Relationship

The purpose of this assignment is to examine the role of communication in creating and sustaining relationships by analyzing interpersonal communication principles and concepts in the development, maintenance, and possibly, the deterioration of a long term significant relationship.

This assignment is linked to the following Student Learning Outcome:

  • Evaluate orally and in writing intrapersonal skill concepts

This assignment is designed to help you practice evaluating orally and in writing interpersonal skill concepts covered in this course. You will by analyzing a relationship that is important to you and describing it in terms used in the textbook and class discussions. This assignment has two components: a 2-4 page paper and oral presentation.

No matter what type of relationship we are in—whether in terms of friendship, romance, or family, all relationships are in the process of either developing or dying.  The paper and presentation require you to analyze an interpersonal relationship using communication concepts/theories and principles from the text and lectures (as well as incorporating the social context of generation and culture). 

The relationship you choose to write about can be one that you are currently engaged in or one that has already ended.   It should, however, be a fairly recent one, not a relationship you had in grade school.  It can be a friendship relationship or a romantic relationship.  You don’t need to disclose any information you are not comfortable disclosing.

This paper involves more than just simply summarizing the development of a relationship.  While you will want to offer some description of the relationship; the main emphasis should be on how it has developed in communication between two people.  Your paper should contain the following five parts:

  1. Cover Page: (include your name, the date, class name, my name)
  2. Introduction:  Describe the relationship. Who are the participants? What is the history of the relationship? What is the current status of the relationship?  This information should be relatively brief. Next, preview the body of the paper by indicating the terms/concepts you will use to analyze the relationship.

Body:  In this section of the paper you will analyze the relationship using interpersonal communication concepts, terms, topics, etc. This is by far the longest section of the paper.

  1. Select at least two concepts that we’ve discussed in class and apply them to your relationship.  You should discuss these concepts in depth and explain how they affected the communication in your relationship. Use evidence to support your claims and —using direct quotes from the text, and specific examples from your relationship. 
  2. Some concepts you should consider using are: self-disclosure, nonverbal communication, drawbacks of mediated communication, perception checking, listening, self-fulfilling prophecies, social roles, gender communication, influence of culture, self-concept, self-esteem, self-disclosure, relational dialectics, confirming/disconfirming messages, interpersonal attraction, expressing emotions, trust, rituals, commitment, investment, managing conflict.

4. Conclusion:  This section includes a brief summary of the body of the paper.  End the paper with some reflections on your relationship, and what you learned as a result of completing this assignment. If you feel you learned nothing, that is fine but you need to elaborate.

5. Reference Page: Provide a list in APA format of any references you used in your paper. Your textbook should be included in this list.

Papers will be evaluated based on three criteria:

  1. First, papers must demonstrate an understanding of interpersonal communication topics. 
  2. Second, in your paper, you must analyze how these interpersonal communication topics apply to your particular relationship.
  3. Third, papers must be well organized and demonstrate effective writing mechanics and style. Your overall grade will depend on whether or not you include the five components outlined in the previous slides.

Papers must be typed, double spaced, 12pt font, one-inch margins all around.  Acceptable college level of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph structure, and spelling should be utilized.  Be sure to edit your paper carefully before turning it in. Papers should be 2-4 pages (2 pages of text, one cover page, one reference page).

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