Theory paper -Analysis of the Attribution theory- communication major
Evaluate the utility of an academic theory by examining its applications to everyday life. Enhance your ability to understand academic theory as explained by an outside source and to apply theoretical concepts with organization and clarity. Demonstrate original thought in analysis of utility.
1. Choose an episode from your life.
Choose one of the two following types of brief (1-3 minutes) real life communicative episodes (any communication interaction between 2 or more individuals). Do NOT attempt to use a movie scene.
a) First-hand experience: an incident in which you met and/or communicated with someone.
b) Observed episode: an incident in which you witnessed 2 or more others communicating.
2. Select a theoryfrom those on the schedule prior to the midterm. Choose one that will help you understand your communicative episode and that might also be beneficial for understanding your future communication interaction.
3. Find at least one main academic source (NOT your textbook or lecture notes) that explains the theory.
This mainsource must be published and will most likely to be either a chapter in an edited book or a journal article that provides a thorough explanation of the theory.
A journal article with an experimental study is unlikely to provide a thorough explanation of the theory, but is a very usefuladditional source for discussing the utility of the theory. (Use these in your utility section.)
Your textbook and lecture notes do not count as main sources, nor do Internet sources from Wikipedia, online or other class lecture notes, etc.
4. Basedon your main source(s),explain the theory in your own words. Additional research, such as experiments, course readings can be included to further enrich your explanation of the theory. Explain all key concepts of the theory (unless it is particularly complex, then select just a few key points). Do NOT cite lecture –– it is not a published source.
5. Analyze your communicative episode in terms of the theory as described in your main source(s). Cover all key concepts mentioned in your explanation and do NOT add any additional concepts in this section.
6. Discuss how the theory has benefitted you/others in understanding and learning about your communicative episode. What did you gain? What could the theory not do for you? Why?
7. Discuss how the theory could benefit you/others in understanding and guiding future communicative interactions. What could you gain? What could the theory not do for you? Why?
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8. Discuss how the theory could be beneficial in other types of communication contexts. What could be gained by applying this theory to various interactions? What could it not do? Why? Give examples.Use your additional scholarly sources, such as experiments,in this section to help address utility. Do NOT evaluate the theory on criteria such as parsimony, heurism, or falsifiability.
9. Follow Format & Writing Guidelines on next pages. You must create the sections and headings specified in the formatting guidelines.
Choose a theory from those listed on current course schedule prior to midterm.
Use APA Style. (Refer to PurdueOwl or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) for examples of APA Style.)
Papers should be 5-7 pages in length and formatted according to guidelines on next page.
All papers must be typed and double-spaced with one-inch margins and submitted in hard copy.
Cite all your sources in the text of the paper (using APA style).
Include a reference list (also in APA style).
Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
See formatting guidelines on next page.
Comm 89 PaperFeedback
Your paper will be graded using the following guidelines.
/2 Intro and Two-part Statement of Thesis: (approx. .5 p.)
Purpose of analysis and Preview
/2 Communicative Episode (approx. .5 – 1 pp.)
/4 Explanation of Theory (approx. 1.25 – 1.5 pp.)
/5 Application to episode: (approx. 1.5 – 2.5 pp.)
Aspects of your episode that can and cannot be analyzed in
terms of the theoretical concepts you outlined above.
/4 Critique of Utility (approx. 1-1.5 p.)
/1 Conclusion (approx. .25- .5 p.)
/1 APA Style
/1 Writing Style, Quality, Grammar, Spelling
/20 Total Points
COMM 89 Theory Paper Formatting Guidelines
Create the following sections and meaningful headings that correspond to them:
Introduction with Two-part Statement of Thesis: (approx. .5 page)
Part 1: Purpose of analysis stated in terms appropriate for a non-academic audience.
This means not just what, but why you are writing (i.e., to demonstrate utility of Comm theory) Never refer to this analysis as a course assignment.
Part 2: Preview of how you will accomplish your purpose. i.e., What will your paper include? (Hint: Once you finish your paper, review this and make sure that you did what you said you would.)
Explanation of Theory: (approx. 1.25 – 1.5 pages)
Provide the name of the theory and the primary theorists.
Explain the main idea and key concepts/premises/axioms/elements of your theory by paraphrasing and citing your sources. Do not use long quotes from your source or cite lecture.
Be sure to include all of the theoretical aspects that will be used to explain your communicative episode. (If your theory is particularly elaborate or complex, omit some of the concepts that are not relevant to your scenario and analysis.)
Communicative Episode: (approx. .5 – 1 page)
Describe your interaction, key participants and what they said and did.
Use quotation marks for dialogue, and report observable verbal and non-verbal behavior. Do not report others’ feelings and thoughts, only their communication.
This section should contain no analysis or theoretical terms, only the scenario.
Theoretical Analysis of Episode: (approx. 1.5 – 2 pages)
Explain specific aspects of your episodein terms of the theoretical concepts you outlined in the theory section above (i.e., use the names of the concepts and state how they apply).
Be specific regarding who said or did what and state precisely how the theoretical concepts explain thecommunication interaction.
Note which aspects of your episode cannot be explained or predicted by the theory and explain why the theory does not address them.
Do not bring in any new theoretical concepts nor add more information about your episode; use only the information already presented in theory and episode sections.
Utility: (approx. 1-1.5 pages)
Based upon your theoretical analysis above, discuss how, why and the degree to which this theory is a useful tool in everyday communicative interactionin a wide variety of contexts.
Discuss whether and why the theory is helpful overall for explaining, predicting or controlling communication interaction.
This section requires some original thought.
Use creative thinking and additional research to bring in some potential contexts other than the one in your case study.
Note at least one aspect of communication interaction that cannot be explained using this theory. For ideasabout what cannot be explained by your theory, you might brainstorm about concepts that other theories might address. However, do not write about any new theories here, as you will not be able to explain them adequately.
Do not apply all criteria for evaluating a social scientific theory – focus on utility only.
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Conclusion: (approx. .25-.5 page)
Summarize what your paper accomplished.
Do not introduce new material here.
Include APA style reference list for all sources.
Refer to Purdue Owl website for APA guidelines.https://owl.english.purdue.edu/