COMM 3335: Advanced Interpersonal Communication
FINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT SHEET
“Interpersonal Communication Theories: An Assimilation Paper”
Assignment: 10-12 page paper Point Value: 400 points
Purpose: The purpose of the Final Paper is to assess students’ understanding of course concepts and their ability to link multiple theories of interpersonal communication together and to a single real-world application.
You will write a Final Paper which assimilates information from three theories discussed in the course to explain a phenomenon common in close relationships. You may choose any phenomenon that you have witnessed or experienced in the context of personal relationships.
Some examples of topics include, but are not limited to:
– Self-esteem – Saving “Face”
– Body image – Deception
– Narcissism – “Friends with Benefits”
– Shyness – Polygamy
– Jealousy – Infidelity
– Sexual intimacy – Long-distance relationships
– Relational abuse – Stalking (“obsessive relational intrusion”)
– Humor – Power Balance
Pick a topic that you consider to be an interesting or fascinating aspect of human relations. The topics listed above are broad in focus; a more narrow focus may aid in crafting your paper. An example of this would be choosing the topic of stalking, but focusing on stalking behaviors in dating relationships.
After choosing your topic, complete the paper in the following steps:
1) The paper should begin with a short introduction containing a clear thesis statement, followed by a literature review about the phenomenon you’ve chosen. This literature review needs to include a discussion of at least 6 published research studies on your topic of choice. These six outside sources must be relevant to your specific topic, most should be recent (i.e., published after 2009), and integrated into your paper appropriately and accurately (using in-text citations). Simply including six studies on your reference page and failing to discuss them in text, or simply mentioning the studies with no thoughtful integration (e.g., quoting long sections from the studies without your original thoughts), will result in a low grade on the Final Paper.
2) Second, you must select three theories covered in the course and use the assumptions of those theories to explain your phenomenon of choice. How would the theory account for this phenomenon in people or their relationships? To what would the theory attribute this phenomenon? What would the theory suggest as a means of addressing this phenomenon? To accomplish this task, you should first summarize the assumptions of the theory. Then, link those assumptions to aspects of your phenomenon of interest to explain how the theory accounts for the phenomenon. This section should constitute the bulk of your paper.
a. NOTE: Some chapters in your text discuss multiple theories (e.g., Chapter 28 covers two Social Exchange Theories, Interdependence Theory and Equity Theory). You may only use one theory from each chapter; in other words, the three theories you choose should be selected from three separate chapters.
3) Third, write a short conclusion which summarizes your paper and reiterates your thesis statement.
You are expected to integrate (and cite) material from the text into your paper, as well as material from at least 6 outside sources. All sources should be documented on an APA-formatted reference page (which does NOT count toward the page length requirement). Your paper should be in final, professional form upon submission, including: 10-12 (full) pages, typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. You should also include a cover page with name, COMM 3335, and Final Paper (cover sheet does not count toward page length requirement). Writing with clarity (proofreading, grammar, punctuation, correct spelling) is expected and considered in your grade. Papers must be submitted by the deadline; late papers will NOT be accepted. See the Final Paper Rubric for more information regarding evaluation.