What does your report seem to suggest about your level of communication apprehension?

What does your report seem to suggest about your level of communication apprehension? What effect do common causes of communication apprehension noted in the reading (e.g., heredity, learned apprehension, skill deficit, etc.) have on this? What are some ways found in this week’s readings and this week’s discussion about managing apprehension that may help alleviate challenges or prove useful?

Communication Anxiety Report and Analysis
Fill out the Personal Report of Communication Anxiety, and complete the following questions:
What does your report seem to suggest about your level of communication apprehension?
What effect do common causes of communication apprehension noted in the reading (e.g., heredity, learned apprehension, skill deficit, etc.) have on this?
What are some ways found in this week’s readings and this week’s discussion about managing apprehension that may help alleviate challenges or prove useful?
For each question, you should write at least 100 to 200 words in response, using correct grammar, spelling, and syntax. Please submit a copy of your report and your responses in a separate Word (.docx) file to the Dropbox. Save your files with the following naming conventions: John Gibbons SPCH 275 Week 1 PRCA and Josh Gibbons SPCH 275 Week 1 PRCA Analysis. Please note that both must be submitted in order to earn points for this assignment.


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In beginning your studies in public speaking, it will probably be helpful to start with defining exactly what communication is. Please take a few moments to go through the “Is This Communication?” activity. This activity gives you a specific definition for this word and should help to expand your understanding of what it involves.
Defining Communication


Contexts of Communication
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Communication is a broad field that studies things such as conflict patterns in marriage, friendships formed via the Internet, fears of college students when presenting to their peers, how the use of touch influences first impressions, news media’s effects on urban populations, and even ways in which work groups can be managed more effectively. As you might guess, there is a spectrum of differences represented in this list, not to mention the many other topics that could be added to it. With the vast number of situations and phenomena that could be studied from a communication perspective, taking a firm grasp of what separates situations from each other can be difficult. One way to make this separation is to look at the context of the situation. Four basic contexts that separate communication situations are
intrapersonal communication;
interpersonal communication;
small group communication; and
mass media communication situations.
Intrapersonal communication is communication within oneself. It includes the mental processes that individuals experience and share with themselves. When you think to yourself, “I will make a strong impression today,” before an important interview, you are experiencing intrapersonal communication. Another example of intrapersonal communication would be leaving a shopping list on a voice memo for yourself as a reminder to accomplish something specific.

An interpersonal communication interaction requires two people. An easy-to-grasp example of a situation in this context would be two people having a conversation over lunch in a restaurant. Another example might be a parent shouting a request at a child. Now, in your life, you have many different relationships with individual people. A relationship you have with a parent will be different from that with a friend, cousin, coworker, or complete stranger. As we start to look at the differences between individuals, we start to see that just as many differences may apply to communication situations. Within an interpersonal communication situation, the two participants have a relationship that is unique to those two people. That relationship between two people is known as a dyad.
For years, interpersonal communication almost exclusively studied face-to-face (F2F) interactions, but with swift technology changes in the 20th century and into the 21st century, the limitations of proximity no longer limit interpersonal communication to F2F interaction. Two people sending instant messages through computer terminals that are hundreds of miles away are taking part in an interpersonal communication experience. It could also include texting, sending images through social media apps, or even simply talking on a phone.
Another context for classifying communication situations is a small group communication context. A small group situation usually includes between 3 and 20 people. Seven servers who are covering a busy night in a restaurant would be considered a small group situation. Many public speaking encounters fall into this category, whether it is a student delivering to a public speaking course or a young executive making a project presentation at a board meeting. Now with interpersonal relationships, each of the participants participates in a dyad. This increases incrementally once the context grows to a small group situation. No longer is there one dyad or one relationship history. There now arises a host of dyads that represent each pairing of individuals from the small group. The nature of these dyads greatly affects how the group behaves as a whole.

The fourth context of communication is mass media communication. When the U.S. president delivers the State of the Union address to a camera inside the Oval Office, there may only be a few people within the confines of that particular room, but the transmission from the camera to television stations across the world allows for many other rooms of people to be reached by the president’s message. The mass media situation involves a much larger audience than would be physically possible to be present in one space. Newspapers, blogs, and billboards are three easy examples of mass media situations that reach a large number of people who may not be in close proximity. The presence of technology allows for a medium that can transmit messages to people not in the immediate vicinity.
These four contexts allow us to place some description on most communication situations. Realize that the nature of communication is fluid and that any grouping of contexts may not firmly apply to every situation. Sometimes you may find that a situation shares characteristics of more than one context. Take the following situation under consideration:
Adam is at a large stadium waiting for his friend Terrill to join him to enjoy a Mary J. Blige concert they saved money to attend. As the crowd enters, Adam begins to worry that his friend, who is often late, will not show up and that he might spend the night alone. He quickly sends Terrill a text message and learns that Terrill is only using the restroom and will be there to join Adam shortly. Seeing that Adam is alone, a group of girls next to him huddle together and ask him to take a picture for them. Adam borrows their phone and then takes the picture, after which one of the girls posts the picture on Instagram with a clever hash tag.

Even in this relatively typical situation, there is a lot happening:
Adam worries about his friend not showing (intrapersonal communication).
Adam texts Terrill to find out what is happening (interpersonal communication).
There is a group of girls who want to have their picture taken and ask Adam to help them (small group communication).
One of the girls posts the picture to Instagram, where thousands, possibly millions, might see it (mass media communication).
There are certainly other contexts that could be extrapolated from this situation, and they don’t necessarily all fit into simple categories. For example, what happens if someone enjoying a song later in the concert starts crying but then is captured by a videographer who plans to broadcast it online? It is a situation that is somewhat intrapersonal (the fan enjoying the song and feeling moved by it), somewhat interpersonal (the artist connecting to that one fan), somewhat group (when we have an artist singing to a fan and have it captured via a recording), and somewhat mass media (when the video is shown to a large fan base online). This blurring of the classification reinforces the ambiguous nature of the field of communication. Embracing this characteristic of communication will allow you to go deeper in your understanding of it.
Reasons To Study Communication
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Whether you are a nurse, an accountant, a project manager, a graphic artist or designer, a human resources generalist, a game designer, a computer programmer, a project manager, a police officer, a business owner, a health services specialist, a public relations specialist, or any other profession, the ability to communicate effectively on a variety of levels and in a variety of settings is critical to your success.
Did You Know?
It is estimated by experts that up to 40% of an average workday is spent following up with managers, coworkers, patients, and customers to rectify communication failure.
Can you imagine how productivity in the workplace might change if we could all become 40% more efficient? How would you be viewed in the workplace if you could accomplish 40% more each day? Your star would shine brightly!
After reading this, it is probably not surprising that for most any survey you check, employers most often rate some form of communication skills as the number one quality they seek in a candidate for employment. Yes, that is correct; it is not your ability to balance the books, monitor patient cases, record debits and credits, or write computer programs that is most important to employers. Effective communication skills trump all other qualities, because communication skills determine how well one performs a job. People who communicate well are usually good problem solvers and can set and achieve goals routinely.
Now, if that is not enough to sell you on why you should study communication, recognize this: Your ability to communicate effectively impacts relationships not only in the workplace but also in your personal life. In fact, for many of us, our personal relationships really take a beating because we spend so much energy trying to communicate well at work that we often come home too taxed to exercise our communication skills with those people we care about outside of work. Surely you can all think of a relationship or two in your personal lives that could benefit from a little tweaking, so to speak. Perhaps you have a habit of always having to get the last word in, which drives your wife or husband crazy. Maybe you have trouble focusing when someone is telling you about his or her day. If we find it difficult to put in the effort with our spouses, children, parents, and friends, we surely are not working hard on communicating effectively in the interpersonal exchanges of far less value.
Whatever the case, we all have communication strengths and weaknesses that impact our relationships and interpersonal exchanges in the workplace, at home, and elsewhere. The truth may sting a bit as you identify your communication shortcomings throughout this course. Remember, communication is power—the power to improve the quality of your life.
Guest Speaker Interview Series: Communication Apprehension
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Throughout this course, you will see a series of interviews from experts on topics related to public speaking and the communication process. These short, casual interviews are intended to be a supplement to the basic content provided in the reading and the perspective shared by your professor. A special feature of this series is that each expert helps to conclude the interview by providing key insights about developing communication skills and advice about your growth. Please use these videos as a resource to help guide your communication development.

Guest Speaker

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Communication Ethics
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Ethics and communication are not simply about right and wrong—as many might assume. Rather, it involves a complex system of standards, factors, and contexts that influence how we make choices about how to deliver and interpret messages on a regular basis. But if there is so much complexity, how does one navigate it with a sense of being ethical? Developing one’s sense of ethical communication is important; having a model for what might be considered is often helpful. According to Simonds, Hunt, & Simonds (2010), “ethical communication results when we apply ethical standards to the messages we produce and consume.” (p. 34)
It’s common for an organization or professional association to establish a credo, which establishes a particular group or entity’s stance on how to behave in certain situations that may challenge a person’s sense of right and wrong. A strong example of this comes from the National Communication Association (NCA), a group of communication teachers, practitioners, and scholars: NCA Code of Ethics.
Another common issue relating to ethical communication is that of plagiarism. Plagiarism.org (2014) cites the following Merriam-Webster meanings for plagiarism.
“To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
To use (another’s production) without crediting the source
To commit literary theft
To present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source”
You have likely heard this word before, but far too often students misunderstand what is involved with it. For example, many students are able to recognize that copying and pasting Internet content into a paper constitutes plagiarism, but what about lesser understood situations, such as the following?
Pasting information from a website into a discussion and pasting a URL at the bottom but without proper quoting
Borrowing a speech outline from a friend who took the course previously and resubmitting it
Using a friend’s paper and changing only a few words or paragraphs here and there
Paying someone or an organization to write a speech to be used in a class
Delivering a presentation used in another course without seeking permission from the professor
Recycling another person’s graduate admissions essay in order to apply to a master’s level program
In each instance, an educator could make a strong case for it constituting plagiarism, which may force the professor to report such academic dishonesty. But why does this happen? What leads students to fall into this action? Research from Sisti (2007) suggests that the following reasons are most common for young students:
“I felt I had no time to do my own paper.
I felt unprepared to write the paper on my own.
I was not interested in the subject of my paper.” [italics added] (p. 221)
These reasons might indicate that time management, strong preparation, and taking an active interest in one’s own work may lead to more ethical communication. Perhaps this indicates that allowing oneself some time to prepare something engaging in a thorough manner is a path to avoiding producing content that is of questionable academic integrity. And this is not merely an academic problem. Reports also suggests that workplace instances of plagiarism-like incidents are on the rise. Examples of this include using images without permission, passing off others’ ideas as one’s own, not listing or falsifying sources of research information, and stealing or reproducing content found in e-books or blogs (Brookins, 2014).
Throughout your studies at DeVry University, please work to establish strong habits that support your development of strong, ethical communication skills!
Checkpoint Quiz
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This quiz covers Chapters 1–3 of the Simonds, Hunt, & Simonds reading for Week 1. Please use it to gauge your retention and understanding of the reading for the week.
Checkpoint Quiz

Select the answer(s) that best match(es) the question.
Question 1 of 20

In addition to the professional benefits to studying communication, what are the other two benefits mentioned in Chapter 1?
A) Public, SocialB) Personal, EmotionalC) Honesty, PersonalD) Personal, Social

Results References
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Brookins, M. (2014). Examples of plagiarism in the workplace. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 25, 2014, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-plagiarism-workplace-11971.html
Simonds, C., Hunt, S., & Simonds, B. (2010). Pubic speaking: Prepare, present, participate. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon
Sisti, D. A. (2007). How do high school students justify internet plagiarism? Ethics & Behavior, 17(3), 215–231. doi:10.1080/10508420701519163
What is plagiarism? (2014). Plagiarism.org. Retrieved February 25, 2014, from http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism/

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