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Language Studies and Communication Theory

COM210 Effective Speaking

Success in every aspect of business life, from interviewing to meetings to giving reports and presentations, from sales to management to client relationships in accounting and finance — all depend on the ability to speak confidently, and to project oneself and one's message effectively. Developing these skills strengthens presentations in other classes as well. These skills consist of techniques and tools for developing,organizing and delivering a variety of stong presentations. Covers effective use of PowerPoint and other visual aids, and methods for overcoming stage fright and anxiety about public speaking.

COM311 Money, Power, Communication

Musicians have sung about it; filmmakers have documented it; even video games like The Sims have said something about the struggle over money and power – who has it, who needs it, and what it can be used for. This course uses a mixture of films, games, lectures, class discussions and exercises to examine this struggle - particularly through mass communication. By drawing on examples from a variety of media, the course will illustrate not just how we commonly view money and power but also how we relate our perceptions of those things to other categories such as gender, race, and sexuality.

COM320 Intercultural Communication

This course explores theories of intercultural communication and the ways specific cultural knowledge informs communication. We will consider the ways race, class, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation and age affect communication within (domestic) and across (international) cultures. The course readings are drawn from a wide variety of sources. Some take a broad view and are theoretical. Others relate a piece of cultural knowledge or practice which has the potential to impact intercultural communication in a variety of ways. We will view videos and occasionally listen to music as additional means of understanding some of the multiple ways different cultures go about communicating similar issues and tasks. The class involves a great deal of participation, and regular reflection on readings and experiences.

COM321 Mass Communication

Through printed texts and film, radio and television broadcasting, and electronic information networks, mass communication plays a central and worldwide role in distributing both information and ideas. Focusing primarily on electronic and print media, surveys the major theoretical perspectives on three aspects of mass communication: the means of production, the form and content of mass media messages, and the reception and use of those messages by audiences.

COM322 Theories of Persuasion

The study of persuasion, or rhetoric, began in a society with no lawyers, ancient Greece. Much has changed since then, including the shift from face-to-face persuasion and negotiation, to the introduction of writing and then mass media, and with it, new forms of persuasion including advertisement. Covers all these forms, and topics such as the relation between truth and rhetoric, between form and content, and the psychology of persuasion. Students may analyze persuasive strategies used in advertising, literature, political/legal discourse, and science and technology.

COM328 Writing and Design for Multimedia

Note: Formerly COM 390

This course provides an introduction to media writing for digital environments, with specific emphasis on news stories, feature packages, web pages and blogs. Students learn about the history of the Internet, the impact of hypertext and multimedia on storytelling, the development of network digital information production/retrieval environments, the forms and practices of writing for a web page, and principals of information architecture. Activities occur in the classroom and in a web-based online lab.

COM390 Special Topics in Language Studies and Communication

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

Explores a special topic, theorist, or theme in language studies and communication. (Allows repetition for credit).

COM410 Communication Research Design

Students learn to research issues in the field of communication, concentrating on the tools used in applied and basic communication research, with special attention given to developing research questions and objectives. The course explores a variety of research methodologies, including surveys, interviews, computerized literature searches, experimental designs, and textual analyzes. Students design and implement their own research projects and report the results.

COM411 Research Project

Students select, in consultation with the departmental adviser, a topic related to communication or literary studies. They undertake both bibliographical and field research, as appropriate and prepare a substantial documented report.

COM420 Internship in Communication

An internship introduces the student to the real world of communicating to the several public served by organizations that deal with communication, culture, literature, or the arts. It emphasizes the practical aspects of internal and external communication by assigning the student to a professional in the field under whose supervision the intern plans and prepares documents and messages. The internship is both task-oriented and research-oriented; the intern's progress is monitored jointly by the field supervisor and the faculty coordinator during the semester of internship.