Is age related to the amount of supportive communication one receives from friends and family?

This is a communication research report
In this essay there is statistical math that is required to devise a research strategy for answering this question
the research question is:
Is age related to the amount of supportive communication one receives from friends and family?
Here below is the instructions:


Assignment Description:

You will receive a research question via your official University of Arizona email from either the TA or Professor Bighash. You will use this RQ to write a short research report. You will create a directional hypothesis and then identify either a survey or experiment as an effective method for answering the research question and testing your hypothesis. You will then describe the specific way you would design a study, including conceptual and operational definitions of the variables, the subject population, the procedures you would follow, and the statistical test you would use. Keep the paper focused. You should not address things that are not specifically part of the assigned question (for example, do not address whether there are gender differences if the research question does not specifically mention gender). You DO NOT need to collect data or actually conduct a study for this assignment. Read the COMPONENTS section below for more details. If you do not follow the exact guidelines below on components, submission, and formatting, you cannot pass this paper.

I will provide you with an example paper (link here).

Please look at this grading rubric to understand exactly how many points each sub-component below is worth. You will receive this rubric filled out with comments in response to your paper.



November 25, 2020, 11:59pm (late papers are not accepted)


Submission Instructions:

Save the document with your first initial and last name (e.g., “lbighash.docx”) as a Microsoft Word (file extension .doc or .docx) document on D2L under Assignments. You can transfer Google Docs to Word by going to File → Download As → Microsoft Word (.docx). Open Office and Pages also allow you to download as Word. Please do not upload a PDF because we cannot edit it or add comments.

Click on the “Assignments” link on our D2L site and then upload your paper to the folder named “Term Paper.” Follow the instructions on the screen.

Your paper will be run through Turnitin to identify plagiarism, so please use quotation marks and in-text citations as needed.

We will not accept hard copies or emailed copies.



Double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman (or equivalent) font, 1-inch margins. Note that each section under Components has a MAX word limit. Do not go over the max or you will lose points. Use the Word Count function in whatever program you use (we will also use Word Count when we evaluate).




The paper must be arranged as follows with the headings specified (i.e., method, sampling, key variables, analysis). If a section is difficult to identify, you will not receive points for that section. Please write in paragraph form. Do not write as bullet points. The bullet points are meant to make it easier for you to identify the criteria involved in each section.


NAME: Write your name


RESEARCH QUESTION: Re-type your assigned research question (RQ) exactly as given to you. (You MUST use the provided question. Failure to use this question will result in a grade of 0 for the paper.)



Write a research hypothesis (i.e., alternative hypothesis) that you come up with based on the RQ, which should be directional (do not write the null hypothesis).

[Note: You should not add new variables to your research hypothesis compared to the RQ. Only include the two variables which should be clear in the RQ.]


METHOD: Max 300 words

Explain which method you would use to examine the question (experiment or a survey ONLY), and why that method is appropriate for the specific question.

Your explanation should specify the advantages of using the method you choose over others, and specific constraints (e.g., practicality) that drive you to use one method instead of another.

Discuss the ethical implications and issues.

Acknowledge any limitations of this method.

[Note: I do not want you to get adventurous by choosing a method other than survey or experiment – no content analysis, qualitative analysis, etc. There are often many ways to design a study for the same RQ / hypothesis. For this assignment, choose either experiment or survey and justify your choice.]



SAMPLING: Max 200 words

Define the population of interest (e.g., all people in the United States of a specific age or characteristic)

Identify the specific sample type you will gather (e.g., a convenience sample, a snowball sample, a probability sample involving simple random sampling, a cluster sample, etc.). [Hint: Look at sampling module notes.]

Also specify the units that you will be sampling from your sampling frame (e.g., UA undergraduates, all US adults, Fortune 500 companies, etc.)

Explain why the sample is appropriate (e.g., is it representative of the population to which you want to generalize? Is it more feasible than other methods?).

Explain what constraints make it less than perfect (e.g., is it not going to be as representative as you would want? Is it impractical or difficult?).

Explain your specific sampling procedure:

Who will be in the sample (units) (e.g., participants, organizations, media, etc.)

Where your units will come from

How many units will be included (sample size)

How they will be selected.

Acknowledge limitations in the sample.



KEY VARIABLES: Max 400 words

Each research question contains two variables. You must correctly indicate which variable is the independent variable and which is the dependent variable based on your research hypothesis.

Provide conceptual definitions of each variable (text Chapter 4, Modules 3 & 4). These definitions should be clear and direct.

Providing citations to previous scholarly work or other definitions will be rewarded.

Describe how you will operationalize (i.e., measure) each variable.

It should be clear exactly how you will turn your variables into either numbers or categories.

Your independent and dependent variables must be operationalized at either the interval or nominal (with only 2 categories) levels.

Indicate whether the independent variable is measured or manipulated.

Providing materials like exact questionnaire items or experimental stimuli (be sure you cite sources) will be rewarded (e.g., describe the specifics of experimental stimuli or of the questionnaire items, if applicable).

If your variable is highly abstract, you will likely need

You are encouraged to do some research to find out if other researchers have already measured your variable. You may use an existing measure in your paper if it fits your research question and hypothesis.

[Note: Materials like questionnaire items are additional to this word limit and should be included as an Appendix (labeled and referred to in your narrative, e.g., “See Appendix A”). Your goal is to help the reader understand exactly how you generate NUMBERS in order to do the statistical analysis.]



ANALYSIS: Max 200 words (+ possible addition of tables, graphs)

Identify whether your research hypothesis is a hypothesis of relationship or a hypothesis of difference.

Describe which statistical test(s) would be used (if you were to actually collect your data) based on the hypothesis type.

Provide example summary data (e.g., means, standard deviations, a graph, a table, etc.), if possible that reflect your expectation of what you would find assuming you reject the null hypothesis.

You do not need to supply fake raw data (i.e., scores for each fictional unit in your study). You do NOT need to collect actual data for this paper.

Correctly report the statistic (e.g., df, calculated value, appropriate letter (e.g., t/r), including other appropriate info (e.g., two sensible group means for t-test), formatted as illustrated in class & conclusion with regard to hypothesis (reject or not, consistent with stated confidence interval and/or p-value)



REFERENCES: Provide a list of all references that are cited in the body of your paper. These should be in APA format. You should have at least 2-3 references if you have done well in previous sections.


APPENDIX (optional): If there is any additional documentation that you want to provide or that you referenced in the body of your paper, this is where you would put it. Please have separately labeled appendices for different types of content (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.). Different types of content to include may be a full set of items on a questionnaire or operationalization of a variable that you find, or an explanation of an experimental procedure that you would like to mimic. You could also include more details of your analysis section.



Suggestions, Hints, Etcetera:

Receiving your RQ

Make sure you check your University of Arizona email regularly.

If I tell the class I have sent out all RQs to all students and you still haven’t received it, contact me and the TA as soon as possible! It is your responsibility to make sure you receive your RQ.


For the analysis section, it is not necessary to show complete calculations with fake raw data. The goal is to demonstrate your understanding of what the data would look like if you collect it, how the data would be analyzed, and what the analysis could show in order to reject the null hypothesis. For example, if your hypothesis is “University of Arizona students have higher intelligence than Arizona State University students” you would provide two means on the scale of the intelligence variable identified in the Key Variables section (with a higher mean for the communication undergrads), confidence interval, degrees of freedom, and so on.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated so make sure that your work is original and that you’ve cited your sources appropriately.

See if you want a refresher on what constitutes plagiarism. We will submit your papers to If it flags your paper, we will ask to speak with you. If we determine it is plagiarized, you will get a 0 on the paper and you will be referred to your academic advisor.

Come see us in office hours if you are stuck.

Follow the directions exactly. Don’t get creative. This is not a creative writing exercise.


Not following the formatting guidelines in the above directions will substantially lower your grade.

Check APA citation guidelines on how to do in-text citations, quotations, and a references page appropriately. You must give others credit when you use their ideas in your paper (and you should do that, you are building on others’ work).

The word count is the absolute maximum number of words you can have in that section. However, if you are concise and clear you should be able to achieve a very high grade in each section with many fewer words than the max.

There is no minimum word count (but you have to cover everything in the instructions)

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