Purpose: The assignment provides you with an opportunity to more deeply understand a concept through your application of concepts from the class or the textbook to your own personal experience.
Specifically, you are asked to demonstrate:
1. Your ability to explain a theory based on your reading and class discussion
2. Your ability to recognize the presence and relevance of that theory in a communication event
3. Your ability to analyze a communication event using the theory as criteria
4. Your ability to express your ideas in writing clearly, coherently, and accurately
General Description: The paper should contain a clear introduction, three inter-related parts, and a conclusion.
NOTE: PLEASE CLEARLY LABEL EACH SECTION OF YOUR PAPER!!
Introduction: ( 1-2 paragraphs) You should introduce the paper with a brief overview of the theory that you chose to discuss AND a very brief description of the communication event that you intend to analyze. Provide a preview for the reader of what is to come in the paper.
Part 1: Describe a theory Genderlect Styles
-You should describe the theory completely and accurately, yet be brief.
-You should NOT use extensive quotations (more than a couple of phrases). You should describe the theory completely in your own words. Note: Do not use examples in this section; just describe the theory conceptually.
-Be sure to define the import terms, state important propositions or assumptions, and describe how the theory works.
-Note: Your description of the theory can be based on class discussion, the textbook, readings from the “Recommended Readings” at the end of the chapter on that theory, or other sources you might find. Be sure to include the full source information that you refer to, quote, or paraphrase in that section.
-Hint: Use the study guide to help you determine important material.
Part 2: Describe a Communication Event! (about 1 page)
For best results, this should be a personal experience. But it could also be a scene from a movie, TV show, or book. Please don’t just look for examples that illustrate each part of a theory. Instead, use the theory to help us understand one event.
Example: If you are using Social Penetration Theory: DON’T find a different relationship that illustrates each phase of social penetration. DO use social penetration theory to analyze how and why your relationship with one person evolved from “stranger” to best friend (as well as what motivated you to invest the time in the relationship).
There is no reason be long-winded or provide excessive detail. Just provide enough information such that the event is clear to your reader and so your analysis will make sense, but not so much that it becomes irrelevant or confusing to the reader (or to you!).
Part 3: Analyze the Communication Event! (about 2-3 pages)
Please analyze the communication event in the terms of the theory you have chosen. How does the chosen theory give you / us insight (or understanding) into what happened in the communication event?
In this section, you should use specific quotations or provide direct dialogue examples from the event whenever possible.
This is the place for your personal insights, but those insights must be informed. Use the specific principles or assumptions, terminology, and concepts of the theory in developing your analysis.
How does the theory explain and help us understand what happened and why the event occurred as it did? How does the theory suggest the experience could have been different, or better, or more constructive? This is the most important part of the paper. Everything else leads up to this section. So be sure to keep your focus!
You should conclude the paper with a brief summary of the major ideas and re-visit your overall thesis for the paper. Take a look at how well the theory you chose has done explaining the communication event that you described. Does the theory make the event more clear or understandable? Does the theory hold up well when used to analyze your communication event? Does your analysis reveal any shortcomings of the theory? Would you say that the theory is a good (or not-so-good) explanatory tool?
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