Arthur Asa Berger's essential guide to undertaking applied or practical research in media studies is designed to provide introductory techniques that allow students to engage immediately in their own research projects. In so doing, students learn various ways of conducting communication research both in theory and practice. In response to suggestions from users of the First Edition, Berger has added new chapters in each of the following areas: experimentation, historical research, comparative research and participant observation.

Avoiding Common Reasoning Errors

Avoiding common reasoning errors

Writing and Thinking

The purpose of this chapter is to focus attention on some of the common errors people often make in reasoning—errors that make their conclusions questionable. If someone reading one of your papers finds mistakes in your chain of thinking, he or she will have good reason to suspect that your conclusions are not correct. My concern here is not with formal logic, but with “commonsense” aspects of thinking and reasoning errors that you may make because you are careless or confused.

Writing and thinking are intimately connected. You can be a wonderful literary stylist, but if your thinking is full of holes nobody will take what you write about your research seriously. You may be a great ...

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