application paper 1
this is the book
One of the good things about communication theories is that they can help you make sense out of events that happen in life. In this paper, you will analyze one event
that you have experienced or witnessed using one of the interpersonal communication theories covered in the first part of the class (up to chapter 13).
The basics: 4-6 page paper, double-spaced, 12-point font (Times or Times New Roman), 1-inch margins. Do NOT include a title page. The paper should be well written,
organized, and free from grammatical, spell-checker, or writing errors. You will have a chance to re-write this paper and earn up to 10 points back on your final grade
(to a maximum of 100 points). You cannot lose points. If you are satisfied with the grade you get, then you do not have to re-write. In the event that you DO decide to
re-write, please study my comments carefully before you do the re-write.
1. Think about the interpersonal theories that we covered: do any help you to understand a type of interaction, event or phenomenon you’ve seen or experienced?
In what ways does the theory help you to make sense of your experiences? In what ways does the theory miss important aspects? Ideally, you will take this opportunity
to turn the academic lens on your own life, but if you do not feel comfortable doing this, you have another option: to analyze an event you have witnessed either in a
movie or TV show. Either way, you should provide enough detail that the reader understands what went on in the event (note: you cannot use the clips we use in class,
or the ones Griffin uses in the textbook to exemplify a theory). A useful approach may be to identify possible experiences as you review each theory, and then select
the combination of theory and experience that you think is the best match. Note that it doesn’t have to be a perfect match, as any theory has its limitations –
besides, that’s what the critique portion of the assignment is designed to address.
2. Once you have chosen your theory and an experience to analyze, you can start writing your paper. The following sections should be included:
1. Introduction. The fist paragraph of the paper should introduce the reader to the content of your essay. Start by gaining the reader’s attention in a clever way
that is clearly related to the event under consideration. Next, present a clear thesis statement that previews the theory that you will use. End this paragraph with a
preview of your essay (i.e., what you will discuss).
a. First summarize, clearly and accurately, the key elements of the theory. Demonstrate that you know theory well. Use your own words — avoid merely typing long
passages from the text.
b. Next, provide a brief background of the situation, the context, the environment, and/or the role of individuals involved in the interaction. Give the reader
enough background on the example where he/she would not have to watch/experience it him/herself (i.e., that he/she can get the picture based on your words alone). You
can even provide the dialogue if needed (this will not count towards your page limit, however).
c. Apply the theory to the event/interaction that you have experienced or observed. “Apply” means to identify in your chosen experience the elements and processes
described in the theory. Use the theory to label and explain your experience. Be specific how the theory explains, illuminates, and clarifies those experiences.
c. Finally, critique the theory based on your application (not just the textbook critiques as a substitute for your own analysis). Discuss the strengths and
weaknesses of the theory in light of your experience. For example, you can consider questions such as: Are there aspects to your experience not accounted for or
explain by the theory? Does the theory propose aspects that didn’t exist in your experiences? Does the theory mischaracterize aspects of your experience?
3. Conclusion. The conclusion should start with a restatement of your thesis and brief review of the highlights of the paper. Based on your critique, give one or
two suggestions for revisions or extensions of the theory so that it better captures or represents real-world experiences.
The successful, “A” quality paper should be:
– Clear, well-written introduction that gains the reader’s attention and reviews the entire
paper (theory, application, critique)
– Clear thesis statement included in introduction
– Clear and accurate presentation of theory
– Clear explanation of the experience/interaction under consideration
– Clear linking of experience to appropriate elements of theory
– High quality insights derived from application of theory to experience
– High quality critiques based on strengths/weaknesses of theory apparent in application
– Organization clear and logical
– Very few, if any, grammar, spell-check, or writing errors
– Have incomplete or missing introductory paper
– Are missing a clear thesis
– Have weak presentation of theory with many small errors
– Give little or no background to the experience under consideration
– Show weak linking of experience to appropriate elements of theory
– Offer weak insights derived from application of theory to experience
– Put forth weak critiques based on strengths/weaknesses of theory apparent in application
– Is unclear, poorly organized, and confusing
– Contains many grammar, spelling, word use, or sentence construction errors
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