Last updated August 2016 UNDER CONSTRUCTION

COMMGRAD 6001:01 Graduate Seminar in Communication Studies:

Introduction to Graduate Study and Research

Fall 2016, Tuesday 5:30-8:20 Lang 346

Instructor information:

Catherine H. Palczewski, Ph.D.

Office: Lang Hall 341

Phone: (319) 273-2714

Mailbox: Lang Hall 326


Office hours:

Fall 2016 office hours:

Tuesday: 3:15-4:15pm, 8:20-8:50pm
Wednesday: 1:00-3:00pm
Thursday: 3:15-4:45pm

No office hours Sept. 28, 29

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

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, Chris Martin, Danielle Dick McGeough, Ryan McGeough, 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 (methods) 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) analyzing and synthesizing published 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 bachelor’s degree program, people 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, a student should begin to “contribute” to the discipline, in terms of its finding and theories. Upon completion of a Ph.D., a 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

By the end of the semester you will be able to:

  • Understand communication studies as a discipline (e.g., history, questions, vocabulary, content areas).

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of the methods available to communication scholars, including quantitative, qualitative, critical/rhetorical, and creative.

  • Understand the research process from inception to implementation, including developing graduate level research skills to locate key sources of previous research, news, popular writing, or creative work.

  • Explain and justify a research project.

  • Critique research/creative activity by finding and reading 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.

  • Demonstrate graduate level writing competence.

  • Edit peers writing and research in a thorough, constructive and professional way.

  • Immerse yourself in graduate and academic culture.

Required Texts

Readings posted on eLearning

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 (the new edition is the eighth)

Recommended Texts

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]

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]

Morreale, S. & Arneson, P. (Eds.).  (2008). Getting the most from your graduate education in communication: A student’s handbook. Washington D.C.: National Communication Association. (available only through, e-version)

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 20 5
IA2. Introduction October 4 5
IA3. Annotated bibliography

October 25

IA4. Literature review draft November 15 5
IA5. Final literature review/intro Draft due December 6; final paper due December 13 20
IB. Critique assignments -- five September 27; October 4, 11; November 1, 8 4 each
2. Presentation December 13 (Tues), 5:00-6:50pm 10
3. Peer editing throughout the semester 10
4. Discussion every class period 20
5. Complete IRB certification before December 6 0

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 links for all assignments are located in a folder. 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. Given you are expected to have consulted the Turnitin originality report before you turn your paper into me, there will be ZERO TOLERANCE for any citation or paraphrase errors that result in you plagiarizing (presenting others' words as your own). Even a minor infraction will result in a zero on the assignment and a permanent letter placed in your file. A major infraction will result in an F for the class.

Course Requirements

Detailed descriptions of all assignments appear on this syllabus and are fleshed out when necessary with links and additoinal resources. 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's expectations 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 assignment is due.

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

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, MLA, or Chicago) that you think you are using. The bibliography should correctly and studiously follow whatever form you choose. If repeated errors appear in the bibliography and in text citations, students will automatically receive a 25% reduction in their grade. You should prefer to have me spend my time editing your ideas rather than pointing to errors you could have identified on your own by consulting a style manual.

A. Literature review assignments (40 points total) on a communication studies topic of your choice: To complete assignments in all your other classes, and a thesis or research paper, requires you to be able to conduct a thorough and meaningful a literature review. Link for detailed literature review description.

Whenever you are presented with a problem (write a paper, solve a problem at work, plan a campaign), your first step should be to review previous research on the topic. As a communication expert, you should be able to find and understand the research produced in this field.

This assignment is designed to help students become more proficient in meeting the stringent demands of reading and writing for graduate education. The process is broken down into steps to best assure you are able to produce a quality end product. These are steps you should replicate in all your future classes.

(1) Exhaustive topic search (5 points): cover page and printouts of search results

The cover page should:

a) Identify the bibliographic format used (APA, MLA, or Chicago).

b) Identify the central question you are trying to answer or topic you are trying to explore.

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) List the names of research data-bases consulted,

e) 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

The printouts should represent the results of all your searches, NOT the articles themselves. Highlight or circle the individual sources you think will be most useful to you. You should focus on ones that were published within the last ten years unless they are foundational.

You are encouraged to cast a very wide net in this search. Even thoough the final literature review may only end up citing 15-20 books, journal articles, or white papers, to make sure you are citing the right 15-20, you need to read 50+, and those citations may be selected from 300+ search results.

In the exhaustive topic search assignment, don’t worry about whether the sources are primary or secondary, but you should rely on primary sources in the final paper. Secondary sources should be used rarely. A newspaper article's summary of a study is a secondary source and is not an acceptable citation for the final paper, nor is a journal article's summary of another study. If you read about a study in another source, get the cited primary source and read it for yourself. Articles cited in other sources are often taken out of context, which means the original meaning can be lost or inadequate. The best way to be sure you understand what you want to cite is to read the original work. This is one sure way to reveal to a reader whether you truly know what you are writing about. So, part of this initial search is also tracking down the studies most cited on a topic.

Due September 20.

(2) Literature review introduction [3 pages] (5 points). The clarity and strength of any good paper begins with its introduction. It will take numerous drafts to get the introduction right. For this initial draft, the introduction should identify the scope of the topic reviewed, clearly define the central concepts, and provide a strong rationale for this focus. The introduction should outline the expectations of the content to follow (e.g., preliminary themes you have noted in the literature). Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the instructor to help refine the focus of their literature review.

Good Essay link: All papers should put into practice the skills and techniques learned in basic writing classes. Here is a link to a general checklist to consult when preparing an essay.

Due October 4

(3) Annotated bibliography (5 points) [20 sources annotated with no more than 250 words each]. The bibliography should be alphabetized. The purposes of this assignment are to enhance skills in obtaining and analyzing research, and to refine academic writing skills.

Format: Each entry in an annotated bibliography has two parts: 1) citation: a complete and correctly formatted bibliographic citation for each entry, and 2) annotation paragraph (no more than 250 words each). The entries should be alphabetized. The citations should follow the format you are using (APA, MLA, Chicago). The citation and paragraph should NOT be separated by a line, although the paragraph should start on the line down from the citation. The citation should be formatted with a hanging indent. The paragraph should be flush with the indent.

Number: 20 sources are required. Sources representing the 4 core methods of Communication Research must be included, although you may end up emphasizing one method of research. References should all be from scholarly sources. You should select the 20 best sources that explore your topic.

Content: An annotated bibliography asks you to make sense of the existing scholarly literature given your own interests. Thus, DO NOT JUST CUT AND PASTE ABSTRACTS (besides, that would be plagiarism). Instead, you should

  • describe the main argument/conclusion and the method used to reach that conclusion. Do not merely identify the topic;
  • analyze the conclusion's strength (e.g., is sufficient evidence provided to support the conclusion; was the method appropriate to the question; what is the link to communication);
  • indicate possible conclusions about communication;
  • identify the theoretical assumptions used by the researcher;
  • interpret the meaning of the article's conclusions (locate the argument and its author in the ongoing scholarly or activist conversation); and
  • decide about the article's utility to your own research/creative work.

Due October 25

(4) Literature review draft [8 pages - does NOT include the introduction] (5 points). The purposes of this assignment are to learn synthesis skills, to learn how to develop arguments/conclusions given existing research, and to refine academic writing skills.

You will conduct an exhaustive review 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. This review builds on the annotation assignment, but should NOT be simply a prose version of that assignment. Instead, it should contain more sources than those in the annotation assignment, it should make sense of disagreements you have identified, and it should synthesize what you have found. You should summarize the state of knowledge on the given topic (identify key themes), identify limitations of the research, and outline future research needs.

While you are not ready to propose and conduct a specific study, the hope is that after this course your literature review will help you get to that point. Thus, your review should be a relatively comprehensive review of everything written on your topic of interest thus far so that you can figure out what you might add to the ongoing conversation. You want to carefully consider multiple perspectives present in previous scholarship on your topic. Your purpose is to demonstrate you have done your homework -- that you have done sufficient reading on a topic to make reasonable judgments about others' conclusions before proposing your own research. Some suggestions to guide your review:

  • You may note if there is a predominant theoretical approach used in previous scholarship, or if there are competing theoretical approaches, etc.
  • Is most of the research quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, or performance bent, and what are the strengths and limitations of such a focus on this method?
  • How do the results of the individual studies fit together (or not) to paint a bigger picture of what scholars seem to know (or don’t know) on this topic?
  • What contributions to the state of knowledge do they make?
  • What gaps can you identify?

If you were to follow-up with an original study, this information would help build your argument to warrant the direction you might choose. Show that the directions you are pointing to for future research are not merely repeating others' work .

Due November 15

(5) Final literature review, [12 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, you will collapse and revise the introduction and literature review into one coherent paper. To fill out the full 12 pages, you should do additional research and write a conclusion.

Due: Tuesday, December 13, 5:00pm. Remember, however, you need to have a penultimate draft completed by December 6 so that 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 examples of a Communication Studies thesis and research paper and critique them. The purpose of this assignment is to help students better understand the expectations and variety of approaches possible for MA theses and 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 and 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 is available on eLearning.

Each critique should provide a brief summary of the example, outline expectations for that part of the paper/thesis, identify the paper's/thesis's strengths & weaknesses, and outline questions that require clarification. Class readings and discussion should provide criteria you can use to assess the quality of the project you read:

(1) Thesis/research paper introduction. Due September 27

(2) Thesis/research paper literature review. Due October 4

(3) Thesis/research paper methods. Due October 11

(4) Thesis/research paper results or analysis chapter. Due November 1

(5) Thesis/research paper discussion and/or conclusion chapter. Due November 8

2. Presentation (10 points) [time length tba]: During the final exam period, we will have a formal presentation of your literature reviews. The purpose of this assignment is to enhance students’ oral presentation and argumentation skills. 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.

Good presentation link: All presentations should put into practice the skills and techniques learned in Oral Communication and/or Public Speaking classes. Here is a link to a general checklist to consult when preparing a speech.

Due: Tuesday, December 13, 5:00-6:50+pm.

3. Peer Editing (10 points): We will use peer editing as a way to improve your paper. 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 11, paper 1a3 due October 25, paper 1a4 due November 29. 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 6. 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

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, rhetorical, and /or critical.

3. What is the main argument advanced or the main finding?

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?

6. What questions were you left with after engaging with the scholarly/creative work?

5. Complete IRB certification. At some point before the last class period (December 6) you will need to complete IRB training and certification. You must complete this in order to complete and pass the class. When you have successfully completed the training, you need to print out a copy of your certification and turn it in to me. The training can be completed online at your convenience or by participating in an in-person training session. For more information, see the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs webpage.


(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 23: 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 during the school year and by graduate college deadlines. The graduate college is 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. 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: August 30: Communication Studies Research Methods Foundations

topics: outlets for communication research

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

characteristics of a successful graduate student

faculty visits: Professor and Department Head Paul Siddens


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

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 reading on eLearning

If planning on applying for an academic job, construct a CV. 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 6: Finding Research

topics: how to use databases and completed thorough searches. Come to class ready with possible topics for your literature reviews.

faculty visits: Professor Victoria DeFrancisco

Smenza ch. 4 on the seminar

DeFrancisco on eLearning

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

Week 4: September 13: Reading Research

how to read and write for graduate classes link

how to annotate

how to paraphrase and avoid plagiarizing


faculty visits: Assistant Professor Philip Hopper

Associate Professor Bettina Fabos

How to read a research article 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. (2004). Cultural Frames of Memory and Responsibility: America and Germany. In Kendall PhillipS (Ed.), Framing public memory (pp. 115-144.) Birmingham: University of Alabama Press. on eLearning

Pezzullo, Phaedra C. (2003). Resisting "National Breast Cancer Awareness Month": The rhetoric of counterpublics and their cultural performances. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 89(4), 345-365. on elearning

Hopper's work



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 20: Creative Methods 101

faculty visits: Assistant Professor Danielle Dick McGeough and Associate Professor Francesca Soans


DDMcGeough reading on eLerning

Creative methods readings 1 and 2 on eLearning

Soans reading on eLearning

Soans creative work, links on eLearning



  Exhaustive topic search due.

Week 6: September 27: Writing introductions

faculty visits: Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Tom Hall (half hour on graduate studie, half hour on research)


Hall reading on eLearning

  critique of thesis/research paper introduction due

Week 7: October 4: Disciplary traditions, Qualitative Methods 101, Writing Literature Reviews

faculty visits: Assistant Professor Kyle Rudick


Craig, Robert T. (1999, May). Communication theory as a Field. Communication Theory, 9(2), 119-162.

Rudick reading on eLearning

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

Week 8: October 11: Rhetorical Methods 101

faculty visits:

Selections from a collection of essays published in Communication Studies, 54.3 (Fall 2003) -- available on Expanded Academic ASAP.

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." 

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

Terrill, Robert E. (2003). Irony, silence and time: Frederick Douglass on the Fifth of July. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 89(3), 215-234. on eLearning

Nakayama, Thomas K., & Krizek, Robert L. (1995). Whiteness: A strategic rhetoric. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 81(3), 291-309. on eLearning

  critique of thesis/research paper methods due

Week 9: October 18: Research Ethics

topics include: IRB, plagiarism, co-authoring

faculty visits: Associate Professor Bettina Fabos


Fabos's work: Read the prologue and 3 chapters of your choice. Skim the other chapters.


Week 10: October 25: Methods con't.

faculty visits: Professor Karen Mitchell

Professor Chris Martin

Mitchell on SAVE on eLearning

Martin on eLearning

  Research project annotated bibliography due

Week 11: November 1: Writing a Literature Review

faculty visits: Assistant Professor Paul Torre

Foss & Foss on advisors on eLearning

Torre reading on eLearning

  Critique of thesis/research paper results or analysis chapter due

Week 12: November 8: Writing at the graduate level


preparing for a prospectus defense

preparing for a thesis defense

preparing for a paper presentation

preparing a workshop presentation

faculty visits:

Smenza Ch. 5 The Seminar Paper on eLearning

Foss chapter on Thesis on eLearning

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

Week 13: November 15: Quantitative methods 101

faculty visit: Assistant Professors Melissa Dobosh and Sergey Golitsynskiy

Dobosh reading on eLearning

Golitsynskiy reading on eLearning

Chen reading on eLearning (Dr. Chen will not be able to make it to class, but invites all of you to her office hours: MWF, 9-10 am, 12-1 pm

quantitative readings on eLearning

  First draft of literature review due
Week 14: November 22 (no class, thanksgiving break)      

Week 15: November 29: Preparing for exams and to teach/consult/train

faculty visit: Professor Melissa Beall




Week 16: December 6:


    Have a final draft of the literature review completed. Bring 2 copies for peer editing
Final: Tuesday, December 13, 5:00-(6:50)pm     Literature review presentation





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

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)

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.

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

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.

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