You have now spent a term understanding various topics that surround the way that people communicate with each other. In that time, it is likely that some topics have stood out to you as particularly important and relevant in the real world. For your term paper, we want you to write a 4-page “Interpersonal Communication Advice Paper” where you use the research and information surrounding a specific topic to give your audience practical advice on how to be better/more competent at that topic.
Possible important/relevant topics could include:
- Impression Management
- Self-Disclosure in Relationships
- Listening Habits
- Attraction Theory
- Relational Development
- Workplace communication
- Intercultural communication
The paper has two goals, and both should be in your paper. First, you need to define your topic with as specific language as possible. Here is where you make sure that the reader knows your topic, and WHY YOUR TOPIC IS IMPORTANT. Answer the “so what?” question here, so that the reader understands why they should listen to your advice and work to become better communicators at that topic. Second, you will give 3-4 pieces of practical advice to your audience, with each piece of advice supported by information we have discussed in class and/or information you find in the required outside research (two popular press articles and two scholarly articles).
So, for example, if your topic is conflict, discuss how the textbook/research would lead to specific conflict behaviors that people should or should not do in order to be seen as competent.
When writing your article, please follow the following guidelines:
- The text of the paper (not including the title page or reference page) should be 4 pages long. All papers should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins all around. For consistency in length across students, I request that you use Times New Roman 12-pt. as your font. Papers that are less or more than 4 pages in length will be marked down. Page limits are important, please follow these instructions carefully.
- The general outline of your paper should be as follows (Note: APA headings can be very helpful in this paper):
- Introduction/Rationale (1 page): Set up the given topic, as well as answer the question of why your audience should care. Make sure that you have a clear thesis statement, as well as a preview of the rest of the paper. Note: You will have points removed if the introduction is longer than 1 page.
- Advice (2.5 pages): You should have 3-4 MAIN PIECES OF ADVICE for your topic that come from the textbook/other sources. Again, note that the pieces of advice must be based in scholarship – not simply on your own personal opinions/experiences.
- Conclusion (.5 page): Briefly summarize and conclude the paper.
- Note: Paper needs to be in APA format, meaning an APA title page and a References page at the end. You do not need a formal abstract for the paper. Go to Purdue OWL for help with APA formatting.
- To do well on this assignment, your topic must deal primarily with interpersonal communication (e.g., papers that focus on attraction without looking specifically at interpersonal communication do not meet the requirements of this assignment). It is extremely important that you make clear links between each of your sources and the topic of the paper. A source that does not appear to have anything to do with your topic will not count as one of your 4 necessary sources.
- Incorporate information from your textbook, two popular press articles and at least two scholarly sources (excluding class material) into your article. Both of those two sources must be from no earlier than 2000. Scholarly sources include journals and books that are written by individuals affiliated with universities. The following journals are good sources for this assignment: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Personal Relationships, Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, Communication Research, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Western Journal of Communication, Communication Quarterly, Communication Studies, Communication Reports, or Southern Communication Journal. It might also be helpful to use ComAbstracts, Google Scholar, and/or PsycInfo as your search engines. Many other electronic databases (such as EBSCO) include both scholarly and non-scholarly sources. To ensure that the sources you use are scholarly, be sure they come from an academic journal (not a magazine) or that they come from a book that can be obtained through the OSU library (you can check the card catalog on line to see if a particular book is carried by the OSU library). Please note that if you do not use information from at least 2 scholarly sources (as defined above) in your paper, your grade will be adversely affected. It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that all of your sources are scholarly, but you can run any source by me until two days before the due date.
- Be sure there is a perfect match between the sources you cite in the text of your paper and those you list in your references. (Everything cited in text should be in the reference list; everything in the reference list should be cited in the paper.) Class notes, readings, or the textbook do not count as sources. Other textbooks do not count as well; I am looking for primary sources here, not secondary sources. If you want to use material from your notes or the textbook, obtain the original source of the information.
- Check for sentence clarity, misspellings, and common grammatical problems, such as the following: fragments, run-on sentences, awkward wording, using a word that doesn’t fit (e.g., sometimes the words in the thesaurus on your computer don’t work in a given sentence, such as saying “she was transparently smart” instead of “she was clearly smart”), using “that” instead of “who” or “whom” when referencing a person (e.g., It should be “I need a lover who won’t drive me crazy” instead of “I need a lover that won’t drive me crazy”), inconsistent verb tense, and inconsistency across nouns and pronouns. Poor grammar and awkward sentence construction can SEVERELY hurt your grade.
The paper will be graded based on content and style. Specifically, the following criteria will be used to grade the paper:
- How well the article reviews and explains the topic
- How well the paper delivers practical advice that comes directly from the reviewed topic
- How well the practical advice is supported by actual research and not from personal opinion
- The clarity and creativity of the writing, including how well the paper is written
- The organization of the paper (how easy is it to read?)
- Adherence to APA style
- Paper follows the general guidelines of the assignment
MUST USE THIS BOOK
Adler: Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication 15th Edition