Communication 300 building theory questions homework



Please provide short questions, doesn’t have to be to long…..


Meta-theoretical Assumptions: Laws, Rules, and Systems Approaches to Theory


 Please read the case study below and then answer the two questions that follow.  

 Case Study

On your way to class Monday morning, you hear buzzing from other students gathered at the Student Union.  Something of great interest has been posted on a board in front of the Union and outside every dorm and library on campus.  You investigate the source of the commotion and you see a list several feet long.  The printout is entitled “Potential Rapists”.  Under the title, you see hundreds of names.  You learn later that the names were printed out by a woman’s studies class that took every male name from the student phone directory to create the list.  The professor in charge of the class explains that the class wanted to draw attention to the problem of rape on campus, not to offend the male students.

Many male students express surprise, anger, and sadness.  Officials at the University also express dismay.  The students in the women’s studies class and the professor become defensive as they come under fire from the media, students, government officials, and the University.  School officials draft new regulations for “appropriate classroom conduct” in order to ensure a “safe and welcoming classroom environment” for all students.


1.  Explain (provide a theory about) the described events using one of the theoretical paradigms described in class (i.e., a covering laws theory, a rules theory, or a systems theory). 

2.  Which meta-theoretical assumptions guided your theory about how/why the events above occurred the way they did? 


Building Theory

building your own communication theory.


develop a theory that explains the following behavior:

Question:  What is the relationship between watching violence on TV and aggression in young children?

  1.  What is the goal of your theory?
  2. What are your theory’s key concepts?  How do you define them?
  3. Does your theory contain an explanation? What is that explanation?  Make sure your explanation is logically consistent!
  4. Evaluate your theory using several of the criteria for evaluating theory (scope, parsimony, etc.).
  5. What do we learn about the relationship between watching violence on TV and aggression in young children from the theory you developed?


Testing Theory: What Does a Communication Research Study Look Like?


Communication scholars publish tests of their theories and ideas in academic journals.  I would like you to take a look at a real research study that was published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. This study is typical for how communication research findings are presented in scholarly journals. It follows a set pattern that all research studies in the empirical/social science tradition follow, so look more at the “structure” of the research study, and worry less about the actual content of it.

Article:  The Impact of Language Variety and Expertise on Perceptions of Online Political Discussions.

 Use what you learned about the research process from Chapter 3 (I will upload it if you need it) of your text to answer the following questions:

1. What question were the researchers trying to answer?

2. What is a literature review? What does it do?

3. What terms are defined?

4. How many hypotheses are there? They are usually written H1, H2, H3, etc.

5. Where does the Research Methodology appear in the study? How many cases or subjects were there in the study?

You will likely be baffled by the statistical analyses used on the data collected by the researchers. Happily for us, we are not going to study statistics in this class. You can skip this part unless you have had two or three courses in statistics.

6. How many hypotheses were supported by the data?

7. Where are the “conclusions” given in the research paper?


8. Now, based on what you read in Chapter 3 in your text, was this study well designed? Why or why not?


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