Traditional Research

About Traditional Research Theses

The traditional research option involves producing a thesis that examines a narrowly defined question in journalism or strategic advertising and public relations. The goal of the thesis is to contribute new knowledge and insights to a body of knowledge. A thesis would typically have an introduction, a comprehensive literature review, a review of the relevant theories which inform the hypotheses and/or research questions. It would also have comprehensive methods, data analysis, and discussion sections. Limitations and suggestions for future research are also typically included. Students may use quantitative or qualitative approaches or a combination, depending on the research questions and the recommendations of the students’ thesis committee. Students are also expected to follow the graduate school’s thesis guidelines found at Student must give an oral defense of their completed theses before their thesis committee members.

Meet the Faculty

Lucy M. Brown

Lucy M. Brown

Clinical Assistant Professor

J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences


Phone: 479-575-5965

Download vcard


Download CV

Advertising Aesthetics

Race, Gender and Class

Marketing Communications

Visual Communications

Inter-cultural Marketing Strategies

JOUR 405V - Account Planning

JOUR 4453 - Media Planning & Strategy

JOUR 4423 - Creative Strategy & Executions



E. Morris Communication, Chicago (Vice President, Research & Planning)

DDB Worldwide, Chicago (Account Planner)

Richard's Group, Dallas (Professional Intern)

Insights (Market Research):

T-Mobile, Seattle (Senior Manager, Brand and Advertising Research)

Synovate Worldwide, Chicago (Study Director)


University of Arkansas (Clinical Assistant Professor)

Halym University, South Korea (Teaching Professor)

Texas State University, San Marcos (Assistant Professor)

University of Texas at Austin (Graduate Assistant)

University of the West Indies, Mona (Lecturer)

Meet Our Graduates

Tammy Tucker

Tammy Tucker

Director of Communications & Marketing
Arkansas Alumni Association

Charlie Alison

Charlie Alison

Executive Editor
University Relations
University of Arkansas

Jessica Powviriya

Jessica Powviriya

Research Analyst
CORE4 Research

Jessica was first exposed to retail marketing at the University of Arkansas, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations in 2009 and her master’s degree in Journalism, emphasis in Advertising and Communication in 2011. She has since focused on traditional market research, both qualitative and quantitative, at CORE4 Research in Fayetteville since then. Jessica specializes in quantitative research and enjoys organizing and tailoring reports that detail shopping barriers, opportunities, and actionable insights for her clients.

Juhee Cho

Juhee Cho

A Content Analysis of Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertising on Television: Do DTC Prescription Drug Ads Provide Fair and Balanced Information?

Clint Fullen

Writer, Director, & Editor

Clint Fullen was raised on the Razorbacks. Attending the University of Arkansas, the young filmmaker received degrees in broadcast journalism and creative writing. In 2013, he was awarded a master’s in documentary filmmaking. Throughout his academic career, Fullen freelanced as a commercial and documentary director. His short films have toured more than one–hundred locations across the United States, and his work has been broadcast nationally through “PBS Frontline” and “PBS Planet Forward.” “The Jim Lindsey Story” is Fullen’s largest and most ambitious project to date.

Jesse Abdenour

Jesse Abdenour is a doctoral student in the Journalism & Mass Communication program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is studying journalism and documentary production and processes. This year he presented a research paper at the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium annual conference. Before attending UNC, he was a journalism instructor at Arkansas State University for two years, teaching documentary film, broadcast journalism and mass communication. He has also won two regional Emmy Awards for his documentaries. Abdenour worked in television news for eight years as a reporter and anchor. He received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and his master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas.

Nicole Albritton

Nicole Albritton

Assistant Director of Communications
Arkansas Alumni Association

Heidi Stambuck

Heidi Stambuck

Director of Communications
College of Education and Health Professions
University of Arkansas

This study examined what differences exist between the work of public relations professionals (also called communicators) who are members of CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, at colleges and universities ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report and CASE-member communicators at colleges and universities that are ranked between 21 and 200 in their behavior in four areas: (1) communication goals they consider top priorities, (2) types of communication tasks they perform, (3) types of media in which they purchase advertising, and (4) their rating of audience importance. A survey completed by CASE-member communicators at colleges and universities found very little difference between the two groups in these four areas. These findings support the premise of institutional theory that organizations adopt similar behaviors because they face similar pressures, both formal and informal, that influence them. This study also finds that possible pressures influencing these communicators include the U.S. News & World Report rankings of colleges and universities and CASE ethical and operational principles.

Jonathon Modica

Jonathon Modica

This study investigates whether aspects of food advertising differ significantly between the two cable networks of BET and MTV. The study examined advertising in programming that targeted both African Americans and the general population of adolescents. According to social learning theory and social cognitive theory, it is believed that different emotional appeals and production techniques may encourage adolescents to adopt the behavior that is displayed in U.S. television advertising. The frequent use of production techniques and emotional appeals in this study suggests that many children, regardless of race, are being exposed to so many distractions during commercials that they might not be able to process other important information in food and beverage advertisements. These distractions could cause children to be less attentive to messages within the context of commercials that contain valuable information (i.e. disclaimers) that should be considered before consuming the product. This raises concern because nutrition should be the most important appeal of a food or beverage. If children become accustomed to commercials that only feature live visual effects, they may become oblivious of commercials that do not contain such techniques, but provide valuable nutrition information. Food manufacturers should focus on making more nutritious foods, and advertisers should utilize appropriate methods to convey the message of nutrition to children through commercials.