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Journalism 4952 Fall 2022: Module 1: Secondary Research

Module 1: Secondary vs. Primary Research and Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

Research may include both primary and secondary sources and use quantitative or qualitative methodologies - or both

  • Primary sources include raw and first-hand evidence.
    • Examples of primary sources might be first-hand research, interviews, statistical data, diaries, biographies, all providing direct access to research.  

  • Secondary sources may describe, interpret or synthesize primary source information.
    • Examples of secondary sources might be academic journal articles, reviews and textbooks.

  • Quantitative research is expressed in numbers and statistics and is used to test or confirm assumptions and theories. 
    • Quantitative methods might include experiments or observations recorded as numbers and surveys with closed-ended questions. 

  • Qualitative research is expressed in words and is used to understand concepts or experiences. 
    • Qualitative methods might include interviews and focus groups with open-ended questions. 

Situational & SWOT Analysis 

The goal of your research is to find ways to assist your client company in reaching their goals. This type of company research has been called a situational analysis.  It is a collection of methods that managers use to analyze an organization's internal and external environment to understand the organization's capabilities, customers, and business environment.  It is sometimes called a SWOT analysis  since it allows you to discover the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  You might find it helpful to fill in the SWOT grid with the information that your research discovered about your client company.

We suggest that you keep track of your research using Zotero, a citation manager that will allow you to capture information and export it into Microsoft Word in the  APA format style that is required for this course.  

Fall 2022 Research Scenario #1 - Increasing Usage of Local Bookstore

Local bookstore wants to increase the number of 18-24-year-old customers.

You will be searching for information about:

  1. The company: local bookstore
  2. The category in which the company classifies itself (NAICS Code 45121 - book stores)
  3. The consumer (demographic/psychographic information) about the 18-24-year old’s purchasing behavior
  4. The competition for book stores

Create a list of concept terms to assist your search.

            Example:  

Concept #1 - bookstore, book store

Concept #2 - 18-24-year-olds, generation Z

Concept #3 - retail or retail industry or retailers

Concept #4 - Incentive or motivation

Concept #5 - Barrier, obstacle

Depending on where you search (market research database, news database, scholarly & trade article database), you may search using one or more of these concepts.  For article and news databases, you may combine terms in a search string, such as:

Example: (Concept #1a OR Concept #1b) AND (Concept #2a OR Concept #2b) AND (Concept #3a) AND(Concept #4a OR ((Concept #4b OR Concept #4c OR Concept #4d) OR (Concept #5a OR Concept #5b))

Example:  "book store" AND ("18-24-year old" OR "generation z") AND (retail or "retail industry" or retailers) AND ((incentiv* OR motivat*) OR barrier OR obstacle))

Remember to put phrases in quotes ('") and concepts connected with OR in parentheses () for every set of concepts.  

Fall 2021 Research Scenario #2 - Increase Usage of Craft Stores

Craft stores wants to increase the number of 18-24-year-old customers.

You will be searching for information about:

  1. The company: craft stores
  2. The category in which the company classifies itself (NAICS = 45113 fabric, craft & sewing supply stores)
  3. The consumer (demographic/psychographic information) about the 18-24-year old’s spending habits and hobbies
  4. The competition for fabric, craft & sewing supply stores

Create a list of concept terms to assist your search.

            Example:

            Concept #1- craft* store

            Concept #2 - 18-24-year-olds, generation Z

            Concept #3 – retail or retail industry or retailers

            Concept #4 – incentive or motivation

            Concept #5 – barrier, obstacle

Depending on where you search (market research database, news database, scholarly & trade article database), you may search using one or more of these concepts.  For article and news databases, you may combine terms in a search string, such as:

Example: (Concept #1a OR Concept #1b) AND (Concept #2a OR Concept #2b) AND (Concept #3a or Concept #3b) AND((Concept #4a OR Concept #4b)OR (Concept 5a OR Concept 5b))

Example:  "craft* store" AND ("18-24-year-old" OR "generation z" ) AND (retail or "retail industry" or retailers) AND ((incenti* OR motiv*) OR (barrier OR obstacle))

Remember to put phrases in quotes ('") and concepts connected with OR in parentheses () for every set of concepts.  

Module 1 Deliverables

Deliverables for Module 1: 

  1. Provide a 2-3 page write-up of your secondary research searches in a Word document using the criteria listed in your syllabus.
  2. Write a short memo describing your approach to the secondary research.