Checklist of research techniques
Research Technique Description
Questionnaire/Survey Throughout my media AS level coursework I’ve made questionnaires (using Survey Monkey) as a way of
accumulating quantative primary data that I can easily analyse these results. For example, 60 people filled
out my survey on TV viewing habits. Interestingly, I found out that most people’s favourite TV channel is
channel 4 with BB4 coming a very close second. However, one thing I learnt about survey results is that your
sample has to represent a population, in this case people living in N10, yet my sample did not as a lot of my
parents middle aged friends filled in my online questionnaire. Therefore, in the future I will try to use stratified
Focus Group When effectively using a focus group you must prepare some/questions topics you want to cover. For
example, when carrying out research for TV viewing habits, my team and I took out a group of y10 students.
It was very interesting as we gathered quantative data we would not otherwise have known if we had just
given them a survey to fill out. For instance, there was a deaf girl in the focus group who told as about a
special program she watches specifically for deaf people. In addition, the focus group meant we could go off
topic at times just so we could build a relationship with the people we’re interviewing so they would feel less
shy or embarrassed answering questions. However, I did not notice people being influenced by their peer’s
answers which is why I learnt sometimes interviews are more appropriate depending on the situation.
Interview When gathering ideas for my website Teen life UK (http://teenlifeuk.net76.net/) I interviewed my brother in
year 9 who’s matches my target audience (male 12-18 year olds) and I then separately interviewed his friend
so they didn’t influence each other’s answers (unlike the focus group). I explained to them what I planned on
doing particularly emphasising the topics I wanted to cover e.g. sport, music, entertainment etc. then I asked
questions such as what social media sites do you tend use most? From there I discovered that technology
was a category that my brother and his friend highly recommended I cover for the sake of boys their age who
like playing computer games. In addition, both boys told me that nearly everyone uses both Facebook and
YouTube (this matched up with survey results for the same project). As a result of the interview, I included a
social media bar in my websites header and I also put ‘tech’ into my navigation bar.
Statistical During my Is channel 4 thriving? essay I had to constantly refer back to statistical information I found about
Channel 4s performance. For example one of the graphs I found on the BARB website showed that TV
average weekly viewing hour patterns remain the same today as they were four years. In addition, by looking
at Channel 4’s Corporation Report and Financial Statements for 2012, I discovered that Channel 4 made an
operating loss of £29m that year. However, if it weren’t for the two sources I mentioned I would have never
even been able to find out this kind of information about the business/market.
Factual Factual information was the key to writing my Disney essay as beforehand I had very little knowledge of the
business. By using various websites I managed to gather important information like Disney’s five primary unit
and segments; the definition of the word synergy; key business terms like horizontal integration as well as a
few of Disney’s latest acquisitions e.g. Marvel and Lucas Films etc.
Secondary When writing my world cinema essay I used a range of sources (secondary information) to find out
background information on the two movies ‘La Haine’ and ‘City of God’. When online it’s very easy to copy
and paste, so being conscious of this I would instead write down key notes on a piece of paper e.g. I
discovered a French housing project is called a ZUP - zone d'urbanisation prioritaire and then incorporated
these types of bite size pieces of information into my work, that way I wouldn’t be plagiarising. On the other
hand, if I did copy anyone’s work I would always list the source I took it from and use quotation marks to
indicate it wasn’t my work.