Experimental Essay

Experimental Essay
One Experiential Essay in 1500-1600 Words (About 5-6 pages in length, double-spaced and typed) (17%) One hard paper copy at your professor’s office, COM-143 & Digital
copy to “turnitin.com” via class Blackboard weblink)

***Important Note***

This essay will be provided to Assessment and Accreditation Services as evidence of Personal Responsibility, one of the required Core Objectives in the new Core
Curriculum. This assessment is required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. A certain number of essays from the class will be randomly selected and
forwarded to third-party evaluators.

You are required to write a “critical” and “conversational” experiential essay that contains 1500 – 1600 words. 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 and use the theory to explain your experiences, demonstrating or highlighting theoretical points. In particular, you should describe
how your experiences have enhanced your understanding of your personal responsibilities for communicating successfully with others. Personal responsibilities in the
essay mean that you examine ethical values/decisions (your own or those of others) within your essay contexts. You need to show that you recognize ethical dilemmas and
alternative actions and evaluate the consequences of various ethical perspectives.

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.

At the same time, the essay is NOT expected to go over 1600 words. Any paper with 1601-1650 words will lose 2 points, 1651-1700 words 4 points, 1701-1750 words 6
points, and so on. 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 of submission.

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.

(Evaluation Criteria) When evaluating your experiential essay, GRADERS will focus on:

(Comments, if any)

1. Writing skills and proofreading

-Accurate spelling, punctuation, grammar

-Easy to follow, flowing, coherent


Poor- Fair- Ok- Good- Very good

2. Introduction

-Attention getter, preview -Purpose, theme


3. Body

-Presentation of theory

-Systematic and comprehensive theoretical explanation

-Describe the potential ethical dilemmas and alternative actions/decisions of self and others and offer implications

-Use of supporting materials (examples, illustrations)

-Cites 3-5 specific theoretical/related materials from the textbook (Show your thorough understanding of relevant materials/chapter from the textbook!)


4. Conclusion

-Summary -Remarks/reflections

5. Overall impression


A+, A-A+, A, … to F

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