I have a paper assignment due for Relational Communication.
The book I choose for this assignment is “Think like a man” by Steve Harvey
The purpose of this assignment is to learn more about theories and research related to communication in close relationships. You’ll be researching a phenomenon of relational communication of your choice. You will have the opportunity to (a) conduct library research, improving your skills in locating and analyzing relevant scholarly articles, and (b) hone your analytical skills by evaluating your popular press book using this scholarly research.
Popular Press Book. You will find one popular press book that relates to your chosen topic. Regardless of your more specific topic, ensure that your book focuses on both close relationships and communication. Your book choice must be submitted no later than 2/4, in class (you are free to submit your choice earlier). All books must be approved by me.
Some ideas for topics…
Category: General relationship processes
1. Relationship development
2. Relationship maintenance
3. Relationship dissolution
Category: Relationship skills
4. Relational conflict
5. Social support
6. Managing relational uncertainty
Category: Communication in particular types of close relationships
7. Cross-sex friendships
8. Same-sex relationships
Category: Topics of relational communication
13. Gender and communication
14. Sexual communication
15. Online relational communication
Etc…these 15 topics are just ideas to get you started!
Some ideas for finding books…
· Go to your local bookstores
· Go to a public library
· Search online: Google, Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, etc.
Introduction: Provide a brief preview of the structure of your paper. This includes, at minimum, an “attention getter,” which is something that “grabs” the reader’s attention, such as quotes, brief stories, interesting questions, etc.; thesis statement, which is the “main point” of your paper, and a clear preview of your main points. (~1/2-3/4 page).
Section 1: Summarize the book. This is a sort of mini “book report.” Write it with the assumption that the reader has not read the book. Be sure to focus on the important components of the book – that is, its content that explicitly relates to your topic. That may mean that you do not review all sections of the book, which is fine, provided you have read the book, thought it through, and chosen to review the key components. Do not copy the abstract of the book from the book cover, internet, etc. This is plagiarism and will be treated as such. You must summarize the book in your own words. (2-3 pages)
Section 2: Explain how communication research and theory corroborate and/or contradict the book’s main points. In this section, you will need to cite all of your sources. You will want to choose 2 to 4 main points you would like to make and elaborate on them.
This section constitutes the bulk of your grade, so you should treat it as such. As an example, suppose that you choose a book about how to maintain a satisfying marital relationship. In section 2, you would want to identify 2-4 main points you’d like to cover about your book. Let’s say that your book suggests five ways to maintain a relationship. You may want to choose three that relate most clearly to communication and write a section on each, seeing if the book’s advice is supported by outside research. Another example might be choosing a book about how to make friends. Let’s say that your book has sections on same-sex and cross-sex friends. You may want, then, to have two main points, one about same-sex and one about cross-sex friends. In each section, you would write about how the book’s recommendations are supported – or not supported – by communication research. Or, given the same example, maybe the book suggests four main strategies for making friends, regardless of whether they are same-sex or cross-sex friendships. You could then write about these four strategies as your main points.
There is no one “right” way to write this section, and it will be largely dependent on the book you choose. That being said, you may want to choose a book that will allow you to make a few broad points. If your book consists of a list of 50 pointers for maintaining a marriage, it may be difficult to break those pointers down to 2 to 4 points (though not impossible). The idea is to write a well-organized, clear, thoughtful analysis of your book’s main ideas (~4-6 pages)
Conclusion: Summarize what you have accomplished in your paper. This includes, at minimum, a restatement of your thesis; a clear, comprehensive review of each of your main points; and a “clincher,” which is another story, quotation, etc. that leaves the reader with a lasting impression of your paper (~1/2-3/4 page).
Total: 8-10 pages, excluding title page and references.
You need to use and cite at least 10
sources, six (6) of which must be peer-reviewed journal articles. Other than peer-reviewed journal articles, credible sources include scholarly books (or book chapters) and interpersonal communication textbooks. You cannot use websites (unless approved by me). Journal articles and book chapters that are in print may also be available online, and those are fine to use. Your popular press book does not count as a source. Your textbook or course readings do not count toward your 10 sources – though you may use them. Your text and course readings are only a starting point for this paper. All sources must be cited in correct APA format.
When you state something in your paper that you found in an article or book, it must be cited, even if it is not a direct quote. You should expect to cite liberally but paraphrase often. Though I suggest 10 sources as a minimum, keep in mind it is just that – a minimum. Using more sources in an appropriate manner will likely result in a better argument and, therefore, a higher grade.
About journal articles: Ensure that your sources apply to your topic, and that they apply to communication in close relationships in particular. You should avoid articles that discuss relationships that do not fit our definition of “close” – such as teacher/student relationships, work relationships, acquaintances, etc. Some cues to help you find appropriate journal articles include:
· The name of the journal: Appropriate articles may be found in communication journals such as: Human Communication Research, Communication Research, Communication Quarterly, Journal of Applied Communication Research, etc. (these are just a few examples – by no means is this an exhaustive list!). Be wary of articles in journals like the Journal of Management and British Medical Journal – they probably don’t focus on communication in close relationships (but they might – which leads to the next point).
· The abstract: Looking at the journal title is not enough to ensure you have chosen an appropriate article. Read the abstract to see if it pertains to communication and close relationships.
· The article itself: Sometimes appropriate articles won’t specifically mention communication or your topic in the abstract, so you will need to read the article to see if it fits. Of course, any time you choose to use an article in your paper, you should have
obtained and read that entire article – not just the abstract.
· Title page with name, date, and paper title
· 8-10 typed, double-spaced page of text (excluding title page and references)
· 12-point Times New Roman font (as used in this document)
· 1” margins (as used in this document)
· NO EXTRA SPACES BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS!
· Reference section and internal citations in APA style
I will deduct points if your paper contains formatting errors or if you cite incorrectly. For more on APA style, see this website, hosted by Purdue University:
Assignments leading up to the final paper
No later than 2/9, in class, you must submit the full reference for the book of your choice in APA style, along with a paragraph (a) briefly describing the book and (b) why you believe it would be a good choice for your paper. Your book must be approved by me. If your book selection is NOT submitted by 2/4, 10 points will be deducted from your final paper grade.
No later than 3/25, in class, you will submit a partial draft of your paper. Your draft should include, at minimum, (a) the introduction, (b) the book summary (section 1), (c) a detailed outline of section 2, and (d) a reference section with at least ten references (in APA style).
You may provide a more complete draft, and I will provide feedback on everything you submit. This is your only chance to have me read your entire draft and provide written feedback, so please use it wisely. The draft is worth 5% of your final grade.
The final paper is due no later than 4/21 at 11:59 PM on BlackBoard
All assignments (your book selection, draft, and final paper) must be in hard copy (i.e., do not email) unless otherwise indicated by me.
Grading Criteria for Final Paper – You will be graded on several criteria, including:
· Accuracy: Do you correctly describe your book and research? Do you accurately cite references in APA style?
· Completeness of analysis: Do you adequately summarize your book? Do you thoroughly analyze the book, using outside research?
· Clarity of analysis: Do you present your assertions in such a way that they can be understood easily by someone with minimal knowledge of the topic?
· Quality of analysis: Do you offer insightful, compelling arguments? Are they reasonably supported by evidence?
· Organization: Do you present your ideas in a carefully planned manner? Do you use adequate signposts and transitions to guide your reader?
· Use of resources: Do you wisely utilize a variety of sources?