Introduction to Communication Studies Short Essay

VALUE: 20% LENGTH: 1000-1200 words

Introduction

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This assignment asks you to apply two communication theories – chosen from the sociopsychological, sociocultural and critical traditions – to an analysis of some communication phenomenon, problem, or issue of everyday life or current events. The aim is to have you explore the usefulness of the theories you choose for both understanding and responding to/managing the phenomenon, problem or issue you choose to focus on. See below for a list of suggested topics.

There is no need to go into great detail about the theories themselves in this assignment – just focus on using them to examine your topic. Use your introduction to introduce the topic, identify something about it that interests you, and state which theories you’ll use to look at it. Your body paragraphs should briefly introduce the main points of the theory and then use it to elaborate on your topic. What does the theory reveal about the topic that might be of interest or concern to us? How might the theory point in some practical directions for not only understanding something but acting upon our knowledge in a positive way?

Your conclusion can either evaluate how useful the theories are at helping us understand/ respond to problems/issues associated with your topic, or show how the topic illustrates why one theory might be better than another and generating such an understanding or response, or state how your examination demonstrates the usefulness of both approaches.

This is not a research paper, so there is no need to go beyond the textbook in order to complete it. Having said that, some topics may require you to do a bit of searching to flesh out your discussion. You should include in your essay a references list that includes all the sources you actually use in your paper. At a minimum you should include the textbook as a reference. Citations and references should be in APA format – a resource for formatting citations and references can be found on Moodle.

Formal considerations

Please adhere to the following formatting considerations for your paper – each is worth .5% of your final mark:

Name, student number, date and title of paper included at the top of page 1.

Double-spacing, no extra spaces between paragraphs

First line of each paragraph indented

12-point Times or 11-point Arial font

All pages numbered

APA used for citations and references

Suggested topics

CMNS 112 – Introduction to Communication Studies – Fall, 2020 Short Essay

These are just suggestions – you can pick a topic from this list, or come up with something based on an example you developed for your theory journals, or one that was introduced in class. Keep in mind that these are very general – you will need to do a bit of work to figure out what specific aspect(s) of the topic are of interest to you and make connections between that aspect/those aspects and specific theories that will be useful in understanding them.

The experience of online education

Social responses to COVID-19

Personal experience of COVID-19

Fake news

Smart phone addiction – fact or fiction

Independence & co-dependence in

relationships

Peer pressure

Moving away from home

Managing life in an unfamiliar culture

Identity norms and self-understanding

The limits of free speech

Media violence/real violence

#metoo

Pipelines and protest

Reconciliation & indigenous

sovereignty

What does cultural identity mean?

Media representation & identity

Negotiating conflict

Responding to school shootings

Managing diversity in the workplace

Performing gender identity

Social media and politics

Best friends

Telling the truth

Communication is power

Media framing and social conflict

Conflicts of meaning

Intercultural relationships

Changing our minds

Communicating sustainability

Organisations, gender inequality &

harassment

Problems of team-building

Can persuasion be ethical?

Are “generations” real or marketing?

Politeness and etiquette

How to go to the game

How I talk about myself without talking

Why are you like that?

 

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