Refine the Practices of Communication
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Theme of the course: How can we refine the practices of communication to work for social change? What is the connection between communication and human rights? How could exchanges of insults be beneficial in solving conflicts? What communicative skills do we need to handle conflict negotiations? Is the judicial system a tool for social justice or for social inequality?
This course seeks to answer these (and many other) questions by looking cross-culturally at the issue of justice and social change in various communicative environments — from courtrooms to non-governmental organizations, to the media and international assemblies. The class will explore the communicative practices involved in legal proceedings, human rights, conflict resolution, and the struggle for social justice.
(For this paper I need a topic that is a relevant issue in regards to themes in this course)
Begin with an attention-grabbing opening (maybe a quotation), include a brief statement of your topic, and clearly describe your research problem and the theme(s) that will be relevant in the paper. Be quite explicit about the major claim (thesis) of your paper: remember that you are not writing a mystery novel—you don't have to save your findings for the conclusion.
Next, present an overview of the paper by outlining its development.
Introduce your setting and methods by selecting specific features that are central for your analysis. State what kind of sources you used in your research and what methods you used. You want to link your thesis with issues in the geography of communication by quoting works explored in class (these will provide a theoretical context for your study). Here you may wish to highlight how your thesis is an extension or a contradiction of current understandings in the literature.
The body of your paper should contain a mixture of data, analysis, and theory. Begin by stating your main idea(s) and develop this idea(s) throughout the paper. You may use a thematic narrative to incorporate several themes or concepts into the main topic.
Back up your analytical findings with cases from your research. Provide your interpretation of these data. Maximize their interplay with analytic ideas. Use these cases (and appropriate citations from relevant literature) both to draw examples to illustrate your points and as theoretical tools for exploring your topic. What are the implications of the communicative practices underlying these events? What nuances can be teased out and explored? What patterns can be uncovered? What import does a particular case have for the analytic issues addressed in the paper? Most important of all, what can you tell about the communicative significant of your subject of study?
Write a summary that reiterates central points you have made in a succinct and perhaps provocative way. Address the possible consequences of your work for the organization you volunteer with. Mention unresolved issues deserving further attention. Choose your last words carefully.