Assessment 2: Research Project (max: 3000 words)
For the project, you will research and write a report in the form of an academic
journal article. When you are reading journal articles please make sure to look at
how they are written – the style of writing, the kinds of content that are included.
Please note: you DO NOT need to use every tool or technique that you will
learn! We will teach you a range of methods e.g. sentiment analysis, content
analysis, social network analysis. You may only use one or two methods. You
must collect original data using the tools and techniques provided. You will
receive peer feedback and have the time to work on this in class at various points
through the course.
Reports must follow this structure:
(Word Counts are for guidance only. More information will be given in lectures)
Introduction (500 words)
This should be two-three paragraphs. Paragraph one must briefly set out the
context for your research. Paragraph two must briefly describe what you will do.
Literature Review (Assessed Separately – 0 words)
The literature review will not be read or assessed as it is assessed mid-semester.
Please do include the literature review in your report, but do not change it. It
does not count towards the 3000 words for the report.
Methodology (500 words)
This describes your methodology: what you did and why you did it. You must cite
relevant methodological literature and studies that have applied the method in a
similar context to justify your selection. You should present any ethical
Research Findings (1100 words)
This is where you present and discuss your findings. There are two ways to do
this. First, you can present all of your data, and then have a discussion after this
(common in scientific research – use two sub-headings: research findings,
discussion). Second, and more common in humanities and social sciences, you
can break your findings up into key areas or findings. These typically relate to the
research questions. You may use sub-headings (these do not have to directly
repeat the research questions, but should make clear what is to follow). In each
section you present and briefly discuss the finding and what this means for the
Note: do not include any tables or images in word counts.
Conclusion (300 words)
This brings together your findings in your conclusion, and summarises what you
Critical Reflection (600 words)
This section must critically reflect on your chosen method. What are the
limitations of content analysis/sentiment analysis/social network analysis? It is
important to cite literature in making these arguments, alongside your own
Project 2: Comparative Brand Report (Instagram)
In this project you will compare how two brands use Instagram. Instagram is
particularly important for communicating brand image. Instagram is also used by
some brands for responding to customers in comments. There are, of course,
differences in ‘platform affordances’ between Insta and Twitter…
Note: Instagram is more technically challenging than Twitter as it involves
scraping with Outwit Hub. We will guide you through this. To offset this, you will
not do a social network analysis on Instagram.
Research Question 1: What types of message do brands send out on
This questions focuses on what the brands themselves communicate and uses
content analysis. It may include text and images. This form of analysis is often
used to compare your approach with that of your competitors: what is most
effective? This is a comparative analysis.
Instructions to compare 2 brands on Instagram:
??Conduct a content analysis of the brands’ own posts on Instagram
??Collect text by scraping messages using Outwit Hub Pro
??In total you must code 200 Insta messages (text and image)
??You must consider your sample design (e.g. random), and conduct a
??Use the same content analysis code frame for both brands
Research Question 2: What sentiment is expressed about brands on
This question focuses on what people are saying about the brand on Instagram;
the comments made by the public alongside the brands’ posts.
Assessing sentiment is a key metric that is widely used in the
You might want to consider what topics or issues produce the most negative and
positive sentiment, or how might the brands improve public sentiment towards
Instructions to compare Sentiment towards 2 brands on Instagram:
??Conduct an automated sentiment analysis of comments about the
brand on Instagram.
??Collect Instagram comments about the brand using Outwit Hub Pro.
We will provide scrapers for this – but there is a two-step process that
we will explain in the labs
??Code all comments using Sentistrength (remove any comments by the
brand e.g. original post, replies to comments)