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CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH Thompson EWATA PhD dissertation (2012)

3.0

Introduction This chapter explains the methodological steps that shall be taken to carry out the

study. It shall be discussed under the following sub-headings:

3.1

Research Design This study is designed, mainly, as an ipso facto research type. This is because the main material data needed for the study shall be collected from the material information from existing sources or facts; in this case, the Nigerian newspaper editorials. However, in order to be able to achieve the last objective of the study as formulated in Research Question 7, a survey research type shall also be used in an ex-ipso facto manner. This is because the study needs to test for the explicitness or otherwise of the English general extenders, which are collected from existing sources or facts (ipso facto), and with the aid of a survey of a determined population, will expose the selected English general extenders to the selected participants (ex-ipso facto).

3.2

Target Population The target population for the study is all the editorials written in English in the

selected Nigerian newspapers. By the recent count, there are 315 newspapers in this

category (excluding weeklies) (The Press, 2010:43). However, this research shall delimit the papers to those published daily, in English language across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country and limited to papers involved with publishing general news items while the special interest papers even if published daily will not be involved with the study. 1.3 Samples and Sampling Techniques However, of all these 315 newspapers, the editorials of 44 daily newspapers which is 14% of the papers in Nigeria shall be involved in the study. This percentage shall be arrived at by stratification random sampling technique, whereby all the newspapers shall be stratified into the six Nigerian Senatorial/Geo-political Zones. Of the 44 daily newspapers, after stratifying them based on geopolitical 6 zones, the following papers were selected: This Day, The Punch, The Sun, Vanguard, The Guardian, National, Mirror, The Nation, Daily Independent, The Moment, Daily Champion, Daily Times, Businessday News, Nigerian Compass, The Punch, Announcer Express, Daily Star, Starlife, Statesman, Trumpeter, National Light, National Link, Outlook, Ebonyi Voice, The Chronicle, The Nigerian Observer, The Pioneer , The Pointer , The Tide, Blue Print, Daily Trust,

Garki Gazette, Leadership, National Accord, Peoples Daily, Nigerian Pilot, The Abuja Enquirer, The Nigerian Standard, The Road, The Triumph and New Nigerian. These papers are further subjected to another round of stratification by picking the third elements in each zone after alphabetising the papers in each zone. However, in the zone with less than three members (Northwest), all the elements in the zone automatically were picked that accounts for why The New Nigerian and the Triumph were picked. The other papers selected are: Garki Gazette, Peoples Daily, The Nigerian Standard, The Pioneer, Starlife, National

Light, Ebonyi Voice, Daily Independent, Nigerian Compass, The Hope, The Moment, The Sun, Vanguard This means the researcher will need access to past issues of the newspapers so selected. The linguistic elements classified as general extenders, discourse

extenders/markers, pragmatic markers, discourse particles, interpersonal markers, argumentative markers, presentative particles, parentheticality markers, modal particles, adverbial connectives, connectives, modal discourse particles, elusive particles, particles of truth, contrastive and set-evoking particles, sentence-structure particles or down toners (as the case may be) form the raw data for this research. Since the elements have already been identified in previous research, this study would need to identify them in the sixteen (16) newspapers editorials that have been chosen as the source of data and categorise them accordingly. For the purpose of this research, the editorials to be studied will cover a period of the first three (3) months of 2012 (January to March). This is to give ample room to see how the newspapers use language generally and the linguistic elements to be studied in particular.

3.4

The Research Instrumentation The questionnaire will be designed in such a way as to elicit information as regards

the explicitness or otherwise of the selected general extenders. It will be on Likert Rating Scale of five points, namely: Strongly Agreed (SA), Agreed (A), Strongly Disagreed (SD), Disagreed (D) and Neutral (N).

3.5

Validity of the Instrument The instrument for the data collection will be given to my supervisor and other

experts in test item constructions in Test and Measurement, and Language Education Departments. This is to receive expert opinions on the test items in order to know if the instrument will measure accurately what it is set to measure.

3.6

Reliability of the Instrument After the research instrument has been adjudged valid by the experts, I will

undertake the consistency of the scores of the instrument by administering it on a group of respondents outside this research study. The scores will be computed and kept in databank. After a period of two weeks, a test-re-test exercise shall be carried out on the same group using the same instrument; and the second result shall also be computed. Lastly, the reliability of the research instrument shall be determined by comparing the two sets of scores using the Pearson Product Moment statistic. If the coefficient of correlation of the two scores is or above 0.7, the research instrument will be adjudged reliable in assertion.

3.7

Data Collection Procedures In order to collect the data for the study, a thorough examination of the selected

editorials will be done by reading the editorials. Then, the English general extenders in each of the editorials shall be identified and marked out. In addition to the above step, the 20 test-item questionnaire consisting selected English general extenders will be administered on 500 respondents. These participants will

be made up of the undergraduate level students of the three classes of school (university) Achievers University, Owo; Wesley University of Science & Technology; Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko; Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo and Federal University of Technology, Akure, all higher institutions of learning in Ondo State, Nigeria with statuses of: private, state and federal institutions respectively.

3.8

Data Analysis Techniques Having identified the elements to be studied, the research intends to identify the

number and frequency of occurrence of the general extenders in the editorials on a paper by paper basis. This will be achieved by using a non-inferential statistic of frequency count technique. The percentage technique will also be used to analysis the data. Next, the SPSS will be used to analyse the frequency of occurrence of the general extenders and Microsoft Excel will be used to plot the graphs of the frequency distribution of the general extenders. These steps will assist me to answer Research Questions 1-3 and achieve objectives 1-3 set in 1.4 of Chapter One of this study. In order to answer Research Questions 4-7, the content analysis technique will be used in the manner stated by Colosate, which explains that content analysis is a a research tool used to determine the presence of certain words or concepts within texts or sets of texts (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/content/pop2a.cfm (par 1). Huckin (2004: 13- 32) also explains that content analysis entails identifying, quantifying, and analyzing of specific words, phrases, concepts, or other observable semantic data in a text or body of texts with the aim of uncovering some underlying thematic or rhetorical pattern running through these texts. Therefore, this research tool will assist me to identify,

classify or categorise the presence of general extenders in of the newspaper editorials. By these means, I would have been able to achieve the 4th-6th objectives set for this study. Lastly, to answer Research Question 7, which has been formulated into Hypothesis 1, responses to the 20 test-item questionnaires will be analysed by the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistic.