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For most of us, computer-mediated-communication (CMC) is a big part of our daily lives. For the purpose of this assignment, we will include your cell phone as a type of “computer.” In this assignment, you will reflect on your CMC.

First, read Chapter 4 in Bevan and Sole. Next, monitor your cell phone and/or computer-use during the course of a single day. Please download and save the CMC chart and make a note each time you check an email, text, play a game, or even check the time. Keep track of all of your personal and work-based communication activities through the course of a day and write everything you did on the provided chart. Keep track of the type of communication, length of time of your engagement, and the roles of both verbal and nonverbal communication in the interactions.

As you take notes on your chart, ask yourself:

  • Was there any implied meaning in the text of your writing? Did you ever use emoticons or use all caps?
  • In your written messages, how do you try to convey tone without nonverbal cues?
  • In your spoken messages, how do you think you could have been clearer if those messages had been written?
  • What connections can you make between your activities and the various functions of language and non-verbal communication discussed in Bevan and Sole (Sections 4.1 and 4.2)? Please list and describe at least one function of language and one function of nonverbal communication and show how those functions are demonstrated in your day of interactions.

Sample Notes

Work email – used emoticons and exclamation points to lighten the tone; careful with formal language and typos as this can be read that as careless or incompetent; saw responses to me with exclamation points and emoticons (nonverbal); like in table 4.7 in our text, I noticed I tried to clarify I understood others by saying things like “Are you saying that …?” If I were with them, I’d read body language instead.

When you write your paper, focus on specific interactions like the example used above or comment on general-use patterns. Then, based on what you have learned in Bevan and Sole, answer the following questions:

  • How much time in a single day do you communicate with your phone, computer, or both? Why does this matter?
  • Why should we pay special attention to our CMC?
  • What function of nonverbal communication did your interactions illustrate? How important was nonverbal communication in all of your computer-mediated interactions? Or, how did the lack of nonverbal communication allow you to think about a function of nonverbal communication?
  • What function of language did your interactions illustrate? How important was verbal communication?
  • What advice from Bevan and Sole could be used to improve your computer-mediated-communication?

Do not worry if you end up missing a few of your interactions. However, the more details you collect, the better your evidence will be to support your points. If it turns out you do not do much computer-mediated-communication, focus on the costs or benefits of primarily relying on verbal (and/or spoken) communication.

Copy and paste your complete CMC chart to the end of your paper.

The paper

  • Must be two to three double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must use the course text to support points.
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

Need more help?
Take a look at the Sample Week Two Paper for a sense of how to approach this task. Notice there are comments on the paper that make note of strengths and weaknesses. Please only use this as a guide. Do not copy any of the content. Feel free to also reach out to your instructor for additional guidance.

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