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178 Communication Research Topics For Your Paper

178 Communication Research Topics

Imagine what the world would be without communication! How would we get along? I guess there would be no sense in existing after all. That is just a tiny snippet of how important communication is in everyday life. Exchanging information is a key component of coexistence as it creates order and a sense of satisfaction in the end.

However, communication as a discipline cuts across all other niches in the academic world. Students from an Engineering course would also take up communication as a unit of study. Students delve into the transmission, representation, reception, and decoding of information communicated to a greater extent.

Situations When You May Need To Write A Communication Paper

Various scenarios call for a communication paper either as an assignment or a research project in college. The communication papers needed for every situation vary in format and outline. Here are some of the cases when communication papers are necessary:

When writing a resume or cover letter In presentations and reports Internal or external communication in a company Writing a thesis statement

When writing communication papers in these different scenarios, students can develop the following aspects:

Understand the various communication phenomena Ability to direct communication messages towards accomplishing individual and organizational goals Understand various types of communication such as rhetoric, interpersonal or organizational

Such an assignment is peculiar because it deals with students’ communication processes. Therefore, the student can easily relate a communication assignment to the real-world environment.

You will have to conduct extensive digging before writing your paper like any other research project. In writing a communication research paper, you will benefit from the importance of communication in general, such as building better relationships and finding the right solutions to various problems.

It takes a lot of time to create a high-quality writing, so you have all the right to ask dissertation writers for hire to help.

Guidelines On Structure And Step By Step Tips On Writing

To have an award-winning communication paper, you need to understand that structure is always at the heart of it all. A great communication paper follows the structure below:

Solid intro : Begin by presenting a captivating introduction by highlighting the facts, questions, or problems that you will explore in the body. The reader should find more than a million reasons to proceed with your essay by reading the first two lines. A strong thesis statement is also necessary for the introduction. An insightful literature review : It shows the theoretical basis of your research project, thus giving it validity. An in-depth literature review will give room for exploration and further research. Main body : This is where we expect to find all your findings, methodological steps, concepts, analyses, and the outcome. Discussion and conclusion : Depending on your professor’s instructions, you can divide this into two parts or put it as one. In either case, this section will consist of the strengths and weaknesses of your research and any future development or improvements. You could also compare the results found in your research with what other authors have discovered.

Provided you have all your facts at hand, a communication research paper will be the easiest you will ever handle in college. Nonetheless, you can order a custom paper from various online writing experts.

If you want to make an impression with your communication research paper, here are some tips to consider:

Select a thought-provoking and captivating research topic Have a working outline with all the arguments and examples/evidence in place Ensure that you exhaust reading all the possible research materials on your topic Such papers are always in the first person except in unique cases

You can review some of the samples on our essay writer to familiarize yourself with the structure and outline of a communication research paper.

Let’s now explore 178 of the hottest communication research topics to ace your project:

Top Interpersonal Communication Research Topics

  • Evaluate the different relational patterns of interaction theory
  • How to achieve coordinated management of meaning
  • Discuss the fundamentals of pedagogical communication
  • How does technology relate to interpersonal communication?
  • Key constructs of openness and closeness
  • Establishing identities in the identity management theory
  • Evaluate the contribution of interpersonal communication scholars
  • How mental representations influence how people interpret information
  • Conceptualizing the process of social interaction
  • Discuss the various behavioral interaction patterns among siblings
  • Why do individuals modify their communicative behavior?
  • Describe why new environments present a challenge for most people to communicate effectively
  • The role of eye contact and gestures in interpersonal communication
  • Varying effects of nonverbal and verbal acts of interpersonal communication
  • Effects of different cultures on interpersonal communication strategies

World-Class Communication Research Topics For College Students

  • Understanding the historical research methods in communication
  • Discuss the relationship between technology, media, and culture
  • Evaluate the various revolutions in human communication
  • Discuss the developments made in the invention of human speech and language
  • The role of image-making, cinema, and media entertainment in communication
  • How to overcome communication barriers among students
  • Steps in encouraging participation in meetings
  • How employees contribute to the information flow in organizations
  • How to evaluate a report based on its findings
  • Sources of error during nonverbal communication
  • How the media can match the channels of communication to their audience
  • Ensuring audience attention during a presentation
  • The impact of graphics in communication strategies
  • How to interpret non-verbal signals
  • Developing communication methods that match a given purpose

Possible Topics For Communication Research

  • How to develop realistic communication strategies
  • Discuss the economics of finance in communication processes
  • How exposure to radio and TV impacts communication
  • How to manage controversial issues in communication
  • Why speaking with confidence is still difficult for many people
  • The effectiveness of communicating with words and body language
  • Why defining your purpose is key in any communication process
  • Why explanatory communication is more difficult than informative communication
  • The place of communication in long-distance relationships
  • Communication strategies that influence people
  • How to use communication effectively for conflict resolution
  • Developing your self-esteem for effective communication
  • Effects of redundancy in communication processes
  • The place of responsibility in developing communication messages
  • How to acquire effective communication skills in college

Latest Communication Topic For Research

  • The role of persuasive dialogue in negotiations
  • Why everyone must learn proper expression strategies
  • Effects of emoji and other characters in enhancing textual conversations
  • The role of propaganda in shaping communication tones
  • Evaluate the unique political language used in America versus Africa
  • The continuing impact of the internet on interpersonal communication
  • How images are enhancing communication
  • Discuss the effects of gender victimization on communication
  • Evaluate the development of modern digital communication
  • How to effectively communicate during a war or crisis
  • How hacking is transforming communication of encrypted messages
  • Effects of stereotyping in developing communication messages
  • Is virtual reality ruining effective communication?
  • Evaluate language as a barrier in communicating messages
  • The role of empathy in communicating to victims of a disaster

Top-Notch Communication Research Paper Topics

  • The role of diplomacy in fostering better relations among countries
  • Why aided communication may not achieve the intended purpose
  • Effects of using a translator in the communication of critical messages
  • Evaluate the development of audio-visual devices for communication
  • The dangers of failing to notice barriers to communication
  • How stigma and prejudice impact effective communication
  • Discuss the impact of having a common language in a country
  • How social classes affect communication messages
  • Factors that hinder communication between fighting political sides
  • How to develop strong communication skills in a marketplace
  • Why opinions may prevent one from seeing the true picture
  • Discuss the role of fantasy and exaggeration in communication
  • Differences between oral and verbal messages in conveying information
  • The role of attitude and mood in enhancing effective message delivery
  • How the media sets the communication pattern of a given society

Highly Rated Mass Communication Research Topics

  • Discuss the essence of social media among PR practitioners
  • The role of mass media in rebranding a nation
  • Challenges to media freedom and their impact on proper communication
  • Discuss the effects of news commercialization and their credibility
  • How TV advertisements impact children and their development
  • Compare and contrast between animation and real-people adverts in mass media
  • How the internet affects professionalization in news media
  • How mass media messages contribute to the development of religion in Africa
  • Evaluate the radio listenership patterns between men and women
  • How does mass media contribute to an emerging democracy
  • Discuss how the media enlightens the public on issues of concern
  • The role of mass media in communicating development messages
  • Why mass media is critical before, during, and after elections
  • Assess the influence of community radio in remote areas
  • How mass media contributes to national integration

Good Communication Research Topics

  • What determines consumer preference patterns in the 21 st century?
  • Effective communication strategies for creating awareness against drug abuse
  • Prospects and challenges of local dialects in communication
  • Evaluate the influence of television on public opinion
  • Discuss the growing cyberactivism in the digital age
  • How social media is contributing to misleading information
  • Challenges facing teachers when communicating to pre-school students
  • Discuss the impact of information overload on the credibility of information
  • Evaluate communication patterns among the youth in the US
  • Assess the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on communication patterns
  • How public perception influences communication strategies
  • Explain how mothers learn to communicate with and understand their babies at such a tender age
  • The role of music in shaping communication models
  • How to overcome the challenge of top-down communication in companies
  • Management of information on online media for effective use

Business Communication Research Paper Topics

  • Discuss the increasing role of influencers on brand marketing
  • Why company blogs are essential in attracting new clients
  • Evaluate the differences between face to face and virtual business meetings
  • The growing popularity of social media in business marketing
  • Why every company should have a partner relations department
  • Dealing with complaints in a relaxed and useful manner
  • Why online project management is the future of business
  • Discuss why it is necessary to have company retreats
  • Explore the role of digital document sharing in speeding up business communication
  • Effects of relying on online communication at the expense of physical meetings
  • The role of effective business management in the performance of an organization
  • How staff motivation improve the overall working environment
  • Discuss the place of corporate social responsibility in a company
  • Effective ways of handling crisis in a large company
  • Explain why trust is important in any business partnerships

Intercultural Communication Research Topics

  • Discuss how Muslims interact with Christians at a social level
  • Evaluate the reception of instructions from a man to a woman
  • How Americans interact with Africans at the basic level
  • Discuss how an American Democrat would associate with a Chinese politician
  • Discuss the impact of marginalization in developing communication messages
  • How migration and immigration affect communication patterns
  • Effects of social stereotyping in communication
  • How do Western communication models differ from those of Africa?
  • Impact of discriminatory communication messages
  • How to organize an effective intergroup come-together
  • How the media represents various groups in its communication
  • Effects of the growing intercultural norms
  • The role of language attitudes in inhibiting effective communication
  • Evaluate how ethnographic perspectives affect communication messages
  • Why it is difficult to solve intercultural conflicts

Additional Interpersonal Communication Topics For Research Paper

  • The role of interpersonal communication in team member satisfaction
  • How collaboration and teamwork enhances business success
  • Discuss how interpersonal communication enhances problem-solving skills
  • The role of trust in interpersonal communication
  • Effects of confusion, negativity, and conflicts on interpersonal communication
  • How to deal with workplace miscommunication effectively
  • The role of personalizing information
  • How to improve internal communication channels in a company
  • Discuss the role of interests in communication patterns
  • Challenges when implementing modern communication solutions
  • Evaluate how jargon and inattention make internal communication difficult
  • The role of feedback in interpreting messages correctly
  • Discuss the influence of environmental factors in communication
  • Why miscommunication may result in a disconnect among a group of people
  • Discuss the role of skills and knowledge in effective communication among leaders

Interesting Communication Research Topics

  • How can effective interpersonal communication be a catalyst for action
  • Why a focused and intentional approach is necessary for effective communication
  • Discuss why online dating is not successful in most cases
  • Evaluate the role of non-verbal communication and customer satisfaction
  • Why is it important to have a list of communication networks?
  • Effects of lack of personal contact when it comes to communication
  • Discuss the various forms of human interactions and their influence on communication
  • The role of clear communication during an organizational change process
  • Why online communication is not as effective as physical meetings
  • Evaluate the roles and issues involved in a nurse-patient communication
  • The role of TV shows in determining how people relate to each other in the society
  • Effects of the digital divide in communication paradigms
  • The relationship between quality leadership and effective communication
  • Why is email still not yet an effective communication medium?
  • Effects of integrating marketing communication

General Communication Studies Research Topics

  • Discuss the differences in body language between male and female
  • The role of communication in familiarizing with someone
  • How online gaming communication affects one’s interpersonal communication
  • Why a leader without proper communication skills may not succeed
  • The role of communication in achieving an organization’s vision
  • How mobile phone conversations are turning around interpersonal communication
  • Discuss the role of different personality types in communication
  • Is there a difference between language and communication?
  • Discuss how communication in the military is different from that in a normal setting
  • Compare and contrast between written and spoken forms of communication
  • Why family communication is critical for a peaceful coexistence
  • Shortcomings to understanding foreign languages
  • Discuss the effectiveness of web-based communication

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100 Communication Research Topics


Table of contents

  • 1 What Is Communication Research?
  • 2.1 Top Research Topic Ideas
  • 2.2 Research Topics for College Students
  • 2.3 Business-Focused Research Topics
  • 2.4 Social Media Research Topics
  • 2.5 Mass Communication Research Topics
  • 2.6 Interpersonal Communication Research Topics
  • 2.7 Intercultural Communication Research Topics
  • 2.8 Virtual Communication Research Topics
  • 2.9 Health-Related Research Topics
  • 2.10 Interesting Communication Research Topics
  • 3 Coming up with a Thesis Statement
  • 4.1 How to Create Strong Questions for Your Paper?
  • 4.2 How to Find the Right Research Topics?
  • 4.3 What Makes a Research Paper Topic Strong?
  • 4.4 Tips for Structuring and Writing Your Paper
  • 5 Conclusion

All fields of study have fresh and intriguing new research paper topics to explore. Within the subject of communication, there are loads of possibilities for research papers . This is thanks to the development of mass media and the growing popularity of various modern communication methods.

This article covers a broad range of effective research paper topics that are both interesting and relevant for this field. Any of them would make a suitable focal point for any research paper to do with how we interact with one another.

What Is Communication Research?

This is the study of how we interact with one another. It includes how the way we interact is affected by technology, culture, and individual differences. Researchers in this field use a variety of methods to study the way we converse and interact with each other, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, and experiments.

Research in this area can be used to improve communication skills in personal relationships, in the workplace, and in other settings.

Lists of Key Communication Research Topics

The range of research paper topics in this field is extensive, to say the least. Below are 100 relevant topics that are arranged in groups of 10.

They cover a broad selection of modern communication issues and debates, from corporate and computer mediated communication to effective interpersonal communication, communication strategies, and more.

Top Research Topic Ideas

The topics in this first group mostly focus on how different factors impact the way we interact with one another. These are some of the key issues in the communication discipline today.

  • The role communication plays in organizations.
  • How technology influences it.
  • The way globalization affects it.
  • How it’s influenced by broadcast media.
  • Ways in which advertising impacts it.
  • The influence propaganda has on it.
  • How it’s impacted by public relations.
  • The effects of international journalism and journalism ethics on it.
  • How the use of social media influences it.
  • How it’s affected by language.

Research Topics for College Students

These topics are ideal for college students. They focus on how communication processes can influence someone’s mental health and personality traits. Both of these are important since they can influence a student’s academic progress.

  • How does communication shape our identities?
  • How do we use it to build relationships?
  • What role does it play in influencing our emotions?
  • How is our thinking influenced by it?
  • In what ways do we use it to manage conflict?
  • How is our behavior influenced by it?
  • What factors influence the effectiveness of communication?
  • In what way is it impacted by technology?
  • What influences do cultural differences have on it?
  • How does it shape our physical and mental health?


Business-Focused Research Topics

Having effective business communication is necessary for any sort of commercial activity to improve its marketing value. Both business to business communication and interactions with the public have to get the right message across. Below are some potential areas to do with organizational communication and public relations.

  • The impact of new communication technologies.
  • The use of social media and external communication.
  • What effects does globalization have?
  • How organizational communication is used in virtual teams.
  • The impact that intercultural communication has.
  • The way humor is used.
  • What are the effects of gender?
  • How we use non-verbal communication.
  • The effect that technology has on corporate communication etiquette.
  • The way we use business communication in crisis situations.

Social Media Research Topics

The focus of these topics is on social media, and it affects the way we communicate with one another. Using social media and being exposed to social media marketing can both have significant effects on practical communication skills. These topics focus on the way modern digital platforms influence our interactions.

  • The effect of social media on communication practices and patterns.
  • How social media changes relationship development.
  • What influence does social media have on how people interact with each other?
  • The effect of social media on the way people share information.
  • How social media impacts the way people interact with businesses.
  • The effect of social media on the way people interact with governments through proper communication channels.
  • What consequences does social media have on online interactions?
  • The effect that social media has on the way people interact with each other offline.
  • Social media’s influence on the way people interact with each other in different cultures.
  • What effects does social media have on the way people interact with each other in different age groups?

Mass Communication Research Topics

Mass communication is when you share information with a large number of people at the same time. Topics to do with mass communication are very relevant, thanks to the internet, social media platforms, and other kinds of mass media. The purpose of mass media is simply to inform loads of people about something as quickly and conveniently as possible.

  • What effect do social media platforms have on mass communication?
  • How does new technology affect it?
  • The impact that advertising has on it.
  • How news media influences it.
  • Ways in which propaganda impacts it.
  • The influence that public relations have on it.
  • How it’s impacted by digital media and print media.
  • Globalization’s impact on it.
  • How new forms of media affect it.
  • The ways it’s influenced by social networking.

Interpersonal Communication Research Topics

This is a broad term that refers to the exchanging of information between people. It’s when you use effective communication skills to share thoughts, ideas, and facts with at least one other person. The topics in this section look at some of the latest interpersonal communication trends.

  • The effect of technology on interpersonal communication.
  • The effect of culture on it.
  • How gender influences it.
  • The effect of age on it.
  • How someone’s interaction style may impact it.
  • The way context may influence it.
  • How relationships can influence it.
  • How it can be influenced by social apprehension.
  • The effect of social competence on it.
  • How it’s impacted by satisfaction.


Intercultural Communication Research Topics

This is when people from different cultures exchange information. Things like different languages, traditions, and even artifacts affect intercultural communication. The topics below look at intercultural communication and how culture shapes the many ways we interact with one another.

  • How culture influences the ways we interact with one another.
  • The impact of intercultural communication styles on relationships.
  • How culture impacts our perceptions of interaction.
  • The effect that interaction has on business relationships.
  • How culture influences the way we interpret nonverbal communication.
  • The impact of culture on our way of interpreting speech.
  • How culture influences our information processing.
  • The way culture impacts our process of making decision.
  • The impact of culture on how we solve problems.
  • How culture influences our interactions with others.

Virtual Communication Research Topics

Are virtual communication skills essential? You have to be just as proficient at virtual dialogue as you are at spoken words. Mastering interactive online communication is key for anyone who wants to succeed, and the topics below delve into this further.

  • The impact on the development of personal relationships.
  • The use of virtual dialogue in the business world.
  • How it influences the way we think and learn.
  • The benefits of virtual communication for people with social anxiety.
  • The way it’s used in education.
  • How it impacts our mental health.
  • Ways in which it influences family relationships.
  • How it’s used in the workplace.
  • The effect it has on relationships.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of virtual communication.

Health-Related Research Topics

It’s essential to have effective communication strategies in any sort of healthcare setting. Having interpersonal communication competence is vital so that practitioners can speak with patients clearly and effectively. The topics below look at how internal and external communication in the healthcare industry affects and is affected by different factors.

  • The effectiveness of health communication campaigns in changing health behaviors.
  • The impact of social media on interactions in the health industry.
  • How humor is used in it.
  • How storytelling is used in it.
  • What effects it has on reducing health disparities.
  • What effects it has on increasing health literacy.
  • How new media technologies are used in it.
  • How it influences public health outcomes.
  • The role it plays in health education.
  • The impact it has on patient satisfaction.

Interesting Communication Research Topics

This last batch of topics looks at how both spoken words and non-verbal communication affect different things. Some of the topics are about how we interact with one another in different areas of life.

  • The impact of new communication technology on social interactions.
  • The way it is used in the workplace.
  • How we use it in education.
  • Ways in which it is used in marketing.
  • How people use it in healthcare.
  • The way it affects personal relationships.
  • The effects it has on organizational cultures.
  • How it impacts individual productivity.
  • Its effects on consumer behavior.
  • The influences it has on the environment.
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Coming up with a Thesis Statement

Once you have come up with a potential research topic, you should start writing. Your first step is to write an effective thesis statement .

Your thesis statement is the argument or main point you want to make about your topic. It’s a summary of what your paper is going to be about. The purpose of it is to show the reader what you will be discussing and invite them to read your work.

Once you have your thesis statement, start writing your paper. Make sure to include evidence from scholarly sources to support your work.

Topic Selection and Writing Tips

How to create strong questions for your paper.

This question doesn’t have a single answer, as the best way to create strong questions for your paper will vary depending on the specific research project and its goals.

However, some tips on how to create strong questions include:

  • Start by thinking about the specific goals of your research project. What are you trying to learn or understand?
  • Draft a few potential research questions that can help you answer your goals. Be sure to make them as specific as possible.
  • Test your research questions by asking them to others to see if they are clear and understandable. Are they interesting to people outside of your field of study?
  • Revise and refine your research questions as needed. Be sure to keep them concise and easy to understand.

How to Find the Right Research Topics?

When writing a communication research paper, first, you should decide what topic you want to learn more about.

  • Do the effects of social media and mass media on communication interest you?
  • What about the role of communication in a competitive global business environment?
  • What is the impact of new technology on the ways we exchange information?
  • Whether effective communication is necessary to ensure credible reporting?
  • How do improved relations make broadcasting media laws effective?

Once you have a general topic in mind, you can begin to narrow it down by focusing on a specific aspect of this field that interests you.

For example, if you are interested in the communication importance in a business market, you might want to focus on the impact of effective business interactions on employee productivity or customer satisfaction.

Alternatively, you could look at how private media ownership is affecting mass media, bringing journalism ethics into the discussion, and how journalists are ensuring credible reporting.

What Makes a Research Paper Topic Strong?

There is no one answer to this question, as it depends on the individual and the specific research goals. However, some factors that could make a research topic strong include its relevance to current events or real-world issues, its potential to generate new and innovative ideas, and its ability to generate interesting and valuable research findings.

Additionally, a strong topic should be interesting and engaging to read and write about, and it should be something that the researcher can be passionate about.

Tips for Structuring and Writing Your Paper

When writing communication research papers, it is important to structure your argument in a manner that’s clear and concise. Your paper should have a clear research paper introduction , body, and conclusion. Within the body of your paper, there should be a strong thesis statement, evidence that supports your argument, and a conclusion summarizing your argument.

Additionally, throughout the research paper writing process, it is significant to use clear and concise language. Use communication tips to help you put your own points across more effectively.

Deciding what to focus your research paper doesn’t have to be daunting. There are a huge number of research topics available. Finding the right one is easy.

First, think about the ideas that interest you the most. Which part of communication studies are you most passionate about? Is it media ethics, mass media, or something else?

When you’ve settled on one of the research topic ideas , start the research paper writing process. Find key sources such as books and academic articles. Think about what needs addressing in your research paper.

Now, it’s time for you to produce an excellent communication research paper.

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100 Best Communication Research Topics For College Students

communication topics

Interesting communication topics are not impossible to find. Communication is the conveyance of meanings through the use of signs and symbols that are mutually understood. Communication can be divided into information theory, communication studies, and biosemiotics. Communication can be verbal, nonverbal, written, business, political, interpersonal, and lots more.

The channels of communication could be visual, auditory, etc., and is unique in that it uses abstract languages extensively. The many innovations in transportation, computing, and telecommunication have necessitated finding means to increase the frequency and ease of communication around the world.

Choose Our Communication Research Topics!

Nowadays, there are many interestingly complex areas that the communication discipline covers. This makes choosing the best communication topics a challenge for students. However, we have prepared 100 communication topics covering many diverse fields of communication. These topics about communication include:

Communication research paper topics Business communication topics for presentation Communication essay topics Communication phenomenon topics Other possible topics for communication research

So, you can explore this list of communication research topics spanning all major communication areas and make your pick! Ready to choose? Let’s roll!

Interpersonal Communication Topics

Every human being communicates one way or the other with other humans. This forms the basis for the field of interpersonal communication. For this, you may need some interpersonal communication research paper topics for your thesis or research. This is why we have made a pick of 10 interpersonal communication research topics for you!

  • The Influence of culture on interpersonal discourse
  • How context impacts the quality of interpersonal dialogue
  • Methods to simulate interpersonal dialogue
  • How effective interpersonal dialogue can promote success both professionally and personally
  • How interaction via computers impacts communication
  • What roles do communication mediums play in interpersonal communication?
  • How to facilitate information exchange and persuasion
  • The concept of dysfunctional interpersonal communication
  • The role and challenges of interpersonal dialogues in mass media campaigns
  • How the concept of competence applies to interpersonal dialogue

Business Communication Topics

To succeed in business, one must be able to communicate effectively! Here are 15 business communication topics for the research paper. You can also take a look at our business ethics topics .

  • How excellent public relations facilitate business success
  • English as the universal language in business communication
  • Effective managerial communication
  • Comparisons between internal and external communication
  • How presentation and oral skills boost business success
  • The impact of public relations on global and local communities
  • How social media use can influence business communication
  • The impact of online interactions on outcomes of business communication
  • How does organizational structure affect business communication
  • How to reach customers via email
  • Best practices for effective business communication
  • Effective business to business (B2B) communication
  • How creative designs can help to communicate business ideas
  • Best practices for email writing in the workplace
  • Creating brand awareness through communication

Intercultural Communication Topics

Sometimes, difficulties arise when people of different cultures try to communicate. Here are five intercultural communication research topics for you!

  • How to facilitate intercultural information exchange
  • How culture affects intercultural communication
  • How to build competence in intercultural dialogue
  • How intercultural students can adapt to American colleges
  • How studying abroad can facilitate better intercultural dialogue competence

Mass Communication Research Topics

The world is a global village connected by the wildfire-like spread of information. Technology continuously spins new ways of reaching and communicating with a large number of people at a time. You may require some research topics in media and communication, and thus we have made this pick. Here are ten excellent mass communication topics for your research.

  • How advertisement influences consumer behavior
  • How social media affects student performance
  • Press freedom: the pro and cons
  • Comparisons of the effect of various mass communication methods on consumer behavior
  • How social media influences the effectiveness of political campaigns
  • Evolving patterns of mass communication over the last three decades
  • How mass communication facilitates rebellious social movements
  • How to effectively communicate ideas to a large audience
  • How Information Communication Technology (ICT) affects modern-day broadcast journalism
  • Social interaction across media

Health Communication Topics

Communication is essential in the field of health, whether it is communication between healthcare providers and patients or caregivers, or among healthcare providers. Here is a list of some excellent health communication research topics.

  • Communication problems between healthcare providers and patients
  • How social media and the spread of health news affect the health of citizens
  • How to effectively pass health-related information to health workers
  • Effective vertical and horizontal health communication techniques among health care providers
  • How to communicate health schemes to the public

Technical Communication Topics

Technical communication is a means of conveying scientific, engineering, law, or other technical information. Only people in these technical fields fully understand what is written and said in technical language. This is why technical communication is vital. Here are ten technical communication topics for you!

  • How cultural expression affects virtual dialogue
  • Virtual Classrooms: Less effective than traditional classroom learning?
  • Virtual reality and interpersonal communication
  • How technology has changed the game in journalism
  • How technical language differs from everyday language in corporate communication
  • How to seek and find information in the Law field
  • How to make technical textbooks more informative and accessible
  • Communicating intellectual property law to the public
  • How to teach technical communication to non-majoring English students
  • How the general public can make sense of technical essays

Organizational Communication Research Topics

Organizational communication refers to communication channels and forms within an organization as well as public-facing communications. Here are 15 great organizational communication research topics for you!

  • How supervisors can communicate better in an organization
  • How to write an effective organizational communique
  • Best organizational communication practices to teach in every organization
  • How to facilitate and enhance better leadership communication in an organization
  • Organizational channels, communication, and systems
  • Removing barriers to effective organizational communication
  • How personality traits and leadership communication styles affect organizational productivity
  • How social media impacts organizational communication
  • How organizational communication can allow for better organizational transition
  • Exploring the types of organizational communication
  • Vital problems in organizational communication
  • How to deal with uncertainties in an organization
  • How to manage communication crises in an organization
  • How organizations can benefit from the press
  • How to effectively change management culture in an organization

Nonverbal Communication Research Topics

Nonverbal communication is a fascinating field of communication. It refers to the use of tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions, posture, body language, eye contact (or lack thereof), and other techniques. Here are ten nonverbal communication topics for you!

  • Nonverbal communication in virtual dialogue environments
  • How nonverbal communication can pass wrong messages
  • How to effectively fine-tune nonverbal communication skills
  • How facial expressions could help close bigger business deals
  • Social media and its effect on nonverbal communication
  • The history and development of nonverbal communication
  • The crucial roles of nonverbal skills in interpersonal communication
  • Comparisons and contrasts between verbal and nonverbal communication
  • How to effectively combine the art of verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Nonverbal communication practices in the workplace

Communication Topics for Research

Here are some communication topics for your research. This list also covers communication research topics for college students and communication thesis topics!

  • How the style of a leader’s communication influences employee satisfaction
  • Leadership outcomes and communication styles
  • How gender affects communication effectiveness
  • Communication in relationships versus friendships
  • Going back in time: The history of communication
  • Analyzing the theories of communication
  • New communication technologies over the past decade
  • Why is radio communication still popular?
  • How international journalism grew
  • How communication determines productivity

Communication Topics for Presentation

You may be required to give a business presentation or speech. To captivate your audience, you must choose communication speech topics and business communication presentation topics that are not only easy to grasp but enjoyable to hear. Here’s our pick of 10 communication topics to serve this purpose!

  • Models of communication
  • Types of communication
  • The importance of communication in life and business
  • The dos and don’ts of nonverbal communication
  • How to grow social and personal relationships
  • Is print media still competitive?
  • The media and terrorism
  • The media and virtual reality
  • How effective communication enhances negotiation
  • The media and wrong information

So here we are! One hundred communication topics just for you! Make your pick and get ready to have an A+! Contact our thesis writers for further help!

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Research Topics & Ideas: Communication

50 Topic Ideas To Kickstart Your Research

Research topics and ideas about communication and comms strategy

If you’re just starting out exploring communication-related topics for your dissertation, thesis or research project, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll help kickstart your research by providing a hearty list of research topics and ideas related to communication and comms strategy, including examples from recent studies.

PS – This is just the start…

We know it’s exciting to run through a list of research topics, but please keep in mind that this list is just a starting point . These topic ideas provided here are intentionally broad and generic , so keep in mind that you will need to develop them further. Nevertheless, they should inspire some ideas for your project.

To develop a suitable research topic, you’ll need to identify a clear and convincing research gap , and a viable plan to fill that gap. If this sounds foreign to you, check out our free research topic webinar that explores how to find and refine a high-quality research topic, from scratch. Alternatively, consider our 1-on-1 coaching service .

Research topic idea mega list

Communication-Related Research Topics

  • Analyzing the effectiveness of crisis communication strategies in the airline industry post-accidents.
  • The role of social media in shaping corporate brand identity in the fashion industry.
  • Investigating the impact of internal communication on employee engagement in remote work environments.
  • The effectiveness of influencer marketing in health and wellness brands.
  • Analyzing the impact of virtual reality in enhancing audience engagement in museums and galleries.
  • The role of communication in change management within large healthcare organizations.
  • Investigating the use of digital storytelling in non-profit fundraising campaigns.
  • The impact of corporate social responsibility communication on consumer perceptions in the fast-food industry.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of environmental communication strategies in promoting sustainable practices among businesses.
  • The role of intercultural communication in the success of international mergers and acquisitions.
  • Investigating the impact of communication style on leadership effectiveness in tech startups.
  • The effectiveness of targeted advertising in political campaigns.
  • Analyzing the role of public relations in managing celebrity image crises.
  • The impact of mobile communication technologies on marketing strategies in retail.
  • Investigating the use of employee advocacy on social media as a branding tool.
  • The role of communication in enhancing customer service experiences in the hospitality industry.
  • Analyzing the impact of user-generated content on brand loyalty in the automotive industry.
  • The effectiveness of communication strategies in addressing gender diversity in the workplace.
  • Investigating the role of strategic communication in corporate restructuring processes.
  • The impact of language barriers on global marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of communication platforms in remote team collaboration.
  • The role of multimedia content in enhancing online engagement for educational institutions.
  • Investigating the impact of communication strategies on patient adherence in healthcare.
  • The effectiveness of internal crisis communication in financial institutions during economic downturns.
  • Analyzing the role of corporate storytelling in enhancing brand identity.

Research topic evaluator

Communication Research Ideas (Continued)

  • The impact of social media algorithms on news dissemination and public opinion.
  • Investigating the role of communication in customer retention strategies in the telecom industry.
  • The effectiveness of green marketing communication in promoting eco-friendly products.
  • Analyzing the impact of augmented reality in interactive marketing campaigns.
  • The role of communication in managing stakeholder relationships in construction projects.
  • Investigating the impact of cultural differences on international public relations practices.
  • The effectiveness of video marketing in consumer engagement on social media platforms.
  • Analyzing the role of communication in employee wellness programs.
  • The impact of digital communication tools on enhancing B2B sales strategies.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of podcasting as a marketing tool for small businesses.
  • The role of communication in facilitating organizational change in public sector organizations.
  • Analyzing the impact of artificial intelligence on personalized customer communication.
  • The effectiveness of integrated marketing communications in luxury brand management.
  • Investigating the use of virtual events for community building in online gaming.
  • The role of strategic communication in environmental advocacy.
  • Analyzing the impact of communication technologies on remote learning and education.
  • The effectiveness of grassroots communication campaigns in social movements.
  • Investigating the role of communication in project management success in the IT industry.
  • The impact of communication style on negotiation outcomes in international trade.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of brand messaging in sustainable fashion.
  • The role of visual communication in enhancing brand presence on social media.
  • Investigating the impact of public speaking skills on leadership effectiveness.
  • The effectiveness of communication strategies in health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Analyzing the role of communication in the adoption of new technologies in traditional industries.
  • The impact of cross-cultural communication on global marketing and branding strategies.

Recent Communication-Related Studies

While the ideas we’ve presented above are a decent starting point for finding a  research topic, they are fairly generic and non-specific. So, it helps to look at actual studies in the communication space to see how this all comes together in practice.

Below, we’ve included a selection of recent studies to help refine your thinking. These are actual studies,  so they can provide some useful insight as to what a research topic looks like in practice.

  • Studying Linguistic Means of Expression of PR Campaigns Aimed at Combating the Pandemic in the Digital Age: A Multimodal Approach (Minyar-Belorucheva & Sergienko, 2022)
  • Educating communication sciences and disorders students to use evidence-based practice literature: A collaboration between a library liaison and a CSD professor (Day & Flynn, 2022)
  • The Teaching and Learning of Communication Skills in Social Work Education (Reith-Hall & Montgomery, 2022)
  • Communication skills training for improving the communicative abilities of student social workers (Reith-Hall & Montgomery, 2023)
  • The Case for Addressing Emotional Resilience in Graduate Student Training (Malandraki, 2022)
  • Role of Communication Skills: A Review (Saxena et al., 2022)
  • Future Challenges of Post-third Wave Communication Studies Covid-19 Pandemic: Media Practitioner Perspective (Santoso, 2022)
  • Effective communication management in a public health crisis: lessons learned about COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of health communication executives (Voges et al., 2023)
  • Transdisciplinary engaged learning (Griffith, 2023) The mediating effect of mindfulness and self-compassion on leaders’ communication competence and job satisfaction (Salazar, 2022)
  • Communication Skills across Engineering Curriculum: A Case Study (Kakepoto et al., 2022)
  • Communication Skills among University Students (Ansari et al., 2022).
  • The Management of Communication Skills Development in Literature High Secondary Education from the Student’s Point of View (Hung et al., 2022).
  • A study about recognition of middle school and high school students on teacher’s communication skills (Chang et al., 2022)
  • Communication pedagogy in public affairs programs: Insights from a study of MPA and MPP curricula (Manoharan & Rangarajan, 2022)
  • Health communication needs for COVID-19 prevention and control among college students (Zhang et al., 2023)
  • The strategic value of “chaos” in the South African context for the training of communication students (De Wet, 2022)
  • Underrepresentation of Students From Diverse Backgrounds Entering Communication Sciences and Disorders Programs: An Investigation Into the University Student Perspective (Richburg, 2022)
  • Communicating Science, Technology, and Environmental Issues: A Case Study of an Intercultural Learning Experience (van Kempen et al., 2022)

As you can see, these research topics are a lot more focused than the generic topic ideas we presented earlier. So, for you to develop a high-quality research topic, you’ll need to get specific and laser-focused on a specific context with specific variables of interest.  In the video below, we explore some other important things you’ll need to consider when crafting your research topic.

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If you’re still unsure about how to find a quality research topic, check out our Research Topic Kickstarter service, which is the perfect starting point for developing a unique, well-justified research topic.

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250+ Communication Research Topics & Ideas for Students to Consider

Communication Research Paper Topics

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Picture this: you're sitting at your desk, racking your brain for a killer communication research paper topic. You've scrolled through countless websites, but nothing is resonating. Sounds frustrating, right?

Well, good news – your search ends here. Our blog has been carefully designed to combat this exact problem by providing a broad array of unique communication research topics. Aimed at students like you, it offers topics that are not only relevant, but also engaging and thought-provoking.

We invite you to dive into these communication research paper topics, sure to set your communication study on the right track. They're ready to be picked, expanded, or simply serve as a spark to ignite your creativity. Forget the nightmare of topic selection! With our blog, that's a problem of the past. Dive in this collection from our paper writers online and let the inspiration flow!

What Are Communication Research Topics?

Communication studies is an academic field that integrates aspects of sociology, psychology, media and politics to examine human communication. It's an incredibly dynamic field that explores how information is transmitted and understood among people, organizations, cultures, or nations. 

In this regard, communication research topics cover a wildly diverse range of areas. Some subjects might revolve around understanding social media algorithms, while others focus on the power of political speeches. Basically, if your research explores sending, receiving, and understanding of messages – it fits right into communication studies.

Characteristics of Good Communication Research Paper Topics

Finding the right communication topics for a research paper is like looking for the perfect ingredient. It's not just about grabbing the first thing you see. Instead, you need to select a topic that satisfies your professor’s requirements and adds value to the academic conversation. 

So, what makes a communication research paper topic truly stand out? The answer is simple. You should be governed by a few key attributes that elevate a topic from good to great. Below are some of these features:

  • Present-time significance Choose a topic that resonates with contemporary issues. These subjects may vary from understanding the impact of social media on public discourse to exploring the ethics in digital advertising.
  • Novelty Communication field is vast, but repetitive themes can lose their appeal. Strive for novelty. A fresh viewpoint or a new exploration in a familiar domain can make your paper truly distinctive.
  • Practicality Grand ideas are wonderful, but an effective topic is the one that can be comfortably researched given your resources and timeframe. Consider your access to data, available literature, and your expertise while navigating through research topics for communication.
  • Personal engagement A study should keep you involved. Your own enthusiasm can make the research process more rewarding.
  • Precision A crucial attribute is the scope. An overly broad topic can lead to a surface-level discussion, while a hyper-narrow theme can limit the scope of your research. Make sure your communication research topic keeps that balance.

How to Choose a Communication Research Topic?

Selecting a good research topic in communication can be a time-consuming process since there are many areas to pick from. But with these steps, making a choice can be way easier.

  • Discover Stay updated with the latest trends, theories, and debates in communication studies. This can help you identify emerging or important areas that could form the basis of your title.
  • Ideate Generate a list of possible topics for communication research based on your readings, interests, and specific requirements. Ensure these themes are intriguing and meet instructions.
  • Refine Critically assess your ideas considering the availability of resources for research. Narrow down your list to ideas that can be researched with the resources you have.
  • Finalize Select a theme that you are genuinely interested in. Confirm your choice after discussing it with your mentors, peers or online research paper writing service .

Communication Research Topics List

Before you begin searching, remember to align your topic with your instructor's guidelines and course objectives. Our expert term paper writers have curated a list of engaging communication research paper topics. These ideas, both intriguing and diverse, can provide a robust starting point for your exploration.

  • Impact of emojis on digital conversation.
  • Non-verbal cues in virtual meetings.
  • Evolution of political discourse on social media.
  • Crisis communication in the age of Twitter.
  • Role of memes in shaping public opinion.
  • Ethics of persuasion in advertising.
  • Are podcasts a new form of storytelling?
  • Influence of cultural nuances on business communication.
  • Fake news and media literacy.
  • Language barriers in international diplomacy.
  • Social media influencers as modern change-makers.
  • Impact of technology on interpersonal communication.
  • Role of humor in effective communication.
  • How does workplace diversity affect communication styles?
  • Accessibility in digital communication.

Interesting Communication Research Topics

Great communications research topics should also tackle real-world issues and invite further exploration. We've tailored our suggestions to align with these criteria, aiming to pique your curiosity. Here are fascinating topics that you might find interesting:

  • Role of communication in climate change awareness.
  • Deconstructing political rhetoric in election campaigns.
  • Can emojis replace words in digital conversations?
  • Impact of influencers on consumer behavior.
  • Fake news and public trust in media.
  • Miscommunication: Root causes and effects.
  • Bridging cultural gaps in international negotiations.
  • Understanding gender dynamics in conversation.
  • Ethical boundaries in persuasive advertising.
  • Memes as a form of political commentary.
  • Podcasts: Reviving oral traditions in a digital age?
  • Influence of social media on body image.
  • Digital detox: A solution for information overload?
  • Negotiating language barriers in global diplomacy.
  • What impact does social media have on public opinion?

Good Communication Research Topics

If you are still in search of something more specific, the following communication research topics ideas can help. They cover a range of disciplines and avenues for exploration, from healthcare research topics to business topics and ideas.

  • Crisis communication in natural disasters.
  • Role of body language in job interviews.
  • Digital activism: Effective tool or just noise?
  • How does social media shape our self-image?
  • Impact of AI on interpersonal communication.
  • Ethics and transparency in public relations.
  • Humor as a communication tool in education.
  • Can language shape our perception of reality?
  • Exploring intercultural communication in multinational companies.
  • Analyzing propaganda techniques in modern media.
  • Role of storytelling in organizational leadership.
  • Communication strategies in health campaigns.
  • Power dynamics in family conversations.
  • Navigating digital communication etiquette: Do’s and don'ts.
  • Is anonymity empowering or threatening in online communication?

Simple Communication Research Paper Topics

Browsing through tons of research topics in communication can quickly become overwhelming if not managed properly. To simplify the process, these easy yet comprehensive ideas may be of help.

  • Role of silence in effective communication.
  • Influence of celebrity endorsements on brand image.
  • Impact of texting on language skills.
  • Social media as a tool for social change.
  • Power of non-verbal communication in public speaking.
  • Exploring communication styles across cultures.
  • Understanding effective communication in sports teams.
  • Cyberbullying: A new face of aggression?
  • Role of communication in customer service excellence.
  • Music as a universal language: Myth or reality?
  • Exploring personal space in different cultures.
  • Are billboards still effective advertising tools?
  • Impact of language proficiency on academic performance.
  • Bridging generational gaps through effective communication.
  • Role of communication in conflict resolution.

Latest Communication Research Topics

Keeping pace with the latest trends is crucial, as it allows you to tap into contemporary debates. It's about understanding the pulse of the present, exploring the new, and challenging the status quo. To help you get involved in these current discussions, here are some trending communication topics for research:

  • Role of TikTok in shaping youth culture.
  • Impact of remote work on team communication.
  • Is cancel culture affecting freedom of speech?
  • Rise of mental health conversations on social media.
  • Understanding AI's role in customer service communication.
  • Influencer marketing: Revolutionizing traditional advertising?
  • Dealing with misinformation in the era of instant news.
  • Impact of virtual reality on interpersonal communication.
  • Communication strategies in pandemic crisis management.
  • Role of livestreaming in shaping consumer behavior.
  • Can chatbots replace human customer service?
  • NFTs and their impact on digital art communication.
  • E-sports communication: New rules of the game.
  • Voice technology: Future of human-machine communication?
  • Communication patterns in online learning environments.

Communication Research Topic Ideas for Students

Requirements to research differ depending on the academic level. If you are searching for research topics on communication divided into separate groups based on their academic complexity, don’t go any further. Below we selected the best communication research ideas for both college and university students.

Communication Research Paper Topics for College Students

College-level studies require a more sophisticated approach than a high-school one. You should explore beyond the surface and engage critically with various facets of communication. To meet these academic expectations, we offer you a selection of communication research topics for college students.

  • Biases in news media coverage.
  • Understanding communication breakdown in diplomatic relations.
  • Role of data visualization in business communication.
  • The psychology of persuasion in advertising.
  • Impact of subliminal messaging in advertising.
  • Cross-cultural communication in global business.
  • Role of LinkedIn in professional networking.
  • Impact of language nuances on legal communication.
  • Political correctness in public discourse: Necessity or limitation?
  • Social media algorithms and user behavior.
  • Analyzing crisis communication in the airline industry.
  • Impact of cyber communication on teenage self-esteem.
  • Exploring echo chambers in digital media.
  • Communication strategies for environmental advocacy.
  • Role of whistleblowers in corporate communication.

Communication Research Paper Topics for University Students

University-level research is often more intensive and complex. To help you cope with this, we've prepared a selection of communication research topics for university students. These ideas should give you plenty of material to investigate.

  • Impact of bilingualism on interpersonal communication.
  • Role of visual aids in classroom communication.
  • AI's influence on journalism: A revolution?
  • Social networking sites: Anxieties and self-presentation.
  • How does music communicate cultural identities?
  • Body language in job interviews: What does it communicate?
  • Gated communities and their communication culture.
  • Graffiti: A form of social communication?
  • Comics: Communicating societal issues through art.
  • Silent films: Mastering communication without words.
  • Decoding communication in dance forms across cultures.
  • Role of color in marketing communication.
  • Dealing with information overload in the digital age.
  • Visual communication in the age of Instagram and Snapchat.
  • The impact of dark social on marketing.

Research Topics in Communication by Subject

Navigating through different communication research paper topics can be daunting, which is why we've categorized them by subject for your convenience. Whether you're focused on interpersonal communication, media studies, or communication technology, there's something here for everyone. Below, you'll find an array of communication paper topics, thoughtfully organized to cater to your specific academic needs.

Interpersonal Communication Research Topics

Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages. It's not just about what is said or expressed, but also how it's perceived and understood. Below are some interpersonal communication research paper topics you might find interesting:

  • Impact of language barriers on interpersonal relationships.
  • Perception of sarcasm in online communication.
  • Power dynamics in family communication.
  • Self-disclosure in romantic relationships: Benefit or bane?
  • Face-to-face vs. digital communication.
  • Exploring communication styles in leadership roles.
  • Interpersonal communication in multi-generational workplaces.
  • Art of persuasion in interpersonal communication.
  • Examining the role of empathy in effective communication.
  • Listening skills: Their impact on interpersonal relationships.
  • The role of humor in easing interpersonal tensions.
  • Social etiquette: Unspoken rules of interpersonal communication.
  • Impact of cultural norms on interpersonal communication.
  • Role of interpersonal communication in fostering team spirit.
  • The psychology of small talk.

Intercultural Communication Research Topics

Intercultural communication investigates how people from different societies interact and communicate with each other. It encompasses various topics, including language acquisition, cultural identity, political discourse, cross-cultural differences in business communication, and more. Here are some intercultural communication topics for research papers to get you started:

  • Body language: Deciphering variations across cultures.
  • Cultural adaptations in international business communication.
  • Etiquette in digital correspondence between representatives of different cultures.
  • Role of cultural intelligence in effective intercultural communication.
  • Impact of cultural stereotyping on communication.
  • Religious sensitivities in intercultural dialogue.
  • Challenges in international diplomacy.
  • Interpreting emotions across cultures.
  • Exploring cultural nuances in humor.
  • Role of intercultural communication in global marketing.
  • Cross-cultural adaptation of immigrants: Communication barriers and breakthroughs.
  • Cultural perceptions of privacy in communication.
  • Role of translation in intercultural understanding.
  • Impact of globalization on intercultural communication.
  • How cultural backgrounds affect negotiation tactics.

Communication Research Paper Topics on Public Relations

Public relations involve strategic communication and relationships between organizations, their target audiences, customers, suppliers, employees, media stakeholders, and other relevant publics. Below are some topics related to communication and public relations:

  • Ethics in PR: Navigating gray areas.
  • Social media's influence on modern PR strategies.
  • Celebrity endorsements: A PR perspective.
  • Public relations and communication in corporate social responsibility.
  • PR for start-ups: Building a brand from scratch.
  • The influence of PR on consumer decision-making.
  • PR in sports: Handling controversies and scandals.
  • Environmental PR: Advocating for sustainability.
  • Impact of fake news on PR practices.
  • Diversity and inclusion in PR campaigns.
  • PR and event management: Making a splash.
  • Dealing with PR failures: Lessons from high-profile cases.
  • PR in the hospitality industry: Ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • How does PR shape the public image of celebrities?
  • Communication strategies for handling negative PR.

Mass Communication Research Topics

Mass communication is a mechanism for disseminating information and ideas to large audiences. It can be used for educational, marketing, or advertising purposes. Here are some of the best mass communications research topics on offer:

  • Influence of political bias in news reporting.
  • Analyzing audience behavior in the digital age.
  • Impact of sensationalism on news quality.
  • How mass communication shapes societal norms.
  • Mass communication in health promotion campaigns.
  • Effects of product placement in television shows.
  • Understanding censorship in mass media.
  • Media literacy: The need for critical consumption.
  • Role of mass communication in electoral politics.
  • Effects of celebrity culture on mass audiences.
  • Representation of minority groups in mainstream media.
  • Pop culture influence on youth.
  • Role of mass communication in environmental awareness.
  • Impact of digital platforms on print journalism.
  • Mass communication and its effect on consumer behavior.

Communication Research Topics on Social Media

Social media has revolutionized the way people communicate, with far-reaching implications for marketing and public relations. Below are some research topics in communication for your next social media essay or project:

  • Balancing privacy and connectivity on social platforms.
  • What makes content shareable?
  • Brands navigating cancel culture on social platforms.
  • Social media and mental health: Exploring connections.
  • LinkedIn etiquette: Navigating professional communication online.
  • Snapchat's influence on short-term content consumption.
  • Crisis management on social media: Case studies.
  • The evolution of Facebook's news feed algorithm.
  • How does social media affect political discourse?
  • Twitch and the rise of livestreaming cultures.
  • Ethical considerations in data mining on social platforms.
  • Digital activism: Social media's role in social movements.
  • Analyzing the growth and influence of TikTok.
  • Determining the impact of fake news on voting preferences.
  • Pros and cons of using AI for content moderation.

>> View more: Social Media Research Paper Topics

Communication Research Topics on Journalism

Journalism is an integral part of our society as it informs and shapes a public opinion. As this field evolves, especially with digital technology, new research angles constantly arise. We did our best to collect the best journalism communication related topics below:

  • Challenges of investigative journalism in the digital age.
  • Citizen journalism versus traditional journalism.
  • The role of artificial intelligence in news generation.
  • Journalism ethics in the era of "clickbait."
  • Combating fake news: Strategies for news outlets.
  • The impact of podcasts on journalism.
  • Role of photojournalism in conflict reporting.
  • Impact of social media on newsroom practices.
  • 24/7 news cycle: A boon or a bane?
  • Exploring objectivity in political journalism.
  • The decline of print media: What's next?
  • Environmental journalism and its role in climate change awareness.
  • Multimedia communication: Integration of text, audio, and video.
  • Journalism's role in fostering social change.
  • The rise and impact of opinion journalism.

Communication Research Ideas on Negotiations

Negotiations are at the heart of business communication and diplomacy, making them a highly relevant topic of research. Explore these research topics about communication and negotiations:

  • Role of cultural understanding in international negotiations.
  • How do emotions affect negotiation outcomes?
  • Strategies for dealing with deadlock.
  • The art of persuasive language in communication.
  • Power dynamics in business negotiations.
  • The effect of gender stereotypes on negotiation.
  • Online negotiations: New rules and dynamics.
  • The psychology of 'win-win' scenarios.
  • Pre-negotiation stage: Preparation and its importance.
  • Building trust in communication processes.
  • Negotiation styles across different industries.
  • The role of ethics in negotiations.
  • The impact of negotiation training on business outcomes.
  • Strategies to handle aggressive negotiators.
  • Do introverts or extroverts negotiate better?

Virtual Communication Topics for a Research Paper

Virtual communication refers to the process of exchanging information between two or more people within a simulated environment. This could be anything from social media platforms to online gaming forums, virtual reality, and computer-mediated conferencing. Here are some digital communication research paper topics to consider:

  • Exploring how virtual teams bridge geographic divides.
  • Investigating how emojis and emoticons are changing language norms.
  • Defining digital etiquette and rules for the new age.
  • Virtual communication and work-life balance.
  • What is the role of virtual reality in revolutionizing communication?
  • Is social media a friend or foe in professional communication?
  • The evolution of language in the age of texting.
  • How does 5G influence our communication habits?
  • Is e-learning an effective method or just a convenient option?
  • How to navigate misinformation in online conversations?
  • Telemedicine marks a new era for healthcare communication.
  • Are virtual meetings a productivity booster or a time waster?
  • Is blockchain a game changer for secure communication?
  • The use of virtual reality in public speaking training.
  • Digital communication and the paradox of loneliness.

Communication Research Topics on Advertising

Advertising is the process of attracting attention to products and services through various forms of communication — from TV commercials to creative content marketing campaigns. Take a look at these advertising communication research ideas to pick a fitting topic:

  • How does emotional appeal work in advertising campaigns?
  • How do colors influence purchasing decisions in advertising?
  • Can humor in advertising guarantee a positive response?
  • The role of nostalgia in marketing campaigns.
  • How do different cultures react to the same ad?
  • Analyzing the communication techniques in Nike's 'Just Do It' campaign.
  • Evaluating the 'Got Milk?' campaign: The role of concise messaging.
  • The influence of McDonald's 'I'm Lovin' It' campaign on consumer behavior.
  • The impact of Apple's 'Think Different' campaign on brand perception.
  • Analysis of 'Share a Coke' ad: Personalization as a communication tool.
  • The 'Because You're Worth It' campaign by L'Oreal: A study in self-affirmative messaging.
  • 'Don't Be Evil': Understanding Google's corporate identity through its original slogan.
  • How are 'Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt' (FUD) used in smear campaigns?
  • How do 'Calls to Action' affect the success of digital campaigns?
  • The role of user-generated content in advertising.

>> More ideas: Marketing Research Topics

Communication Research Topics on Leadership

Leadership is all about effective communication. Leaders must be able to communicate their vision effectively in order for their followers to understand and buy into it. Below are some communication research topic ideas for your leadership essay or scholarly study.

  • Impact of transformational leadership communication on employee morale.
  • Persuasive techniques of successful women leaders.
  • Leadership and team productivity: The unspoken connection.
  • Comparison of narrative styles among autocratic and democratic leaders.
  • Communication pitfalls in leadership.
  • Effect of non-verbal communication in leadership efficacy.
  • Role of effective message conveying in conflict resolution among leaders.
  • Analysis of Steve Jobs' leadership communication style.
  • Assertive message conveyance and its effect on leadership success.
  • How does style of expression influence perception of leadership?
  • Importance of cultural intelligence in leadership communication.
  • Emotional intelligence and empathy in leadership.
  • Role of open dialogue in leadership and trust building.
  • Examining the importance of listening skills in effective leadership.
  • Communication strategies for leading remote teams.

Extra Communication Research Topic Ideas

As the field of communication is vast and encompasses multiple subjects, not all topics find their exact match in pre-established categories. For those unique, fascinating, and sometimes offbeat communication research paper topics, we have created an extra section. Here, you can explore additional ideas that although didn't neatly fit into a particular category, hold immense research potential.

Communication Research Questions

Are you about to write a research paper or a dissertation in communication but haven't settled on a topic yet? If so, then you can consider one of the following communication research questions:

  • In what ways has COVID-19 influenced remote communication techniques?
  • Can online video platforms replace face-to-face meetings fully?
  • How do different age groups perceive and interpret memes?
  • Is digital detox a viable solution for communication overload?
  • How does color psychology influence marketing communication?
  • What role does silence play in non-verbal dialogue?
  • How do political leaders use body language in public speaking?
  • How has podcasting influenced knowledge dissemination?
  • What are the communication challenges faced by astronauts during space missions?
  • Can communication training improve emotional intelligence?
  • How does culture impact our perception of visual communication?
  • How is AI changing the landscape of communication in healthcare?
  • Does text messaging and instant messaging deteriorate writing skills?
  • How does bilingualism influence communication styles?
  • What role does music play in cross-cultural communication?

Research Topics on Communication for Exam

If you have scrolled down this far, chances are you are about to take an exam on communication topics. To help you make the best of your exam preparation, we've compiled a list of communication research paper topics that you might face on your exam.

  • Evolving trends in workplace interactions.
  • The impact of social media on personal connections.
  • Ethical considerations in journalistic practices.
  • Influence of culture on conversation styles.
  • Symbolism in advertising messages.
  • Effect of virtual reality on social interactions.
  • The role of storytelling in organizational dialogue.
  • Gender differences in dialogue styles.
  • Importance of active listening in effective exchanges.
  • How leadership effectiveness is influenced by dialogue techniques.
  • Effects of mass media on societal behavior.
  • AI's impact on future interaction systems.
  • Technological advancements in telecommunication fields.
  • How does noise affect the quality of conversation?
  • Influence of personal branding on messaging.

Main Approaches to Studying Communication

Scholars have developed multiple frameworks to study this discipline. These techniques provide the backbone to many communication research studies and guide how we understand, analyze, and interpret messages. In the subsequent section, you can see 4 major approaches to studying communication, each offering a unique perspective.

Bottom Line on Research Topics About Communication

We hope that this assortment of communication research paper topics will aid you in finding the right idea. Keep in mind that the research questions are just a starting point. Don’t hesitate to build on them or explore related sub-topics based on the direction your project takes. And remember to always cite properly when using existing studies for your paper. From how to cite a book in APA to how to cite a journal in MLA or create a Chicago website citation , we’ve collected the latest guidelines and examples for any citation format.


If you're feeling overwhelmed or simply need some expert guidance, reach out to our team of academic professionals. They all have solid experience in the field and are eager to assist you. Just say " write my research paper ," and get your project done in no time.


Joe Eckel is an expert on Dissertations writing. He makes sure that each student gets precious insights on composing A-grade academic writing.

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The Top 10 Most Interesting Communication Research Topics

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.

Find your bootcamp match

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.

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.

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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150 Communication Research Paper Topics for Students: Pick Up the Best One for You

Communication is conveying information from one place or person to another. The explanation is simple, and it seems that there is nothing to say more. But, in fact, this topic is a huge field for researching both for college students and scientists. There are 4 types of communication (verbal, nonverbal, written, and visual), and each of them has a lot to say about. Moreover, communication is studied in colleges, and students are assigned to write a few communication research paper topics. The writing process is challenging as students have no idea how to choose the right topic, write, and structure the paper.

How to Choose a Communication Research Topic For College Students

  • Explore all areas of communication and come to a stop in the area, which raises your interest. If a topic is dull, you will postpone your work for later, and, as the final result, you will write in a rash moment and fail.
  • Study the background information before writing. You need to make sure that this topic is of interest these days, find out the existing results, and think about what you can add.
  • Get to know the topic limits. Some communication topics could be too broad, and it will be tough to stick to the main point while writing.
  • Develop the research questions you are going to find answers to. It could be one big question and a few small ones.

The topic is already picked up, and what’s next? You need to create a good, structured research paper outline. The main steps to organize your paper you could find below.

How to Create a Research Paper on Communication

  • Introduction. You have to write about your research's importance and goals, an overview of your entire paper, and the literature used.
  • Methods. In this section, you mention your methods and analysis scope and describe in detail the methods you use in your research.
  • Results. Describe the outcomes of your methods. Each method will have its own result, so don’t be lazy to point out all the peculiarities. Mention if you have achieved the goals you set in your communication research topic.
  • Discussion. Focus on how your study contributes to existing research and how important your results are for this field.
  • Concussion. Sum up all your research objectives, main findings, and their implications. Don’t forget to mention the scope for future research on the same topic.

150 Best Communication Thesis Ideas to Write About

Communication topics in journalism.

  • Following the Propaganda Models
  • Does True Journalism Still Alive?
  • Law of Privacy in Journalism: Is It Existing?
  • Journalism Bias
  • Gender Roles in Journalism
  • How Do Journalists Contribute to Politicians’ Lives?
  • Ethics in Journalism
  • What Makes Journalists Lie?
  • Politics Coverage in Today Press
  • Who Takes Responsibility for Reporting Events?
  • Famous Journalists of All the Time
  • Freedom of Speech in Journalism
  • Portrait of a Modern Journalist
  • Journalism of the Future: What Does It Like?
  • Press Representation of Immigrants in America Today

Journalism has always been a relevant field for research as not a day goes by without news. But it’s only the icing on the cake. If you go deeper, you will find out a bunch of interesting and unexplored issues worth highlighting in a research topic in mass media.

Unexplored Public Relations Topics

  • Public Relations Definition
  • How to Create an Effective Campaign?
  • Role of Women in Public Relations
  • Why Study PR Management to Promote Success?
  • Misuse of Mass Media as a Tool for Public Relations
  • Social Impact on PR
  • Evolution of PR Specialist
  • Crisis Management in PR
  • Technology and Public Relations
  • Role of PR in Building a Good Reputation of Politicians
  • How Does a PR Manager Create a Corporate Image?
  • The Best Promotion Campaigns in the History of PR
  • The Impact of PR on Global Communities

The collocation “public relations” is one of the most-talked-about things, but not everyone understands its meaning clearly. Choosing one of these communication research ideas, you get a nice chance to find out for yourself and help do the same for others.

Non-Worn-Out Research Topics on Advertising

  • History of Advertising
  • The Importance of Advertising Today
  • Ways to Influence People Minds Through Advertising
  • Can Large Companies Do Without Advertising?
  • Samsung Mobile: Implementation of Integrated Marketing Communication Plan
  • Role of Technology in Advertising Campaigns
  • Stages of the Audience's Advertisement Involvement
  • Roles of Genders in Advertising
  • Impact of Commercial Speech
  • How Do Ads Affect Children?
  • Who Is More Successful in Advertising: Men or Women?
  • What Defines Brand’s Success?
  • Cultural Peculiarities in Advertising
  • The Most Successful Ads for the Last Ten Years
  • Advertising as a Visual Communication

Advertising is the motor trade. We can see just a lovely picture or a promotional video, but the creating process itself is not less exciting as well as ads history.

Interpersonal Communication Research Topics

  • What Is an Interpersonal Dialogue?
  • How to Structure an Interpersonal Conversation
  • Culture in Interpersonal Communication
  • Role of Interpersonal Communication in Business
  • Ways to Express Emotions Not to Offend an Interlocutor
  • The System Theory and Approach to the Thought-Out Conversation
  • Relationships in the Family
  • Nonverbal Interpersonal Dialogue
  • Interpersonal Conflict
  • How to Reveal Deception in Communication
  • Why Is It Important to Listen to Each Other in Interpersonal Communication?
  • Ways to Avoid a Conflict While Debating
  • Influence of Society on Personal Communication
  • Information Exchange in Interpersonal Dialogue
  • Gender Roles in Interpersonal Communication

Most of us are sure that we have already achieved the best possible interpersonal communication results, but we still deal with conflicts and misunderstandings. The following interpersonal communication topics show us that we should keep on improving our skills.

Intercultural Topics on Communication

  • Etiquette in Intercultural Communication
  • How to Adapt to the US Campus
  • Translation as a Way for Better Understanding of an Intercultural Dialogue
  • What Influences on Our Cultural Perception
  • Nonverbal Behavior Patterns in Intercultural Dialogue
  • The Result of Misconception of Different Cultures
  • Role of Body Language in Intercultural Context
  • The Behavior of International Peers as a Way to Investigate Foreign Culture
  • Impact of Media on How We Perceive Other Culture
  • How to Develop Effective Communication Skills Against a Multinational Background?
  • Ways to Study a Foreign Culture
  • Intercultural Dialogue: America vs.Britain
  • Studying Abroad as a Way to Contribute to Intercultural Competence
  • Rituals and Superstitions in Different Cultures
  • Definition of Culture Shock
  • Values in Asian Countries
  • Everything We Have to Know About the Communication Barriers Between Ghana and Chinese Culture
  • Impact of Religion on Intercultural Conversation

It’s always exciting to have a conversation with other cultural representatives. But could you be certain that your communicative skills will not harm your relationships? Possible essay topics for communication skills will help to learn the peculiarities of intercultural dialogue.

Interesting Virtual Communication Topics

  • Globalization of Virtual Communication
  • Power of Social Media
  • Role of Social Media for Organizational Communication
  • The Danger of Virtual Dialogue
  • Virtual Love Relationships: Fact or Myth?
  • How to Improve Virtual Communication Skills
  • Nonverbal Dialogues in Social Media
  • Interpersonal Communication in the Virtual World
  • Email Etiquette: What Should We Remember?
  • Work of Virtual Communication at the Higher Levels
  • Effectiveness of Virtual Dialogue in Business
  • Pros and Cons of Virtual Conversation
  • Role of Messengers in Our Life
  • How Not to Be Cheated on Social Networks
  • Computers’ effects on the 21st Century Life

Virtual communication is slowly replacing face-to-face conversation, and moving with the times, we have to be aware of what new changes will bring. Research topics in interpersonal communication online might make students reconsider their views on virtual life.

Social Media Research Paper Topics to Investigate

  • How Does Social Media Affect the Young Generation?
  • Power of Online Communities
  • Social Media Helps in Educations: Facts
  • Kids Activity on Social Media
  • Impact of Online Gaming
  • Social Media Raises Up-to-Date Children
  • Social Media as an Income-Generation Source
  • Role of Social Networks in Advertising
  • History of Social Media
  • Why Do Some Countries Block Access to Social Media for Their Citizens?
  • Social Media and Crime
  • Contribution of Social Networks in Politics
  • How Are We Controlled Through Social Media?
  • Reasons to Be Popular in Social Media
  • Social Media in Asian Countries

Social media is filling our lives more and more. As a result, we keep asking ourselves, “Should we accept this situation or fight against it?” Investigating a media research topic, you will definitely find an answer.

Topics to Develop Leadership Skills

  • What Is Better: Be a Leader or Be Led?
  • Important Skills for a Leader
  • Key Factors in Leader Communication
  • Leadership Ethics
  • How to Build and Manage a Team
  • Being a Leader: How to Manage a Conflict Inside a Team
  • Development of Leading Ideas
  • How to Control Emotions
  • The Art of Persuasion
  • How to Keep a Team Motivated
  • Leader’s Tasks
  • Interpersonal Communication With Team Members
  • How to Stay a Productive Leader
  • Gender Roles in Leadership
  • Stages to Become a Leader

Having read a dozen of psychological books on leadership, you could have been inspired to research this topic on your own. Get started! Perhaps, you have hidden leader’s traits of character.

Negotiation Paper Topics

  • The Art of Business Negotiations
  • How to Manage a Negotiation Process
  • Negotiations as a Way to Solve a Conflict
  • Intercultural Negotiations: Key Points
  • Reaching a Consensus: An Outcome of Any Negotiations
  • Dealing With Difficult Interlocutors
  • Ways to Improve Negotiation Skills
  • What Is Win-Win Negotiation?
  • Role of a Mediator in Negotiations
  • Dispute Resolution as a Key Requirement in Negotiation Participants
  • Patience as a Way to Get Benefits at the Negotiation Table
  • Cases of Failed International Negotiations
  • Umbrella Agreement: How Does It Work?
  • Negotiations in the Family
  • How to Round Off Talks on a Positive Note

The one who knows how to negotiate can achieve a lot. The art of negotiation has been evaluated since ancient times. Studying communication research topics on negotiation, you will notice how you might have succeeded in dispute resolution.

Some More Exciting Topics Related to Communication

  • Types of Communication
  • Evolution of Communication
  • Social media and Privacy
  • Reasons for Blog Popularity
  • Censorship in Mass Media
  • Role of Radio Today
  • Technologies Simplifying Communication
  • Impact of Visual Communication
  • Ethics in Friendly Communication
  • Nonverbal Communication: Gender Difference
  • Do Text Messages Develop Our Writing Skills?
  • How Do Social Media Harm Humans?
  • Slang in Online Communication
  • Etiquette of Business Communication in Eastern Countries

Do you find it challenging to decide on a suitable communication topic in a narrow field? Then, you will not stay indifferent to general communication research topics. The following topics are flexible, and you can change them to your taste.

Are you willing to know the next steps you have to take after having your choice on one of the topics mentioned? Keep on reading, and you will discover plenty of useful information.

The Research Paper Writing Process from A to Z

  • Learn an assignment. Make sure that you understand it clearly. Ask your academic advisor if necessary.
  • Choose one of the media research topics for college students. You need to be interested in it if you want to create a good paper.
  • Research the background information. Think of how you can organize the existing facts and add your discoveries to them.
  • Create a research paper outline. It should include 5 sections: an introduction, methods, results, discussions, and a conclusion. The information you should write in each section you can find at the beginning of this article.
  • Write each section sticking to the main point.
  • Re-read your paper to edit content and correct the mistakes.
  • Submit your paper.

Writing a business communication topic is a time-consuming process. If you appreciate your time, but need to submit your paper not to fail the deadline. Feel free to contact us, and we will provide you with a highly-qualified writer who has good knowledge exactly in your field and write a plagiarism-free research paper . Feel suspicious that it could be so easy? The right way is to order a paper from PaperCoach and see it for yourself.


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Home > Humanities and Sciences > Communication Studies > Communication Studies ETDs

Communication Studies Theses, Dissertations, and Professional Papers

This collection includes theses, dissertations, and professional papers from the University of Montana Department of Communication Studies. Theses, dissertations, and professional papers from all University of Montana departments and programs may be searched here.

Theses/Dissertations from 2023 2023


Navigating Toxic Identities Within League of Legends , Jeremy Thomas Miner

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022




Is Loss a Laughing Matter?: A Study of Humor Reactions and Benign Violation Theory in the Context of Grief. , Miranda B. Henrich

The Request Is Not Compatible: Competing Frames of Public Lands Discourse in the Lolo Peak Ski Resort Controversy , Philip A. Sharp

Patient Expectations, Satisfaction, and Provider Communication Within the Oncology Experience , Elizabeth Margaret Sholey

Psychological Safety at Amazon: A CCO Approach , Kathryn K. Zyskowski

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

Discourse of Renewal: A Qualitative Analysis of the University of Montana’s COVID-19 Crisis Communication , Haley Renae Gabel

Activating Hope: How Functional Support Can Improve Hope in Unemployed Individuals , Rylee P. Walter

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020




Belonging for Dementia Caregivers , Sabrina Singh

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

Making the Most of People We Do Not Like: Capitalizing on Negative Feedback , Christopher Edward Anderson

Understanding the Relationship Between Discursive Resources and Risk-Taking Behaviors in Outdoor Adventure Athletes , Mira Ione Cleveland

Service Failure Management in High-End Hospitality Resorts , Hunter A. Dietrich

Fear, Power, & Teeth (2007) , Olivia Hockenbroch

The climate change sublime: Leveraging the immense awe of the planetary threat of climate change , Sean D. Quartz

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

The Relationship Between Memorable Messages and Identity Construction , Raphaela P. Barros Campbell

Wonder Woman: A Case Study for Critical Media Literacy , Adriana N. Fehrs

Curated Chaos: A Rhetorical Study of Axmen , Rebekah A. McDonald


Cruising to be a Board Gamer: Understanding Socialization Relating to Board Gaming and The Dice Tower , Benjamin Wassink

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017


Beyond the Bike; Identity and Belonging of Free Cycles Members , Caitlyn Lewis

Adherence and Uncertainty Management: A Test Of The Theory Of Motivated Information Management , Ryan Thiel

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

Redskins Revisited: Competing Constructions of the Washington Redskins Mascot , Eean Grimshaw

A Qualitative Analysis of Belonging in Communities of Practice: Exploring Transformative Organizational Elements within the Choral Arts , Aubrielle J. Holly

Training the Professoraite of Tomorrow: Implementing the Needs Centered Training Model to Instruct Graduate Teaching Assistants in the use of Teacher Immediacy , Leah R. Johnson

Beyond Blood: Examining the Communicative Challenges of Adoptive Families , Mackensie C. Minniear

Attitudes Toward Execution: The Tragic and Grotesque Framing of Capital Punishment in the News , Katherine Shuy

Knowledge and Resistance: Feminine Style and Signifyin[g] in Michelle Obama’s Public Address , Tracy Valgento

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015



Diabesties: How Diabetic Support on Campus can Alleviate Diabetic Burnout , Kassandra E. Martin

Resisting NSA Surveillance: Glenn Greenwald and the public sphere debate about privacy , Rebecca Rice

Rhetoric, participation, and democracy: The positioning of public hearings under the National Environmental Policy Act , Kevin C. Stone

Socialization and Volunteers: A Training Program for Volunteer Managers , Allison M. Sullivan

Theses/Dissertations from 2014 2014


Commodity or Dignity? Nurturing Managers' Courtesy Nurtures Workers' Productivity , Montana Rafferty Moss

"It Was My Job to Keep My Children Safe": Sandra Steingraber and the Parental Rhetoric of Precaution , Mollie Katherine Murphy

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Free Markets: ALEC's Populist Constructions of "the People" in State Politics , Anne Sherwood

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013


Let’s talk about sex: A training program for parents of 4th and 5th grade children , Elizabeth Kay Eickhoff

"You Is The Church": Identity and Identification in Church Leadership , Megan E. Gesler

This land is your land, this land is my land: A qualitative study of tensions in an environmental decision making group , Gabriel Patrick Grelle

The Constitution of Queer Identity in the 1972 APA Panel, "Psychiatry: Friend or Foe to Homosexuals? A Dialogue" , Dustin Vern Edward Schneider

The Effect of Religious Similarity on the Use of Relational Maintenance Strategies in Marriages , Jamie Karen Taylor

Justice, Equality, and SlutWalk: The Rhetoric of Protesting Rape Culture , Dana Whitney Underwood

Theses/Dissertations from 2012 2012

Collective Privacy Boundary Turbulence and Facework Strategies: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of South Korea and the United States , Min Kyong Cho


Communication Apprehension and Perceived Responsiveness , Elise Alexandra Fanney

Improving Patient-Provider Communication in the Health Care context , Charlotte M. Glidden

What They Consider, How They Decide: Best Practices of Technical Experts in Environmental Decision-Making , Cassandra J. Hemphill

Rebuilding Place: Exploring Strategies to Align Place Identity During Relocation , Brigette Renee McKamey

Sarah Palin, Conservative Feminism, and the Politics of Family , Jasmine Rose Zink

Theses/Dissertations from 2011 2011

Salud, Dignidad, Justicia: Articulating "Choice" and "Reproductive Justice" for Latinas in the United States , Kathleen Maire de Onis

Environmental Documentary Film: A Contemporary Tool For Social Movement , Rachel Gregg

In The Pink: The (Un)Healthy Complexion of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month , Kira Stacey Jones

Jihad as an Ideograph: Osama bin Laden's rhetorical weapon of choice , Faye Lingarajan

The Heart of the Matter: The Function and Relational Effects of Humor for Cardiovascular Patients , Nicholas Lee Lockwood

Feeling the Burn: A Discursive Analysis of Organizational Burnout in Seasonal Wildland Firefighters , Whitney Eleanor Marie Maphis

Making A Comeback: An Exploration of Nontraditional Students & Identity Support , Jessica Kate McFadden

In the Game of Love, Play by the Rules: Implications of Relationship Rule Consensus over Honesty and Deception in Romantic Relationships , Katlyn Elise Roggensack

Assessing the balance: Burkean frames and Lil' Bush , Elizabeth Anne Sills

Theses/Dissertations from 2010 2010

The Discipline of Identity: Examining the Challenges of Developing Interdisciplinary Identities Within the Science Disciplines , Nicholas Richard Burk

Occupational Therapists: A Study of Managing Multiple Identities , Katherine Elise Lloyd

Discourse, Identity, and Culture in Diverse Organizations: A Study of The Muslim Students Association (University of Montana) , Burhanuddin Bin Omar

The Skinny on Weight Watchers: A Critical Analysis of Weight Watcher's Use of Metaphors , Ashlynn Laura Reynolds-Dyk

You Got the Job, Now What?: An Evaluation of the New Employee Orientation Program at the University of Montana , Shiloh M. A. Sullivan

Theses/Dissertations from 2009 2009

Because We Have the Power to Choose: A Critical Analysis of the Rhetorical Strategies Used in Merck's Gardasil Campaign , Brittney Lee Buttweiler

Communicative Strategies Used in the Introduction of Spirituality in the Workplace , Matthew Alan Condon

Cultures in Residence: Intercultural Communication Competence for Residence Life Staff , Bridget Eileen Flaherty

The Influence of Sibling Support on Children's Post-Divorce Adjustment: A Turning Point Analysis , Kimberly Ann Jacobs


The Effect of Imagined Interactions on Secret Revelation and Health , Adam Stephens Richards

Teaching Intercultural Communication Competence in the Healthcare Context , Jelena Stojakovic

Quitting versus Not Quitting: The Process and Development of an Assimilation Program Within Opportunity Resources, Inc. , Amanda N. Stovall

Theses/Dissertations from 2008 2008


Relational Transgressions in Romantic Relationships: How Individuals Negotiate the Revelation and Concealment of Transgression Information within the Social Network , Melissa A. Maier

Theses/Dissertations from 2007 2007


Friends the family you choose (no matter what: An investigation of fictive kin relationships amoung young adults. , Kimberly Anne Clinger

Public relations in nonprofit organizations: A guide to establishing public relations programs in nonprofit settings , Megan Kate Gale

Negotiated Forgiveness in Parent-Child Relationships: Investigating Links to Politeness, Wellness and Sickness , Jennifer Lynn Geist

Developing and Communicating Better Sexual Harassment Policies Through Ethics and Human Rights , Thain Yates Hagan

Managing Multiple Identities: A Qualitative Study of Nurses and Implications for Work-Family Balance , Claire Marie Spanier


Theses/Dissertations from 2006 2006

Graduate Teaching Assistant Interpretations and Responses to Student Immediacy Cues , Clair Owen Canfield

Verbal negotiation of affection in romantic relationships , Andrea Ann Richards

Theses/Dissertations from 2005 2005

Art of forgiveness , Carrie Benedict

"We shall fight for the things we have always held nearest our hearts": Rhetorical strategies in the U.S. woman suffrage movement , Stephanie L. Durnford

War on Terror Middle-East peace and a drive around the ranch: The rhetoric of US-Saudi diplomacy in the post-911 period , J. Robert Harper

What do you mean by competence?: A comparison of perceived communication competence among North Americans and Chinese , Chao He

Rhetoric of public interest in an inter-organizational environmental debate: The Fernie mining controversy. , Shelby Jo. Long

Investigation of the initiation of short-term relationships in a vacation setting. , Aneta Milojevic

"It 's the other way around"| Sustainability, promotion, and the shaping of identity in nonprofit arts organizations , Georgi A. Rausch

Child left behind: An examination of comforting strategies goals and outcomes following the death of a child , Kelly R. Rossetto

Profile of the modern smokejumper| A tension-centered lens on identity and identification , Cade Wesley Spaulding

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Home > College of Arts and Letters > Communication Studies > Communication Studies Theses, Projects, and Dissertations

Communication Studies Theses, Projects, and Dissertations

Theses/projects/dissertations from 2024 2024.


Investigating the Potential of Augmented Reality in Creating a Sense of Place on College Campuses , Linda White

Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2023 2023






Public Relations for Cryptocurrency: Coinbase Guidebook , Logan Odneal


Anticolonial Feminism, Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, and the Female Gothic: A Textual Analysis of Mexican Gothic , Hana Vega

Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2022 2022








Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2021 2021


How Couples YouTube Channels Forge "Friendships" With Their Viewers: A Thematic Textual Analysis , Marisol Botello









When the Victim Becomes the Accused: A Critical Analysis of Silence and Power in the Sexual Harassment Case of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh , Erendira Torres



Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2020 2020






Passing vs Non-Passing: Latina/o/x Experiences and Understandings of Being Presumed White , Francisco Rodriguez

Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2019 2019

Fully Immersed, Fully Present: Examining the User Experience Through the Multimodal Presence Scale and Virtual Reality Gaming Variables , Andre Adame




Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2018 2018


Performing Stereotypical Tropes on Social Media Sites: How Popular Latina Performers Reinscribe Heteropatriarchy on Instagram , Ariana Arely Cano






Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2017 2017





The Construction of Candidate’s Political Image on Social Media: A Thematic Analysis of Facebook Comments in the 2014 Presidential Election in Indonesia , Siti A. Rachim Marpaung Malik


Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2015 2015

Value Driven: An Analysis of Attitudes and Values Via BET Programming Past and Present , Sasha M. Rice

Theses/Projects/Dissertations from 2014 2014



Selling Disbelief , Gregory S. McKinley-Powell

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

Media and corporate blame: Gate keeping and framing of the British Petroleum oil spill of 2010 , Kudratdeep Kaur Dhaliwal

Sperm stealers & post gay politics: Lesbian-parented families in film and television , Elena Rose Martinez

Theses/Dissertations from 2012 2012

Like us on Facebook: A social media campaign's effect on relationship management outcomes for a non-profit organization , Natalia Isabel López-Thismón

Theses/Dissertations from 2011 2011

This is not a love story: A semiotic discourse analysis of romantic comedies , Stephanie Lynn Gomez

Blackness as a weapon: A critical discourse analysis of the 2009 Henry Louis Gates arrest in national mainstream media , Ashley Ann Jones

Fabulistic: Examination and application of narratology and screenplay craft , Nicholas DeVan Snead

Theses/Dissertations from 2010 2010

The effect of cold calling and culture on communication apprehension , Kimberly Noreen Aguilar

The artistry of teaching: Commedia Dell'arte's improvisational strategies and its implications for classroom participation , Jean Artemis Vezzalini

Theses/Dissertations from 2009 2009

Internet marketing strategy and the cognitive response approach: Achieving online fundraising success with targeted donor outreach , Carrie Dawn Cornwall

Theses/Dissertations from 2008 2008

The design of an intercultural communication skills training for multicultural Catholic parishes in the Diocese of San Bernardino , Marco Aurelio De Tolosa Raposo

Religious social support groups: Strengthening leadership with communication competence , JoAnne Irene Flynn

Parametric media: A strategic market analysis and marketing plan for a digital signage, interactive kiosk and content company , Helena Irita Fowler

Factors affecting cognitive dissonance among automobile magazine subscribers , Petroulla Giasoumi

Web templates: Unifying the Web presence of California State University San Bernardino , Angela Marie Gillespie

United States media portrayals of the developing world: A semiotic analysis of the One campaign's internet web site , Lindsey Marie Haussamen

The Use of Violence as Feminist Rhetoric: Third-Wave Feminism in Tarantino's Kill Bill Films , Leah Andrea Katona

Superior-subordinate relationships found in Scrubs: A discourse analysis , Nicolle Elizabeth Quick

Theses/Dissertations from 2007 2007

A cultural studies analysis of the Christian women vocalists movement from the 1980's to 2000: Influences, stars and lyrical meaning making , Mary Elizabeth Akers

The application of marketing and communication theories on community festival event planning , Khara Louise Dizmon

The mad rhetoric: Toward a rigor on radical creativity and its function in consciousness as a communicative principle , Eugene David Hetzel

Millennial pre-camp staff training: Incorporating generational knowledge, learning strategies and compliance gaining techniques , Dana Robin Magilen

Images and lyrics: Representations of African American women in blues lyrics written by black women , Danette Marie Pugh-Patton

Theses/Dissertations from 2006 2006

Views from the center: Middle-class white men and perspectives on social privilege , Sandra Jane Cross

Rendering whiteness visible in the Filipino culture through skin-whitening cosmetic advertisements , Beverly Romero Natividad

Bias in the network nightly news coverage of the 2004 presidential election , Stephen Arthur Shelton

Theses/Dissertations from 2005 2005

A proposed resource development plan for the Department of Communication Studies, California State University San Bernardino , Donna Louise Cooley

From 9/11 to Iraq: Analysis and critique of the rhetoric of the Bush Administration leading to the war in Iraq , LaKesha Nicole Covington

A queer look at feminist science fiction: Examing Sally Miller Gearhart's The Kanshou , Jennifer Jodelle Floerke

Proposed marketing and advertising campaign for the United Negro College Fund , Rashida Patrice Hamm

The online marketing plan for Indra Jewelry Company, Thailand , Vorapoj Liyawarakhun

A metaphoric cluster analysis of the rhetoric of digital technology , Michael Eugene Marse and Nicholas Negroponte

Talking about drugs: Examining self-disclosure and trust in adult children from substance abusive families , Susan Renee Mattson

The public relations campaign for Bangkok fashion week, Thailand , Chanoknart Paitoonmongkon

A web design shop for local business owners , Mary Colleen Rice

International students' reliance on home-country related internet use , Songkwun Sukontapatipak

Theses/Dissertations from 2004 2004

Zapatistas: The shifting rhetoric of a modern revolution , Ofelia Morales Bejar

Globalization, values, and consumer trends: A French and USA comparison , Alexandre Hatlestad-Shey

Values and symbols: An intercultural analysis of web pages on the Internet , Aura Constanza Mosquera

Creating community through communication: The case of East Desert Unified School District , Michelle Elizabeth Shader

A comparison of women's roles as portrayed in Taiwanese and Chinese magazine print advertising , Yi-Chen Yang

Theses/Dissertations from 2003 2003

The concept of interest in the Western and Middle Eastern society , Mustapha Ben Amira

A comprehensive examination of the precode horror comic books of the 1950's , Gene Marshall Broxson

Narrative versus traditional journalism: Appeal, believability, understanding, retention , John David Emig

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thesis topics for communication students

Communication Studies

Doctoral dissertation topics.

CMS Graduates

Doctoral Graduates Photo Credit: Rene Dailey

2023 Graduates

Doctoral Student: Dr. Qinyan Dickerson  

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Rene Dailey  


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Mian Jia 

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Matt McGlone 


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Colton Krawietz 

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Anita Vangelisti 


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Inbal Leibovits 

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Roderick Hart 


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Mary Lever  

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Michael Butterworth  


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Ashley McDonald   

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Johanna Hartelius   


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Courtney Powers    

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Keri Stephens    


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Shelbey Rollison     

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Joshua Barbour     


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Oshyn Sky      

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Rene Dailey      


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Kendall Tich       

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Keri Stephens       


Doctoral Student:  Dr. Joy Woods        

Dissertation Supervisor:  Dr. Erin Donovan        


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  • Master's Thesis Topics
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Advice for Completing a Master's in Communication Thesis

thesis topics for communication students

The Structure of the Master’s Thesis

The steps to successfully completing a thesis: tips from real alumni, identify your research interests and potential mentors early, consult your faculty mentors and form your committee, conduct preliminary research and draft your proposal, conduct your study and analyze the results, revise, finalize, and submit your thesis, defend your thesis, final thoughts on your thesis journey.

For many students of master’s in communication programs, especially for those who have chosen an academic or research-oriented course of study, the thesis is a cornerstone of their graduate experience. As an extended and independent research project that contributes to the existing scholarly literature on the student’s topic of choice, the thesis can seem daunting at first. Indeed, in our interviews with alumni of master’s in communication programs, many of them noted that the thesis was an intimidating prospect for them. However, these students also described the process of completing their thesis as a highly educational and formative experience.

Chelsea Moss, who is an alumnus of Purdue University’s Master’s Degree in Communication with a focus on Media, Technology, and Society, explained in an interview with MastersinCommunications.com, “To be honest, I was somewhat terrified of writing the thesis. Attending grad school was a big learning curve for me as I was making the shift from a very hands-on, practical undergrad program to a very theoretical, research-oriented master’s program. However, writing the thesis gave me invaluable experience, not only in research skills, but [also] in project management, data collection and analysis, and training […] undergraduate research assistants.”

Sakina Jangbar, Ph.D. a graduate of California State University, Northridge’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies program, in her interview gave a candid view of her thesis experience and its impact on her career trajectory. “The thesis writing experience was quite difficult for me because it was my first major scholarly undertaking,” she said, “My thesis was 150 pages, as my mentor had high standards in terms of strength of the argument and length of the chapters.” Yet despite the daunting nature of her project, Dr. Jangbar’s thesis prepared her for even higher-level work as a doctoral student, and later as an Assistant Professor of Communication at St. John’s University. “Even though writing my thesis was a challenge for me, I think it was a valuable experience as it paved the way for me to write my doctoral dissertation.”

This feature provides a comprehensive look at the process of completing a master’s-level thesis for a graduate communication program. It delves into the typical structure of a thesis and the necessary steps in the process of researching, analyzing, and presenting one’s results. In addition, it features insights from alumni of master’s in communication programs across the nation who successfully completed their theses and used their project as a stepping stone to an advanced career in their area of interest.

The thesis is traditionally an extended, multi-chapter written project that students complete to answer an advanced research inquiry. While the structure of a thesis may vary, below is a general outline of the chapters of a traditional thesis:

  • Chapter 1—Introduction : In the introduction, one discusses the background and context of one’s research topic, including a statement around the problem, question, or challenge at hand and its social significance. In the introduction, one must also outline the purpose and specific objectives of one’s study, and emphasize the target outcomes of one’s research.
  • Chapter 2—Literature Review : This chapter contains a thorough overview of the historical background of one’s research topic, as well as key theoretical frameworks that are necessary to set up one’s research question and core hypotheses. This chapter explains how one’s research question contributes to the field by identifying the gaps in the existing literature and how they will be addressed by the research inquiry and study.
  • Chapter 3—Research Design : This chapter delves into the research methodologies that one will use in one’s study, including the participants recruited, instruments used (including data analysis technologies), and the concrete procedures and timeline for the research project. This section also provides for any ethical considerations that one has taken into account, as well as the limitations of one’s research.
  • Chapter 4—Results : This chapter includes all the results of one’s study, generally without any interpretations or inferences (which will be covered in Chapter 5). The structure of the results report should follow that of the study design outlined in the Research Design chapter, and should speak to the research questions outlined in the Introduction. This section may use figures, charts, or graphs to represent data in addition to text.
  • Chapter 5—Analysis : This chapter is comprised of a thorough discussion and interpretation of the results outlined in the Results chapter. It will refer to the Literature Review chapter and discuss the results within the context of existing theories and established data. It is important to tie one’s results to the theories, existing research, and rationales provided in the Literature Review section.
  • Chapter 6—Conclusions : This chapter discusses the practical implications of the results, as well as recommendations for further study and any theories or frameworks that may change as a result of one’s findings. This chapter also delves into any limitations of the study’s results, in terms of conclusions that can be drawn and how they impact further research and/or practice within the discipline.
  • Chapter 7—Bibliography and Appendices : These sections provide a comprehensive listing of all sources used, as well as any additional information or tables that might be relevant.

As the outline above illustrates, the traditional thesis has a highly formal structure. That said, many of the alumni whom we interviewed for our Alumni Interview Series noted that their faculty advisors allowed them creative license in terms of the subject matter and potentially even the structure of their thesis (although this varies by university). In this way, students often end up creating a thesis that incorporates elements from other types of capstone options like applied projects.

For example, Millie Njezic, who graduated from the University of Northern Iowa’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies program, wrote a play as part of her thesis project, which investigated the different dynamics of neighbor relations between people in Bosnia versus Bosnian immigrants in Waterloo, Iowa. “I used the autoethnographic method in order to use my own experiences with neighbors back home [in Bosnia] and then I conducted qualitative interviews with Bosnian refugees in Waterloo, IA. The data from both areas was analyzed using poetic inquiry and I came up with a script for a play: Live Thy Neighbor,” she told MastersinCommunications.com, “I then directed the play and over the course of three showings at the Interpreters Theatre, I had amazing discussions with the audience as well as the cast. Finally, I wrote the traditional thesis chapters and defended in front of my committee. […] I was very fortunate to be able to do research in such a liberating and creative way.”

As Ms. Njezic’s anecdote reveals, by working closely with faculty mentors and explaining the types of topics and research methodologies that resonate the most with them, students can optimize their experience working on their thesis.

While the thesis may seem a daunting endeavor, the process for completing one is structured to provide students with support and guidance throughout. There are set deadlines for a student’s thesis proposal submission and defense, chapter drafts, final submission, and final oral defense. Below are key steps to successfully completing your thesis, featuring candid advice from alumni of a wide diversity of master’s in communication programs.

During your classes, it is important to take stock of what topics interest you the most and to connect with the faculty whose research interests align with your own. Doing so will help you to determine your ideal research question and its proper scope. In addition, taking the initiative to speak with faculty early on will help optimize your choice of professors for your thesis committee, which is the group of three faculty members who support your work on your thesis.

For many students, the choice of a thesis topic is an organic result of taking classes and getting a sense of what interests them. In her alumni interview, Olivia Hook Frey, a graduate of Illinois State University’s Master’s in Communication program, explained how she identified her thesis topic from a class she took that piqued her interest. “I stumbled upon my research idea in a training and development course,” she said, “I was intrigued by the onboarding and socialization processes across different organizations. Retention is something all organizations are concerned about, so I decided to investigate how the initial new employee socialization process predicts retention.”

Taylor McDade, DePaul University

For other students, a thesis can be an opportunity to delve into a topic of personal interest. Lauren Lee, an alumnus of University of Arkansas at Little-Rock’s Master of Arts in Applied Communication Studies, selected a topic that was connected to a life-changing event in her family. “Just a few months after entering graduate school, I found out I was pregnant with our first child,” she said, “[After my daughter was born] I spoke with a lactation consultant after her birth, [and] I knew there was something different about the way she communicated. […] When I took Interpersonal Communication in the fall of 2014 and studied Dr. Mirivel’s Model of Positive Communication, the light bulb came on. The lactation consultant demonstrated all seven behaviors from the model. Her communication was the foundation to my success!” These experiences led her on a path to exploring the role of interpersonal communication—specifically the Model of Positive Communication—in the work of registered nurses and lactation consultants in health care settings.

Choosing a topic of emotional and intellectual investment is crucial, said many of our alumni interviewees. Taylor McDade, who completed a Master of Digital Communication and Media Arts at DePaul University, told MastersinCommunications.com, “My advice to students who are tasked with completing a thesis is to first choose something you are passionate about, because in doing so the rest will come easily. Maybe you’re looking to solve some kind of problem, or maybe you simply want to investigate a topic related to your field that excites you. Either way, be sure to push boundaries.” Caleb Malik, a graduate of Illinois State University’s Master’s in Communication program, similarly advised, “[P]ick a topic you are interested in. You’re going to spend a lot of time on the topic, so don’t waste your time and hours on research you don’t find interesting. It’s also going to be challenging to succeed with a project and have continued dedication to a project that you don’t enjoy.”

Another crucial step in the thesis process is approaching faculty members in your program who can optimally advise you. Students writing their thesis typically have the support of a three-person faculty committee, comprised of one main advisor (the committee chair) and two additional faculty readers and mentors. These mentors are instrumental to your success, as they provide important feedback and guidance throughout your work, from the development of your initial proposal to the preparation for your final presentation.

In his alumni interview, Caleb Malik placed central importance on this step of the thesis process. “[M]ost importantly, give a lot of thought to whom you select for your committee,” he said, “You’re building a team, and you want to think about the skills and knowledge they are bringing to the table, and how they’ll interact as a group.” Choosing an ideal faculty mentor requires not only a strong rapport between student and professor, but also choosing an advisor whose research expertise aligns with the topic of your thesis (as well as the research methodologies you plan on implementing).

Jeremy Pesner, an alumnus of Georgetown University’s Master of Arts in Communication, Culture, and Technology explained how all of his faculty committee members were extremely helpful and supportive, but that selecting a committee chair whose expertise paralleled the type of research he wished to do for his thesis would have been wise. “My advice for students considering a thesis is to plan out what you’ll do a little more thoroughly than I did,” he said, “It was more of a challenge than I anticipated that my thesis advisor actually lacked experience in the research methodology I was using – in retrospect, it may have been more useful for the “methods” professor to be my main advisor, with the other as a secondary.”

Your faculty thesis advisors can also help you navigate unexpected snags in your research process. For example, Tiffany Wang, Ph.D. explained how her faculty advisor supported her through each stage of her research process. “Going into the thesis, I knew that I wanted to study an Instructional Communication topic. After talking to my faculty advisor, I decided to focus on studying students’ perceptions of instructors’ nonverbal immediacy behaviors using a quantitative survey research design. As I began to explore the literature and start my literature review, a Communication Studies scholar published a journal article on my initial thesis topic,” she recalled in her interview, “Going back to square one and selecting a new thesis topic was discouraging. However, my faculty advisor and committee members helped me identify new hypotheses and variables that would still allow me to retain much of the work I had already done on the initial topic.”

Once you have established your committee, the next step is to draft a proposal (also known as a prospectus). A thesis proposal provides details on your thesis topic and specific inquiry, as well as the issues that your inquiry seeks to address. In other words, it should describe a socially or academically significant challenge and explain how answering your research query will work towards solving this problem. The proposal is your opportunity to conduct much of the preliminary research that will be necessary in writing the Literature Review section of your thesis.

Throughout your work on your proposal, you are expected and encouraged to consult your committee and in particular your primary advisor/committee chair for advice and guidance. Ms. Lee explained how her faculty advisor worked closely with her as she developed her thesis proposal and established a process for completing her research project. “A critical piece in thesis topic prep is ensuring you will have enough research to write a full thesis. I did a preliminary paper about my own observations and experience and applied each concept accordingly,” she said, “From there, I created a prospectus which included the theory and methodology needed for conducting research. I began working with my faculty advisor to create a research process. After contacting possible research participants, I was on my way to writing a full thesis.”

As Ms. Lee’s example illustrates, your thesis proposal serves as a road map for your final thesis product, and therefore it is beneficial to include as accurate and as detailed information about your research topic, background, objectives, and methodologies as possible. In fact, master’s in communication programs typically require students to orally defend their thesis proposal as a way of preparing them for the type of questioning they will encounter in their formal thesis defense. While this defense may initially feel intimidating, many students find the proposal defense to be more of a constructive conversation rather than a formal presentation, a conversation that helps them solidify their research questions and methods.

Caleb Malik, Illinois State University

Megan Kendall, graduate of Purdue University’s Masters of Communication program, described in her alumni interview how her proposal defense was an opportunity to discuss her thesis topic in-depth with her faculty committee, and to receive detailed feedback that she could incorporate into her project moving forward. “For the prospectus, my advisor encouraged me to think of it as a proposal meeting to make sure the project idea is sound, and to receive any feedback before I started to really dig into the project, which was a helpful way to approach it,” she said, “[The oral defense was] a bit stressful just […by] nature of presenting to three faculty members on my personal project, but it was also an opportunity to connect with communication scholars and discuss something I was interested in.”

During the proposal development and revision stage, your faculty advisors will also provide questions to help you narrow the scope of your research inquiry. Mr. Malik recalled, “[T]he best advice I got from a professor was, ‘You’re not trying to create the overarching, all-encompassing theory of communication. You’re not expected to alter the field. […] Research is about theory building, taking small steps forward and progressing the field.’ For me, this helped take a weight off my back.”

Once your proposal is approved by your committee, your next task is to refine and implement your research study, employing quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, rhetorical research, or a combination of two or more of the aforementioned methods, which is formally known as mixed methodologies. Quantitative research methods involve gathering and analyzing numbers and/or measurements in order to arrive at insights. Examples of quantitative research methods include surveys, statistical analyses, controlled experiments, and the use of mathematical models to analyze and form predictions or conclusions around aggregate data. On the other hand, qualitative research methods focus on gathering data that explores the “why” and the “how” more than the “how much” or “how many.” In other words, while quantitative data might determine how many people visit a particular news site or interact with a specific kind of content (be it a news article or a blockbuster film) within a given period of time, qualitative data would delve into these people’s motivations and content interests through methods such as interviews, observations, and focus groups.

Rhetorical research, which is also referred to as rhetorical criticism or literary/textual analysis, is the examination and analysis of content, be it written works such as novels, essays, and articles, or visual and multimedia content such as online videos, computer games, movies, radio and television. Rhetorical research involves analyzing the use of diction, images and symbols, allusions, emotional vs. logical appeals, irony and satire, juxtapositions, and other rhetorical devices present in a particular work to identify the arguments being made and also how they are conveyed. A scholar of communication might use rhetorical research to identify the pro-diversity message in a short story, or to describe the ways in which a movie or television show contains problematic messages about masculinity.

Mixed methodologies describes when a scholar implements two or more of the aforementioned methodologies in his or her study. For example, a researcher might use a survey (a quantitative methodology) to measure the characteristics of workplace communication within a given organization, while also supplementing this survey with detailed interviews (a qualitative method) of specific people within the organization. In a mixture of rhetorical and quantitative research, another scholar might identify the use of certain words in a particular type of content (such as presidential campaign speeches), and evaluate both the occurrence of these words and their meaning within the context of political agendas. As these examples illustrate, integrating different methodologies in a given study is common as research inquiries are often complex and require multifaceted approaches to gain insight into a given topic.

While designing an entire research study may seem overwhelming at first, at its core the objective of any study is to gather and analyze data to answer a targeted research query. Answering the questions, “What exactly do I wish to understand about my research topic? What types of data will help me arrive at an answer to my inquiry?” is the starting point; from that foundation, the next steps are to investigate what methods have been used in previous studies relating to your topic, and to consult your faculty advisors who have expertise in the methodologies you need to be most effective. In some cases, a mix of qualitative, quantitative, and/or rhetorical analysis data may be optimal for answering your particular research query.

Zach McGeehon, alumnus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Master of Arts in Applied Communication Studies, utilized qualitative methods, namely surveys, for his thesis. “I decided to investigate one of my hobbies a bit more. I have over 10 years’ experience in FX makeup and costumes, so I started researching levels of narcissism in cosplayers (people who dress in costumes from various media) for that research project,” he explained, “That topic eventually led me to a larger question, ‘What motivates people to cosplay in the first place?’ which ended up being the focus of my thesis. I utilized two different qualitative methods during my thesis, where I distributed an online questionnaire and held semi-structured interviews with cosplayers. After a lot of transcription and coding, I was able to exhaustively identify 14 different motivations that cosplayers communicated during the study. Some of those results were a bit surprising, but it was an awesome feeling knowing that I finally got the answer to my query.”

Millie Njezic, University of Northern Iowa

Mary Worley, Ph.D. utilized primarily quantitative research methods in her thesis for her Master of Arts in Communication, which she completed at Illinois State University. “I wanted my thesis to align with my passion for teaching. My thesis advisor was my ultimate champion, sharing my passion for social media and technology in the classroom while acting as a steady source of encouragement,” she said, “The other members of my committee had expertise in communication pedagogy and quantitative data analysis and worked with me to deepen my understanding of theory and analytic procedures. My thesis explored social media (specifically, Twitter) as an educational tool for the classroom and its effects on social media competence, student motivation, affective learning, and perceptions of instructor immediacy. I was able to implement a series of activities into 10 sections of the basic communication course and collected data from both experimental and control groups to assess group differences. Data were primarily quantitative and provided support for social media as a useful educational tool.”

Scott Bredman, graduate of the University of Northern Iowa’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies program, completed a thesis that was centered on rhetorical research. “I knew I wanted to do a project using rhetorical research methods but was struggling to find the right topic,” he recalled in an interview, “During the summer of 2015, public discourse about confederate imagery was abundant, and I started down a rabbit hole of research that ultimately led me to discover the mascot controversy in the school district in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. My advisor, Dr. Ryan McGeough, and I were fascinated by the public deliberation occurring within the community and decided that the deliberation of the community (mostly a special school board meeting that occurred) and these symbols themselves were worthy of rhetorical analysis.” Through his research, Mr. Bredman evaluated both the mascot images as forms of cultural rhetoric, and also analyzed the messages contained in the discourse and debates surrounding these images.

Emma Mackenzie, alumnus of Montana Tech’s Master of Science in Technical Communication, employed mixed methodologies for her thesis, which examined the media representation and discussion of the debate to keep wolves on or off the national Endangered Species list. “I gathered reader comments in local, regional, and national media outlets and analyzed them using Grounded Theory, Semiotics, and Actor Network Theory, a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research,” she explained in her alumni interview.

Once you have collected all the relevant data for your study, you must analyze your results to try and find meaningful patterns or connections within your data or between your data and existing research, with the aim of answering your original research query. As with every step in the thesis completion process, frequent and in-depth discussions with your faculty mentors are very important at this stage, as your mentors can help you to identify important patterns within your data and to place those patterns within the context of past theories, frameworks, and research.

Your faculty committee can also help you work through challenges in the interpretation of your data. In her interview with MastersinCommunications.com, Dr. Wang explained how, when her study did not yield the anticipated results, her advisor helped her to assess and present the data in a way that still contributed to the existing literature on instructional communication in a meaningful way. “After I collected data, my faculty advisor helped me run and interpret the data in his office, “she said, “When there were no significant findings, he helped me determine how I could explain these non-significant findings in my Discussion section in a way that would still allow me to present and publish my research.”

Throughout your preliminary research, collection of data, and analysis of your study results, you should also be writing and working with your committee to continually review and revise your thesis chapters. Staying consistent with your writing at each stage of the process ensures that you have the time to receive quality feedback from your committee and to optimize your final thesis product.

Ms. Njezic described the role that regular discussions with her faculty committee chair played in her thesis. “My thesis chair, Dr. Danielle McGeough, held weekly touch base meetings with me and helped me determine my writing goals for the next week,” she recalled, “This helped me stay organized and focused on my work. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the questions. There is so much value in asking early and asking often. Lastly, remember that you’re doing this research because you’re curious about it. That does not mean that you will have all the answers, neither do you need to have all the answers in the end.” Dr. Wang similarly advised, “Looking back on the research and writing process, I would encourage students to be proactive in discussing any problems that may arise during the writing process with their faculty advisor so that they can get the help and support they need to be successful.”

Megan Kendall, Purdue University

In addition to your faculty mentors, your peers can also serve as support both during the writing and editing stages of your thesis. In her interview, Ms. Kendall explained how a peer writing group helped her manage her time effectively and optimize her writing process. “I highly recommend creating a writing group with several other master’s students,” she advised, “I connected with two others in my cohort and it was so helpful in managing deadlines, handling stress, and just working through the project together. We would meet for half an hour on a weekly basis and take time to update each other on what we were working on or any questions we had.” Weekly peer group meetings can help students think through difficult or complex questions arising from their research, and also create a non-intimidating venue for writing, editing, and workshopping chapters of their thesis.

Once you have completed a full draft of all the chapters of your thesis, you must submit your work to your committee chair as well as your other two faculty readers, who will provide additional feedback and targeted questions to ensure that each chapter is thorough and that your analysis and conclusions properly address your research inquiry and its relevance. It is important to finish your full thesis draft early enough to provide for any necessary revisions well before the final thesis deadline.

Once your faculty committee has approved your final thesis submission, the final stage is your oral thesis defense. The oral defense is considered by many students to be one of the most intimidating parts of the thesis completion process. However, most of the alumni we spoke with pointed out that their oral defense was less of a test and more of an engaging and even enjoyable discussion with the faculty members who served as their foremost allies during their thesis journey.

Mr. McGeehon explained how supportive his entire faculty committee was throughout his work on his thesis, and how their commitment to his success was reflected in his experience defending his final work. “After the completion of my thesis, I was required to orally defend it in front of my committee, which included Dr. Nastasia (thesis chair), Dr. DeGroot-Brown, and Dr. Wrobbel. Though, as expected, I was nervous about facing some difficult questions, I was able to thoroughly prepare for my defense, and I successfully passed on my first attempt,” he said, “Thankfully, I was able to work with a group of people that supported me throughout the entire endeavor. If I needed assistance, the committee was always there for me. They were never afraid to push me to do my best work or question my thought process and give me some constructive criticism.”

Of her experience defending her thesis, Ms. Moss told MastersinCommunications.com, “I found both of my defenses (prospectus and final defense) to be very rewarding and (dare I say) wonderful experiences! It was truly an honor to sit around a table with three brilliant minds who had taken the time to read my work and offer constructive critique on my project. In my case, both defenses were essentially conversations where my advisor had a few questions for me to answer (which he gave me ahead of time), and then I answered other questions from my two other committee members.” In addition, Ms. Moss’s thesis defense was an opportunity for her to find ways to push her research even further, beyond the time frame of her thesis project. “[The] suggestions of my committee encouraged me regarding the significance of my findings and gave me helpful suggestions that ultimately led to a stronger final product,” she said.

Dr. Jangbar similarly explained how the outcome of your thesis defense is a direct product of your efforts throughout the term, and therefore you have a great deal of control over it. “Defending a thesis is not hard if you have done quality work. When the writing is good, the question is not whether you will pass or fail,” she said, “Rather, the faculty are interested in having a conversation about your work. In any case, I thought it was flattering that three professors read my thesis and wanted to talk to me about it for an hour. The defense time went by so quickly. I found myself wishing for more time. Before I knew it, everyone was congratulating me. I wish I could go back to my past-self and tell the other Sakina to enjoy the process rather than worry.”

While students are expected to put in a great deal of independent work conducting preliminary research, designing their study, analyzing their results, and writing their thesis, their committee of faculty mentors is with them every step of the way. Students are not only expected, but also encouraged to consult with their committee members frequently and benefit from their expertise in order to step with confidence into the role of an advanced and independent scholar.

Faculty mentors are dedicated to providing constructive criticism and guidance, and eager to celebrate their students’ efforts. Dr. Stevie Munz, Ph.D., a graduate of Illinois State University’s Master’s program in Communication and an Assistant Professor of Communication herself at Utah Valley University, described how her faculty committee congratulated her on her hard work during her thesis defense. “All thesis projects are defended orally, which serves as an opportunity for students to demonstrate knowledge and competency in soliciting questions from their committee,” she told MastersinCommunications.com, “Because the department is supportive and collaborative, the oral defense is often an event attended by other faculty and graduate students–the department celebrates you on this day.” This final and highly positive experience paved the way for Dr. Munz’s future work in communication studies scholarship and pedagogy. “I found the oral defense important preparation for doctoral-level thinking and academic conversations,” she said, “The experience continues to be influential and permeate my research and teaching today.”

The master’s thesis is a challenging, time-consuming, yet incredibly empowering and formative endeavor. It not only represents the extent of the knowledge you have gained in your graduate program, but also propels you into higher levels of research expertise, writing and analytical skill, and intellectual inquiry. For more candid insights from alumni on their experiences completing their thesis, as well as details on other aspects of completing a master’s in communication program, please visit our flagship: Alumni Interview Series .


Scholar Commons

Home > USC Columbia > College of Information and Communications > Journalism & Mass Communications > Journalism & Mass Communications Theses and Dissertations

Journalism & Mass Communications Theses and Dissertations

Theses/dissertations from 2023 2023.

The Impact of Follower-Influencer Relationship Stages on Consumers’ Perceptions and Behavioral Intentions in the Context of Influencer Marketing , Khalid Obaid Alharbi

The Effect of Social Media (Instagram) Use Patterns on The Cultural and Athletic Identity of Black Female Collegiate Athletes’ Body Image Dissatisfaction , Shelbretta Kar’Anna Ball

Contextualizing Search: An Analysis of the Impacts of Construal Level Theory, Mood, and Product Type on Search Engine Activity , Jackson Everitt Carter

Words Evaporate, the Images Remain: Testing Visual Warnings in the Context of Intentions to Vape Among U.S. Adults as an Expansion of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) , Carl Arland Ciccarelli

Risk Propensity in Journalists: An Analysis of Journalists’ Personality Traits and How They Direct Behavior in the Field , Ellen Katherine Dunn

Online Information-Seeking and Cancer Screening Intention: An Analysis of the Health Information National Trends Survey 2022 , Rachel Aileen Ford

Always on Display: South Carolina Civil Rights Lawyer Matthew J. Perry Jr. Expanding the Civil Sphere Through the Courts and the News Media, 1954-1963 , Christopher G. Frear

Exploring the Agenda-Setting Dynamics Between Traditional Newspapers and Twitter During Mass Shooting Event , Yujin Heo

Extreme Persuasion: Analyzing Meaning Creation and Persuasive Strategies Within Extreme Discourse on Alternative Social Media , Naomi Kathryn Lawrence

Framing Police Brutality: An Analysis of Newspaper Coverage of Walter Scott’s Murder , Shamira S. McCray

Understanding Podcast Advertising Processing and Outcomes: An Analysis of Podcast Ad Types, Message Types, and Media Context on Consumer Responses , Colin Piacentine

The Unsung Heroes for Intercollegiate Athletics: Examining the Dialogic Principles of Communication in Community College Athletic Departments , Matthew Alan Stilwell

Exploring Trustworthiness Issues About Disaster-related Information Generated by Artificial Intelligence , Xin Tao

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

The Effect of Emotional Intensity, Arousal, and Valence On Online Video Ad Sharing , Chang Won Choi

“Power, Poison, Pain & Joy”: Applying a Critical Race Conceptual Model of Implicit Racial Bias to Narratives Framing Blackness in Black Sports Columns, Black Music, and Black Journalism , Christina Lauren Myers

Gatekeeping Blackness: Roles, Relationships, and Pressures of Black Television Journalists at a Time of Racial Reckoning , Denetra Walker

The Binge Viewing Index: Creating and Testing a New Measure , Larry J. Webster Jr.

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

Portion of Profit Donations: CSR as Public Relations Strategy and its Relationships with Trust and Purchase Intentions , Branden Dylan Cameron Birmingham

The Role of Sexting in the Development of Romantic Relationships , Max Bretscher

Let’s Be Friends: Examining Consumer Brand Relationships Through the Lens Of Brand Personality, Engagement, and Reciprocal Altruism , Daniel D. Haun

Go with The Flow: Testing the Effects of Emotional Flow on Psychophysiological, Attitudinal, and Behavioral Changes , Chris R. Noland

Brand New: How Visual Context Shapes Initial Response To Logos and Corporate Visual Identity Systems , Robert A. Wertz

Inoculating the Public Against Misinformation: Testing The Effectiveness of “Pre-bunking” Techniques in the Context of Mental Illness and Violence , Nanlan Zhang

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020

Gun Violence and Advocacy Communication , Minhee Choi

The Role of Third-person Perceptions in Predicting the Public’s Support for Electronic Cigarette Advertising Regulations , Joon Kyoung Kim

Conservative Media’s Coverage of Coronavirus on YouTube: A Qualitative Analysis of Media Effects on Consumers , Michael J. Layer

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

Problem Chain Recognition Effect and CSR Communication: Examining the Impact of Issue Salience and Proximity on Environmental Communication Behaviors , Nandini Bhalla

The Games Behind the Scenes: Newspaper Framing of Female African American Olympic Athletes , Martin Reece Funderburk

Effectiveness of a Brand’s Paid, Owned, and Earned Media in a Social Media Environment , Anan Wan

Providing Prevention Education About Child Sexual Abuse to Parents: Testing Media Effects on Knowledge, Behavioral Intentions and Outcomes , Jane Long Weatherred

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

Creating an Online Social Movement in Socially Conservative Societies: A Case Study of Manshoor Blog Using Frame Alignment Process , Noura Abdullah Al-Duaijani

How S. C. Daily Newspapers Framed the Removal of the Confederate Flag from the State House Grounds in 2015 Through Letters to the Editor and Editorials , Thomas Craig Anderson

Breaking The Silence: Extending Theory To Address The Underutilization Of Mental Health Services Among Chinese Immigrants In The United States , Jo-Yun Queenie Li

Fandom In Politics: Scale Development And Validation , Won-Ki Moon

Fatal Force: A Conversation With Journalists Who Cover Deadly, Highly-Publicized Police Shootings , Denetra Walker

Domestic Extension Of Public Diplomacy: Media Competition For Credibility, Dependency And Activation Of Publics , Yicheng Zhu

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017

Hydraulic Fracturing In the United States: A Framing Analysis , Kenneth Stephen Cardell Jr.

Network vs. Netflix: A Comparative Content Analysis of Demographics Across Prime-Time Television and Netflix Original Programming , James Corfield

Framing Marijuana: A Study of How us Newspapers Frame Marijuana Legalization Stories and Framing Effects of Marijuana Stories , Hwalbin Kim

The Allure of Isis: Examining the Underlying Mechanisms that Helped the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria , Alexander Luchsinger

International Twitter Comments About 2016 U.S. Presidential Candidates Trump And Clinton: Agenda-Building Analysis In The U.S., U.K., Brazil, Russia, India and China , Jane O’Boyle

Is That Online Review Fake News? How Sponsorship Disclosure Influences Reader Credibility , Mark W. Tatge

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

Measuring Strategic Communications , Jeffrey A. Ranta

Public Perceptions Of Genetically Modified Food On Social Media: A Content Analysis Of Youtube Comments On Videos , Nanlan Zhang

Toward A Situational Technology Acceptance Model: Combining the Situational Theory of Problem Solving and Technology Acceptance Model to Promote Mobile Donations for Nonprofit Organizations , Yue Zheng

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015

Promoting HPV Vaccination for Male Young Adults: Effects of Social Influence , Wan Chi Leung

Redneckaissance: Honey Boo Boo, Tumblr, and the Stereotype of Poor White Trash , Ashley F. Miller

Theses/Dissertations from 2014 2014

Conflicted Union: Culture, Economics and European Union Media Policy , Daphney Pernola Barr

Beating Down the Fear: The Civil Sphere and Political Change in South Carolina, 1940-1962 , Sid Bedingfield

The State v. Perry: Comparative Newspaper Coverage of South Carolina's Most Prominent Civil Rights Lawyer , Christopher G. Frear


Innovation Among Georgian Journalism Educators: A Network Analysis Perspective , Ana Keshelashvili

Emotional Bond between the Creator and the Avatar: Changes in Behavioral Intentions to Engage in Alcohol-Related Traffic Risk Behaviors , Hokyung Kim

Handcuffing Speech: Federal Fraud Statutes and the Criminalization of Advertising , Carmen Maye

Social Movements, Media, and Democratization in Georgia , Maia Mikashavidze

Am I in Danger? : Predictors and Behavioral Outcomes of Public Perception of Risk Associated with Food Hazards , Sang-Hwa Oh

Parental Mediation of Adolescent Movie Viewing , Larry James Webster Jr.

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

Political Advertising In Kuwait - A Functional Discourse Analysis , Jasem Alqaseer

The Westernization of Advertisements Published In Kuwaiti Newspapers From 1992 to 2012; A Content Analysis , Farah Taleb Alrefai

What Can Reader Comments to News Online Contribute to Engagement and Interactivity? A Quantitative Approach , Brett A. Borton

Exploring a paradigm shift: The New York Times' framing of sub-Saharan Africa in stories of conflict, war and development during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, 1945-2009 , Zadok Opero Ekimwere

Mental Health On Youtube: Exploring the Potential of Interactive Media to Change Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors About Mental Health , Caroline Belser Foster

That's News to Me: An Exploratory Study of the Uses and Gratifications of Current Events On Social Media of 18-24 Year-Olds , John Vincent Karlis

Making Stewardship Meaningful For Nonprofits: Stakeholder Motivations, Attitudes, Loyalty and Behaviors , Geah N. Pressgrove

An Alternative Path: The Intellectual Legacy of James W. Carey , Matthew Ross

The Corporation in the Marketplace of Ideas: The Law and Economics of Corporate Political Speech , Matthew W. Telleen

Child Sexual Abuse In the Media: Is Institutional Failure to Blame? , Jane Long Weatherred

Theses/Dissertations from 2012 2012

The Relationship Between Facebook Use and Religiosity Among Emerging Adults , Heidi D. Campbell

Attribute Agenda Setting, Attribtue Priming, and The Public's Evaluation of Genetically Modified (GM) Food in South Korea , Soo Yun Kim

What's Mine is Yours: An Exploratory Study of Attitudes and Conceptions About Online Personal Privacy In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam , Patrick Sharbaugh

Theses/Dissertations from 2011 2011

How Journalists Perceive Internal and External Influence: A Qualitative Assessment of Local Television Reporters' Ethical Decision-Making , Beth Eckard Concepcion

Collective Memory of the War In Iraq: An Analysis of Letters to the Editor and Public Opinion Polls, 2003-2008 , Lisa Cash Luedeman

A Framing Analysis and Model of Barack Obama in Political Cartoons , Anthony Palmer

Theses/Dissertations from 2010 2010

Breaking Down the Fear' -- John H. Mccray, Accommodationism and theFraming of the Civil Rights Struggle in South Carolina, 1940-1948 , Sid Bedingfield

Do You See What I See?: A Comparative Content Analysis of Iraq War Photographs As Published In the New York Times and the Tehran Times , Garen Cansler

Exploring Intention to Adopt Mobile Tv Services In the U.S.: Toward A New Model With Cognitive-Based and Emotional-Based Constructs , Seoyoon Choi

Media Representations and Implications For Collective Memory: A Grounded Theory Analysis of TV News Broadcasts of Hillary Clinton From 1993-2008 , Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin

Resonance and Elaboration: the Framing Effect of Chinese Product Safety Issue Coverage , Ji Pan

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The Communication Thesis

An honors or ComPS thesis allows students to take a deep dive into their chosen research topic, learning how to ask and answer big questions about our world.

Senior Honors theses and Communication and Public Service (ComPS) Capstone theses offer Senior Comm Majors an exciting intellectual opportunity to thoroughly investigate a Comm-related subject of their choice. Annenberg provides unique support to thesis students through the required two-semester Honors/ComPS Thesis Seminar and one-on-one mentorship by two faculty members. Thesis projects often serve as a qualifying experience for graduate education or, equally, may offer important evidence to employers of your skills in research and analytical thinking. 

Senior Comm Majors’ thesis projects can be quantitative (e.g., surveys, experiments, content analyses) or qualitative (e.g., interviews, focus groups, textual analyses) research. Prior theses have focused on a wide range of communication topics including:

  • Emotional chatbots and loneliness
  • Mental health and children’s TV
  • A comparison of Boomer and Millennial political rhetoric
  • Diva worship on Twitter
  • Street art at the US/Mexico border wall
  • Understanding of social media privacy policies
  • U.S. hurricane news coverage
  • The U.S. immigration debate
  • And many more Comm-related topics!

Copies of previous theses are available for review in the  Annenberg Library .   

Interested students should contact Dr.  Kim Woolf ,  Academic Advisor and Research Director, Undergraduate Studies.

The thesis is a two-semester course for Communication majors, taken during the senior year.

  • During the first semester, students write a research proposal that includes a literature review and detailed methodology.
  • During the second semester, students conduct data collection and analysis and write the results and discussion to complete the thesis describing this work.

Students work with two professors throughout the course — a designated faculty supervisor and a thesis seminar supervisor — and receive one advanced course credit toward the Communication major for each semester completed.

Communication majors are strongly encouraged, though not required, to complete a thesis. On average, 15 to 20 percent of all majors write a thesis.

General Requirements

  • The thesis is a two semester course. Students are required to successfully complete both semesters of the course to complete the thesis.
  • Obtain a faculty supervisor
  • Obtain written certification from the faculty supervisor that the student has the required technological and editing skills needed
  • Notify Dr.  Kim Woolf  of their intention to complete a documentary thesis
  • The thesis must be original work not completed in a previous course or undertaken in a current course outside the thesis seminar. In some cases, the thesis may continue work initiated in an Independent Study or in COMM 395 completed prior to the fall semester of senior year. Prior written approval by both thesis supervisors is required to ensure that an appropriate amount of new research is conducted for the thesis. 
  • Studies may be quantitative (e.g., surveys, experiments, content analyses) or qualitative (e.g., interviews, focus groups, textual analyses of magazines, TV shows, speeches, etc.).

Eligibility for the Thesis

Annenberg offers two undergraduate thesis options with different eligibility requirements:

Honors Thesis Eligibility 

  • By the end of the junior year, students must have achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 in all University of Pennsylvania courses.
  • Students must maintain a 3.50 cumulative GPA through the end of the first semester of senior year AND obtain a grade of B+ or higher in the first semester of the thesis seminar. Students who fail to meet the eligibility requirements at the end of the first semester thesis course may not enroll in the second semester thesis course, but will receive one advanced credit towards the Communication major for the first semester.

Note:  Eligibility for the Honors thesis does not guarantee a degree in Communication with Honors. To obtain Honors, students must complete all major requirements, achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher in all University of Pennsylvania courses at the conclusion of coursework, and earn a grade of A- or higher for the completed thesis in the second semester. 

ComPS Capstone Thesis Eligibility

  • A thesis is required for all students who graduate with the ComPS designation.

Note:  ComPS students who meet the requirements for a degree with Honors may designate the Capstone thesis as a Capstone Honors thesis.

Students who withdraw from the ComPS program at the end of the first semester of the thesis may continue in the second semester of the seminar only if they meet honors thesis eligibility requirements. Students who are not eligible to enroll in the second semester thesis seminar will receive one advanced credit towards the Communication major for the first semester. 

Amanda Damon with her thesis poster

“Writing a ComPS Honors thesis my senior year undoubtedly was the most rewarding experience I had throughout my four years at Penn. It taught me that when you identify a passion, through hard work and a focused effort, you can cultivate it and transform those beliefs or ideas in your head into something tangible and important. I re-read my thesis every few months and am constantly reminded of how pertinent my words still are and how proud I am that I created this body of work with Annenberg's support.” –Amanda Damon C'19, “ The Immigrant Debate in America: The Civil Rights Question of Our Time? ”

Seminar Enrollment Requirements

Requirements for enrollment in the first semester seminar comm 4797 (formerly 494).

  • Meet the eligibility requirements listed above.
  • Designated faculty supervisors may be Annenberg  faculty members ,  secondary faculty members , or some approved  lecturers . These faculty members are listed on the Annenberg website. Ideally, the faculty supervisor is one with whom you have taken one or more classes. 
  • Students should begin the process of identifying a thesis topic and faculty supervisor during the junior year.
  • Submit a research topic statement approved and signed by the designated faculty supervisor (not the thesis seminar supervisor) by the second class in the Fall Semester of senior year. Failure to submit a research topic statement approved by a designated faculty supervisor will prevent enrollment in the thesis seminar.

Required Forms

Honors Thesis Topic Statement ComPS Capstone Thesis Topic Statement

Prepared in consultation with the designated faculty supervisor, the research topic statement should be approximately 3-5 pages long. It should include:

  • A review of relevant scholarship on the thesis topic
  • Research questions or hypotheses to be addressed in the thesis research
  • A brief description of the proposed methodology

Successful Completion of the First Semester Seminar

During proposal and thesis preparation, students will work jointly with the designated faculty supervisor and the seminar supervisor.

By the end of the first semester, all thesis students are required to submit a completed thesis proposal approved by both thesis supervisors. The proposal must include a detailed literature review and approved methodology. Completed coding manuals, experimental manipulations, questionnaires, and other instruments appropriate for the study methodology should be included in the proposal. 

Applications for review of studies involving human subjects should be submitted to the Institutional Review Board in a timely manner, normally before the end of the first semester.

Requirements for enrollment in the Second Semester Seminar, COMM 4897 (formerly 495) or COMM 4997 (formerly 499)

  • A completed thesis proposal signed by both thesis supervisors.
  • Honors students must continue to maintain a 3.50 cumulative GPA and obtain a grade of B+ or higher in the first semester seminar. 
  • ComPS thesis students must continue with the ComPS designation. Those who drop out of the ComPS program are not eligible to continue with the second semester unless they meet Honors thesis requirements.

Successful Completion of the Thesis

Students will complete the thesis on a schedule specified by the thesis seminar supervisor. Every thesis must have four main components:

  • Literature review (review of prior research)
  • Methodology
  • Results/Findings

There are no minimum page requirements for the thesis. The maximum length of the thesis is 100 pages, not including references or appendices. Students may apply for an exception to the maximum page limit; decisions will be made on a case by case basis. Formatting requirements will be distributed in the thesis seminar.

A thesis is not complete until all necessary revisions have been made, and both thesis supervisors have signed off on the final draft.

Additional Requirements

To successfully complete the thesis, students must also:

  •  Meet regularly with both thesis supervisors to discuss progress toward completion
  • Attend all required classes and individual meetings of the thesis seminar for both semesters
  • Meet all deadlines laid out in the thesis course syllabus
  • Present the thesis at a public forum at the end of the second semester. Length, date, time and format will be determined by the thesis seminar supervisor.

Thesis Awards

The Annenberg School offers two  thesis awards at graduation . Honors thesis students are eligible for the George Gerbner Award. ComPS Capstone thesis students are eligible for the Communication and Public Service (Eisenhower) Award.   ComPS students who are also Honors students are eligible for both awards.

Students who submit their completed thesis on or before the final completion date set by the department are eligible to be nominated for these awards.

Past Theses

Honors and ComPS theses span a wide variety of topics. Scroll below to see thesis titles of some past students.

Lilianna Gurry

Lilianna Gurry C'20: “Transforming the Media Regime in 47 Volumes: The Pentagon Papers Case and the Rise of Partisan Media”

Elena Hoffman

Elena Hoffman C'20: “A Good Neighbor? Examining Presidential Rhetoric on Wilsonian Foreign Policy in Central America”

Tiffany Wang

Tiffany Wang C'20: “East Meets West: Evaluating the Impact of American Films on Taiwanese Political Perspectives”

Jose Carreras-Tartak

Jose Carreras-Tartak C'19: “A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis and Comparison of Online U.S. Hurricane News Coverage”

Arielle Goldfine

Arielle Goldfine C'19: “Shaken Baby Syndrome in the Courtroom: A Rhetorical Study of Scientific Iconography and Prosecutorial Persuasion”

Nicholas Hunsicker

Nicholas Hunsicker C'19: “Yaaaaas Gaga: Diva Worship, Identity Formation, and Communities of Gay Men on Twitter”

Evangeline Giannopolous

Evangeline Giannopolous C'18: “The Comparative Effects of American and Norwegian Television Sexual Content on American Adolescent Sexual Intentions, Attitudes, and Knowledge”

Jaslyn McIntosh

Jaslyn McIntosh C'17: “Identity in the Age of Swiping: An Exploration of Identity Formation on Tinder Social”


Mass Communication Thesis Topics

thesis topics for communication students

Selecting the right thesis topic in mass communication is a pivotal step for students aiming to delve deeply into this diverse and ever-evolving field. The right choice can pave the way for groundbreaking research and significant contributions to the landscape of media studies. Whether exploring the impact of social media , dissecting the nuances of digital journalism , or analyzing advertising strategies, a well-chosen topic in mass communication can significantly shape one’s academic journey and offer fresh perspectives in this dynamic field.

What are Mass Communication Thesis Topics?

Mass communication thesis topics are specific subjects or areas of research that students can choose for their thesis in the field of mass communication . These topics typically focus on various aspects of communication and media, ranging from the impact of social media on society to the ethical considerations in journalism and advertising. The choice of a thesis topic in mass communication reflects a student’s academic interests and is crucial for their in-depth study and contribution to the field. These topics not only allow students to explore specific areas in mass communication but also contribute new insights and perspectives to the broader field of media studies.

What is the List of Mass Communication Thesis Topics?

When embarking on a thesis in the dynamic field of mass communication, choosing the right topic is essential. This comprehensive list of mass communication thesis topics provides a variety of ideas that cover different aspects of the field, tailored to suit a range of academic interests and explorations.

What is the List of Mass Communication Thesis Topics

The Role of Social Media in Modern-Day Politics

Social media platforms play a pivotal role in shaping political landscapes. This topic examines their influence on political campaigns, voter behavior, and public opinion, revealing how digital platforms are redefining political engagement and discourse.

The Impact of Digital Journalism on Traditional News Media

Investigate the seismic shift in news media caused by the advent of digital journalism . This topic delves into how online platforms are affecting traditional news outlets, reshaping news distribution and consumption.

Ethical Considerations in Advertising

Explore the ethical boundaries within the advertising industry, focusing on consumer rights and the authenticity of advertising content. This topic is crucial for understanding the moral implications and responsibilities in mass communication.

The Evolution of Public Relations in the Digital Era

Analyze how digital media has revolutionized public relations strategies and practices. This topic highlights the transformation and challenges faced by PR professionals in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Media Coverage and Public Perception of Climate Change

Study the role of mass communication in shaping public understanding and attitudes towards climate change . This topic focuses on how media coverage influences public perception and policy-making regarding environmental issues.

The Effectiveness of Crisis Communication in Public Health Emergencies

Evaluate mass communication strategies during public health crises, such as pandemics. This topic explores how crisis communication is managed and its impact on public response and safety.

Cultural Representation in Mass Media

Research how mainstream media represents various cultures and its influence on societal attitudes. This topic is significant for understanding media’s role in promoting cultural diversity and shaping public perception.

The Psychology of Social Media Marketing

Delve into the psychological aspects of social media marketing and its impact on consumer behavior. This topic examines the strategies used in social media to influence consumer decisions and behavior.

Communication Strategies in Non-Profit Organizations

Examine how non-profit organizations leverage mass communication to advocate for their causes and engage with the public. This topic is crucial for understanding the communication tactics used in the non-profit sector.

The Influence of Celebrity Endorsements in Media Advertising

Analyze the impact and effectiveness of celebrity endorsements in advertising campaigns . This topic explores the power of celebrity influence in shaping consumer preferences and brand perception.

The Role of Media in Shaping Gender Perceptions

Explore the influence of media on societal gender stereotypes and perceptions. This topic focuses on how media representation affects gender norms and societal attitudes.

The Future of Broadcast Media in the Age of Streaming Services

Investigate the challenges faced by broadcast media in the era of streaming services. This topic is vital for understanding how traditional media adapts to the changing landscape of digital consumption.

Privacy and Ethics in Digital Media Consumption

Examine the ethical concerns and privacy issues associated with digital media consumption. This topic is increasingly relevant in an age where digital privacy and ethics are of paramount concern.

The Impact of Virtual Reality on Media Consumption

Research the emerging role of virtual reality in media and its potential implications. This topic explores how VR is changing the way media is consumed and experienced.

Audience Analysis in Media Programming

Study the importance and techniques of audience analysis in media content creation and adaptation. This topic is key to understanding how media tailors content to meet the preferences and needs of diverse audiences.

50 Mass Communication Thesis Topics

Choosing the right thesis topic in mass communication is crucial for students looking to make a meaningful impact in this dynamic and ever-evolving field. With the rapid advancement of technology and the changing landscape of media, there are numerous areas ripe for exploration. From analyzing the role of social media in shaping public opinion to examining the ethical dimensions of advertising, each topic offers a unique opportunity to delve into the intricacies of communication and its influence on society. Whether interested in the effects of digital journalism, the power of public relations, or the impact of emerging technologies like virtual reality, students in mass communication have a rich array of topics to explore, each promising to contribute valuable insights and foster a deeper understanding of the complexities of media and communication in the modern world.

  • The Influence of Social Media on Political Campaigns Social media has revolutionized political campaigning. This topic explores its impact on voter engagement and political discourse, assessing how platforms like Twitter and Facebook shape electoral outcomes.
  • Digital Transformation in News Media The shift to digital platforms has significantly altered the landscape of news media. This thesis examines how traditional newspapers and television news adapt to the digital age.
  • Ethical Challenges in Advertising Advertising faces numerous ethical challenges, from misleading claims to targeting vulnerable audiences. This topic delves into these issues, evaluating the responsibilities of advertisers.
  • Public Relations and Crisis Management Effective public relations strategies are crucial in crisis management. This thesis explores how PR professionals navigate crises to maintain or restore public trust.
  • Media’s Role in Environmental Awareness Media plays a key role in shaping public perception of environmental issues. This topic examines how coverage of topics like climate change influences public attitudes and policies.
  • Effectiveness of Health Campaigns in Mass Media The success of public health campaigns often relies on mass media . This thesis evaluates the strategies used and their impact on public health outcomes.
  • Cultural Representation in Hollywood Films Hollywood’s global influence makes the cultural representation in its films a vital study. This topic examines how accurately and diversely cultures are portrayed.
  • Consumer Behavior and Social Media Marketing Social media marketing significantly influences consumer behavior. This thesis investigates the strategies used and their effectiveness in shaping consumer choices.
  • Non-Profit Organizations and Digital Communication Strategies Digital communication is key for non-profit organizations in reaching their audience. This topic assesses the effectiveness of these strategies in fundraising and awareness campaigns.
  • Celebrity Endorsements in Brand Promotion Celebrity endorsements play a significant role in brand promotion. This topic analyzes their impact on brand perception and consumer buying behavior.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Television Advertising Television advertising often perpetuates gender stereotypes. This thesis examines these portrayals and their societal implications.
  • Challenges for Traditional Broadcasting in the Streaming Era The rise of streaming services presents challenges for traditional broadcasting . This topic explores the adaptations and future of traditional broadcasting mediums.
  • Privacy Concerns in Digital Media Consumption The consumption of digital media raises significant privacy concerns. This thesis studies the balance between personalized content and user privacy.
  • Virtual Reality as a Media Tool Virtual reality technology is reshaping media consumption. This topic examines its potential and challenges in transforming the media experience.
  • Audience Segmentation in Television Programming Understanding audience segments is crucial for television programming . This thesis analyzes the strategies for and impact of audience segmentation.
  • The Role of Podcasts in Modern Journalism Podcasts have become a powerful tool in journalism . This topic explores their role in storytelling and news dissemination.
  • Advertising Strategies in E-commerce E-commerce platforms utilize unique advertising strategies . This thesis investigates these methods and their effectiveness in driving sales.
  • Influence of Music Videos on Youth Culture Music videos significantly influence youth culture and trends. This topic examines this influence and its implications on cultural and behavioral norms.
  • Media Literacy Education in Schools Enhancing media literacy in education is vital in the digital age. This thesis assesses the current state and potential strategies for media literacy education.
  • The Ethics of Photojournalism in Conflict Zones Photojournalism in conflict zones raises ethical questions. This topic delves into the responsibilities and challenges faced by photojournalists.
  • The Impact of Influencer Marketing on Consumer Trust Influencer marketing is reshaping consumer trust. This thesis evaluates how influencers affect brand credibility and consumer decisions.
  • The Evolution of Print Media in the Digital Age Print media faces unique challenges in the digital era. This topic explores its evolution and strategies for survival.
  • Political Satire and Public Opinion Political satire has a notable impact on public opinion. This thesis investigates its role and influence in political discourse.
  • Social Media’s Role in Mental Health Awareness Social media platforms are increasingly used for mental health awareness. This topic assesses their impact on public awareness and stigma reduction.
  • The Dynamics of Newsroom Decision-Making Decision-making in newsrooms is crucial for journalism . This thesis explores the processes and influences behind editorial decisions.
  • Mobile Journalism and Its Future Mobile journalism is redefining news reporting. This topic examines its advantages, challenges, and future potential.
  • Interactive Advertising and Consumer Engagement Interactive advertising enhances consumer engagement. This thesis investigates its techniques and effectiveness in engaging audiences.
  • The Role of Documentaries in Social Activism Documentaries are a powerful tool in social activism. This topic examines their impact on raising awareness and driving change.
  • Impact of 24-Hour News Cycle on Journalism Quality The 24-hour news cycle poses challenges to journalism quality. This thesis analyzes its effects on news reporting and information quality.
  • The Power of Radio in the Digital Age Despite the rise of digital media, radio retains significant power. This topic explores its role and relevance in the current media landscape.
  • Children’s Advertising and Ethical Considerations Advertising to children brings unique ethical considerations. This thesis studies these issues and the regulatory environment.
  • Media’s Influence on Body Image Perceptions Media plays a significant role in shaping body image perceptions. This topic investigates this influence and its consequences.
  • Digital Divide and Access to Information The digital divide affects access to information. This thesis examines its implications on society and efforts to bridge the gap.
  • Globalization of Media and Cultural Impact Media globalization has significant cultural impacts. This topic analyzes its effects on cultural identities and global communication.
  • Sensationalism in News Reporting Sensationalism in news reporting affects public perception. This thesis investigates its prevalence and impact on journalism integrity.
  • User-Generated Content and Its Influence on News User-generated content is changing the landscape of news . This topic explores its role and implications for traditional journalism.
  • Corporate Communication Strategies in the Digital Era Corporate communication strategies have evolved in the digital age. This thesis examines these changes and their impact on corporate reputation.
  • Film Censorship and Freedom of Expression Film censorship raises questions about freedom of expression. This topic delves into the balance between regulation and artistic freedom.
  • The Role of Community Radio in Social Development Community radio plays a key role in social development. This thesis assesses its impact on local communities and empowerment.
  • Fashion Blogging and Its Impact on the Industry Fashion blogging has transformed the fashion industry. This topic explores its influence on trends and consumer behavior.
  • Sports Broadcasting and Fan Engagement Sports broadcasting significantly impacts fan engagement. This thesis examines its strategies and effectiveness in engaging sports audiences.
  • The Impact of Online Reviews on Consumer Decisions Online reviews greatly influence consumer decisions. This topic investigates their role and credibility in the digital marketplace.
  • Media’s Role in Disaster Management and Communication Effective media communication is vital in disaster management. This thesis studies its strategies and impact during emergencies.
  • The Ethics of Reality Television Reality television poses unique ethical challenges. This topic explores these challenges and their implications for participants and audiences.
  • The Impact of Animation in Children’s Education Animation plays a significant role in children’s education. This thesis assesses its effectiveness and educational value.
  • Political Economy of Media The political economy of media is crucial for understanding media operations and influences. This topic delves into the interplay between media, politics, and economics.
  • The Role of Mass Media in National Development Mass media plays a key role in national development. This thesis explores its contributions to societal growth and development.
  • Digital Storytelling and Narrative Techniques Digital storytelling uses innovative narrative techniques. This topic examines its methods and impact on audience engagement.
  • Media Censorship in Authoritarian Regimes Media censorship in authoritarian regimes reveals power dynamics. This thesis investigates its methods and impact on freedom of information.
  • The Impact of E-books on the Publishing Industry The rise of e-books presents challenges and opportunities for the publishing industry. This topic explores its effects on traditional publishing practices.

How to Select the Mass Communication Thesis Topic?

Choosing the right thesis topic in mass communication is a crucial step for students aspiring to contribute effectively to this evolving field. A well-selected topic not only paves the way for a successful research journey but also enhances academic and professional growth.

How to Select the Mass Communication Thesis Topic

Understanding Your Interests and Strengths

Begin by introspecting your interests and strengths within mass communication . Whether your passion lies in social media , journalism , or any other media field, aligning your topic with your interests ensures a more engaged and motivated research process.

Analyzing Current Trends and Gaps

Keep an eye on current trends in the field of mass communication . This includes emerging themes in digital journalism , social media dynamics, or the latest in advertising strategies. Identifying gaps in existing research can lead to a more impactful thesis topic.

Considering the Scope and Resources

Evaluate the scope of your potential topic in terms of research feasibility. Ensure you have access to necessary resources, be it for studying broadcasting techniques or analyzing print media . The availability of data and resources will significantly shape your research journey.

Seeking Academic and Professional Opinions

Consult with academic advisors and industry professionals. Their insights, especially on evolving aspects like email marketing or television broadcasting , can provide valuable guidance on choosing a topic that is both academically relevant and industry pertinent.

Evaluating Relevance and Contribution

Consider how your chosen topic will contribute to the field of mass communication . A topic that offers fresh insights into public relations strategies or blogging trends can be more rewarding and have a greater impact on your professional trajectory.

Balancing Passion and Practicality

While it’s important to choose a topic you are passionate about, balancing this with practicality is key. Ensure your topic is realistic and manageable within the given time frame and academic requirements.

Future Career Implications

Reflect on how your thesis topic in mass communication can align with or influence your career goals. Whether you aim to specialize in television production , social media analytics , or any other area, your thesis can be a stepping stone towards that career path.

Tips on Choosing the Best Communication Thesis Topic

Selecting the right thesis topic in the field of mass communication is a critical decision that sets the stage for your academic research. Here are some key tips to guide you in choosing the best topic, ensuring it aligns with your interests and the ever-evolving landscape of mass communication.

Align with Current Trends and Relevance

Choose a topic that aligns with current trends in mass communication . This ensures your research is relevant and contributes to ongoing conversations in the field. For instance, exploring the impact of social media on traditional news outlets could offer timely insights.

Personal Interest and Passion

Select a topic that you are personally interested in. Passion for your subject matter not only makes the research process more engaging but also drives deeper exploration. Whether it’s the ethics of advertising or the evolution of public relations , choose a topic that resonates with you.

Scope for Innovation and Originality

Look for topics that offer scope for innovation. A unique angle or an underexplored area in mass communication can set your work apart. For example, investigating the use of virtual reality in media programming could provide fresh insights.

Availability of Resources and Research Material

Ensure there are sufficient resources and research material available on your chosen topic. Accessibility to relevant data, case studies, and existing literature in fields like digital journalism or broadcast media is crucial for comprehensive research.

Consider Future Career Implications

Choose a topic that could benefit your future career. If you’re aiming for a career in media advertising , selecting a topic in this area could provide valuable insights and experience for your professional journey.

Academic Advisor Consultation

Consult with your academic advisor or mentor. Their expertise in mass communication can guide you toward a topic that is feasible, valuable, and academically sound. They can provide perspective on areas like the role of media in shaping public opinion.

Feasibility and Research Methodology

Assess the feasibility of your research. Ensure that the methodology required for topics like crisis communication in public health or cultural representation in media is practical and manageable within your time and resource constraints.

Contribution to the Field

Consider how your research could contribute to the field of mass communication. A topic that addresses gaps in areas like audience analysis or the psychological impact of social media marketing can make your thesis more impactful.

Ethical Considerations

Ensure your topic adheres to ethical standards, especially when dealing with sensitive areas like privacy in digital media or gender perceptions in mass media. Ethical research is crucial for credibility and integrity.

Future Research Opportunities

Think about how your topic can pave the way for future research. Topics that open doors for further exploration, like the changing landscape of television media in the digital age, can be particularly rewarding.

Choosing the right thesis topic in mass communication is a crucial step in your academic journey. By aligning with current trends, personal interests, and career goals, and considering innovation, resources, and ethical standards, you can select a topic that not only enriches your understanding but also makes a meaningful contribution to the evolving landscape of mass communication.


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Digital Commons @ USF > College of Arts and Sciences > Department of Communication > Theses and Dissertations

Communication Theses and Dissertations

Theses/dissertations from 2023 2023.

Consumer Purchase Intent in Opinion Leader Live Streaming , Jihong Huo

Organizing and Communicating Health: A Culture-centered and Necrocapitalist Inquiry of Groundwater Contamination in Rural West Bengal , Parameswari Mukherjee

HIV Stalks Bodies Like Mine: An Autoethnography of Self-Disclosure, Stigmatized Identity, and (In)Visibility in Queer Lived Experience , Steven Ryder

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

Reviving the Christian Left: A Thematic Analysis of Progressive Christian Identity in American Politics , Adam Blake Arledge

Organizing Economies: Narrative Sensemaking and Communciative Resilience During Economic Disruption , Timothy Betts

The Tesla Brake Failure Protestor Scandal: A Case Study of Situational Crisis Communication Theory on Chinese Media , Jiajun Liu

Inflammatory Bowel Disease & Social (In)Visibility: An Interpretive Study of Food Choice, Self-Blame and Coping in Women Living with IBD , Jessica N. Lolli

Florida Punks: Punk, Performance, and Community at Gainesville’s Fest , Michael Anthony Mcdowell Ii

Re-centering and De-centering ‘Race’: an Analysis of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Organizational Websites , Beatriz Nieto-Fernandez

The Labors of Professional Wrestling: The Dream, the Drive, and Debility , Brooks Oglesby

Outside the Boundaries of Biomedicine: A Culture-Centered Approach to Female Patients Living Undiagnosed and Chronically Ill , Bianca Siegenthaler

The Effect of Racial and Ethnic Identity Salience on Online Political Expression and Political Participation in the United States , Jonathon Smith

Grey’s Anatomy and End of Life Ethics , Sean Micheal Swenson

Informal Communication, Sensemaking, and Relational Precarity: Constituting Resilience in Remote Work During COVID , Tanya R.M. Vomacka

Making a Way: An Auto/ethnographic Exploration of Narratives of Citizenship, Identity, (Un)Belonging and Home for Black Trinidadian[-]American Women , Anjuliet G. Woodruffe

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

When I Rhyme It’s Sincerely Yours: Burkean Identification and Jay-Z’s Black Sincerity Rhetoric in the Post Soul Era , Antoine Francis Hardy

Explicating the Process of Communicative Disenfranchisement for Women with Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs) , Elizabeth A. Hintz

Mitigating Negativity Bias in Media Selection , Gabrielle R. Jarmoszko

Blue Rage: A Critical Cultural Analysis of Policing, Whiteness, and Racial Surveillance , Wesley T. Johnson

Narratives of Success: How Honors College Newcomers Frame the Entrance to College , Cayla Lanier

Peminist Performance in/as Filipina Feminist Praxis: Collaging Stand-Up Comedy and the Narrative Points in Between , Christina-Marie A. Magalona

¿De dónde eres?: Negotiating identity as third culture kids , Sophia Margulies

The Rise of the "Gatecrashers": The Growing Impact of Athletes Breaking News on Mainstream Media through Social Media , Michael Nabors

Learning From The Seed: Illuminating Black Girlhood in Sustainable Living Paradigms , Toni Powell Powell Young

A Comparative Thematic Analysis of Newspaper Articles in France after the Bataclan and in the United States of America after Pulse , Simon Rousset

This is it: Latina/x Representation on One Day at a Time , Camille Ruiz Mangual

STOP- motion as theory, method, and praxis: ARRESTING moments of racialized gender in the academy , Sasha J. Sanders

Advice as Metadiscourse: On the gendering of women's leadership in advice-giving practices , Amaly Santiago

The Communicative Constitution of Environment: Land, Weather, Climate , Leanna K. Smithberger

Women Entrepreneurs in China: Dialectical Discourses, Situated Activities, and the (Re)production of Gender and Entrepreneurship , Zhenyu Tian

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020

Constructing a Neoliberal Youth Culture in Postcolonial Bangladeshi Advertising , Md Khorshed Alam

Communication, Learning and Social Support at the Speaking Center: A Communities of Practice Perspective , Ann Marie Foley Coats

A Visit to Cuba: Performance Ethnography of Place , Adolfo Lagomasino

Elemental Climate Disaster Texts and Queer Ecological Temporality , Laura Mattson

When the Beat Drops: Exploring Hip Hop, Home and Black Masculinity , Marquese Lamont McFerguson

Communication Skills in Medical Education: A Discourse Analysis of Simulated Patient Practices , Grace Ellen Peters

Hiding Under the Sun: Health, Access, and Discourses of Representation in Undocumented Communities , Jaime Shamado Robb

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

Walking Each Other Home: Sensemaking of Illness Identity in an Online Metastatic Cancer Community , Ariane B. Anderson

Widow Narratives on Film and in Memoirs: Exploring Formula Stories of Grief and Loss of Older Women After the Death of a Spouse , Jennifer R. Bender

Life as a Reluctant Immigrant: An Autoethnographic Inquiry , Dionel Cotanda

“It’s A Broken System That’s Designed to Destroy”: A Critical Narrative Analysis of Healthcare Providers’ Stories About Race, Reproductive Health, and Policy , Brianna Rae Cusanno

Representations of Indian Christians in Bollywood Movies , Ryan A. D'souza

(re)Making Worlds Together: Rooster Teeth, Community, and Sites of Engagement , Andrea M. M. Fortin

In Another's Voice: Making Sense of Reproductive Health as Women of Color , Nivethitha Ketheeswaran

Communication as Constitutive of Organization: Practicing Collaboration in and English Language Program , Ariadne Miranda

Interrogating Homonationalism in Love, Simon , Jessica S. Rauchberg

Making Sense at the Margins: Describing Narratives on Food Insecurity Through Hip-hop , Lemuel Scott

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

Telling a Rape Joke: Performing Humor in a Victim Help Center , Angela Mary Candela

Becoming a Woman of ISIS , Zoe D. Fine

The Uses of Community in Modern American Rhetoric , Cody Ryan Hawley

Opening Wounds and Possibilities: A Critical Examination of Violence and Monstrosity in Horror TV , Amanda K. Leblanc

As Good as it Gets: Redefining Survival through Post-Race and Post-Feminism in Apocalyptic Film and Television , Mark R. McCarthy

Managing a food health crisis: Perceptions and reactions to different response strategies , Yifei Ren

Everything is Fine: Self-Portrait of a Caregiver with Chronic Depression and Other Preexisting Conditions , Erin L. Scheffels

Lives on the (story)Line: Group Facilitation with Men in Recovery at The Salvation Army , Lisa Pia Zonni Spinazola

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017

Breach: Understanding the Mandatory Reporting of Title IX Violations as Pedagogy and Performance , Jacob G. Abraham

Documenting an Imperfect Past: Examining Tampa's Racial Integration through Community, Film, and Remembrance of Central Avenue , Travis R. Bell

Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia and Quality-of-Life: Ovarian and Uterine Cancer Patients and the Aesthetics of Disease , Meredith L. Clements

Full-Time Teleworkers Sensemaking Process for Informal Communication , Sheila A. Gobes-Ryan

Volunteer Tourism: Fulfilling the Needs for God and Medicine in Latin America , Erin Howell

Practical Theology in an Interpretive Community: An Ethnography of Talk, Texts and Video in a Mediated Women's Bible Study , Nancie Hudson

Performing Narrative Medicine: Understanding Familial Chronic Illness through Performance , Alyse Keller

Second-Generation Bruja : Transforming Ancestral Shadows into Spiritual Activism , Lorraine E. Monteagut

The Rhetoric of Scientific Authority: A Rhetorical Examination of _An Inconvenient Truth_ , Alexander W. Morales

Daniel Bryan & The Negotiation of Kayfabe in Professional Wrestling , Brooks Oglesby

Improvising Close Relationships: A Relational Perspective on Vulnerability , Nicholas Riggs

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

When Maps Ignore the Territory: An Examination of Gendered Language in Cancer Patient Literature , Joanna Bartell

From Portraits to Selfies: Family Photo-making Rituals , Krystal M. Bresnahan

Spiritual Frameworks in Pediatric Palliative Care: Understanding Parental Decision-making , Lindy Grief Davidson

Blue-Collar Scholars: Bridging Academic and Working-Class Worlds , Nathan Lee Hodges

The Communication Constitution of Law Enforcement in North Carolina’s Efforts Against Human Trafficking , Elizabeth Hampton Jeter

“Black Americans and HIV/AIDS in Popular Media” Conforming to The Politics of Respectability , Alisha Lynn Menzies

Selling the American Body: The Construction of American Identity Through the Slave Trade , Max W. Plumpton

In Search of Solidarity: Identification Participation in Virtual Fan Communities , Jaime Shamado Robb

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015

Straight Benevolence: Preserving Heterosexual Authority and White Privilege , Robb James Bruce

A Semiotic Phenomenology of Homelessness and the Precarious Community: A Matter of Boundary , Heather Renee Curry

Heart of the Beholder: The Pathos, Truths and Narratives of Thermopylae in _300_ , James Christopher Holcom

Was It Something They Said? Stand-up Comedy and Progressive Social Change , David M. Jenkins

The Meaning of Stories Without Meaning: A Post-Holocaust Experiment , Tori Chambers Lockler

Half Empty/Half Full: Absence, Ethnicity, and the Question of Identity in the United States , Ashley Josephine Martinez

Feeling at Home with Grief: An Ethnography of Continuing Bonds and Re-membering the Deceased , Blake Paxton

"In Heaven": Christian Couples' Experiences of Pregnancy Loss , Grace Ellen Peters

“You Better Redneckognize”: White Working-Class People and Reality Television , Tasha Rose Rennels

Designing Together with the World Café: Inviting Community Ideas for an Idea Zone in a Science Center , William Travis Thompson

Theses/Dissertations from 2014 2014

Crisis Communication: Sensemaking and Decision-making by the CDC Under Conditions of Uncertainty and Ambiguity During the 2009-2010 H1N1 Pandemic , Barbara Bennington

Communication as Yoga , Kristen Caroline Blinne

Love and (M)other (Im)possibilities , Summer Renee Cunningham

The Rhetoric of Corporate Identity: Corporate Social Responsibility, Creating Shared Value, and Globalization , Carolyn Day

"Is That What You Dream About? Being a Monster?": Bella Swan and the Construction of the Monstrous-Feminine in The Twilight Saga , Amanda Jayne Firestone

Organizing Disability: Producing Knowledge in a University Accommodations Office , Shelby Forbes

Emergency Medicine Triage as the Intersection of Storytelling, Decision-Making, and Dramaturgy , Colin Ainsworth Forde

Changing Landscapes: End-of-Life Care & Communication at a Zen Hospice , Ellen W. Klein

"We're Taking Slut Back": Analyzing Racialized Gender Politics in Chicago's 2012 Slutwalk March , Aphrodite Kocieda

Informing, Entertaining and Persuading: Health Communication at The Amazing You , David Haldane Lee

(Dis)Abled Gaming: An Autoethnographic Analysis of Decreasing Accessibility For Disabled Gamers , Kyle David Romano

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

African Americans and Hospice: A Culture-Centered Exploration of Disparities in End-of-Life Care , Patrick Dillon

Polysemy, Plurality, & Paradigms: The Quixotic Quest for Commensurability of Ethics and Professionalism in the Practices of Law , Eric Paul Engel

Examining the Ontoepistemological Underpinnings of Diversity Education Found in Interpersonal Communication Textbooks , Tammy L. Jeffries

The 2008 Candlelight Protest in South Korea: Articulating the Paradox of Resistance in Neoliberal Globalization , Huikyong Pang

Compassionate Storytelling with Holocaust Survivors: Cultivating Dialogue at the End of an Era , Chris J. Patti

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Development Communication Research Paper Topics

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  • Activist Media
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  • Daniel Lerner
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Development Communication in Historical Context

Historically, development strategies have targeted developing countries, meaning those with fewer resources than the wealthier countries supporting bilateral and multilateral development institutions. More recently, development goals have been incorporated into social and political protests, through transnational movements actively engaged in promoting economic, political, social, or cultural progress. Social change may be occurring as a result of a variety of factors, such as long-term shifts in policies and political leadership, economic circumstances, demographic characteristics, normative conditions, and ideological values: development communication intersects with social change at the point of intentional, strategic, organized interventions.

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Following World War II, development communication emerged as a foreign aid strategy, designed by northern and western institutions to promote modernization among less wealthy countries. Early approaches articulated by Daniel Lerner, Wilbur Schramm, and others advocated the promotion of media toward national modernization. Critics raised concerns with hierarchical communication transmissions devoid of historical, structural, or geopolitical context, with some arguing for more participatory processes.

Justifications for participatory development have varied greatly. Development institutions interested in creating efficient and effective projects understand participation as a necessary tool for achieving defined ends. Other development institutions concerned with the ethical aspects of participation are more likely to conceive of participation as an end in itself, regardless of project outcomes. Some participatory approaches build on more resistant strategies to fight oppressive conditions, inspired through Freire’s work in liberation theology. These concerns resonate with recent attention in development to the importance of social and political movements in the broader context of social change.

Although the focus of development communication has changed over time from concerns with modernity, to dependency, cultural imperialism, globalization, participation, and resistance, these shifts have not evolved in a linear fashion. Many underlying concerns with power, whether conceived within political-economic structures or within community contexts, or whether posited as hegemonic or pluralist processes, remain. Highlighting experiences of oppression and dominance, a reframing of the ‘geometry of development’ shifts the landscape of development from nation-states in north/ south orientations toward a more fluid sense of transnational collectivities and agencies.

Academic attention to development communication typically addresses programs designed to communicate for social change, or what can be called “communicating for development.” More recent critical approaches of development concern “communicating about development,” questioning the way that social change projects articulate assumptions about problems, solutions, and communities. These are not mutually exclusive endeavors: ongoing critique and research engaged through communicating about development should contribute to improving strategies for communicating for social change.

Communicating for Development

Communicating for development engages intentional strategies to promote socially beneficial goals. Development problems often addressed through these projects can be found in health, agriculture, governance, population, nutrition, sustainable development, and other subjects. These programs address a variety of themes, such as stimulating economic growth, promoting transparent governance, asserting cultural identities, and creating social spaces for community dialogue, through project implementation.

Communication interventions may help to mobilize support, create awareness, foster norms, encourage behavior change, influence policymakers, or even shift frames of social issues. The goals themselves vary with the underlying approach taken to development, such as social change frameworks based in social marketing, entertainment education, or media advocacy. What unites these approaches is having an intentional, organized strategy toward a specific, noncommercial goal. These types of projects differ, however, in terms of the types of groups they address and the nature of the social change process assumed. Some projects integrate more than one of these types of interventions in broader programmatic efforts. They also may incorporate a variety of mediated technologies as part of their strategic intervention. Communications technologies and processes contribute to these strategic approaches to directed social change.

Communicating about Development

A complementary approach within the broader field of development communication addresses the topic of communication about development. Critical of a development industry that appears to channel resources yet has worsening rather than improving consequences, some scholars position development as a particular discourse that communicates problematic assumptions about the nature of the problems addressed, appropriate solutions, and communities at risk.

The ideological assumptions of development are deconstructed and criticized in this approach. The underlying issue questions how development communicates particular ideological assumptions, and, moreover, what the implications are in terms of understanding power. Power can be understood as a negotiated and fluid process through which some agencies have the economic, cultural, and other resources to dominate and advance their agendas, whereas other groups have the potential to subvert and resist. Some development strategies explicitly take on the goal of empowerment, advocating the rights and responsibilities of particular communities.

Recent attention to postdevelopment posits social movements as radical alternatives to dominant development structures and ideologies. In this regard, social movements are seen not as a way to transform or improve mainstream development, but as potential channels for resistance. Opening our gaze to the possibilities of more resistant strategies means advocating a more inclusive conceptualization of development and social change.

Development Communication Research Agendas

Development communication requires research as integral to the dialogic implementation and assessment of programs. Individual projects need to be analyzed not only in terms of their defined objectives, but also as they relate to broader programmatic strategies and underlying social problems. Monitoring and evaluation research allows an assessment of the program consequences, in order to contribute to improving future projects.

Although quite different in strategies implemented and theories engaged, these approaches are united in their attempts to build on communication toward and about social change. Sharing a profound concern with devastating conditions worldwide, critical scholars and advocates broaden their vision of development communication to include concerns with inequities and to advocate for social justice. Development communication continues to offer an increasingly holistic and far-reaching framework for engaging in dialogue and action toward social change. Future research can inform development communication to improve its contribution toward resolving global concerns.


  • Dutta, M. (2011). Communicating social change: Structure, culture, agency. London: Routledge.
  • Enghel, F. & Wilkins, K. (eds.) (2012). Communication, media and development: Problems and perspectives. Nordicom, Special Issue, 31.
  • Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering development: The making and unmaking of the third world. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Gumucio-Dagron, A. & Tufte, T. (2006). Communication for social change anthology: Historical and contemporary readings. South Orange, NJ: Communication for Social Change Consortium.
  • McAnany, E. (2012). Saving the world: A brief history of communication for development and social change. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
  • S. (ed.) (2012). Development communication in directed social change: A reappraisal of theory and practice. Singapore: AMIC.
  • Nedervee Pieterse, J. (2001). Development theory: Deconstructions/reconstructions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Sparks, C. (2007). Globalization, development and the mass media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Wilkins, K. & Mody, B. (eds.) (2001). Communication, development, social change, and global disparity Communication Theory, Special issue, 11(4).
  • Wilkins, K., Tufte, T., & Obregon, R. (eds.) (2014). Handbook of development communication and social change. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Back to Communication Research Paper Topics .


thesis topics for communication students


101 Examples of Dissertation Research Topics for Psychology Students

Students looking for psychology dissertation topic ideas

The journey of a psychology student culminates in the all but dissertation stage and the challenging task of selecting a dissertation topic . The decision you make at this point will set the stage for your academic and professional trajectory.

This momentous project is not just a rite of passage but an opportunity to delve deeply into a niche area of interest, contribute to a body of knowledge, and possibly even ignite a career-long pursuit. With the vast expanse of psychology stretching from the neural synapses of the brain to the complex social interactions of communities, the challenge lies not in finding a topic, but in narrowing down the multitude of possibilities!

In this article, we present an expansive list of dissertation topics for psychology students who are in the process of choosing a good dissertation topic .

The ideas provided are designed to encourage exploration of both traditional and avant-garde topics, reflecting the current trends and enduring questions that shape the evolving landscape of psychological research. From the psychological impacts of digital detox to the cognitive rehabilitation techniques for stroke survivors, these topics are designed to accommodate various interests and academic pursuits. They cater not only to a comprehensive academic challenge but also to the practical implications that such research can have on individuals, systems, and societies.

As you take a look at these suggestions, it’s important that you consider not only what interests you but also what excites you. The best dissertation topic is one that you can commit to with passion and curiosity, one that promises a journey of discovery replete with challenges and rewards.

Before we present the list of dissertation ideas for psychology students, let’s take a look at what makes a good dissertation research topic.

What Makes a Good Dissertation Research Topic for Psychology Students?

A good psychology research topic should meet several key criteria to ensure it is valuable, feasible, and has the potential to contribute to the field. Here’s an overview of the characteristics that make a research topic stand out:

  • Relevance : The topic should address current issues or gaps in the field of psychology. It needs to be pertinent to contemporary debates, practices, or policies. Relevance also means that the research could have practical applications or implications, potentially informing practitioners, policymakers, or the general public.
  • Originality : A good research topic brings a new perspective to a known issue or explores an understudied area. The aim is to contribute original knowledge or insights rather than replicating past studies without adding substantial value.
  • Specificity : Broad topics can be overwhelming and impractical to tackle within the constraints of a typical research timeline and budget. A well-defined and focused research question allows for a more thorough and in-depth study.
  • Clarity : The topic should be framed in a way that is understandable and clear. This means avoiding jargon when unnecessary and defining key terms. A clearly articulated research question guides the methodology and helps maintain focus throughout the project.
  • Feasibility : This involves considering the researcher’s access to subjects, resources, and data. The research should be achievable within the given time frame and with available resources. Feasibility also concerns the ethical considerations and approval processes required for conducting research.
  • Interest : A researcher’s personal interest and passion for a topic can significantly influence the quality of the research. It’s beneficial if the topic resonates with the researcher’s own scholarly interests and curiosities.
  • Scope for Scientific Method : Good psychology research topics should allow for systematic investigation through accepted scientific methods. This includes the potential for hypothesis testing, operationalization of variables, and the use of statistical analysis to draw conclusions.
  • Ethical Soundness : Psychology research often involves human subjects, which necessitates careful ethical consideration. A good topic should conform to ethical standards, ensuring the privacy, consent, and welfare of participants.
  • Implications : Lastly, a good research topic should have clear theoretical, practical, or clinical implications. It should contribute to a greater understanding of the human mind and behavior, potentially leading to better psychological interventions or therapies.

While selecting a research topic for your dissertation is important, you should never overlook the importance of the writing and editing process. Dissertation proofreading services can help you refine your final draft and ensure it presents you in the best possible light.

Link to dissertation proofreading sales page

101 Psychology Dissertation Ideas

  • The Role of Social Media in Adolescent Mental Health: Investigate how different levels of social media use affect mood disorders in adolescents.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Depression: Analyze the efficacy of CBT interventions in treating depression among various age groups.
  • Neuroplasticity and Rehabilitation After Brain Injuries: Study how different rehabilitation techniques can affect the brain’s plasticity and recovery trajectory post-injury.
  • The Psychology of Pandemics: Explore the long-term psychological impact of pandemics on different populations, focusing on coping mechanisms and resilience.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adulthood: Examine the challenges and support systems available for adults with autism, including employment, social relationships, and healthcare.
  • Sleep Patterns and Academic Performance: Investigate the correlation between sleep quality and academic success in college students.
  • The Impact of Parenting Styles on Child Development: Analyze how different parenting styles affect a child’s emotional, social, and cognitive development.
  • Workplace Psychology and Employee Well-being: Explore the effects of workplace culture on mental health and job satisfaction.
  • Memory and Aging: Study the patterns of cognitive decline in memory with aging and the effectiveness of interventions to slow down this process.
  • The Influence of Cultural Background on Psychological Treatment Outcomes: Research how cultural beliefs and practices affect the efficacy of psychological treatments for mental health issues.
  • Psychological Resilience in First Responders: Investigate the coping strategies used by first responders to manage stress and trauma-related to their line of work.
  • The Effect of Nature on Mental Health: Examine how regular exposure to natural environments influences psychological well-being and stress levels.
  • Intergenerational Trauma and Healing: Study patterns of trauma transmission in families and communities and the effectiveness of interventions aimed at breaking these cycles.
  • The Psychology of Fake News: Explore the cognitive biases that contribute to the belief in and spread of misinformation, and strategies for critical thinking promotion.
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Chronic Pain: Evaluate the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation practices in managing chronic pain and improving quality of life.
  • Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Grief and Mourning: Research how different cultures process and express grief and the implications for counseling practices.
  • The Impact of Bilingualism on Cognitive Development: Investigate how learning and using multiple languages from an early age affects cognitive abilities and neural plasticity.
  • Social Isolation and Cognitive Function in the Elderly: Examine the long-term cognitive effects of social isolation in senior populations and potential interventions.
  • Attachment Styles and Romantic Relationships: Study how early attachment patterns influence adult romantic relationships, including partner selection and relationship satisfaction.
  • Cyberpsychology and Identity Formation: Investigate how online environments and social networks contribute to or disrupt the process of identity formation in adolescents and young adults.
  • Emotional Regulation in High-Stress Professions: Study strategies and their effectiveness in managing emotional responses in professions such as surgery, law enforcement, or air traffic control.
  • Virtual Reality as a Tool for Phobia Treatment: Explore the use of VR environments in the systematic desensitization of individuals with specific phobias.
  • Influence of Dietary Patterns on Children’s Behavioral Disorders: Investigate the relationship between nutritional choices and behavioral outcomes in children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorders.
  • Psychological Impacts of Climate Change: Examine the effects of climate change on mental health, including anxiety, depression, and feelings of loss or grief.
  • The Role of Art Therapy in Treating PTSD: Evaluate the efficacy of art therapy interventions for veterans or victims of violence suffering from PTSD.
  • Gender Identity Development in Adolescence: Research the factors that influence gender identity and expression during the critical developmental stage of adolescence.
  • Cognitive Dissonance and Consumer Behavior: Study how cognitive dissonance affects purchasing decisions and brand loyalty in the retail sector.
  • Psychology of Pain Management: Investigate the role of psychological factors in the perception of pain and the effectiveness of psychological pain management techniques compared to pharmacological treatments.
  • Social Perception in Online vs. Face-to-Face Interactions: Compare the accuracy of social perception and formation of first impressions in online settings versus in-person encounters.
  • The Impact of Social Support on Recovery from Substance Abuse: Explore how different types and sources of social support contribute to the recovery process from drug and alcohol addiction.
  • Effects of Microaggressions on Workplace Performance: Investigate how subtle forms of discrimination impact employees’ job satisfaction and productivity.
  • The Psychology of Financial Decision-Making in Young Adults: Explore how psychological factors influence financial literacy and decision-making in the transition to adulthood.
  • The Role of Pet Ownership in Managing Chronic Mental Illness: Examine the therapeutic benefits of pet ownership for individuals with chronic mental health conditions.
  • Mindfulness Interventions in Elementary Education: Study the effects of mindfulness practices on attention and emotional regulation in young children.
  • Narrative Identity and Life Transitions: Analyze how personal storytelling and narrative identity evolve during major life transitions, such as retirement or career change.
  • Cultural Competence in Psychotherapy: Evaluate the importance of cultural competence in therapeutic practices and client outcomes.
  • Psychological Impact of Body Image Portrayed in Social Media: Explore the effects of social media on body image dissatisfaction and the development of eating disorders.
  • Eco-Anxiety and Environmental Activism: Examine the psychological effects of climate change concerns on environmental activism behaviors.
  • Psychological Processes in Extreme Sports: Study risk assessment, decision-making, and flow states in athletes who participate in extreme sports.
  • The Effect of Music Therapy on Cognitive Decline in Dementia Patients: Research the impact of music therapy sessions on the progression of cognitive symptoms in dementia.
  • Social Cognition in Virtual Teams: Evaluate how individuals understand and operate within teams that interact exclusively through digital means.
  • Attachment Patterns and Social Media Usage: Investigate the connection between attachment styles and usage patterns of social media platforms.
  • Psychological Safety and Learning in Academic Settings: Explore the concept of psychological safety and its impact on students’ willingness to engage in learning activities.
  • Humor and Coping Mechanisms in Stressful Occupations: Analyze the role of humor as a coping strategy for professionals in high-stress fields like emergency medicine.
  • Impact of Sleep Hygiene Education on Student Performance: Evaluate the effectiveness of sleep education programs in improving the sleep quality and academic performance of university students.
  • Color Psychology in Marketing and Branding: Study how color influences consumer perceptions and behaviors towards products and brands.
  • The Role of Psychological Flexibility in Chronic Pain Management: Explore how acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can aid individuals with chronic pain in improving their quality of life.
  • Cyberbullying and Self-esteem in Adolescents: Examine the long-term effects of cyberbullying on self-esteem and identity formation during adolescence.
  • Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Resolution: Investigate how emotional intelligence skills facilitate conflict resolution in personal and professional relationships.
  • Digital Detox and Psychological Well-Being: Examine the psychological effects of taking regular breaks from digital devices.
  • Stress Resilience in Space Exploration: Study psychological resilience strategies for astronauts during long-duration space missions.
  • Language Acquisition in Mixed-Language Households: Explore how children in bilingual homes acquire and separate languages cognitively.
  • The Role of Play in Child Development: Investigate different play therapies and their impact on developmental disorders in children.
  • Implicit Bias and Decision Making in Jury Deliberations: Examine how implicit biases can influence the decision-making process in legal settings.
  • Cognitive Effects of Chronic Sleep Deprivation: Research the long-term cognitive impacts of chronic sleep deprivation in adults.
  • The Psychology of Superstitions in Sports: Study the role and impact of superstitious behaviors on athletes’ performance.
  • The Mental Health Effects of Urban vs. Rural Living: Compare the prevalence and types of mental health issues in urban versus rural populations.
  • Psychological Outcomes of Genetic Testing: Explore the emotional and psychological impact of undergoing genetic testing for diseases.
  • Intergenerational Effects of Historical Trauma: Investigate the psychological effects across generations within communities that have experienced historical trauma.
  • The Impact of Social Comparisons on Self-Esteem: Examine how individuals’ self-esteem is affected by comparisons made on social media platforms.
  • Emotion Recognition and AI Interactions: Study how humans perceive and react to emotional expressions by artificial intelligences and robots.
  • Personality Development in Space Colonies: Speculate on how living in space colonies might affect personality development and social dynamics.
  • The Effect of Parental Leave on Child Psychological Development: Research the long-term effects of various lengths and types of parental leave on children.
  • Sensory Processing Disorders and Educational Outcomes: Examine the impact of sensory processing disorders on children’s educational achievements.
  • The Influence of Scent on Memory Recall: Explore the connection between olfactory cues and the accuracy or vividness of memory recall.
  • Peer Influence on Risky Behavior in Adolescence: Analyze how peer groups can impact the decision-making process in teenagers regarding risky behaviors.
  • The Effect of Minimalism on Mental Health: Study the psychological impact of adopting a minimalist lifestyle in a consumer-driven society.
  • Psychological Mechanisms of Radicalization: Investigate the cognitive and emotional pathways that lead individuals to adopt radical ideologies.
  • Multitasking and Cognitive Load: Investigate the limits of cognitive load and its impact on multitasking efficiency.
  • Psychological Effects of Long-Term Spaceflight: Explore the mental challenges astronauts face during extended missions.
  • Therapeutic Effects of Creative Writing: Study how creative writing can be used as a therapeutic tool for emotional expression.
  • Psychology of Religious Extremism: Examine the factors that contribute to religious extremism from a psychological perspective.
  • Mental Health Implications of Climate Migration: Research the psychological impact of relocating due to climate change.
  • Social Psychology of Urbanization: Explore how urban living influences social behavior and community dynamics.
  • Gestures and Language Development in Children: Investigate the role of gestural communication in early language acquisition.
  • Technology Addiction and Family Dynamics: Study the impact of technology addiction on interpersonal relationships within families.
  • Psychology of Solitude: Examine the effects of solitude on mental health and personal growth.
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation Techniques for Stroke Survivors: Explore effective cognitive rehabilitation methods for post-stroke recovery.
  • Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Music on Infant Development: Research the long-term developmental effects of prenatal music exposure.
  • Psychological Impacts of Participatory Art: Study how engagement with participatory art can affect psychological well-being.
  • Neuroethics of Brain-Computer Interfaces: Delve into the ethical implications of using BCIs in neurology and psychiatry.
  • Empathy Development in Virtual Reality Training: Investigate how VR can be used to enhance empathy in professional training programs.
  • Social Media and Collective Memory Formation: Examine how social media platforms influence the formation of collective memories.
  • Psychological Aspects of Cosmetic Surgery: Research the motivations and outcomes of cosmetic surgery from a psychological standpoint.
  • Personality Traits and Online Dating Success: Analyze how different personality traits affect success in online dating.
  • Psychological Strategies in Competitive Esports: Study the mental techniques used by esports players to enhance performance.
  • Attachment Security and Pet Ownership: Explore the connection between attachment styles and the bond with pets.
  • Psychological Effects of Autonomous Vehicles: Investigate how trust and control issues impact the acceptance of self-driving cars.
  • Mental Health Services in Rural Communities: Examine the challenges and effectiveness of delivering mental health care in rural areas.
  • Cross-Cultural Communication in Global Teams: Research the psychological barriers and facilitators of communication in international teams.
  • Psychology of Sustainable Behavior: Study the motivators and deterrents of engaging in environmentally sustainable behaviors.
  • Impact of Witnessing Parental Conflict on Children: Investigate the long-term effects of exposure to parental conflict during childhood.
  • Sleep Disorders and Emotional Regulation: Examine the relationship between sleep quality and the ability to regulate emotions.
  • Trauma-Informed Practices in Education: Explore the implementation and outcomes of trauma-informed approaches in schools.
  • Psychology of Menu Design: Analyze how menu layout and choice architecture influence dining decisions.
  • Motivational Factors in Crowdfunding: Investigate what psychological factors motivate people to contribute to crowdfunding campaigns.
  • Perception of Time in Different Cultures: Research how the cultural background affects the perception and value of time.
  • Psychological Resilience in Extreme Athletes: Study the mental toughness and resilience strategies of athletes in extreme sports.
  • Influence of Indoor Plants on Mood and Productivity: Explore the psychological benefits of having plants in indoor workspaces.

Each of these topics has a broad range of literature to draw from and the potential to contribute new knowledge or insights to the field of psychology. It’s important to refine these ideas further to create a specific, researchable question that can be addressed within the scope of a dissertation.

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