The careful choice of the samples and the reliability of the data and the quality of data analysis distinguish a good piece of research from a poor one. Researchers need to ensure the quality and the verifiability of the data and this provides creditability to the research findings. This is clearly observed by Kirk and Miller, when they postulate that “ much of the validity of qualitative research has been gained at the expense of reliability in the “ discovery” , or data collection phase of research” (Kirk and Miller, p. 13).
I am particularly attracted by the way the researchers chose the most suitable newspaper articles for their study. There is no doubt that the way both Morris and Longmire (2008) carried out their research deserve primary attention and their efforts to reduce the volume of the samples need to be appreciated. In order to ensure the quality, reliability, and validity of the data samples, a variety of techniques and criteria were employed by the researchers. As already mentioned, the primary aim of the researchers was to collect data from American newspapers on media constructions on identity theft, published from 1995-2005.
The articles are collected through the LexisNexis™ newspaper database. To limit the large volume of newspaper articles on the issue and make it more precise and research-oriented, three steps are followed by the researchers. The initial step was to limit the search terms to three specific terms-‘ identity theft’ , ‘ identity fraud’ , and ‘ identity thief’ . In the second, only the articles that focused specifically on an identity theft offender or a group of offenders were maintained for the purpose of the study.
There was yet again the third level of elimination of the collected samples-articles that did not include any three of the manifest codes were removed from the limit of the study and these three screening stages in the collection of the samples, I am sure, have added to the specific nature of the research and this is most likely to have reflected in the findings too.
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