COMM 1100 Foundations of Communication Studies, Dr. Anis Rahman Suggested Essay Topics for Annotated Proposal and Final Essay
Term Paper: (Worth 30%, combining the proposal and the paper)
Your term paper will have two components:
Annotated Bibliography: (Due: check in the Syllabus), worth 5%
Final Essay: (Due: check the syllabus), worth 25%
The essay topics
The topics that you can pursue for your paper are outlined following. Select one and write your term paper about this topic. Your annotated proposal and the final essay both should be consistent with the topic you select. In other word, you should not write your annotated proposal about one topic and pick another topic for the final essay – they both should be about the same topic unless you have my prior permission to change it. These topics here give you a framework for starting your research. You can modify any of these topics up to a limited level while addressing the core questions/key points. You will examine them and create an outline of how you might map out the details for your thesis statement, opinions or arguments, supporting details, and conclusion.
Note that you will need a clear and concise thesis statement (preferably underlined) even if you are writing a term paper from one of the suggested topics. You should copy and paste your chosen topic on the cover page of your paper (exclude the word count from required length). See the pages below for additional guidelines on how to write your paper.
Once you have tentatively selected a topic, proceed to write a proposal. Writing Your Term Paper [please read this part very carefully and follow it]
Writing a Research Paper
Your research paper must present an arguable opinion about an issue; that is, your paper should be anchored on an argument that you are trying to defend. The goal of your research paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to. Ideas that you are considering need to be carefully examined in choosing a topic, developing your argument, and organizing your paper. It is very important to ensure that you are presenting your argument in a manner that is easy for your audience to understand. Your job is to persuade your audience that you have well-founded knowledge of the topic being presented. It is important to support your argument with evidence to ensure the validity of your claims.
Thinking and Writing Critically
In most academic writing it is important to write critically. Although you are not expected to approach your topic in an entirely original way, simple description of other people’s views is not enough. In other words, although you are encouraged to describe the issue you are tackling, you also need to analyze it in some detail.
Critical writing depends on critical reading. Most of the papers you write will involve reflection on written texts—the thinking and research that has already been done on your subject. In order to write your analysis of this subject, you will need to do careful critical reading of sources and to use them critically to make your argument. The judgments and interpretations you make of the texts you read are the first steps towards formulating your approach. If you ask the questions “how” and “why” rather than only “what,” you’ll be on the right track. Some “what” questions that are helpful include: What are the implications of the issue being analyzed? What does it (the novel, the issue, etc.) assume? What is unclear, and why might this be? What is significant about the kinds of information provided or left out by the text?
For more information on thinking and writing critically visit:
How to Organize Your Term Paper?
Writing with style and clarity alone is not enough to produce a high-quality paper. The way you organize your information is also essential.
The following is a general outline on how to organize your paper. This is only a guide and does not need to be followed exactly.
Your introduction has a dual purpose: to indicate both the topic and your approach to it (your thesis statement), and to arouse your reader’s interest in what you have to say. One effective way of introducing a topic is to place it in context—to supply a kind of backdrop that will put it in perspective. You should discuss the area into which your topic fits, and then gradually lead into your specific field of discussion (re: thesis).
How to Write a Thesis Statement?
A thesis is a one-sentence statement about your topic. It’s an assertion about your topic, something you claim to be true. Notice that a topic alone makes no such claim; it merely defines an area to be covered. To make your topic into a thesis statement, you need to make a claim about it, make it into a sentence. Look back over your materials— brainstorming, investigative notes, etc.—and think about what you believe to be true. Think about what your readers want or need to know. Then write a sentence, preferably at this point, a simple one, stating what will be the central idea of your paper. The result should look something like this:
Original Subject: an important issue in the field of mass communications
Focused Topic: media technology education for communication majors
Thesis: Theories of media technology deserve a more prominent place in this university’s Communication program Or if your investigations led you to a different belief:
Thesis: Communication majors at this university receive a solid background in theories of media technology It’s always good to have a thesis you can believe in.
Thesis: This university has a Communication major. That’s a complete sentence, and it asserts something to be true, but as a thesis it’s a dead end. It’s a statement of fact, pure and simple, and requires little or nothing added. A good thesis asks to have more said about it. It demands some proof. Your job is to show your reader that your thesis is true.
Remember, you can’t just pluck a thesis out of thin air. Even if you have remarkable insight concerning a topic, it won’t be worth much unless you can logically and persuasively support it in the body of your essay. A thesis is the evolutionary result of a thinking process, not a miraculous creation. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading the essay assignment. Deciding on a thesis does not come first. Before you can come up with an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the beneath-the-surface significance of these relationships. After this initial exploration of the question at hand, you can formulate a “working thesis,” an argument that you think will make sense of the evidence but that may need adjustment along the way. In other words, do not send email to your Instructor expecting him or her to help you figure out your thesis statement and/or help organize your paper unless you have already done some research.
For more information regarding thesis statements visit:
As you near the end of your paper, you might ask a few basic questions. So what? What does all this finally have to do with anything, anyway? What do I most want my readers to take away from this essay? What do I hope they’ll do now that they’ve read this? What last thoughts do I want to imprint on their minds before we part company?
Often your instincts will tell you what needs to be said, worked through, made clear, at the end. If you remember that your conclusion should give finality and closure, you won’t open a new subject and leave readers hanging. If you agree that endings are always positions of great emphasis, you won’t leave your reader with a mere supporting fact from one of your sub-points. The simplest and most basic conclusion is one that restates the thesis in different words and then discusses its implications. For more information on writing effective conclusions visit: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Handout on Conclusions (Links to an external site.)
Make Sure to Write with Style and Clarity
Many students make the mistake of thinking that the content of their paper is all that matters and consequently neglect writing in a style suitable for an academic paper. Although the content is important, it will not mean much if the reader cannot understand what you are trying to say. You may have some great ideas in your paper but if you cannot effectively communicate them, you will not receive a good mark.
The following are some suggestions to assist you in writing a clear yet scholarly paper.
1. Say It in the Appropriate Tone
Presenting a clear argument does not mean disregarding proper academic prose. In other words being clear does mean being informal in expression. Many students make the error of being too casual in their language use, writing their paper in a tone more suitable for a conversation over lunch. It is not, for example, appropriate to say “the Renaissance was a drag” or “the cool thing about Communications is....” When in doubt, be conservative. This caution doesn’t mean you should write all your sentences in a choppy, obvious, “see Jane run” style. It just means that you should make sure that the individual marking your paper isn’t distracted from what you are trying to say by how you are saying it. For more information visit: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “Style” handout (Links to an external site.)
Diction refers to the choice of words for the expression of ideas; the construction, disposition, and application of words in your essay, with regard to clarity, accuracy, variety, etc.; mode of expression; and language. There is often a tendency for students to use fancy words and extravagant images in hopes that it will make them sound more intelligent when in fact the result is a confusing mess. Although this approach can sometimes be effective, it is advisable that you choose clear words and be as precise in the expression of your ideas as possible. And don’t accept the recommendations of your word processing program’s thesaurus—these tools may be dangerous unless you double-check the meaning of the words in a dictionary. Many times, an inappropriate synonym will make you sound like you don’t know what you are talking about or, worse yet, give the impression that you are plagiarizing from a source you don’t understand. Never use a word you can’t clearly define. It’s okay to use big words if you know them well and they fit your overall tone—just make sure your tone is consistent.
3. Quotations and Paraphrasing
Using direct quotations in a paper can be valuable and effective in supporting your argument, but only if they are used properly. A common mistake is allowing the quotations to overshadow your own work. Contrary to what you might think, packing your paper with as many quotations as possible will not necessarily lend greater credibility to your argument, and it will not get you a good grade.Although you do need to provide as much evidence as possible in support of your thesis, note that quotations are only one type of evidence. The bulk of your evidence should come from your own words, either in the form of original thoughts or the paraphrased thoughts of others.Once you’ve carefully selected the quotations that you want to use, your next job is to weave those quotations into your text. The words that precede and follow a quotation are just important as the quotation itself. Do not rely on quotations to tell your story for you. It is your responsibility to provide your reader with a context for the quotation. The context should et the basic scene for when, possibly where, and under what circumstances the quotation was written. Once you’ve inserted your quotation, along with its context, your reader still needs your assessment of why the quotation holds significance for your paper. Please remember that quotations, just like all paraphrases, require a formal citation.
4. Grammar and Spelling
You must make certain that your paper is free from grammar and spelling mistakes. Mechanical errors are often one of the main reasons for lack of clarity in papers, so be sure to thoroughly proofread your paper before handing it in. For help with common errors in grammar and usage consult the following websites:
• University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Writing Center Handouts (Links to an external site.)
• Capital Community College Foundation’s Guide to Grammar & Writing
Plagiarism, Academic Honesty, and Citing Your Sources
Plagiarism is a form of stealing; as with other offences against the law, ignorance is no excuse. The way to avoid plagiarism is to give credit where credit is due. If you are using someone else’s idea, acknowledge it, even if you have changed the wording or just
summarized the main points. To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use:
• another person’s idea, opinion, or theory;
• any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings--any pieces of information—that are not
• quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or
• paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words.
YOU MUST REVIEW THIS LINK BEFORE SUBMISSION OF FIRST ASSIGNMENT.
http://www.kwantlen.ca/library/guides/plagiarism.html See Policy C.8 Plagiarism and Cheating. I also recommend that you take the Plagiarism Awareness Tutorial, available here: https://courses.kpu.ca/enrol/index.php?id=19070 If you are unsure as to how to properly cite your sources, please visit this website provides information on APA style: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ In addition to plagiarism, KPU has policies regarding other forms of academic dishonesty. Here’s some additional information on KPU’s ST2 –Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures. If any of the KPU’s policies are not clear you must ask your instructor for clarification. Again, ignorance is no excuse.
Template for the Annotated Proposal for the Term Paper and Grading Rubric (5%)
(copy/paste or use this template to write your proposal)
Topic # .... .... .... (Pick one from the Suggested Term Paper Topics list, mix and match, or
propose a new topic)
Name, & Student ID:
Draft title of the paper (5-15 words): (0.5 point)
[a good title sums up the core of your paper, it may stem from your thesis statement.]
Draft thesis statement (in 2-3 sentences or max 150 words) (0.5 point)
[A thesis is a one-sentence statement about your topic. It’s an assertion about your topic, something you claim to be true. A good thesis asks to have more said about it. It demands some proof. Your job is to show your reader that your thesis is true. Remember, you can’t just pluck a thesis out of thin air. A thesis is the evolutionary result of a thinking process, not an assumption that you can create over a night. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading the essay assignment. Deciding on a thesis does not come first. Before you can come up with an argument of your own on any topic, you have to do a good deal of research, careful thinking and re-thinking. Allow at least one week to brainstorm and to research about it.] (For examples of thesis statement and explanation, see ‘Writing Your Term Paper’ section in the Suggested Essay Topics for Annotated Proposal and Final Essay document)
Organization of your paper (in 2-3 sentences or max 200 words) (1 point)
[Tell briefly how your paper will be organized. What would be the central focus of your analysis? How are you going to establish the thesis statement? Which theories, case studies, and/or examples you might use? Possible sections and subsections. Write in paragraph format.]
Annotation of 6 academic sources with a bibliography (3 points, approx. 0.5 for each source and annotation)
1. First line (bibliography): cite the full reference of your source in APA format. Such as, Samhita, L., & Gross, H. J. (2013). The “Clever Hans Phenomenon” revisited. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 6(6). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921203/ Second line (annotation): Explain in 2-3 sentences each what this article is about, why is it relevant to your essay and how it will be used in your essay, i.e. what theory or case study will assist you develop your essay. Do not copy and paste text from the source, except for key terms with quote marks. The annotation should be in your own words, and you can reuse it in your term paper.
[Note: To pass in this assignment you will need at least 3 course readings and 3 external academic sources (i.e. books, peer-reviewed journal articles). You can add more references in both categories as many as you want. You can also change a small portion of your references when you work on your term paper, and as many supplementary sources as you want. All references must be cited and formatted in in APA Reference style. This link explains how to format your references in APA style: https://libguides.kpu.ca/ld.php?content_id=15246855]
COMM 1100 FOUNDATIONS OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES
TOPIC: NON-VERBAL LANGUAGE IN EVERYDAY COMMUNICATION
Title of the Paper
Effectiveness of non-verbal language in everyday communication within humans and between humans and animals
Mehrabian (2017) commented that more than 90% of the interface used regularly is dependent on body language. The importance of non-verbal communication arises when people interact with individuals of a different culture or religion. However, the importance of non-verbal communication is not only limited to humans but is also extend to animals. Pets can pick up the non-verbal cues like facial expressions and body stances that help them to understand the human better. Wild animals’ skunks, snakes, wolves and ponies also track signals (Veevers, 2016). The subtle gestures can give rise to stronger meaning than one may expect. Non-verbal communication requires the application of the five abilities like repetition, contradiction, substitution, complementing and accenting.
The present essay would be built on the thesis that non-verbal communication is useful for humans from different culture and background to better understand themselves in regular contact and also interact with the animals and establish a connection.
Organization of the Paper
The essay paper would be written with clarity and with proper structure. The article would have a general structure, but the information would be provided in details and with clarity to enhance the quality of the article.
The first part would be the introduction in which the reader would have a clear idea of the topic along with its background and the importance. After this, the thesis statement would be presented based on which the entire essay would be built. The prime aim of this section is to generate interest among the readers and prepare the readers towards a particular field of discussion.
The second part is the discussion in which the central arguments would be presented. The first line would introduce the argument followed by the support from sources. Counter arguments would be offered that would help the learner to understand the different perspective of the claim. Then the informed opinion of the learners would be provided. There would be three such paragraphs on the claimed arguments that would help the learner to confirm the thesis statement.
The final section is the conclusion in which the overall summary of the discussion is offered by relating to the argument. The conclusion section would include a plan of action for better non-verbal communication.
Annotation of 6 academic sources with a bibliography
1. Samhita, L., & Gross, H. J., (2013). The "Clever Hans Phenomenon" revisited. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 6(6), e27122.
This article is about the importance of non-verbal communication with animals and the ways animals understand the cues and signals. This article provides an overview of the understanding of the social signals by a horse named Hans. The experiment has exhibited that the horses can understand the microscopic signals on the face of the questioning person. The experiment showed the cognitive abilities of the animals, and this is a fundamental lesson. This article would be useful in this essay, as it would highlight the importance of non-verbal communication between humans and animals. This article can be used for understanding the cognitive abilities of the animals and identify how human can interact with them.
2. Miller, K. Conceptual Foundations: What is Communication? Introduction to Communication Studies (pp.1-14)
This article provides an overview of the communication and its importance in the daily lives. The article provides an overview of different communication definitions by the different authors. The article also provides an understanding of the communication process and the ways it can be used in various aspects. However, the essential part that would be used in the essay is the understanding of the concept of communication being symbolic. The articles shed light on the idea of semiotics, which highlights the relationship between the signifier and the signified. The article highlights the importance of understanding the symbols and signs in communication as it can aid in better interaction between humans. This article explains the concepts of non-verbal communication between humans.
3. Ong, W. J., (2013). Some Psychodynamics of Orality File. Orality and literacy. (pp.31-57). London: Routledge.
This course reading defines the concepts of oral thoughts and expressions. This chapter provided characteristics for some orally based thoughts and expressions. The article provides an overview that thoughts and the expression in the oral culture are of a certain category and sort. This chapter can be used in the essay for developing an in-depth understanding of the thoughts and expression, which are a crucial part of non-verbal communication. It is important to note non-verbal expressions are additive that implies that such communication follows a significant pattern. This concept would help develop my essay arguments on the importance of pattern and signs while engaging in non-verbal communication both with animals and human beings.
4. Phutela, D., (2015). The importance of non-verbal communication. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 9(4), 43.
This journal article defines the importance of non-verbal communication in different situations. It exhibited how non-verbal communication can act as a barrier and also tools for overcoming the shortcomings in the communication process. However, the important fact that is highlighted here is that non-verbal communication can differ based on the situation. This article can be used in the essay for developing insights about the different types of non-verbal communication and how they can be used in different situations. This article would also help to develop an argument for the use of non-verbal communication cues for understanding the true meaning of communication under the conflict situation.
5. Rammal, H. G., (2007). Communicating successfully: The importance of nonverbal messages in the communication process. Samadhan-The Solution, 10, 21-26.
This article defines the importance of non-verbal communication in everyday life in the workplace. It shows how coding messages by the managers improves communication with cross-cultural employees. This article explores the role of the non-verbal message in the communication process and disuses the ways it overcomes the barriers in cross-cultural communication. In my essay, this article would help develop a strict argument for developing a non-verbal message for dealing with cross-cultural people and the process of identifying the true meaning of communication.
6. D'Aniello, B., Scandurra, A., Alterisio, A., Valsecchi, P., & Prato-Previde, E. (2016). The importance of gestural communication: a study of human-dog communication using incongruent information. Animal Cognition, 19(6), 1231-1235
This article specialises on the non-verbal communication between the human and animals, particularly dogs. The article shows how dogs can understand the gestures of human beings and can behave accordingly. Gestures are more salient than the words for the dogs. This resource would help support my argument on the importance of non-verbal communication while dealing with or training pets. I can discuss that dogs are preferable to gestures rather than words thereby maintaining social interaction. Thus the article is effective for understanding the importance of non-verbal communication in developing relation between humans and animals.