Theory Application Paper
For each credit hour you earn in COM 399, you will complete a communication theory application paper. To provide examples, you will submit three theory application papers if you take the class for three credit hours and six papers if you are enrolled for six credit hours. You submit each paper via the class Canvas page. For each paper:
- Choose a communication concept or theory,
- Name the author(s),
- Explain the basic principles and tenets, what it claims to explain or predict,
- Explain in specific ways how it applies to your particular internship situation. You should include details about what you have been doing, then the specific behaviors or observations that apply to the concept/theory you’ve chosen to discuss.
You may select from such general areas as interpersonal, small group, organizational, intercultural and mass communication. More specific areas include persuasion, leadership, organizational assimilation, gender and organizational culture. There are many theories from which to choose - Uncertainty Reduction, Symbolic Interactionism, Uses and Gratifications, Functional Theory of Group Decision-Making, Privacy Management and Communication Accommodation Theory, just to name a few.
Due dates for the papers will be provided under the Canvas assignment. If you miss the deadline for the assignment, you will receive an “Incomplete” in the course until the paper has been completed. If you are late with more than one paper, you will receive an “F” for the course.
Theory application is a crucial part of this learning experience. The papers are designed to prompt you to “think like a communication major” and to integrate what you have learned in your coursework with what you experience in “the real world.” An internship provides you with the opportunity to further develop communication skills and actually “see” the concepts and theories you have discussed in class. The goal of these papers is for you to share this with the internship director.
You are required to write a short (two to three page), thoughtful, well-written reflection paper at the end of the term. The first few paragraphs or so should describe the organization where you interned and your specific job responsibilities. The remainder of the paper should focus on what you learned about yourself - your abilities, areas in need of improvement and how your specific communication knowledge and skills will affect your future. Did you achieve the goals you established for yourself in your learning contract? Did you learn things you didn’t anticipate learning? How did this experience relate to your coursework in communication?
Your paper will be due on the first day of finals week (see Canvas for the specific date). You will submit the paper via Canvas.