Southern Cross University (SCU) COM00207 Essay

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Assessment Description
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The aims of this assessment task are threefold:
Observe two or more people communicating with each other in a ‘live’ setting and to apply communication theories you have learned in Topics 1–3 to that event.
Write an academic essay which:
briefly describes the communication event
analyses and evaluates the event by applying theories from Topics 1–3 to the event
evaluates the usefulness (or otherwise) of these theories for this purpose
conforms to the expected essay structure according to the relevant readings for Topic 6. These can also be found through the SCU Academic Skills Development website, http://www.scu.edu.au/academicskills. There you can click through to the Academic Skills Information Guides and download the following:
Interpreting the Assignment task: Essay.
Essay Writing.
Essay Writing Checklist.
Introductions and Conclusions: Essay.
Demonstrate correct in-text referencing and a correct reference list for at least five references according to the reference style described in the following Reading:
Summers, J & Smith, B 2006, ‘Referencing’, Communication skills handbook: How to succeed in written and oral communication, John Wiley & Sons Australia, pp. 17–38.
(This Reading is accessible through myReadings).
The essay question
Which communication theories that you have researched and applied, provide most insight into understanding the dynamics of the observed event?
Draw on the materials and subject matter of Module One and the skills developed through Module Two. With reference to at least three communication theories (or aspects of theories), analyse the communication event you have observed. In your essay compare and contrast the usefulness of the selected communication theories for analysing the event. Reference the essay correctly (using in-text referencing as well as a list of references at the end of your essay), in the style described by Summers and Smith (2006).
Step 1: Find your reference material
Before you write your essay you need to find at least five references which will help you to develop your argument and therefore your essay. You must use at least:
a chapter from your textbook
one of the readings in myReadings
one journal article accessed through the Library databases.
In addition, you must choose two more from the following list:
A newspaper article.
A website.
A chapter from an edited book.
A chapter from a textbook.
A report.
A personal communication.
You will need to select reference material which is relevant and appropriate to the essay question and take notes with the purpose of answering your essay question.
Step 2: Observe a ‘communication event’
Choose a live setting which relates to your course where two or more people are interacting with each other (reality TV shows are not allowed). For example, if you are a business student, you might want to go shopping with a friend and observe an interaction between the salesperson and your friend. If you are a tourism or hospitality student you may want to observe an interaction between staff in a restaurant or hotel and a friend. Your tutor will have lots of ideas for settings and will discuss options with you early in the study period.
Observe the interaction, looking for evidence of aspects of communication theories that are covered in Topics 1–3. Take notes straight after you leave the interaction under headings, for example:
The effects of non-verbal communication.
The messages that were relayed using paralanguage.
The effect of noise (mechanical, semantic and psychological).
Perceived attribution errors.
Feedback.
Listening skills.
Step 3: Analyse the event
Using the communication theories you have selected, analyse the communication event and seek deeper insight into the event, and its participants.
Step 4: Decide on your position
After you have analysed the situation using the communication theories, decide on the position you will take on the essay question. How much more have you learned by applying the theories? In your essay, state which theories were most useful, or gave most insight, and why.
If you want to learn more about ‘position’, go to the Academic Skills Development’s website, download and read the following information sheet: ‘Developing an Argument: Essay’
Step 5: Write your essay
Using the resources which have been provided to you, plan, draft and write your essay.
The recommended resources are the relevant Readings for Topic 6, the Academic Skills Development’s Information Guides on essay writing:
Interpreting the Assignment task: Essay.
Essay Writing.
Essay Writing Checklist.
Developing an Argument: Essay.
Introductions and Conclusions: Essay.
Your essay should contain the following structural elements:
Introduction.
Body.
Conclusion.
Reference List.
For such a short essay you do not need to use headings.
Within your essay you must refer to each one of your five references, using the in-text referencing style described in Summers and Smith (2006). You need to show that you can reference both a direct quote and a paraphrased idea.
Step 6: Write a reference list
Write a reference list for your references. Remember you have to include at least five references from various sources which conform to the author-date system described in Summers and Smith (2006).

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