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COM 113

Use this guide to explore the syllabus, resources, and assignments in Professor Medina's COM 113 course.

Communication Advocacy Project - Jump Start

This course examines communication from a critical-cultural perspective. It is based on the assumption that communication is a complex process, involving more than just the actions of writing, speaking, listening, or reading. In fact, communication “occurs within cultural contexts” where people collaborate and negotiate “to create common understandings, beliefs and social systems” (Warren & Fassett, 2015, p. 7). As a communication teacher, I believe that the skills and knowledge from my discipline can be applied to real life situations, to improve our lives and our communities. That is the focus of this project.

Your task is to identify an issue that affects a local, regional, or national community. That can be your school, your team or club, your city, your state, or the country as a whole.  You will then develop recommendations, based on communication theories and approaches you have learned about. In other words, you will act as the expert, who advises an entity that needs to decide the best course of action to tackle the issue you have chosen.

Specific Instructions:

 

Issue Paper (40 pts): The first step in this project is to identify the issue you will be advising on. Pick something that interests you. It should be something significant because of the impact that it has on the people who are affected by it. 

This section of the project is also known as the statement of the problem, and will act as the introduction for the completed paper, due at the end of this term.

Use the following template to organize your paper:

  1. Describe the problem and audience for the project.

a) Evidence that the problem exists.

b) Evidence 2 that the problem exists.

c) Evidence 3 that the problem exists.

d) Who is your audience? (e.g., School Board, Board of Commissioners, etc.)
 

  1. Explain why the problem is significant (worthy of community attention) and/or

urgent (demands immediate attention).

a) Evidence that the problem is significant and/or urgent.

b) Evidence 2 that the problem is significant and/or urgent.

c) Evidence 3 that the problem is significant and/or urgent.
 

  1. The communication approach/theory that you have chosen to address the problem, because…

a) One or two sentences describing the approach/theory

b) Evidence that such an approach or theory has been used before.

  1. References (cited in APA Style). This section must include all sources you used to provide evidence. All sources must also be cited in text.

Length: 1-3 pages (typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins).
Due Date: Sunday, August 15, by 11:59 pm.

 

Literature Review and Recommendations (80 pts): This section of the project is where you present existing research about the communication approach/theory you selected. Begin the section by defining the approach/theory. Then, present the information you have learned about through your sources. End the section by presenting your recommendations. What actions should we take to address the problem? Remember, your recommendations must be based on what you have learned from your research.

The following source types are acceptable and appropriate for this section:

 

  1. Scholarly journal articles
  2. Scholarly books and/or book chapters
  3. Relevant reports, from reputable sources (e.g., government, recognized advocacy organizations, etc.)


This section must include at least 6 sources, which must be cited in text and compiled into a reference list, in APA style.

Length: 4-5 pages, typed, double spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins.

Due date: Sunday, August 22, by 11:59 pm.

 

Final Draft (120 pts): This is where you put the entire paper together, after making the required revisions for each section (if applicable). The paper must follow this order: (1) Title Page, (2) Statement of the Problem, (3) Literature Review and Recommendations, (4) Conclusion, and (5) References.


  Due Date: August 29, by 11:59 pm.

Recommendations:

 

  1. The textbook and/or lecture can provide ideas for suitable topics. However, you should contact me to discuss your paper and/or sources. This step is not mandatory, but can be very helpful.

  1. Use appropriate sources. Check canvas for guidance on source evaluation and other tips.
     
  2. Contact me for feedback. You can submit drafts for each section, by noon on the Friday before the due date, for comments.

    Submitting a draft typically works to your advantage, as that is one way to identify issues and correct them, before turning in your assignments. In other words, asking for help will not hurt your grade. Furthermore, if you choose to work on your own, with no assistance from me, you will not be penalized for it, because it is not required. All I can tell you is that students that work with their instructors usually do better in college courses.