Interpersonal Communication Theories, Concepts and Skills

Learning Goals: The final paper is directly linked to all three of the student learning outcomes for this course.  It will allow you to demonstrate familiarity with research and thought in the field of interpersonal communication, analyze your own relationships using concepts of interpersonal communication, and demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills in various contexts.    Instructions: For this paper, please think about an interpersonal relationship you are currently in (such as a friendship, romantic relationship, work relationship, family relationship, etc.).  You will analyze your relationship using the interpersonal communication theories, concepts, and skills we have learned about throughout the semester.  In your paper, you will discuss a relational conflict or challenge (such as an argument, transgression, break-up, etc.). Please analyze your relationship and the conflict by applying at least one theory, one concept, and one skill using any of the chapters from our textbook. When applying the skill, think about what skill you used or could have used to effectively manage the conflict (for example: perception-checking statements, assertive “I” statements, self-monitoring, etc.). You will also need to cite one library source for this paper. Your book should be used for the majority of the paper, but at least one library source is also required (such as a book or journal article). Make sure you cite your library source at the end of your paper (bibliography) and within the paper (in-text or parenthetical citation) in MLA or APA format. Click here for help with library research specific to Communication Studies.  Include the following in your paper:  Brief description of the relationship you chose to write about  Brief description of the relational conflict/challenge you faced in this relationship  Application of 1 theory from any chapter in the book (please bold or highlight theory) Application of 1 concept from any chapter in the book (please bold or highlight concept) Application of 1 skill from any chapter in the book (please bold or highlight skill) Application and citation of 1 library source (book or journal article) PLEASE click here to learn about the differences between theories, concepts, and skills.   Note: You can use your book for finding the concept, theory, and skill but you also need one library source to supplement your understanding of the concept, theory, or skill. Or you can use a library source to supplement your understanding of the type of relationship you choose to write about.  Your final paper should be 2-3 pages, typed, double-spaced, size 12 font, with one inch margins all around, and in essay format.  DO NOT just list answers (it should be in essay format) Below are some theories you can use in your Final Paper.  Some of them are not labeled as theories in your textbook, which is why this list is being provided for you.  This list is definitely not exhaustive, so you can use any other communication studies theories that you find in our textbook or in your library research.  Hope this helps! Standpoint theory Social comparison theory Social penetration theory Relational dialectics theory Reflected appraisal theory  Social exchange theory  Uncertainty reduction theory  Coordinated management of meaning theory  Communication privacy management theory  Attribution theory  Expectancy violations theory  Triangular theory of love Hint: Skills are anything that you can use/practice to make communication more effective. Some examples include: self-monitoring, perception-checking statements, assertive “I” statements, conflict management, empathy, etc. Everything else in your textbook that is not a theory and not a skill is a Concept. Examples include: nonverbal communication (proxemics, eye contact, touch, etc.), high vs low context communication, poor listening habits, common tendencies in perception, emotive language, emotional contagion, conflict styles, etc.

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