COMM 120 Observation Paper
Studying communication and the various theories that apply to human interaction can be a valuable asset in your personal and professional lives. If used properly you can improve your relationships, your ability to persuade others, your chances at career advancement, and a host of other benefits that becoming a better communicator provides. In order for you to gain a deeper understanding of these concepts, it will be important for you to begin applying them. Theory without application will not allow you to use what youâ€ve learned and thus, you are less likely to benefit from it. Therefore, this assignment is designed to give you a hands-on experience with going out into a natural setting and using some of what you have learned in class.
To aid you in this process you will be required to choose a setting in which others are communicating with one another. The form of communication you choose to observe depends on your own preference. You can observe people interacting directly through conversation, playing sports, working together, etc. or you can observe examples of indirect communication such as strangers in crowded places, intimate partners spending time with each other without actually speaking to one another, or someone reacting to something they have witnessed.
You will observe the people interacting in this setting, and provide your analysis regarding what you thought to be significant about the communication that took place, in the form of a term paper. To aid you in your writing you will need to choose three specific course concepts or theories that relates to your observations. Examples include: Selection â€“ what forms of stimuli were present in the situation and how did the communicators respond or negotiate those stimuli? Social Roles â€“ what social roles did you pick up on and what was it about the interaction that communicated those roles? Nonverbal Communication â€“ Repeating: did you notice any particular gestures that the communicators used to reinforce what they were saying verbally?
Once you have selected the concepts to work with and explained how they functioned in the situation you observed, you will then need to provide an analysis of what you learned from this experience. For example: what are your thoughts about what you witnessed? Did it confirm or disconfirm any of your assumptions about communication? Was there anything that surprised you? If so, what was it and why did it surprise you?
Since you will be choosing a textbook concept for this assignment, you will need to provide a reference page including in-text citations in APA style. Your paper will be judged according to the following criteria:
Your ability to support your analysis through the use of relevant examples
Your ability to connect classroom learning to your observations
The application of appropriate communication concepts and/or terminology from lecture or the textbook
The demonstrated ability to think critically about what you observed (quality of your writing/insights)
Proper grammar, spelling, and overall format
This assignment is designed to help you:
Apply interpersonal communication concepts to real-world scenarios and personal observations
Organize information and facts into a cohesive, coherent essay
Improve your critical thinking and writing skills
Page limit: 3-5 pages, double-spaced, typed, 12-point font, with APA-style references
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