Communication Project Guidelines

Communication scholars working with MUW's Honors College are expected to produce original research. Dedication to the process, not the findings, is that which is most important. Students should consider presentation before the College an opportunity to test assumptions, to solicit essential feedback necessary for improving research, and to be responsible to a community of scholars and the wider public for the findings of their research. Ultimately, communication scholars should consider the College's program as an ideal model for conference presentation of original research. Communication scholars are expected to produce original research of the quality worthy of conference-level presentation. All subject matter, theoretical/conceptual perspectives, and methodologies are appropriate for consideration, but it is the scholar's responsibility to be able to defend the choice of subject matter, theoretical/conceptual orientation, and method for study.

Subject areas for communication research vary greatly, but general areas of research include rhetorical and cultural analyses of "texts" (written, spoken, visual, etc.), aspects of interpersonal dynamics, aspects of group and organizational dynamics, political communication, computer-mediated communication (CMC), media and medium effects, matters of communication law and policy, communication historical analyses, analyses of technological development, and matters related to advocacy and education. Deductive tests of specific theories or hypotheses are as appreciated as inductive case studies, etc.


Students are expected to follow these recommendations as general guidelines. Specific mandates (e.g., the relevance of particular types of references) should be negotiated with each student's committee. Adhering to the published guidelines of the Honors College and recommendations of the Honors Director and Honors Committee, each student's research committee will make the final determination for the specific requirements for communication honors research and evaluation of that research.

Average Length (Proposal):

5-10 pages (text-body, excluding cover page, abstract, bibliography, appendices, and other attachments). A minimum of 15 relevant references is required. Proposals must include sufficient content to justify conducting research and must be complete through explanation of the method(s) students intent to employ.

Average Length (Final Project):

10-20 pages (text-body, excluding cover page, abstract, bibliography, appendices, and other attachments). Twenty relevant references are required.

Style Manual:

Various manuals are used in communication research. Communication students are expected to be familiar with the most current version of the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual. Unless negotiated otherwise, students should adhere strictly to APA guidelines. Note: The most current published version of the APA Publication Manual (or any other publication manual negotiated for use) must be referenced as the final authority. Use all other resources (e.g., internet sites) with caution.