Online Marketing Communication Question

I’m working on a writing case study and need support to help me learn.

This assignment is intended to help students develop the skills to:

1) Successfully translate scientific marketing research in academic peer-reviewed communication journals for general public consumption;

2) Understand how to read and comprehend scientific marketing studies that make use of content analysis, survey research, and/or experimental design to study communication;

and 3) Develop writing and audience analysis skills.


Many people have pointed out that academic research tends to stay stuck within academic journal articles where it may be read by a small set of academics, but rarely is translated into something that can be understood and used by the general public. There is a need to communicate about this work in a user-friendly way so that it can have greater reach.

Communication and marketing researchers that use the scientific method to better understand their field have the same problems, and some of the academic organizations in the discipline have offices to help translate research for the general public. The National Communication Association (NCA) publishes many of the communication research journals and holds many of the academic conferences for the field, and they have Communication Currents as an outlet for this work of translating the work of its members to the outside world.


This assignment asks you to translate marketing research from a peer-reviewed journal article into a user-friendly format. You can see examples of this from Communication Currents with a study about online dating profiles and another about sexual harassment in the workplace (see below).

1. Find and read a recent marketing journal article that uses content analysis, survey research, or experimental design. The article needs to use the scientific method and focus on a marketing topic. Your article should have been published in the last 5 years.

2. You should read the whole article, perhaps skimming or skipping the Results section, and then write a 1-2 page translation of the article (12-point, Times New Roman, double-spaced without extra spaces in between paragraphs). Your translation should include a) a catchy title, b) the important elements of the article including whether it used content analysis, survey, or experimental design, c) writing geared towards the everyday reader, and d) visual formatting with headings and a few images that make it look appealing and easy to read.

3. The translation should focus on a) setting up the topic, b), explaining the study, c) reporting the major findings, and d) identifying the major contributions of the study. You will not be able to report on everything in the article – you will have to be picky and determine what is most important.

4. Submit the full-text PDF of the original study along with your Communication Currents translation.

Students can go down the wrong path by picking an article that is not from a peer-reviewed academic journal article (for instance, Google Scholar is a great resource but often includes undergraduate research papers, unpublished graduate student work, or short article summaries). You will want a full peer-reviewed study that typically includes an abstract, introduction and literature review, methods section, results section, and a discussion/findings/conclusion section. Please ask me immediately if you have found an article of interest but you are not sure if it is a scientific study from a peer-reviewed academic journal. 

You will also want a scientific paper that likely uses content analysis, survey, or experimental design. They usually follow that same pattern (abstract, lit review, methods, results, discussion) and the results section should have numbers and statistics. You don’t need to understand the results section for this assignment, but it should discuss quantitative data.

This assignment is meant to have you practice your ability to translate this work, so make sure that you are writing in your own words and not using the writing from the study. You shouldn’t be quoting more than one or two lines – and then you’d be quoting them because the original authors said it in such a profound way that it needs to be captured in their exact language (and you would attribute it to them). Don’t copy and past language from the original article (even if you change a word or two) – that ranges into patchwork plagiarism territory that isn’t fun for anyone.

Last piece of advice – pick something that you’re interested in and will have fun writing about. It will make this project much easier to write (and to read).

Example of a Communication Currents summary that was written about a scientific study of online dating –

Example of a Communication Currents summary that was written about a scientific study of organiztional culture and sexual harrassment –

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