COMMUNICATION THEORY Assignment 1

 

You should be able to use the material that you develop here in your final project. Before you tackle this exercise, please make sure you have read the Week 2 course materials.

Objective: To demonstrate a thorough understanding of your communication theory and how it relates to your workplace* communication problem.

Skills: This assignment will help you refine your abilities to execute the following skills for professional-level research:

  • identify and formulate research questions that clearly define and focus what you would like to investigate in school or on the job;
  • locate authoritative information in library and internet resources;
  • analyze and assess the relevance of information to a research question, and
  • synthesize new knowledge and establish context for your inquiries.

Background: Please begin this assignment by reading the following information carefully.

A literature review is a critical summary of what subject matter experts have to say about a question or topic. In your case, you will write an account of what scholars have published in peer-reviewed journals about the communication theory that you have determined to be relevant to the communication issue in your workplace.*

Occasionally, you will be asked in school or on the job to write a literature review as a stand-alone report. More often, you will use a literature review to establish the context for a larger business report or business proposal, or for a scholarly report. In your case, your literature review will become a part of your report’s introduction where it will help your readers to understand why the theory is applicable to your workplace communication problem. You will use your literature review to disclose the knowledge and ideas that already have been established on your theory. However, it must not be just a description of the information available. To gain a better understanding of what a literature review is and is not, watch this video from UMGC’s Effective Writing Center at https://youtu.be/2IUZWZX4OGI .

(*Remember, if you are not employed or cannot discuss your workplace, you should be using a communication problem from another organizational setting in which you are involved for your final project, such as school, church, or a community group.)

Steps:

  • Begin by reviewing the list of communication theories in the Week 1, Overview 1.1, “Introduction to Theory, Theory Building, and Communication Theories.” Click on the links for any theories that you think may address your workplace* communication problem. The links will take you to entries about that theory in the < Encyclopedia of Communication Theory >.
  • Once you have reviewed the theories, select a communication theory that appears to be related to your paper’s research question. Then click on Resources > Library in the navigation bar across the top of your classroom screen or go directly to the UMGC Library at http://www.umgc.edu/library/library.html. The links will take you to the library’s OneSearch page.
  • Using OneSearch and the name of your communication theory as a search term, select the “scholarly journals only” search function and locate three academic resources about your communication theory.

Content: Based on what you learn, write a 2-page, double-spaced essay in which you explain how the theory that you have chosen relates to your final paper’s research question.

  • Your literature review should begin with an introduction that contains your research question, an explanation of its significance, and any other background information setting the context of your research.
  • Use the body paragraphs to describe and assess what you learned about the communication theory that you plan to use in your final project.
  • The conclusion should summarize the major issues that the researchers reported about the theory; it also should evaluate whether the theory accurately explains or can be used to resolve the workplace* communication problem you are investigating.

Format:

  • 2 pages
  • Double-spaced
  • 12 point font
  • 1” margins
  • APA-style cover page

Do not use any quotes or paraphrases in your writing. Just synthesize and summarize what you learned about your communication theory and critique its utility for your final project. 

Use American Psychological Association-style end-of-text references to document to create a list of the resources you consulted to learn about your theory. See the university library’s website at https://libguides.umgc.edu/apa-examples for guidance on how to format your references according to the latest edition of the APA’s style manual.

Resources to support this activity:

The following resources can provide you with guidance on how to analyze, write, and format a literature review.

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