As far as research is concerned, the academic realm of communication is still fairly new. New scholarly work pertaining to communication-related subjects is being generated all the time. If you are interested in contributing new communication research to the literature base, there are a wide variety of topics to choose from.
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One area of communication that has increased in popularity for scholars is that of political rhetoric. The study of political rhetoric involves what politicians say, how they say it, and the impact of their communication. This can be analysed on a local, state, federal or international level. Materials used for these studies can include speeches, websites, campaign advertisements and media appearances. The study of political rhetoric is important because it helps us understand the persuasive tactics used by politicians and the impact of our leaders' communication on society as a whole. Examples of potential political rhetoric topics include examining the impact of President Obama's "change" rhetoric partway through his first term, analysing Alabama gubernatorial candidate Tim James' "We Speak English" campaign advertisement, or studying rhetorical construction in the 2008 presidential debate series.
In an era of rapidly advancing globalisation, people are encountering people from different cultures on a much more frequent level. People from different cultures communicate in very different ways, which has made the arena of intercultural communication an incredibly important one. The study of intercultural communication involves comparing and contrasting the communication styles of different cultures, identifying barriers to understanding between these cultures, and presenting solutions that will facilitate more understanding. Examples of potential intercultural communication research topics include analysing Geert Hofstede's cultural dimensions in an educational setting, investigating the extent to which highly linked cultures assimilate to each other's communication styles, or examining the impact that studying abroad may have on someone's communication style.
One final area of scholarly communication research to look into is computer mediated communication. With the pace of technological advancement today, people are constantly finding new ways to communicate with one another with computers and the internet. Understanding how these new methods affect us as communicators is key to being able to effectively use these new communication tools. Examples of potential computer-mediated communication research topics include looking into the methodologies of post-mortem computer-mediated communication, analysing the development of a new "internet" language, or examining the impact of digital communication on our ability to perceive and interpret non-verbal cues.
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