The purpose of this assignment is to assist you in developing your skills at locating academic work that embodies the communication theories we have studied this semester. Further, this assignment should increase your understanding of how theories are built and tested with research. Overall, this is a research-based assignment, and you should expect to spend time in a library/Lab to complete this assignment. This paper is 2500 words minimum (8 pp) plus References.
General Paper Requirements
1. First, choose one of the theories in the textbook (I will provide some suggestions on your choices). If none of the theories we?ve discussed so far have interested you, then look ahead in the textbook.
2. Once you have chosen a theory, then find a minimum of five communication academic sources that develop, analyze, criticize, or test the theory somehow. The minimum is five academic sources + Griffin?s textbook.
3. You will use these sources along with our textbook to summarize and analyze your theory.
Paper Format (use headings in your paper for the sections below in bold)
1. Your paper should have a title page according to APA style.
2. Begin the paper with a brief (about 1 page) Introduction, including a thesis and the purpose of your paper.
3. Next, (2 pages minimum) summarize the theory (Theory Summary). Who are the authors? What is the theory about? What are the key concepts? Use your textbook, but other sources are also expected.
4. Using your sources and our notes, argue whether the theory is primarily objective or interpretive. Then identify and explain where it should be placed on Griffin?s Map of Theory Traditions. After that paragraph(s), specifically apply the terms epistemology, ontology, and axiology to your theory. What is your theory?s epistemology? How does the theorist see the world? Its ontology? Its axiology? It?s best to organize this section with a paragraph for each of these three terms (each ?ology?). This entire section is called Theory Worldview (2 pages minimum).
5. The third section (3 pages minimum) is the bulk of your paper and the most important section. This section is called your Theory Analysis. Based on your decision whether your theory is objective or interpretive, apply Griffin?s standards for a good theory (see Chapter 3), and argue if the theory does or does not satisfy the standards. For example, does Uncertainty Reduction Theory satisfy the standard of ?Relative Simplicity?? Why or why not? This section is where you rely primarily on your sources for evidence to support your arguments. For example, once you make a point that the theory does or does not satisfy a standard, you will support that point with examples from your textbook and/or additional sources. Important: Only apply the appropriate six standards to your theory (objective or interpretive), not all twelve standards. Finally, it?s best to organize this section with at least one paragraph per each of the six standards (?The first standard is. . .?).
6. Close your paper with a Conclusion section (1-page minimum) summarizing what your paper has accomplished and end with any final comments about your theory.
7. Your paper will have a References page that lists all of the sources (and only the sources) you used in your paper. Please follow strict APA style rules.
8. Your paper will be typed, double-spaced, one-inch margins, with a 12pt font (Times font is a good choice).
Tips for Writing Research Papers
The following is a quick guide that may help you avoid common writing errors. For more detailed assistance, please consult a style manual (e.g., APA Style Manual) or me/tutor.
1. Typographical errors. Please proofread your work. It would serve you well to organize your time in such a way as to give yourself ample time to proofread before the paper due date. If you are using a computer or word processor, this process will go much quicker. However, do not rely on the word processing program?s spell checker to do your proofreading. Spell checkers only check spelling; they do not check context or usage.
2. Proper usage. Be sure to use the proper word within the context. The most common usage problems involve the words: of/have, affect/effect, accept/except, then/than, no/know, to/two/too, etc.
3. Agreement. Be sure that subjects and verbs within sentences agree in number. Plural verbs should be used with plural subjects. Also, be sure that personal pronouns agree in number with their antecedents.
4. Bigoted language. Try to avoid the use of terms which might offend your audience. Audience analysis is important to achieve the goal of communicating ideas. The use of sexist, racist, or otherwise bigoted language may offend the audience and sabotage your goal as a communicator.
5. Use of the apostrophe. Avoid using contractions in a research paper, unless they are used in a direct quote. Apostrophes should only be used in formal papers to signify a possessive, such as Jeff?s car. It?s is a contraction of it is; its is the possessive of it.
6. Sentence structure. Avoid run-on or fused sentences, comma splices, incomplete sentences or sentence fragments, and otherwise awkward constructions.
7. Tense. Use the proper tense, and do not switch tense within a sentence or paragraph unless context demands the switch of tense.
8. Quoting. Be sure to quote accurately, and place quotation marks in their proper location in relation to other punctuation. For example, ?quotation marks should be placed after the period.?
1. Avoid passive voice; minimize the use of ?to be? verbs. Use action verbs.
2. Keep one main idea per paragraph. The paragraph should begin with the thesis statement. Sentences following the thesis statement should modify the thesis. The last sentence should serve as a transition to the next paragraph. This tip implies that paragraphs should contain more than two sentences.
3. Do not use slang or colloquialisms in a research paper (unless in a direct quote).
4. Do not address your reader directly in a research paper through the use of the second person pronouns you, your, or yours, or indirectly through the use of the first person plural pronouns we, our, ours, or us. The author of a paper can never have enough evidence to make claims about all others, including the audience of the paper. Research papers are not for giving advice or prescribing behavior.
5. Use parallel construction within sentences, paragraphs, and the paper as a whole. Do not be afraid to refer back to a statement made earlier in the paper, either directly or indirectly.