Essay Communications

For this class, each student is to write one research paper that analyzes a particular theme of this course. The analysis of the topic must be supported by research from at least 4 outside scholarly articles or reputable publications (Ex. Trade publications), published in or since 2007 (the text should not be used – automatic 10 point deduction if text is used). As citations from other sources are made, appropriate referencing, using the APA style is necessary. A works cited page as well as a cover page is required. The paper should be 4-5 pages (typewritten and double-spaced), not including the works cited and cover pages. Papers are expected to be submitted ON TIME through Blackboard (as an attachment); detailed guidelines for the paper are indicated below.

This research project must separately contain and annotated bibliography.

Action Items

  1. Choose only one topic for your research paper from those listed below.



  • You will choose from the following sub-categories:
  • Long-term relationships: discuss the evolution of intimate relationships over time. In your response, consider these questions: Is it realistic to assume that significant relationships will remain significant in the same way as years pass? Is it reasonable to assume that a person with whom we find intimacy will be that same person in the future?
  • Interpersonal relationships at work: is this healthy for both the relationship and work environment? Some organizations do not allow for couples to work together- is this an effective policy? How can an employer enforce such a policy? How might that affect work relationships?
  • Interpersonal Relationships in the Digital Age: some researchers assert that we are less connected than in the past thanks to involvement in digital communication; others propose digital communication allows us to be even more connected. What are some the advantages/disadvantages digital communication has on the love relationship? When we meet someone on-line, is it the same as meeting the person face to face? Can the basis of a strong, committed relationship be established on-line? How do social networking sites and other digital communication networks affect how we now define loyalty and trust in relationships?


  • How do cultural views shape our communication with others? In your response, consider these questions: How do stereotypes and prejudice affect our cultural orientations? How do our experiences affect our cultural perspectives and the way we treat others? Can we get along with others who are different?

Possible cultural identities to look at (do not discuss all of these pick a specific set): rural versus urban, different political ideologies, differing fan communities, or country of origin.


  • How does family contribute to the identity of the self and one’s communication with others? In your response, consider these questions: How do the messages we hear as children affect our self-concepts? How do these messages affect how we project the self in interactions with others? How does our communication within our family group relate to the communication skills we apply with others outside of the family?

Some family relationships to use as a lens to answer the above questions: military families, same sex parent families, religion in families, nomadic families, families with an incarcerated parent, differing political views among families, adopted families or single parent families.


  • You will choose from the following sub-categories:
  • Media violence: Describe the relationship of media depicted violence to societal attitudes and behaviors. Do media cause aggressive or negative behaviors in society? Are media depicting what already exists in society or what society wants to see? Should media be government regulated?
  • Body Imaging: What is the relationship of media depicted body images and that of the public’s expectation of body images? Is there an ethical responsibility of advertisers, producers of film/television, parents, etc. as it applies to media portrayals of body imaging. How might different genres play a role (scifi, romance, superhero, horror, etc)?
  • Gender/Race/Sexuality (pick one): How does media depict different identities? What are possible implications? How does the communication about these identities influence the public? Does media depict identities in different ways? If so, how? What might this do to perceptions of a viewer/consumer?
  • Humor: How might humor be understood differently across cultures? From generation to generation? How might popular culture and media affect humor? Such areas in media and culture as saturday morning cartoons, comic strips, and teen fims are common places for humor to play out.

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