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What patterns can you find?

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Sociology | 0 comments


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For this paper, you will examine the online comments section a media story of your choice. For example, comments in a story posted in a digital newspaper, TikTok comments, You Tube comments, Twitter comments, Facebook comments of a news story , Reddit, or something similar.
Decide on your research question. Many researchers start with nothing specific in mind (inductive reasoning) or with a very specific idea in mind (deductive reasoning). You could think about looking for signs of racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, or body shaming, or body positivity, for example.
Past researchers have looked for certain themes (i.e., research questions):
* what kind of personal information do people share on twitter? * do people believe election results?
* do most commenters have a negative view about being overweight?
You’re going to look for patterns. You should pick a certain kind of story or blog to examine and then read through the comments of that story as well as other similar stories. What patterns can you find?
Paper Guidelines
3-4 page (no cover page is necessary)
margins no more than one inch
font no larger than 12 point
Your paper should include the following headings (shown in bold).
1) Introduction/Methodology
The first part of your paper should be an introduction to the topic or issue that you will be discussing. Here is also where you’ll describe your methodology – where you gathered your data, from which online sources, and approximately how many comments were read and analyzed.
Describe your research question.
2) Findings
Once you’ve decided on your topic and research question, and decided on your methodology, you’re going to examine the language of the commenters.
What did you discover? You are looking for patterns.
* Were comments negative or positive?
* Was there a a word or words or term that was used repeatedly?
* Was there underlying racism/sexism/ageism?
* Was there a pattern of topics most commented upon? Giving percentages or counting is expected.
Here is an example:
Researcher Joyce reads the Daily Mail (online gossip paper) every day for a week. She reads every story that relates to Meghan Markle and then examines the “most popular” comments in each story. She finds that 2/3rds of the comments posted each day on each story included racist terms or derogatory comments about Meghan Markle. The finding is that most people who comment on the Daily Mail stories have prejudicial thoughts about Ms. Markle.
3) Analysis
In the analysis portion, you look at the patterns found in your findings, and analyze the meanings of these patterns.
* What general conclusions can you make based on your data?
* What might the comments made say about our culture or society?
* What messages are being sent about the writers of the posts?
* How might the comments impact the subjects of the comments (ex: are people being racist, sexist)?
* How might the patterns you discovered impact people reading them on a societal level? (For example, if there are a lot of body positive comments on a TikTok video. might that show that young people are very open to differing body types?)
4) Conclusion
The last part of your paper should be the conclusion. This is the time to wrap up your ideas and concluding thoughts. Read over your paper completed paper and make sure any point you might have brought up has been resolved, discussed and dealt with in a clear manner.


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