Communication students usually face two problems when it comes to research. The first is identifying compelling communication research topics. The second is crafting appropriate communication research questions that are specific and relevant.
Fortunately, choosing communication research paper topics doesn’t have to be challenging. This article outlines all you need to know about selecting the right topics for your research. It also lists 10 interesting examples of communication research topics you can consider for your essay or thesis.
What Makes a Strong Communication Research Topic?
Simplicity is what makes a strong communication research topic. Your research topic should contain relevant content that gives readers a general insight into what you intend to study. However, it must be concise and free from unnecessary jargon or wordy sentences.
As a communication researcher, you must also tackle relevant subjects. Your research should contribute to existing knowledge in your field by corroborating previously known facts or drawing attention to new insights.
Tips for Choosing a Communication Research Topic
- Find out your school’s requirements. Some schools have curriculum requirements that may streamline your communication research topic ideas. For example, your department may have a specified word count for research papers. Such a condition would prevent you from selecting a topic that would require a lengthy write-up.
- Read industry-related surveys. If you want your research to address a specific industry pain point, industry-related surveys can help you choose a suitable topic. Some communication and media firms release their survey findings to the public. You can explore these surveys to identify the direction your research should take.
- Visit an academic journal. Journals like The International Journal of Communication and Journal of Health Communication can provide you with inspiration for choosing your communication topic. These reliable sources cover many subjects and contain ideas that can steer you on the right path.
- Attend conferences. Conferences are a credible source to learn about the future of communication research. This knowledge can be beneficial for choosing a topic that would attract much interest. You can visit online sources like conferenceindex.org to find a list of upcoming communication conferences.
- Avoid over-researched topics. There is already a wealth of research available on many communication topics. As much as you can, it’s best to avoid over-researched topics. Choose topics that allow you to provide unique information rather than rehashing previously published ideas.
What’s the Difference Between a Research Topic and a Research Question?
A research topic highlights the researcher’s area of focus during research. Research questions are usually narrow enough to allow the researcher to focus on a particular sub-topic within their field. However, they are also extensive enough to allow for exploration of the chosen subject from various angles.
Research questions, on the other hand, are more succinct. They are usually derived from the chosen research topic and leave no room for ambiguity. Research questions show the purpose of the study. They clearly define the parameters being studied. They may also provide insight into the research methods employed.
How to Create Strong Communication Research Questions
Strong communication research questions must focus on addressing a particular issue. Also, they must be presented objectively. Your research question should not reflect bias or attempt to tilt the reader’s mind toward a particular direction.
Top 10 Communication Research Paper Topics
1. Personality Differences and Their Effect on Negotiation Techniques
Different factors affect how individuals approach a negotiation. One of the most influential factors is personality type. A compelling research idea would be to provide insight into the most common negotiation styles applied by individuals based on their personality type.
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2. The Influence of Public Relations in Building Thriving Businesses
Most highly ranked companies place a premium on maintaining their brand image through external communication. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for public relations specialists are expected to increase by 11 percent between 2020 and 2030. An examination into the impact of public relations in building a reputable business would make a great research topic.
3. Critical Approaches for Dealing With Fake News
Due to the prominent role of bloggers in contemporary society, there is a shortage of legitimate sources for information. This challenge has brought about a need to provide credible reporting and establish proper communication channels. Your research could provide a critical approach for examining the spread of fake news and suggest effective methods for building reliable communication networks.
4. Practical Communication Skills for the Development of Intimate Relationships
Interpersonal dialogue is one of the most intriguing aspects of communication. Several studies have been carried out on effective dialogue as a tool for building strong personal relationships. However, there is still a wide knowledge gap on the subject. You could carry out communication studies on practical communication skills that can facilitate the growth of relationships.
5. Email as an Effective Business Communication Tool
All emerging tech businesses use email as a corporate communication tool, according to Statista. Despite this, some still have concerns about the adverse effects of email on business-to-business communication. You could carry out research to determine the positive or negative influences of email and instant messaging on the overall work culture of organizations.
6. The Evolution of Horizontal and Downward Communication in the Business Environment
Workplace culture has changed massively in the 21st century with the advent of Zoom meetings and other non-traditional discussion channels. Your research could examine the history of communication in organizations. It could also highlight the changes in downward and horizontal communication practices in leading global businesses.
7. Regular Social Media Communication and Its Impact on Human Behavior
Social media has become a vital part of our personal life. Unfortunately, regular social media use has been linked to vices like substance abuse and several mental health challenges. A study of the effect of social networks on the attitude of viewers would make a very relevant topic for a communication research paper.
8. Techniques for Improving Virtual Communication
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in the use of virtual dialogue globally. Various companies have experimented with different techniques to improve the experience of virtual communication technology. Your research could compare these strategies and, if possible, offer some communication tips for virtual environments.
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9. The Relationship Between Organizational Communication and Workplace Culture
Communication is one of the vital factors that affect employee performance and workplace culture. Different companies have devised effective communication strategies to eliminate organizational uncertainty. You can study these various communication processes and show how they influence employee behavior in the workplace.
10. The Growth of Instant Messaging and Its Effect on Modern Society
No one can deny that instant messaging apps have become a ubiquitous phenomenon. Presently, Whatsapp has a total of 2 billion active monthly users, according to Statista. For your research paper, you could explore the impact of this mass adoption of instant messaging apps on our overall quality of everyday life.
Other Examples of Communication Research Topics & Questions
Communication Research Topics
- Building successful mass media campaigns
- Non-verbal communication and its impact on relationships
- Teenage texting and its impact on relational development
- Religious affiliation and its impact on communication
- An in-depth analysis of communication theory
Communication Research Questions
- What are the most effective public health communication methods for patient-centered communication?
- What is the importance of non-verbal interpersonal communication in developing professional relationships?
- What is the role of mass media in improving international relations?
- What are the most effective communication styles for social marketing?
- What is the role of social media platforms in promoting intercultural dialogue?
Choosing the Right Communication Research Topic
Although it is essential to learn different research methods, your research won’t have much impact without choosing a strong topic. So, selecting an excellent research topic is the first step in writing a noteworthy research paper on communication.
Also, selecting the right communication research paper topic can help you identify which communication discipline is right for you. If you are wondering what you can do with your communications degree, a research paper is a perfect way to get a feel of various areas of interest before you graduate.
Communication Research Topics FAQ
Qualitative questions are open-ended and aim to explore a thought or subject matter through qualitative methods. For example, with qualitative research, rather than comparing data sets, the goal is to gather and interpret data to generate a hypothesis.
Quantitative research questions usually seek to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between two or more data sets. Unlike qualitative research, quantitative research aims to confirm or test the accuracy of a hypothesis.
A thesis statement is a brief overview of the main point of a research paper. Your thesis statement should be short, straightforward, and inform the reader of what your paper is all about.
Yes, online communication master’s degree programs also involve research work. So, if you are considering getting an online master’s in communication, you must be ready to write a research paper as one of the major requirements for graduating.
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