COM 702: Communication Theory Research Paper and Presentation
The Communication Theory Research Paper is designed to guide you through the process of developing research in the field. Please see the details below:
I. Introduction (estimate 2-3 pages)
a. Introduce the communication phenomenon (artifact).
b. Why is this subject of interest/ why is it relevant?
c. What questions does communication theory bring up about the artifact?
d. Preview the structure of your paper
II. Body
a. Development of Artifact (estimate 2-3 pages)
i. See questions below
b. Development of Communication Theory (estimate 2-4 pages)
i. introduce your three theoretical perspectives
ii. Application
iii. See questions below
III. Conclusion (estimate 1-2 pages)
a. Review of your structure.
b. What was revealed in the analysis?
c. Future implications/research?
*Please note that the structure of the paper can change drastically depending on the theoretical lens you choose. A paper that uses Autoethnography will have a different structure than a paper that uses Complex Organizing. The theoretical perspective provides a general approach. If you have specific questions about how to proceed with a given theoretical approach, please contact me.
The artifact is the object/subject of your study. The artifact should be interesting, intriguing, offensive, or engaging (most importantly, it should be something meaningful to you that you wish to understand in more depth). Examples include protests, court trials, advertisements, art, political movements, speeches, site specific occurrences, organizational structures, personal events, etc. Please note: the more specific the artifact, the easier it is to direct the research.
Below are several questions to help guide you (not all of these questions are imperative for every analysis):
What is the artifact?Please explain the artifact in full detail.
What is the significance of the artifact, why should we care?
What is the history of the artifact or the history of a similar phenomenon?
How are various groups responding to the artifact?
Why is it important to communication as a field?

Development of Communication Theory
You must use three different theoretical perspectives (from our textbooks) to explain how the artifact operates. The Communication As/Communication Is textbooks will help provide the basis for your analysis. You are also free to use a specific chapter or subsection in Speaking into the Air, but it is not required. Please use the other source material provided in Additional Readings at the end of each textbook chapter for additional support (or articles from communication and mass media complete database).
You must use the three theories you selected to help the reader understand the artifact. The concepts provided throughout each perspective/scholar can help explain and enrich your analysis. How do these concepts inform the tactics/effects of the artifact? How does the artifact and the theory work together (what are the components of the theory and what do we learn when we apply them to the artifact)? What new insight is provided? Where do we go from here in terms of researching this phenomenon?
Criteria for Research Paper and Presentation
The presentations will be conducted in the final two weeks of regular class. The paper is due on the final day of class.
The paper should be 10-15 pages – Times New Roman – 12 Point Font.
Please include a cover page and a references page.
You are required to have at least 10 sources (about 2 per page) and you must use either MLA or APA format (Our textbooks/articles can serve as part of your 10 sources).

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