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Data Presentation and Reporting

In 2001, Laura Hamilton Thomson finished her honors thesis, "Can the creation of Community Networks enhance social capital in rural Scotland?" (Sounds formidable, but the sections are short and they read easily.) It's a very interesting investigation of the role of an on-line network in community development.

read with some care:

Methodology and Methods [http://www.caithness.org/laurathompson/chapter_three.htm]

Data Analysis [ http://www.caithness.org/laurathompson/chapter_four.htm]

Conclusions [ http://www.caithness.org/laurathompson/chapter_five.htm]

Then write a short critique of Thompson's presebntation of her research findings.

As noted, a critique is a review and commentary on a particular article(s) or piece(s) of research. It is not necessarily critical in the negative sense, although you may need to comment negatively on some aspects; both positive and negative aspects should be treated. Just because something appears in print, even in an A-list journal, does not make it free from possible errors or beyond criticism; nothing should be necessarily taken at face value.

In this case, your critique should address at least the following issues, as well as any other points that you find relevant and worthy of comment:

Your overall evaluation of her study, including:
Her research questions
Her theoretical base for the study and her use of research literature to support it
Her choice of research methods and her data gathering procedures
The quality of her analysis and her presentation of results
With regard to the following questions, you need to answer regarding both quantitative and qualitative findings, but those who did the quantitative module will be expected to supply a stronger critique of the quantitative findings than of the qualitative findings, and vice versa for those who did the qualitative module 4:
What is your overall evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of the quantitative findings? What do you find most interesting? Least interesting? What did you learn from her measures of central tendency? From her measures of dispersion? What about the relative value of the numbers vs. the graphical presentations?
What is your overall evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of the qualitative findings? What do you find most interesting? Least interesting?
With regard to the following questions, both module 4 groups will have the same expectations:
How do you evaluate her use of the results in forming and explaining her conclusions? Why? Are there other conclusions that you would have considered important that could be derived from her data?
What overall lessons for analysis and interpretation of data have you learned from her study and the other materials in this Module?

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Critique of Thompson's presentation of her research findings
In her thesis "Can the creation of the community Networks enhance social capital in rural Scotland", Laura Thompson seeks to investigate the role that online communities and networking play in building of social interactions, bonding and networking of similar and diverse individuals in a rural community. Thompson approaches this work from various angles and perspectives employing both qualitative and quantitative data in reaching her conclusions. Though her research problem mainly seeks to establish a link on the role of online community networks in development of social capital within the rural community, her research questions have broadened the scope a little more by also addressing the role of these community networks in the development of the community. Though community development is often enhanced by a well developed social capital, enhanced social capital does not necessarily imply community development. The research questions have though been able to fully cover the research problem and have addressed aspects that would provide the answer to the problem.
Thompson has further expanded the scope of her study within the literature review by addressing the funding sources of social sites and the government's role, the enhancement of a global community, and whether community networks can be turned into businesses. Even though the importance of these last factors is unquestionable, they tend to deviate the focus from the central research problem; role of community networks in enhancement of social capital in rural Scotland.
Her theoretical base for the study based on Graham's work is appropriate for the study as his work addresses the social purpose of community networks. Putman's and Fukuyama's social capital theories also provide a strong theoretical base ...

Solution Summary

Data presentations and reporting is examined for Laura Hamilton Thomson honors thesis are examined.

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