Interpersonal Communication

Syllabi and selected readings
 Tyler Harrison
COM 252: Interpersonal Communication
Office: Grehan 020
Phone: 257-5848
Office Hours: after class and by appointment
Newsworthy items
Student Multiple Choice Questions
Student Essay Questions
Tyler's Essay Questions for the Exam
Student Questions with Answers
Course Overview
This class is designed to give students an overview of the problems, issues, and processes involved with interpersonal communication.  We will discuss both the dominant theories of interpersonal communication as well as the practical, real-life applications of those theories.  In addition, we will be practicing good interpersonal communication skills as part of the coursework in this class.  These practice sessions will occur in class as well as outside of class.

Because this is a night class that meets only once a week, one of your challenges will be to keep up with class reading and keep motivated.  We will have roughly a chapter each class day to cover, so it is imperative that you keep up with classwork, including any additional assignments that might be due.  This should be an interesting class for almost everyone; however, in not keeping up with reading and assignments, you will nevertheless put your final grade in jeopardy.

Since this class is about interpersonal communication and relationships, something which all of you engage in and have, it is expected that you will participate in class discussions.

* COM 252 can be taken to fulfill the Oral Communication Skills Requirement in the University Studies Program (USP is a program designed to provide undergraduate students with a comprehensive liberal arts education). If you have questions about this requirement, contact Dr. Enid Waldhart at 257-1629 or the USP Office at 257-3027.

Required Text:
Adler, R. B., Rosenfeld, L. B., Towne, N., & Proctor, R. F. (1998).  Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication 7th edition.
Course Requirements:
Midterm:     100 pts.
Final Exam:     150 pts.
*Assignments, quizzes, exercises: 100 pts.
Paper     100 pts.
*Participation    50 pts

* While attendance is not required in the strict sense of the word, the successful completion of assignments, quizzes, and exercises will be indirectly based on attendance in that you will have to be in attendance to receive the assignments (some due the following class) or to do the exercises or pop quizzes.  Only documented medical emergencies will qualify for make up assignments (like car accidents, hospitalizations, etc., not doctor appointments, vet visits for pets, pre-scheduled vacations, etc.).  In addition, class participation grades will be assigned based on your attendance and contribution to class discussions.  If you do not attend, you cannot contribute and you wont get points.

Grades will be determined as follows:
500-450 = A  449-400 = B  399-350 = C  349-300 = D
Paper requirements:
The paper will be 6-8 pages, typed, double spaced, excluding references.  A minimum of 4  references are required for the paper.  This paper will explore one of the theories of interpersonal communication as it relates to your real world experiences.  As such, the paper will begin with a discussion of the theory you will be using, including the basic assumptions and tenets of the theory.  This section should make up 3-4 pages of the paper and demonstrate a deep and conceptual understanding of the theory.  The second section of the paper should be a brief 1-2 page description of the context (relationship, relational event...) that you are going to apply the theory to.  In the third section you will show how the theory informs the context in terms of explaining the behavior or context.

The paper should be free of typographical and grammatical mistakes.  Your grade on this assignment is based on the clarity of your writing, the insight you develop, and how clearly you demonstrate your understanding of the material.


A note on student ethics and plagiarism:  We expect that all of the individual assignments you complete for COM 252 (and in all of your other courses) is always your own work. We find, however, that many students are not sure exactly what the "your own work" means. So, please read again the information on plagiarism and cheating from your UK Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.  The sanction or punishment for a student who has either plagiarized or cheated is a minimum of an "E" grade for the entire course, but may involve suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the University. As your can see, these are extreme measures for academic offenses which we believe are serious. If you have any questions about whether you may be plagiarizing in your work for COM 252, please be sure to contact me well in advance of the due date for your assignment.

Schedule of classes and tentative topics
Wednesday night classes are the first date
Thursday night classes are the second date
27, 28 Intro and syllabus
3, 4 Interpersonal process        Chapter 1
10, 11 Culture                          Chapter 2
17, 18 Perception                     Chapter 3
24, 25 The Self                        Chapter 4
1, 2 Verbal messages               Chapter 5
8, 9 Nonverbal messages         Chapter 6
15, 16 Listening                       Chapter 7
22, 23 MIDTERM
29, 30 Emotions                       Chapter 8
5, 6 Relationships                    Chapter 9
12, 13 Intimacy                        Chapter 10
19, 20 No Class: work on papers
26, 27 No class: work on papers (and Thanksgiving holiday)
3, 4 Climate                             Chapter 11 Paper due
10, 11 Conflict                         Chapter 12
17, 18 EXAM WEEK

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