Last updated October 21, 2013

COMMGRAD 6001:01 Graduate Seminar in Communication Studies:

Introduction to Graduate Study and Research

Fall 2013, Wednesday 5:30-8:20 Lang 308

Instructor information:

Catherine H. Palczewski, Ph.D.

Office: Lang Hall 341

Phone: (319) 273-2714

Mailbox: Lang Hall 326


Office hours:

Fall 2013 office hours:

Tues: 11:00-12:00, 5:00-5:30

Weds: 2:00-3:00, 8:20-8:50

Thurs: 2:00-4:00

No office hours on November 19-21

If these times do not work, feel free to call (319.273.2714) or email to make an appointment.

No office hours on November 19-22.

Acknowledgements: This syllabus would not be possible without the assistance of faculty at UNI and other universities who have shared their ideas, assignments and syllabi, and I thank them for their help, particularly: John Fritch, Victoria DeFrancisco, Karen Mitchell, Jayne Morgan, and Tom Hall. This syllabus is better because of their help.
New information will appear in pink
assignment due dates are in red
links are in purple and blue

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide beginning MA students a strong foundation toward the successful completion of a graduate degree in Communication Studies. The course provides an orientation to graduate school expectations and a stronger grasp of the diverse approaches to constructing knowledge via Communication Studies Research. Students will be expected to perform at graduate level standards in: 1) writing for an academic audience; 2) thinking and arguing critically; and 3) conducting research.

One way to understand the different expectations of graduate study is to think of scholarly engagement through the metaphor of a “conversation,” which can be used to distinguish the expectations of students in graduate programs vs. undergraduate programs. By the end of a person’s bachelor’s degree, s/he should be able to “track” and keep up with a conversation about the important findings and theories of a discipline. Upon finishing a master’s degree, the student should begin to “contribute” to the discipline, in terms of its finding and theories. Upon completion of a Ph.D., the student should begin to “shift” the thinking and findings of the discipline in new and needed directions.

The graduate program in Communication Studies is a place where you can continue to learn how to contribute to the important conversations in the communication field as you learn to think more critically and apply your knowledge in ways that make a difference in the world in which you live. We want you to be a “public scholar” – learning to think, research, and act in such a way that the research you do will make a difference in your world.

Our goal is to produce “practicing scholars,” who can critically apply the theory and research methods they learn through their graduate programs within the public and professional arenas they serve. We seek to provide our students with opportunities to enhance practice with theory, and theory with practice, recognizing that a balanced relationship between the two is necessary to create thoughtful, effective scholarship and creative work.

Course Objectives

Students should be able to do the following, as a result of this course:

1. Understand communication as a discipline -- by overviewing the historical development of theory and scholarship within communication studies;

2. Understand the research process from inception to implementation -- so that you will be able to ethically examine questions within the communication studies discipline/profession. This process includes choosing and narrowing a research topic, researching the literature surrounding that topic, selecting research methods appropriate for the topic, justifying the need for research in a particular area, formulating research questions & hypotheses, and selecting appropriate methods to study that topic;

3. Be able to explain and justify a research project (both the idea, need for, & methods used to study the topic);

4. Approach research critically -- find and read both traditional and alternative types of scholarly research/creative activity, and critically assess the choices made by the author/s of a particular article/performance;

5. Improve academic writing skills for the graduate level -- avoiding plagiarism, using appropriate citation format, writing a well-organized literature review, and formulating a clear introduction to a paper;

6. Provide feedback to peers about research & writing -- in a constructive and professional way; and

7. Immerse oneself in graduate and academic culture -- start writing, thinking, participating in discussions, and considering how to take knowledge gained into one’s community, like a graduate student should.

Required Texts

Dues, M., & Brown, M. (2004). Boxing Plato’s shadow: An introduction to the study of human communication. Boston: McGraw Hill. [ISBN: 0-07-248390-3]

Rubin, R. B., Rubin, A. M., Haridakis, P. M. & Piele, L. J. (2010). Communication research: Strategies & sources (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. [ISBN: 0-534-56486-0]

Colón Semenza, G. M. (2010). Graduate study for the twenty-first century: How to build an academic career in the humanities, 2nd ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan [ISBN: 978-0230100336]

Style manual of choice – either APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (note, their is a 6th edition in July 2009 with improved instructions for citing electronic sources) or MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

Recommended Texts

For those who most likely will write a research paper: Pyrczak, F., & Bruce, R. R. (2007). Writing empirical research reports: A basic guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences (6th ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing. [ISBN: 1-884585-75-2]

For those who plan on writing a thesis: Glatthorn, A. A., & Joyner, R. L. (2005). Writing the winning thesis or dissertation: A step-by-step guide (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. [ISBN 0-7619-3961-X]

For those planning to seek a PhD: Rossman, M. H. (2002). Negotiating graduate school: A guide for graduate students (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. [ISBN: 0-7619-2484-1]

General Information

See my website, at This site includes my late policy, the university accommodation policy, the university plagiarism policy, as well as paper format descriptions -- basically Cate's rules for survival.


Assignment Due Date Point worth
IA1. Topic search September 25 5
IA2. Introduction October 9 5
IA3. Literature review section

October 23

IA4. Methods section November 20 5
IA5. Prospectus Draft due December 11; final paper due December 18 20
IB. Critique assignments -- five October 2, 9, 16, November 6, 13 4 each
2. Prospectus presentation December 18 (weds), 5:00-6:50pm 10
3. Peer editing throughout the semester 10
4. Discussion every class period 20

Assignments are worth a total of 100 points. However, for each assignment you can earn fractions of points (so, you can think of it as a 1000 point scale if it makes you feel better). If you need to figure your letter grade at any point in the semester, simply divide the number of points you have by the number of possible points you could have earned. For your final grade, simply add up all the points for each assignment. Points are noted in brackets. Simply doing the base requirements of each assignment will earn you a "C" -- this means you have done acceptable work. To earn a "B" you must go beyond the assignment expectations or fulfill them in an above average way. To earn an "A" you must go far beyond the assignment expectations and fulfill the base expectations in an exceptional manner.

Page limits on all assignments will be rigorously enforced. You should spend time finding ways to write more concisely and clearly. If I find your paper long-winded, and you go over the page limit, I will quit reading. (If however, you are brilliant and keep me captivated, I may not notice). And, given the expectations of each of the assignments, you probably will need to use the number of pages required. If, however, you are exceptionally concise, then I may not notice if your paper falls short of the required pages.

A bibliography should be turned in with every assignment. It will not count toward your page limit. On the top of the page, indicate the style (APA or MLA) that you think you are using. If you are planning on writing a thesis, use the graduate college thesis manual for format for spacing guidelines. If you do not yet have a thesis pamphlet, one may be found online.

TurnItIn requirement: For assignments IA2, IA3, IA4, amd IA5, students are required to use TurnItIn in order to check they are not plagiarizing. Thus, for an assignment to be considered "turned in", students must have submitted an electronic version to TurnItIn before the assignment's due date and time, and also turn in a paper copy to the professor at the assigned due date and time. I have activated the TurnItIn website in such a way that you are allowed to submit drafts of your paper and receive originality reports. These reports should be used to assist you in making sure you are attributing authorship in an ethical way. The only originality report I will see is the final report on the version of the paper you turn into me. Students can access the TurnItIn website for each assignment via the class's eLearning site. TheTurnItIn link for each assignment is located in the folder for the week in which it is due. Please understand: using TurnItIn is only the first step in making sure your are abiding by citation guidelines and providing fair attribution. TurnItIn is only one way to check the originality of your work, and just because your work passes the TurnItIn check does not guarantee you have not plagiarized. You are responsible for using style manuals to make sure your citation format is correct and consistent.

Course Requirements

Detailed descriptions of all assignments appear on this syllabus. You are free to ask questions in class about the assignments, or contact me outside of class by email or phone. But, please be aware, I will NOT answer any questions about an assignment in the week before it is due. I recognize that students procrastinate, so, consider this an inducement to begin work early. This means if you have a question, you need to be prepared to ask it in (or before) the class session before the paper is due. I will not answer questions after that time.

1. Written Assignments: If you experience writer's block, check out this link.

A. Research project assignments (5 points) on a topic of your choice: Whether one chooses the thesis or non-thesis option in the graduate program, learning to successfully write research proposals for class and out of class academic program requirements is essential. This assignment is designed to help students become more proficient in meeting the stringent demands of writing for graduate education. (40 points total)

(1) Exhaustive topic search, with printouts of all searches attached (this could be a very large stack). Due September 25. The cover page should:

a) Identify the bibliographic format used (APA or MLA). The cover page/s also should include a practice bibliography that YOU type that includes sample citations. I want to make sure everyone knows how to do citations forms for typical sources. Thus, you need to include bibliographic entries for at least one of each of the following (even if you are not citing it yet):

1. book

2. book chapter from an edited collection

3. newspaper article (if electronically accessed, correct form for that should be included)

4. magazine article (if electronically accessed, correct form for that should be included)

5. scholarly journal article (if electronically accessed, correct form for that should be included)

6. web source

b) list the names of research data-bases consulted (this should be all the databases discussed in class),

c) list key words/key terms used in searches (this should include multiple key terms, and some topics will require searches on multiple topics)

d) identify preliminary research question/thesis advanced

(2) Research project introduction [3 pages] (5 points) . The clarity and strength of any good research paper or project begins its introduction. The purpose of this assignment is to teach how to develop a rationale for your academic work. To do so, students will identify a research project of interest and conduct a preliminary review of previous research to identify the current state of knowledge on the topic and what research is needed. The paper should provide a “statement of the problem” (can be practical, theoretical, and/or research based) that needs to be addressed and a general research question(s) the student seeks to answer or a preliminary thesis statement the student will develop when conducting her or his subsequent original research. The introduction does not need to describe the proposed study yet. It should clearly define the central concepts of what the student plans to study and provide a strong rationale for this focus. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the instructor to help refine the focus of study. Due October 9

(3) Research project literature review [4 pages] (5 points). The purposes of this assignment are to conduct more in-depth research for the proposal assignment, to enhance skills in obtaining and analyzing research, and to refine academic writing skills. The student will review numerous scholarly publications and write a "review of the literature" paper that synthesizes and critically analyzes the studies cited in terms of their content and methods used to construct knowledge. The conclusion will summarize the state of knowledge found on the given topic, identify limitations of the research, and future research needs. From the review, the student will propose specific a research question(s) and/or hypotheses that will direct her or his research methods proposal in the next assignment. Thus, this is not simply a review that strings together summaries of multiple studies. The student’s voice should help the reader make meaning of the information available. Students will need to defend their ideas for future research. Link for detailed literature review description.Due October 23

(4) Research project methods/research plan section [3 pages] (5 points). Based on what the student learned from writing the rationale and review of the literature, she or he will design an appropriate study to propose for an original research project. The paper begins by restating the research questions and/or hypotheses. The subsequent proposed methods should clearly help to address these -- in other words, justify your choice of method. The body of the paper includes two basic parts: plans for data collection and plans for data analysis. The design will vary with the nature of the project, but basically it should clearly detail for the reader the steps the student plans to take to construct knowledge on the topic of choice. If the proposal includes interviews or surveys, an appendix is needed with proposed questions to be asked. Due November 20

****To complete this assignment, you must turn in a copy of your IRB form (regardless of whether you are doing a study that requires IRB approval).

****If you are planning a study that requires IRB approval (meaning it includes participants), the proposal must include an appendix with an application to the Graduate College for Human Participants Review. The proposal need not be submitted.

(5) Final prospectus, including items 2-4 above as well as research questions/thesis statements to be advanced [15 pages] (20 points). The purpose of this assignment is to provide an opportunity for revision and to enhance skills in “making meaning” of research results. Based on feedback from the instructor and peers, the student will collapse and revise the previous introduction/rationale, literature review and methods assignments into one coherent research proposal/prospectus. To fill out the full 15 pages, students should do additional research for the intro, lit review, and methods, lengthening those sections. You will still need a conclusion for the prospectus. The conclusion would outline the final paper (or detail the chapters of the thesis), discuss the limits of the project, and begin to predict areas for future research. In this model, you would not advance your likely results/conclusions. If you want to practice writing research paper (and not just prospectus) conclusions you could predict possible results from the proposed research design, detail the study's limits, discuss what these results might mean for researchers and practitioners, and offer suggestions for further studies based on the possibleresearch results. For those working on critical papers, you almost need to predict your results in the sense that you need to know what argument you plan to make, and what argument the paper will seek to support. Due: Wednesday, December 18, 5:00pm. Remember, however, you need to have a penultimate draft completed by December 9 so that in-class peer editing can occur. YOU ALSO MUST SEND YOUR PAPERS AS AN EMAIL ATTACHMENT TO CATE AT before the final exam period. Your papers will not be considered "turned in" until you send them as an email attachment and until you also turn in all the peer edits done of your paper.

B. Critique assignments – [2 pages each] (5 critiques at 4 points each; 20 points total) For these assignments, find an example of a Communication Studies thesis or research paper and critique it. The purpose of this assignment is to help students better understand the expectations and variety of approaches possible for MA thesis and non-thesis research papers in the department. You should review at least two (2) examples (if you are certain you want to pursue the thesis option, read 2 theses; if you are uncertain or are pursuing the research paper option, read 1 thesis and 1 paper). In order to do this assignment, you must be familiar with the UNI Thesis & Dissertation Manual, or with the appropriate style guide used for the research paper. Theses and papers are available for check-out from the Communication Studies Resource Room, Lang 357. Theses are also available in the University Library. Link for list of recommended theses/research projects.A list of all Communication Studies theses/research projects will be emailed.

Each critique should provide a brief summary of the example, identify its strengths & weaknesses, and outline questions that require clarification. The readings done for class should provide criteria you can use to assess the quality of the project you read:

(1) Thesis/research paper introduction. Due October 2

(2) Thesis/research paper literature review. Due October 9

(3) Thesis/research paper methods. Due October 16

(4) Thesis/research paper results or analysis chapter. Due November 6

(5) Thesis/research paper discussion and/or conclusion chapter. Due November 13

2. Prospectus Presentation (10 points): During the final exam period, we will have a formal presentation of the opening statement you might use in a prospectus defense. The purpose of this assignment is to enhance students’ oral presentation and argumentation skills. Students will also receive feedback from others to incorporate in their final research proposals. The assignment is similar to what students do to present a research proposal to their thesis or non-thesis faculty committee. Students will be organized into groups of 4 and exchange final research proposals prior to the scheduled mock defense. At the defense, the student will present a rationale for the proposed study (6-7 minutes) and then answer questions/discuss the proposal with the three group members serving as faculty committee advisors for the proposed project (5-6 minutes). The entire presentation will last 12 minutes. Depending on class size, the length of the presentation may be changed. The presentation should provide sufficient background on the project and outline the core argument you hope to make.

Helpful hints:

A. Do NOT simply read your paper for your presentation. The presentation should be formal and professional, but not scripted. I suggest you speak from a detailed outline. Please bring two copies of the outline: one to speak from and one on which I can take notes. DO practice the presentation to make sure your outline fits within the time limits. Time limits will be enforced.

B. Presume the audience is not familiar with your project, but is educated about communication studies. Thus, your presentation should include: a description of the project, a description of the method, and a justification of the project. Your presentation does NOT need to include detailed definitions of common theoretical terms. However, do provide sufficient theoretical explanation of more complicated concepts so that the audience can follow your argument.

C. Do not try to present everything in the prospectus in the presentation. You will not be able to cover everything in just 6 minutes. Instead, pick and choose those things that will best demonstrate your knowledge and instigate a productive discussion with your committee.

Due: Wednesday, December 18, 5:00-6:50+pm.

3. Peer Editing (10 points): We will use peer editing as a way to improve the research project prospecti. When peer editing, you are expected to provide both stylistic and substantive suggestions. You also are expected to proofread the bibliography. Use the sample editing marks provided in the back of most style guides and dictionaries. Throughout the semester, you will have multiple opportunities to edit each others' work.

Writing only "good job" will earn your zero (0) credit for that peer edit.

For assignments 1a2, 1a3, and 1a4, Bring three (3) copies to class: one to turn in to me, and two others to share with peer editors. For each paper, your peer editor will change so that you may get as much diverse advice as possible. Peer editors should return the paper the class period after receiving it (edits for paper 1a2 due October 16, paper 1a3 due October 30, paper 1a4 due December 4, paper 1a5 due December 11 ). Remember to sign the paper you edit so you can get credit for the work.

For the final paper, students should bring 2 copies of their draft to class on December 11. During which time we will do in-class peer editing of the final paper.

Editing guidelines: In order to receive the minimum passing credit for editing, you are expected to provide the following each time you edit:

1. Substantive edits: You are expected to provide a minimum of three (3) substantive suggestions. In order to make a good substantive suggestion, it usually requires at least a paragraph of writing. Given the length of these edits, you may want to type them. These suggestions can include:

a. Additional arguments to be made. You can point to additional evidence that supports their argument, or that modifies their argument in some way.

b. Additional citation on the history of the topic. You can provide the citation for a relevant essay or book, and explain the contribution it makes.

c. Additional variables or concepts that develop the thesis/research questions. You can provide a quotation and page number from the class texts, and explain what is revealed by using the concepts from the texts.

d. Additional scholarly citations. You can provide citations for articles from scholarly journals and books. You should summarize the concept from the scholar, and then explain it.

e. Major organizational changes. You can suggest a major reordering of the paper. This is more than moving the order of two paragraphs. Instead, it would constitute an alternative way to develop the argument.

f. Major differences in interpretation. You may disagree with some interpretive move the author makes. If so, make a case for an alternative interpretation, providing evidence.

2. Stylistic edits: You are expected to make a minimum of ten (10) style edits. They can include:

a. bibliographic citation corrections

b. internal citation corrections

c. typographical error corrections

d. grammar corrections

e. spelling corrections

f. sentence rewordings

3. For the final research proposal presentation assignment, students must bring a minimum of two written questions for the mock defenses of each peer.

4. Discussion: (20 points). Graduate seminars at their best are open and free flowing discussions, where you engage each others' hearts and minds. The professor should serve as a muse or a guide, but not a drill sergeant. For a seminar to be a location of invention, and not just regurgitation, you must come ready to talk, to think, to rethink and to engage. Otherwise, seminars can devolve into just being an instance where the professor tells you what to think. Being a good participant does not mean that you always have the answer; it can also mean that you know when to ask the right questions and when to recognize that the answers have already been offered by the class but need to be synthesized. Discussion is a central component of this class insofar as each person's analysis of the readings can be enhanced by others' insights. For a detailed description of the criteria used in the assessment of discussion, see my discussion link.

In order to be a full participant in discussion, you MUST have completed the assigned reading. I will open every class asking if there are questions, but beyond that, I will not review the readings. Instead, I will assume you have completed the reading, taken notes, and are ready to apply and analyze the readings. AnaLouise Keating (Teaching Transformation, 2007, p. 196) provides the following description of "graduate level academic practices" in regards to reading for class:

(1) I expect you to complete all readings by the date listed on the syllabus;

(2) I expect you to read the material thoughtfully and in an engaged manner;

(3) I expect you to read all endnotes and footnotes;

(4) I expect you to read (not skim) all of the required readings--even those you find "boring" or difficult;

(5) I expect you to reread those texts that you have previously read;

(6) I expect you to seek out definitions for words and terminology you don't know . . . try the following websites:


... [added by Cate]

James Jasinki, Sourcebook on Rhetoric (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2001). [added by Cate]

For many classes, scholarly/creative work produced by members of the UNI Communication Studies Department will be assigned. When reading these works, you should be answer the following questions:

1. Is this an example of scholarly and/or creative work?

2. What method or approach was used? Be more specific than quantitative, qualitative creative, or critical.

3. What is the main argument advanced?

4. What area/s of study would this essay fit within? e.g. rhetoric, performance studies, interpersonal, organizational, mass media, etc.

5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this essay, both substantively and stylistically?


(This syllabus is subject to change, although that rarely happens.) If changes happen, they will be in hot pink.

Week Read tasks assignments

Week 1: August 28: Welcome to graduate school in Communication Studies

topics: Overview of the research process & assignments, expectations for graduate students

timeline and choices: advisor, committee, thesis v. non-thesis, comprehensive exams. In particular, graduate students need to think carefully about how they manage their summer terms. Faculty are on a 9-month contract and are not obligated to work with students in the summer. Therefore, students should set up a summer game plan at the end of the spring term so that they can work independently, and/or make plans to meet with faculty in advance. Many faculty are willing to help in the summer, but students should see these efforts as a favor to them and not necessarily EXPECT this help the way they would during the school year. Students should do their best to finish theses and research projects, whenever possible, during the school year and by graduate college deadlines. The graduate college is becoming increasingly strict with its deadlines, and students need to realize that if they plan to extend work on thesis/research projects over the summer, there is no guarantee that faculty will be available to work with them, and so defense and graduation may need to be delayed until Fall term.


Semenza ch. 1- 3

Commuication Studies Graduate Program Mission Statement link

Wilson III, Ernest J. "Communication Scholars Need to Communicate." Inside Higher Education (July 29, 2013).


task: Map out a weekly schedule, marking when you are in class, when you are meeting other time bound commitments, when you will study (assign between 15-20 hours for every class you are in), when you will eat, when you will sleep, when you will exercise, etc. Remember to include weekends. You can use google calendar to help you with this.  

Week 2: September 4: Communication Studies

topics: outlets for communication research

ranges of research projects and types: quantitative, qualitative, critical, creative, theoretical

characteristics of a successful graduate student

faculty visits: Associate Professor Paul Siddens

Rubin et al. Chs. 1 & 10

Dues & Brown (all)

Fritch reading moved to later week.

UNI Communication Studies link (be able to identify and explain faculty members' areas of interest and research -- be sure to follow links to faculty members' webpages).

Siddens documents located on eLearning

If planning on applying for an acamdeic job, construct a CV modeled on the format in the Smenza book. If planning on applying for a non-academic job, construct a resumé that foregrounds the new communication skills you are developing in graduate school.  

Week 3: September 11: Making the implicit explicit

topics: how to read for graduate classes link

writing graduate seminar papers and formulating an argument

create a writing schedule and make sure it fits with your project director's schedule

you MUST meet deadlines

successful graduate students visits: Rebecca Buel, MA; Sandra Flikkema,

Smenza Chs. 4 & 5

Blair, Carole, Marsha S. Jeppeson and Enrico Pucci, Jr. "Public Memorializing in Postmodernity: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial as Prototype." Quarterly Journal of Speech 77.3 (August 1991): 263-288. on eLearning

Meisenbach, Rebecca J., Remke, Robyn V., Buzzanell, Patrice M., and Liu, Meina (2008). "They allowed": Pentadic mapping of women's maternity leave discourse as organizational rhetoric. Communication Monographs. 75 (1, March), 1-24. link also available on eLearning

Schwartz, Barry and Horst-Alfred Heinrich . "Cultural Frames of Memory and Responsibility: America and Germany.” In Framing Public Memory, edited by Kendall Phillips (Birmingham, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2004). 115-144. on eLearning

Outline a semester by semester plan for your time in graduate school, listing when you will: take required classes (which must be completed before the comprehensive exams), take comprehensive exams, defend a prospectus or paper plan, write chapters of a thesis/or sections of a research paper, etc.  

Week 4: September 18: Research

faculty visits: Associate Dean John Fritch

Rubin et al. Chs 2-7

Fritch reading on eLearning, chapter 2 from: Palczewski, Catherine Helen, Richard Ice, and John Fritch. Rhetoric in Civic Life. State College, PA: Strata, 2012.


Fritch, John, Catherine Helen Palczewski, Jennifer Farrell, and Eric Short. "Disingenuous Controversy: Responses to Ward Churchill's 9/11 Essay." Argumentation and Advocacy 42.4 (Spring 2006): 190-205.

Start researching possible jobs that interest you, and then see if you can identify the skill sets you need to develop to qualify for them and which classes develop those skills. As a starting point, see: 12 Entry Level Jobs with Big Earning Potential

Be sure to read the discussion of the essay -- it appears some contradictory projections are attached to some jobs.


Week 5: September 25: Narrowing a topic

faculty visits: Professor Victoria DeFrancisco and Professor April Chatham Carpenter

Rubin et al. Ch. 9

Defrancisco, Victoria P. and Catherine H. Palczewski. "Gendered/Sexed Bodies." Gender in Communication, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2014. 77-102. (available on eLearning)

Chatham-Carpenter, April. "Do Thyself No Harm": Protecting Ourselves as Autoenthnographers." Journal of Research Practice 6.1 (2010). Also available on eLearning

  Exhaustive topic bibliography due.

Week 6: October 2: Introductions to scholarly paper/thesis

faculty visits: Associate Professor Joyce Chen

Rubin et al. Ch. 11

Joyce Chen, African-American Voices of the Cedar Valley and Communication Studies on International/Interracial Adoption

  critique of thesis/research paper introduction due
October 3, 7:30pm, ITTC Lounge Emmy-award-winning motion graphics creator Josh Bodnar will talk about Hollywood, the motion graphics industry, and his current work. For more on Bodnar, see his website.    

Week 7: October 9: Literature review

faculty visits: Professor Karen Mitchell and Professor Melissa Beall

Rubin et al. Ch. 12, review Rubin et al. 10.

Selections from a collection of essays published in Communication Studies, 54.3 (Fall 2003) -- available on Expanded Academic ASAP. You are required to read 2 of the following.

1. Sandra J. Berkowitz, "Originality, conversation and reviewing rhetorical criticism."

2. Barry Brummett, "Double binds in publishing rhetorical studies."

3. Joshua Gunn, "Publishing peccadilloes and idioms of disposition: views from the habitus of scholarly adolescence."

4. Steven B. Hunt. "An essay on publishing standards for rhetorical criticism."

5. Catherine Helen Palczewski. "What is "good criticism"? A conversation in progress."

EVERYONE must read:

1. Mike Allen. "Special section: what constitutes publishable rhetorical scholarship: heavy lies the editor's fingers on the keyboard."

2. John W. Jordan, Kathryn M. Olson, Steven R. Goldzwig. "Continuing the conversation on "what constitutes publishable rhetorical criticism?": a response."  

Mitchell reading on eLearning

  Research project introduction AND critique of thesis/research paper literature review due

Week 8: October 16: Methods

faculty visits: Professor John Burtis, Associate Professor Bettina Fabos

Burtis, John O. and Paul D. Turman. "Chapter 2: How Grouping and Group Direction Help Create Effective Group Experiences." Group Communication Pitfalls: Overcoming Barriers to an Effective Group Experience. Los Angeles: Sage, 2006. 22-65. (available on eLearning)

Fabos reading on eLearning

An Overview of Communication Studies Methods, on eLearning (this is essential to doing well on the methods section of the comprehensive exam)

  critique of thesis/research paper methods due

Week 9: October 23: IRB Ethics (meet in Lang 213!!!!!).

faculty visits: Associate Professor Tom Hall

review "research ethics" (p. 212) and plagiarism discussion (p. 39) from Rubin, Rubin & Piele

Hall reading

  Research project literature review due

Week 10: October 30: Methods part 2

Smenza 8



Week 11: November 6: Results

faculty visits: Assistant Professor Danielle Dick McGeough and Assistant Professor Paul Torre

McGeough reading on eLearning

Torre reading on eLearning

Palczewski, Catherine H. The Male Madonna and the Feminine Uncle Sam: Visual Argument, Icons, and Ideographs in 1909 Anti-Woman Suffrage Postcards." Quarterly Journal of Speech 91.4 (November 2005): 365-394.

  Critique of thesis/research paper results or analysis chapter due

Week 12: November 13: Analysis/Conclusions

faculty visits: Assistant Professor Sergey Golitsynskiy, Professor Christian Ogbondah, and Associate Professor Francesca Soans

Golitsynskiy reading on eLearning

Ogbondah reading on eLearning

Soans documents on eLearning

  Critique of thesis/research paper discussion and/or conclusion chapter due

Week 13: November 20 NCA: Writing for presentation and publication (guest teacher: Dr. Chris Martin)


preparing for a prospectus defense

preparing for a thesis defense

preparing for a paper presentation

preparing a workshop presentation

faculty visit: Professor Christopher Martin

Smenza 9 & 10

Martin, Christpher and Peter Drier. "'Job Killers' in the News: Allegtions without Verification. June 2012.

  Research project methods section due
Week 14: November 27 (no class, thanksgiving break)      

Week 15: December 4: Preparing for exams and to teach/consult/train

faculty visit: Associate Professor Jeffrey Brand

Smenza 6 & 7

Brand reading on eLearning


Week 16: December 11: In class peer editing.


    Have a final rough draft of the final paper completed. Bring five (5) copies to class, 2 for peer editing, and 3 to give to your "committee"
Final: Wednesday, December 18, 5:00-(6:50) 8:15pm.     Prospectus presentation





Other publications by UNI faculty (in no particular order):

Mitchell, Karen S. and Jennifer Freitag. "Forum Theatre for Bystanders: A new Model for Gender Violence Prevention." Violence Against Women (in press).

Mitchell, Karen S. "Ever After: Reading the Women Who Read (and Re-Write) Romances." Theatre Topics 6.1 (1996): 51-69.

Morgan-Witte, J. (2005). Narrative knowledge development among caregivers: Stories from the nurses' station. In L. M. Harter, P. M. Japp, and C. S. Beck (Eds.), Constructing our health: The implications of narrative for enacting illness and wellness (pp. 217-236). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. to be emailed or, the in print version can be accesed via the Rod Library Web site at; choose "Course Reserves" (3rd tab over in the middle of the page), then enter "Witte", and choose Course 1 (org cultures) and it is the 9th article listed, Witte as author.

Morgan, Jayne M. and Kathleen J. Krone. "Bending the Rules of 'Professional' Display: Emotional Improvisation in Caregiver Performances." Journal of Applied Communication Research 29.4 (November 2001): 317-340.

Morgan, Jayne M. "Are We 'Out of the Box' Yet?" Communication Studies 52.1 (Spring 2001): 85-102.

Defrancisco, Victoria Pruin, Jennifer Kuderer, and April Chatham-Carpenter. "Autoethnography and Women's Self-Esteem: Learning Through a `Living' Method," Feminism & Psychology 17(2007): 237-243.

DeFrancisco, Victoria L. and April Chatham-Carpenter. "Self in Community: Africian American Women's Views of Self-Esteem." Howard Journal of Communications 11.2 (April-June 2000): 73-92.

Chatham-Carpenter, April and Victoria DeFrancisco. "Pulling Yourself up Again: Women's Choices and Strategies for Recovering and Maintaining Self-Esteem." Western Journal of Communication 61.2 (Spring 1997): 164-187.

Chatham-Carpenter, April . "When the Personal Becomes Professional: Surveillances of a Professor’s Eating Disorder Personae." Iowa Journal of Communication 41.1 (Fall 2009): in press.

Fabos, B. (2008). The Price of Information: Critical Literacy, Education and Today?s Internet. In D.J. Leu, J. Coiro, M. Knobel & C. Lankshear (Eds.). Handbook of Research on New Literacies. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Link

Burtis, John O. and Paul D. Turman. "Chapter 2: How Grouping and Group Direction Help Create Effective Group Experiences." Group Communication Pitfalls: Overcoming Barriers to an Effective Group Experience. Los Angeles: Sage, 2006. 22-65. emailed

Martin, Christopher R. “'Upsacle' News Audiences and the Transformation of Labor News." Journalism Studies 9.2 (2008):178-194. to be emailed

Joyce Chen and Melissa Beall, "Communication Studies on International/Interracial Adoption: Exploring Theoretical
and Methodological Approaches."

Hall, Harry T., James E. Mattingly, and Hue Duong. "NGO Politcs and Insurgency: Examining Institutional Structures and Change Processes of NGO Influence." In press. to be emailed

Mattingly , James E. and Harry T. Hall. "Who Gets to Decide? The Role of Institutional Logics in Shaping Stakeholder Politics and Insurgency." Business and Society Review 113.1 (Spring 2008): 63-89.

Carlin, Phyllis Scott. "'That Black Fall': Farm Crisis Narratives."Performance, Culture, and Identity. Ed. Elizabeth C. Fine and Jean Haskell Speer. Westport, CB: Praeger, 1992. 135-156. to be emailed

Ogbondah, Chris. "Media and Democractic Change in Africa: An Analysis of Recent Constitutional and Legislative Reforms for Press Freedom in Ghana and Nigeria." In ?. 113-148. to be emailed