize the Research: A literature review helps provide a context for your research by establishing the current state of knowledge and understanding in your field of study.

Identify Research Gaps: By reviewing existing literature, you can identify gaps, unanswered questions, or areas that require further investigation. This helps you frame your research objectives and contribute to the existing knowledge.

Avoid Duplication: A literature review ensures that you don’t duplicate previous research efforts. It helps you understand what has already been done and what areas remain unexplored.

Inform Methodology and Design: Literature reviews can inform your research methodology and study design by highlighting successful approaches, methodologies, or techniques used in previous studies.

Importance of a Literature Review:

Establish Credibility: By thoroughly reviewing the literature, you demonstrate that your research is built upon a foundation of existing knowledge and is informed by previous studies. It adds credibility to your work.

Identify Key Concepts and Theories: A literature review helps you identify the key concepts, theories, models, and frameworks that are relevant to your research. It provides a theoretical framework for your study.

Analyze and Synthesize Findings: Literature reviews involve analyzing and synthesizing multiple sources of information. This allows you to draw connections, identify patterns, and develop a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

Identify Methodological Issues: Through the literature review, you can identify any methodological issues or limitations that previous studies have encountered. This helps you refine your own research methodology.

Techniques for Conducting a Literature Review:

Define Your Research Question: Clearly define your research question or objective to guide your literature search and review process.

Select Relevant Sources: Identify and gather relevant sources, such as scholarly articles, books, conference papers, reports, and dissertations. Use academic databases, libraries, and online resources to access these sources.

Evaluate and Critically Appraise Sources: Assess the quality, reliability, and relevance of the selected sources. Consider factors such as the author’s credibility, the study’s methodology, the publication’s reputation, and the recency of the research.

Organize and Summarize Information: Develop a systematic approach to organize and summarize the information from the selected sources. This can be done through note-taking, creating annotated bibliographies, or using citation management software.

Identify Themes and Gaps: Analyze the collected information to identify common themes, trends, or patterns. Identify any research gaps or unanswered questions in the existing literature.

Synthesize the Findings: Integrate the information from different sources and present a coherent synthesis of the literature. This involves summarizing key findings, comparing and contrasting different perspectives, and identifying areas of consensus or disagreement.

Overall, a well-conducted literature review is crucial for establishing the context of your research, identifying gaps and research opportunities, and ensuring that your work contributes to the existing body of knowledge. It helps you avoid duplication, strengthens the credibility of your research, and provides a solid foundation for your study.

Q.3   Define research and explain the characteristics of scientific method./ Elaborate the steps involved in Scientific Research process. / Elaborate the criteria and steps involved in a research process.

Research refers to a systematic investigation that aims to discover, interpret, or revise knowledge and understanding of a particular topic or phenomenon. It involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to answer research questions or test hypotheses. Research can be conducted in various fields and disciplines, including scientific, social, and humanities domains.

The scientific method is a systematic approach employed in scientific research to acquire knowledge and understanding of the natural world. It involves a series of steps that ensure objectivity, reliability, and reproducibility in the process of scientific inquiry. The characteristics of the scientific method can be summarized as follows:

Empirical: The scientific method relies on empirical evidence, which is obtained through direct observation or experimentation. It emphasizes the importance of gathering data from the real world to support or refute hypotheses.

Systematic and Structured: Scientific research follows a structured and organized approach. It involves formulating research questions or hypotheses, designing experiments or studies, collecting data, analyzing data using appropriate statistical methods, and drawing conclusions based on the evidence.

Replicable: The scientific method aims to produce results that are replicable and can be independently verified by other researchers. This ensures the reliability and validity of scientific findings. Detailed documentation of methods and procedures allows others to repeat the study and obtain similar results.

Objective and Unbiased: Scientists strive to maintain objectivity and minimize bias in their research. They approach the investigation without preconceived notions or personal beliefs that could influence the outcome. The use of rigorous methods and controls helps minimize subjective interpretations.

Testable and Falsifiable: Scientific hypotheses and theories are formulated in a way that allows them to be tested and potentially falsified. This means that they are open to scrutiny and can be proven wrong if contrary evidence emerges. The ability to test and potentially disprove hypotheses is a fundamental aspect of the scientific method.

Iterative and Cumulative: The scientific method is an iterative process, building upon existing knowledge and constantly refining theories and understanding. New research adds to the existing body of knowledge, allowing for the development of more accurate models and explanations over time.

Example of the scientific method in action:

An example of the scientific method in action in the media can be seen in the field of nutrition research. Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario where a media outlet reports a new study claiming that consuming a specific food item leads to significant weight loss. Here’s how the scientific method would apply:


The media outlet observes the publication of a research study suggesting a relationship between the consumption of a specific food item and weight loss.

Research Question:

The media outlet poses the research question: Does consuming this specific food item lead to significant weight loss?


The media outlet formulates a hypothesis based on the study’s findings, suggesting that the consumption of the specific food item will lead to weight loss.


The media outlet designs an experiment to test the hypothesis. They recruit a group of participants and divide them into two groups: one group consuming the specific food item and another group not consuming it (control group). The participants are monitored over a specified period.

Data Collection:

The media outlet collects data on the participants’ weight, body measurements, and other relevant factors before and after the intervention. They carefully record the data to ensure accuracy.


The media outlet analyzes the data using appropriate statistical methods. They compare the changes in weight and other measurements between the group consuming the specific food item and the control group.


The media outlet obtains the results of the analysis. They find that the group consuming the specific food item experienced a statistically significant weight loss compared to the control group.


The media outlet concludes that based on the study’s findings, consuming the specific food item can lead to significant weight loss.

Peer Review and Publication:

The media outlet submits the study and its findings to peer-reviewed scientific journals for evaluation by experts in the field. The experts review the study’s methodology, analysis, and conclusions to ensure its validity and reliability.

Public Understanding:

The media outlet publishes an article or report on their findings, making it accessible to the public. They emphasize the importance of considering the study’s limitations and the need for further research to confirm the results.

It’s important to note that this example illustrates the process of applying the scientific method to a media-reported study. The scientific method helps ensure that research findings are critically evaluated, tested, and replicated to establish scientific credibility and contribute to the body of knowledge.

Q.4   Explain Sampling. Describe different types of probability and non-probability sampling./ Difference between probability and non probability sampling technique.

Sampling is the process of selecting a subset of individuals, items, or units from a larger population to gather data and make inferences about the population as a whole. It is often impractical or impossible to study an entire population, so researchers use sampling techniques to obtain representative samples that can provide insights into the population characteristics.

There are two main categories of sampling methods: probability sampling and non-probability sampling.

Probability Sampling: Probability sampling involves randomly selecting participants from the population, giving each individual a known and non-zero chance of being included in the sample. This ensures that every member of the population has an equal opportunity to be selected.

Simple Random Sampling: In simple random sampling, each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected. A random number generator or a random selection method is used to ensure the randomness of the selection process.

Stratified Random Sampling: Stratified random sampling involves dividing the population into subgroups or strata based on certain characteristics (e.g., age, gender, location) and then randomly selecting samples from each stratum. This ensures representation from each subgroup in the final sample.

Cluster Sampling: Cluster sampling involves dividing the population into clusters or groups and then randomly selecting clusters as the sampling units. All individuals within the selected clusters are included in the sample.

Systematic Sampling: Systematic sampling involves selecting every “kth” individual from the population after randomly selecting a starting point. The value of “k” is determined by dividing the population size by the desired sample size.

Multi-stage Sampling: Multi-stage sampling combines different sampling methods in multiple stages. It may involve a combination of cluster sampling, stratified sampling, and simple random sampling.

Non-probability Sampling: Non-probability sampling methods do not rely on random selection and do not guarantee that every member of the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample. These methods are often used when probability sampling is not feasible, practical, or appropriate.

Convenience Sampling: Convenience sampling involves selecting individuals who are readily available and accessible. This method is convenient but may introduce bias as the sample may not be representative of the population.

Purposive Sampling: Purposive sampling involves selecting individuals based on specific criteria or characteristics relevant to the research question. Researchers deliberately choose participants who possess the desired traits or knowledge.

Snowball Sampling: Snowball sampling relies on participants’ referrals to identify additional participants. Initially, a small number of individuals are selected, and then they refer others who meet the research criteria. This method is useful for reaching populations that are difficult to access.

Quota Sampling: Quota sampling involves selecting individuals to match predefined quotas based on certain characteristics (e.g., age, gender, occupation) to ensure proportional representation. However, the selection within the quota is often non-random.

Purposive/Judgmental Sampling: Purposive or judgmental sampling involves the researcher’s judgment in selecting participants who are considered knowledgeable or representative of the population of interest.

Each sampling method has its strengths and limitations, and the choice of sampling technique depends on factors such as research objectives, population characteristics, available resources, and time constraints. Researchers need to carefully consider the appropriateness and potential biases associated with each method when designing their studies.

Q.5   Briefly discuss the various levels of measurement. / What are the various types of measurement and scale? / Difference among various levels of measurement.

The levels of measurement, also known as the scales of measurement, refer to the ways in which variables can be measured or classified. There are four main levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. Each level has specific properties and determines the type of statistical analysis that can be applied to the data. Here’s a brief discussion of each level with examples:

Nominal Level of Measurement: The nominal level involves the simplest form of measurement, where data are categorized into distinct categories or groups. Variables at this level have no inherent order or numerical value.


Gender (e.g., male, female)

Marital status (e.g., married, single, divorced)

Ethnicity (e.g., African-American, Asian)

Ordinal Level of Measurement: The ordinal level involves variables that can be ordered or ranked based on some criteria. While the order is meaningful, the differences between the categories may not be equal or precisely measurable.


Educational attainment (e.g., high school, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD)

Survey rating scales (e.g., Likert scale: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree)

Socioeconomic status (e.g., low, middle, high)

Interval Level of Measurement: The interval level includes variables where the differences between values are meaningful and measurable. It does not have a true zero point and allows for both ranking and meaningful differences between values. However, ratios and proportions are not meaningful.


Temperature on the Celsius or Fahrenheit scale (e.g., 20°C, 30°C)

Calendar years (e.g., 2000, 2010, 2020)

IQ scores (e.g., 90, 100, 110)

Ratio Level of Measurement: The ratio level represents the highest level of measurement. Variables at this level possess all the properties of the other levels (nominal, ordinal, and interval) and, in addition, have a true zero point. Ratios and proportions are meaningful at this level.


Height (e.g., 160 cm, 180 cm)

Weight (e.g., 50 kg, 70 kg)

Age (e.g., 25 years, 40 years)

It’s important to note that the level of measurement determines the types of statistical analyses that can be applied. For example, nominal data can be analyzed using frequency counts and chi-square tests, while interval or ratio data allow for more advanced statistical techniques like regression analysis or t-tests.

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