Experiential Essay-Social Exchange Theory


C. One Experiential Essay in 1500-1600 Words (About 5 pages in length, double-spaced and typed) (17%) (Due at your professor’s office, COM-143, 12 PM or Noon on Tuesday, April 15, 2014)

You are required to write a “critical” and “conversational” experiential essay that contains 1500 words or more. This essay should include one primary communication theory of your choice from lecture materials (PowerPoint files and online lectures). Again, don’t use Jae’s theories of wealth and open communication/leadership.


You will use the theory to explain your own “memorable” experience, event(s) or communication behaviors or activities in everyday contexts, including your personal/interpersonal relationships, family/home, work, public/mass media, and other settings. Specifically, select and present one and only one communication theory from lecture materials in detail, describe your experience, and use your experience to demonstrate or highlight theoretical points “critically.” You should cite 3-5 specific theoretical comments, notes, quotes, or writing from the required textbook.

The essay needs an introduction, body and conclusion. In the introduction, gain attention, preview the scope and purpose of the paper, and offer a theme or thesis. The conclusion summarizes the points you made, often with your own concluding remarks or personal reflections.


Additional tips
1. This essay should be like a good short story or case analysis–with a beginning and an ending. Start with a great title that summarizes/characterizes your experience, people involved, background of involved people, what has happened over time.
2. It should cover “a chunk of reality,” focusing on real events in your real-life context.
3. It should depict a series of events with a past as well as a present.
4. It should have a clear time structure; usually the past tense is most appropriate.
5. It should have some elements of argumentation, including multiple sources of evidence for support (for your theoretical points).
6. It should be engaging, with suspense and drama.
7. It should include background information, explicit boundaries, and multiple viewpoints, if appropriate.

The experiential essay is due at 12 PM or Noon on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (About 2 weeks after Exam 2). Late papers will be penalized one letter grade per day. The paper will not be accepted via email or one week after the due date. Deliver a hard copy to your professor (COM-143) by NOON or 12 PM by the due date (You can hand it in early). Slide the paper under the office door if you don’t see the instructor. Please also submit the digital copy of your paper to “turnitin.com” via a link established in Blackboard Learn. Without your digital copy in “turnitin.com,” you will receive “0” point for the essay.

Shockingly Important Note: An experiential essay paper with less than 1500 words will not be evaluated, resulting in a failing grade of F or “0” point. At the same time, the essay is NOT expected to go over 1600 words. The cover page and references are not counted as part of 1500 – 1600 words.

Your experiential essay paper must have a cover page that includes, at minimum, title, your name, theory you used, number of words, and date.

You need to cite references. You can use lecture materials or text (Heath & Bryant, 2000, p. xxx; Griffin, 2012, p. xxx). You do not need to do additional research beyond the textbooks and the lecture for the essay paper. For the critique paper, when citing sources or references, please follow APA (American Psychological Association) style – 6th edition. One useful website to learn about APA style is: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.


Example of APA Style References (Your Text Books, PowerPoint files, Lectures)
Heath, R. L., & Bryant, J. (2000). Human communication theory and research: Concepts, contexts, and challenges (2nd ed.). New York: Routlege.
Lee, J. (2012, Jan.). COMM 1302 class 01 chapter 1 pt. 1. [Web lectures]. Retrieved from http://class.lecturecapture.uh.edu
Lee, J. (2014). Ch 1-Theory and research -Part1-Lee [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://elearning.uh.edu
Littlejohn, S. W., & Foss, K. A. (2008). Theories of human communication (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson & Wadsworth.

You can retrieve your paper from your professor (COM-143) when it’s graded. You will have a week to do so after the essay grade is posted. Please make an appointment with your professor (or your TAs, if necessary) for any concerns regarding your paper before the submission or after the grading.

When evaluating your experiential essay, TAs will focus on:
(Comments, if any)
1. Writing skills and proofreading
-Accurate spelling, punctuation, grammar
-Easy to follow, flowing, coherent
-etc. Poor- Fair- Ok- Good- Very good

2. Introduction
-Attention getter, preview -Purpose, theme

3. Body
-Presentation of theory
-Systematic and comprehensive theoretical explanation
-Use of supporting materials (examples, illustrations)
-Cites 3-5 specific theoretical/related materials from the textbook

4. Conclusion
-Summary -Remarks/reflections

5. Overall impression



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