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#TuesdayTutorial: Conducting Research for Your Report

#TuesdayTutorial: Conducting Research for Your Report published on 9 Comments on #TuesdayTutorial: Conducting Research for Your Report Login Help videos are free to Virginia Tech students with your VT.EDU login. Start at the VT.EDU login page to access these resources.

I’m sure you have done many research projects during your time as a student. Starting back in elementary school, you were asked to find outside sources and use them to create a project about your topic. Essentially that is your task for the Genre Analysis Report.

To review what goes into conducting research, watch the video on Conducting Research to Collect Information.

After you watch the video, share a source that you have found and describe what you found in it. Read through the other comments to avoid repeating anyone else. You can also look at others’ comments for sources that you might add to your project.

Screenshot from the course Conduct Research to Collect Information

Note: This video has closed captioning, so it does not need a transcript.




For my Genre Analysis project, I intend on researching contract and subcontract writing in the construction industry. My primary goal for this assignment is to better understand all of the different requirements and components that are necessary to execute a successful and comprehensive construction contract.

The link above redirects to a document for the Commonwealth of Virginia that outlines the general conditions, which are standard documents and information that must be included, as well as laws and codes that the general contractor must uphold, of a construction contract. Within this document, each of these general conditions is broken down into separate categories and sub-categories and each of these sections details the required information that should be included in the contract. I believe that this will be helpful for the upcoming Genre Analysis project, but will only be useful for those contracts written for projects in Virginia as contract requirements may vary by state.


For my project, I am studying press releases in the PR industry since I am going into PR after graduating. As a refresher, a press release sums up an event or happening in such a way that piques the interest of a journalist or publication. It also provides details, quotes, contact information and potential stories and points of view. The press release goes out after the event. Historically, press releases have been sent out via print, but the medium is switching to digital and online over the past years. Thus, I know social media will be an integral part of the press release and PR in general. I chose to use this source above from PRSA (the Public Relations Society of America) because they are the official organization which leads the profession in ethics, guidelines, standards, etc., and even though certification is not required to practice PR, the PRSA can validate professionals by certifying them. I believe the source above will be helpful for the project because it is 25 pages full of helpful information to know before posting online, such as understanding the medium, audience, the rules, etc. (the list goes on and on).


This website is one of the most important resources used in the food industry. I was taught in middle school that reliable resources end in a .gov or .org because they have information contributed by people in that field, rather than a .com or a wikipedia website. So, having the .gov definitely indicates that it is a valid resource.

On this website you can find anything related to food. These include: how to run a restaurant, what food safety codes you need to adhere to, what licensing you need to own a food truck, how much milk and eggs need to be in ice cream for it to be considered ice cream, etc. It is the ultimate guide for anything having to do with food. Because of this, I will be using it as part of my project to understand more about product specifications written for food companies.


For my Genre Analysis Report I am going to be writing about Project Proposals in the engineering/civil engineering field. I found this website super helpful at explaining some of the important things that a good engineering project proposal has. After reading through this website I have a better idea what should go into different sections of a project proposal. Hopefully, this will help me get on the right track with continuing my research about project proposals in the civil engineering field. This website is a reliable one because it does end in .edu. Usually websites ending like this can be more trusted for reliable information than ones ending in .com.

I know this website is reliable because of it being a .gov site and is associated with a major governmental agency: the Food and Drug Administration. This specific part of the site specifies the principles and guidelines for a HACCP plan. As this is what I want to focus my genre analysis, I will use this page for most of my preliminary research as I familiarize myself with the genre.


I’m doing my project on API documentation. In Stack Overflow’s now ended beta project, Documentation, they learned a lot of things about how developers use documentation to learn. They link to their 2017 developer survey, showing that 80.2% of developers rely on official (API) documentation to learn something new, which is first only to Stack Overflow at 80.1%. Over 90% of developers also agree that this documentation is the toughest problem in using an (open source) API (Github’s Open Source Survey, linked in the Meta article). I also found this answer to another Meta post really helpful: “Documentation is often an afterthought” they say.

The above is not a source specific to my topic but it is a very helpful tool for finding scholarly articles as part of secondary research. One of my classes brought in a guest lecturer from the VT VetMed Library and she showed us this source for building better searches when using online databases. It includes tools like boolean operators, truncators, and phrase searching that can optimize searches to kind sources easier and faster. I use it every time I conduct research of any type!

Also featured on that link is a list of professional organizations in the healthcare field as well as a list of upcoming events/lectures/presentations on campus (
I was thinking of looking these resources to find events relevant to my topic as well as sources for interviews!


I’m doing my Genre Analysis Project on using social media to promote mobile applications. The source above is a study on how Facebook users respond to social media advertisement. It concludes how people on social media are less likely to share an advertisement, but more likely to share a viral video that involves a certain product. Advertisers should focus more on personalized messages, and encouraging users to share advertisements with their contacts to create a “snowball” effect.

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