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MARIST COLLEGE

SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS
Syllabus for Introduction to Communication COM 102L-112
SPRING 2015
INSTRUCTOR
TELEPHONE
E-MAIL

Kathy L. Butsko, MA
845-249-9951
kathy.butsko@marist.edu

Class meets Mondays and Thursdays, 8:00am 9:15am, Lowell Thomas Room 027
Instructor Availability
As an adjunct instructor, I do not have on-campus office hours. However, I am available to meet with
you on campus by appointment, and you can reach me by telephone/text message/e-mail.
Course Description
This course surveys theories of communication relevant to all contexts - from conversations between
friends and family to presidential town halls on the Internet. It introduces students to essential
concepts and fundamental theories that describe the process, function, natures, and effects of
communication.
Textbook
Griffin, E. (2015). A First Look at Communication Theory (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Other readings, including relevant research publications, will be added as appropriate.
Course Goals
1. Students will gain an understanding of the history of the study of communication, including its
theoretical foundations and the prominent scholars who have contributed to the field.
2. Students will become familiar with the contexts of communication, including interpersonal,
group, organizational, mass, and culture and the ways contexts affect the form of
communication.
3. Students will develop the ability to identify and explain communication scholarship, applying
critical thinking and writing skills.
4. Students will understand and discuss ethical issues raised by the study of communication.
Assessments
1. Testing will be used to gauge general knowledge of the theories and scholars. (Goals 1 & 2)
a. Chapter quizzes will assess knowledge of basic concepts in the readings.
b. There will be a midterm exam and a final exam to assess knowledge of the full range of
theories discussed over the course of the semester.
2. There will be four analytic essays to assess students abilities to explore the perspectives
associated with selected theories. (Goals 2-4)

a. Three papers will compare theories and their associated concepts and perspectives on
communication.
b. One paper will explore the ethical issues embedded in selected theories in order to
bring the consequences of theory and research to light.
3. Applications. Students will be asked to identify and report on one research project driven by a
particular theory. Written paper & oral presentation. (Goals 1 & 3)
BREAKDOWN:

GRADING SCALE:

Chapter Quizzes

10%

Mid-Term Exam

20%

Final Exam

20%

Papers

20%

Project

20%

Attendance

10%

EXTRA CREDIT MAY BE OFFERED


at the discretion of the instructor.

A
AB+
B
BC+
C
CD+
D
F

93-100+
90-92
87-89
83-86
80-82
77-79
73-76
70-72
67-69
60-66
0-59

Attendance
Attendance is critical and mandatory. However, I understand that emergencies happen. If
you are going to be late or miss a class, you must notify me PRIOR to missing the class.
Students are allowed two excused absences; all course work, including quizzes, homework,
and in-class material must be completed in a timely manner or the excused absence will turn
into an unexcused absence. Although you may be excused from class, you are not present
and so will not receive a full attendance grade for the missed class. Additionally, at the
instructors discretion, you may receive a missed-class homework assignment. Unexcused
lateness and/or leaving class early more than 3 times will result in an unexcused absence.
Unexcused absences will result in a 10% reduction of the final grade in the course per
occurrence.
Expectations
I expect each student to be punctual in attending class and turning in assignments.
I expect that each student will conduct himself or herself in an ethical and responsible
manner. This includes respecting other students opinions while also providing a
challenging platform for development. There will be no personal attacks. You must
actively participate.
Cell phones and pagers should be on vibrate or silent. No texting.
Please e-mail or call me as needed.

Academic Honesty
Students are expected to uphold the schools standard of conduct relating to academic honesty
(please refer to the Marist College Student handbook for detailed information on the definitions and
consequences for cheating and plagiarism). Students assume full responsibility for the content and
integrity of the academic work they submit. The guiding principle of academic integrity shall be that
a student's submitted work (all assignments and projects) must be that of the student's own work.
Team assignments should show evidence of equal participation from all members. Students shall
be guilty of violating the honor code if they:

Represent the work of others as their own


Use or obtain unauthorized assistance in any academic work
Give unauthorized assistance to other students
Misrepresent the content of submitted work

Evidence of cheating or plagiarism (e.g., presentation or written submission of others ideas or work
without proper citation) will result in a grade of F for the course. If you are unclear about whether
a particular situation may constitute an honor code violation, the student should contact the
instructor to discuss the situation.
iLearn
We will use Marist Colleges online iLearn program to communicate announcements, coursework,
messages, materials, etc You will need to log into iLearn regularly to keep up on course
progression, submit homework, download materials, etc. In addition, we will use iLearn to complete
one or two interactive assignments. If you need assistance with iLearn, please contact the office of
technology.
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS: All essays and assignments involving textbook exercises are a part
of the essays grade. All work must follow APA style and should be free of spelling and
grammatical errors. Take advantage of the Marist Writing Center in the Cannavino Library. Take
advantage of your classmates and others to proofread your work!
ALL WRITTEN WORK MUST BE TYPEWRITTEN, ONE SIDE OF THE PAGE ONLY, WITH A
COVER PAGE, AND WHEN APPROPRIATE, A WORKS CITED PAGE. PLEASE USE AN 11
POINT ARIAL FONT, DOUBLE-SPACE AND USE 1 MARGINS ON ALL FOUR SIDES OF THE
PAGE.
Instructor Lateness or Absence: I will do everything within my abilities to be on time for class. In
the event I am late, however, please do not leave the classroom before 8:20 am. If I find I am in
circumstances that will cause me to be later than 8:20 (or absent), I will notify the Communications
Department (and the class) accordingly.

MARIST COLLEGE
SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS
Syllabus for Introduction to Communication COM 102
Course schedule and assignments are provided as a guide and are subject to
change. NOTE: THERE MAY BE ADDITIONAL READINGS AND HOMEWORK ASSIGNED
AS DEEMED APPROPRIATE.
Topic/Activity

Assignments DUE

THU

1/22

Introductions and course overview

MON

1/26

What is communication theory?

Read Chapters 1 & 2; HW: Short Essay


Response on Verbal Tee-Ups Article

THU

1/29

Rhetoric, social science, cultural


studies

Read Chapters 3 & 4; QUIZ

MON

2/2

INTERPERSONAL THEORIES

Read Chapters 5 & 6


Analytic Essay # 1: Comparison of approaches
to the study of communication

THU

2/5

INTERPERSONAL THEORIES

Read Chapters 7 & 8; QUIZ

MON

2/9

INTERPERSONAL THEORIES

Read Chapters 9 & 10; HW TBA

THU

2/12

INTERPERSONAL THEORIES

Read Chapters 11 & 12; QUIZ

MON

2/16

INTERPERSONAL THEORIES

Read Chapters 13 & 14; HW TBA

THU

2/19

INTERPERSONAL THEORIES

Read Chapters 15 & 16; QUIZ

10

MON

2/23

INTERPERSONAL THEORIES

Part I, Final Project: Initial Proposal is Due

11

THU

2/26

GROUP COMM THEORIES

Read Chapter 17 & 18; QUIZ

12

MON

3/2

ORGANIZATIONS THE THEORIES

Read Chapter 19;


Analytic Essay # 2: Compare/contrast two
interpersonal theories

13

THU

3/5

MID-TERM EXAM

ATTENDANCE MANDATORY

14

MON

3/9

ORGANIZATIONS THE THEORIES

Read Chapters 20 & 21; HW TBA

15

THU

3/12

ORGANIZATIONS THE THEORIES

QUIZ

MON

3/16

SPRING RECESS

NO CLASS

SPRING RECESS

NO CLASS

PUBLIC RHETORIC THE


THEORIES
PUBLIC RHETORIC THE
THEORIES
PUBLIC RHETORIC THE
THEORIES
MASS COMMUNICATION THE
THEORIES

Read Chapter 22; Part II, Final Project:


Annotated Bibliography Due

THU

3/19

16

MON

3/23

17

THU

3/26

18

MON

3/30

19

THU

4/2

20

MON

4/6

MASS COMMUNICATION THE


THEORIES

Read Chapters 27 & 28;


Analytic Essay # 3: Ethics and communication
theory

21

THU

4/9

MASS COMMUNICATION THE


THEORIES

Read Chapters 29 & 30; QUIZ

22

MON

4/13

CULTURE THEORIES

Read Chapter 31 & 32; HW TBA

23

THU

4/16

CULTURE THEORIES

Read Chapter 33 & 34; QUIZ

24

MON

4/20

CULTURE THEORIES

25

THU

4/23

COMMON THREADS

26

MON

4/27

TBA

27

THU

4/30

FINAL [RESEARCH] PROJECTS

28

MON

5/4

FINAL [RESEARCH] PROJECTS

29

THU

5/7

FINAL [RESEARCH] PROJECTS

30

MON

5/11

FINAL EXAM SLOT 1

ATTENDANCE MANDATORY

THU

5/14

FINAL EXAM PERIOD

CLASS DOES NOT MEET

Read Chapter 23; QUIZ


Read Chapter 24; Part III, Final Project:
Propose Your Own Research Study
Read Chapters 25 & 26; QUIZ

Read Chapters 35 & 36;


Analytic Essay # 4: Compare/contrast two
mass communication theories
Read Chapter 37; HW: Item # 2 on page 482 of
the textbook. Hand in, and discuss in class.
QUIZ; EXTRA CREDIT DUE
Parts IV & V, Final Project: Papers and Oral
Presentations Due
Parts IV & V, Final Project: Papers and Oral
Presentations Due
Parts IV & V, Final Project: Papers and Oral
Presentations Due