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COM 203: Introduction to Communication Final Analysis Paper150 points

Your final paper will be related to the movie The Devil Wears Prada. We will watch this movie during class time, but if you are absent from class on the day(s) the movie is shown, it will be your responsibility to obtain a copy of the film and watch it outside of class on your own time. The movie exemplifies many of the different types of communication interactions we have learned throughout the course. Pick 1 type of interaction that you will focus your paper on:

  • Ø  Interpersonal relationships (both romantic and friendship)

  • Ø  Organizational communication (superior/subordinate, and colleagues)

  • Ø  Small group communication

  • Ø  Intercultural communication (remember this is not just based on race/ethnicity but may also

    include people from different social circles or different priorities)

    Note: When making this decision it is important to consider which topic is of most interest to you. You may want to watch some of the movie before making your decision. Therefore, I recommend you take notes on each type of interaction so that you can make your decision at a later time.

    Within each of these types of interactions you will see a number of different communication principles we have learned throughout the course. You will pick a minimum of 3 principles to focus on:

  • Ø  Verbal communication (language, language functions, connotative/denotative, concrete/abstract, direct/indirect perception checking)

  • Ø  Nonverbal communication (nonverbal codes)

  • Ø  Listening and adapting to others (listening styles, barriers to listening, noise, perception


  • Ø  Leadership and power

  • Ø  Organizational climate and culture (upward/downward, communication traits, bureaucracy)

  • Ø  Diversity (labeling, prejudice, discrimination, ethnocentrism/chauvinism, cultural

    dimensions, role-taking, assuming similarity/differences, in-group/out-group)

  • Ø  Relational escalation and de-escalation

  • Ø  Conflict and conflict resolution

  • Ø  Mass communication and media literacy (convergence, platform agnostic, media multi-

    taskers, media addiction, concentration of ownership, hyper-commercialism, product placement)

    Note: Each bullet point counts as one principle. For example you might choose (1) verbal communication, (2) leadership and power, and (3) organizational climate and culture. Within each of these categories you can focus on as many subtopics as you wish. However, if you only discuss language, its functions, and connotative/denotative language that only counts as one principle, not three!

    Finally, you must include a minimum of 1 communication theory we have discussed in class:

Ø Sapir-Whorf HypothesisØ Expectancy Violations Theory Ø Uncertainty Reduction Theory Ø Social Penetration TheoryØ Social Exchange TheoryØ Relational Dialectics Theory Ø Structuration TheoryØ Systems Theory

Ø Theory of BureaucracyØ Social Identity TheoryØ Identity Negotiation Theory Ø Cultivation TheoryØ Social Cognitive TheoryØ Critical Cultural TheoryØ Parental Mediation Theory Ø Agenda-Setting Theory

You will write a 3-5 page essay explaining your topic to someone with no background in communication. This means that you must explain your arguments fully and show me that you understand the concepts.

  • Ø  First, you must clearly describe the communication interaction you have chosen to focus on (Is it a friendship? A romantic relationship? Professional relationship? Group? Etc.) Tell us who the characters are and describe the relationship in general. What is their communication like? How do you know that they are friends, or partners, or colleagues? Provide specific examples from the movie that relate to what we have learned about that type of relationship.

  • Ø  Second, you will discuss at least three communication principles and how they relate to the relationship of focus. Each principle should be fully explained and you should provide specific examples from the movie. Make note of things that were done well and not so well. Explain how the characters could have improved communication in that instance.

  • Ø  Third, you will use at least one communication theory to help explain the communication you witnessed in the movie. You must first explain the theory in detail. What is it used for? What are the main tenets? Then, explain how the theory can be applied to the specific communication interactions you discussed in your paper. Use specific examples.

    Please keep in mind the following information:

    • ü  Your paper should have a clear introduction and conclusion. Your conclusion should relate back to your introduction and tie your whole paper together. Bring it full-circle.

    • ü  Include a clear thesis statement. This should be a 1-2 sentence overview/summary of your paper. What is the goal or purpose of your paper?

    • ü  Use APA formatting: typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, title page (with running head and page numbers), in-text citations (Author Last Name, Year), and a reference page. See OWL at Purdue website.

    • ü  Cite at least 5 sources. Use research findings from previous studies (academic journal articles) that help support what you saw in the movie or challenge it. You may cite the book as one of your sources.

    • ü  Please adhere to the page limit. If you go over 5 pages, you will need to cut it down.

    • ü  Be sure to proofread your paper for formatting and grammatical errors before submitting it.

    • ü  Your paper must be turned in on Blackboard at the start of class on the due date listed on the syllabus. Late papers will not be accepted.

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