CA491 Senior Project in Comm Arts

for U1J 2006

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CA 491 Senior Project


U1J 2006 PVY


Noe, J. Mark


Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership

Office Location

Copley Hall, Room 203

Office Hours

Monday and Tuesday: 1:00-5:30 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Daytime Phone


Other Phone

Laure Christensen (Assistant) 816-584-6263


Semester Dates

June 5 - July 30, 2006

Class Days


Class Time



This course may not be taken before the senior year.

Credit Hours


No Texts Required

Course Description:
This course may not be taken before senior year. It is a capstone course in  which the student designs a practical project aimed at publication in a  commercial newspaper or magazine (or broadcast outlet), researches the  project, completes the writing (or broadcast production), and may offer it to  the appropriate editors. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
Colleges and universities are not designed to be vocational schools.  Unlike trade schools that prepare students for a specific career (e.g. auto repair, hair dressing), the four-year college/university is dedicated to educating citizens for social, political, and economic life.  Some classes that may not be perceived as “relevant” (i.e., direct application to a career) are relevant to the future of the student as an effective member of society.  If the sole emphasis is on “getting a job,” the immediate goal may threaten the broader issue of what jobs might exist in the future.  A person who is narrowly trained to do a job today may be out of a job tomorrow.  Over specialization may result in the specialty becoming obsolete in the long run.  The Communication Theory and Human Relations graduate is prepared not only for entry-level jobs, but also has the skills sought for middle management positions.  Jobs in human resources, training and development, staff development, public relations, sales, or management are potential career choices.  Others may choose to pursue additional study in graduate schools.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Master the technology of radio and TV. You will demonstrate this mastery by producing technically-clean, technologically complex, creative, and original professional-level radio-TV programming.
  2. Evaluate and critically analyze your own work, and work done by others, and assess the progress you've made toward achieving professionalism as a broadcaster.
  3. Write, edit, and voice professional-quality radio products (newscasts, sportscasts, PSA's, promotional announcements, etc.) and TV products (news pieces, PR pieces, interview and other programming) that are accurate, timely, balanced, and reflect the principles of good broadcast journalism and professional broadcast production.
  4. Develop and analyze your own professional “voice” as you produce professional TV and radio programming.
  5. Demonstrate a professional level of competence in the broadcasting field. This will be demonstrated in the production of a radio or TV project that demonstrates a professional-level sophistication in the writing, announcing, shooting, recording, and editing of a major project. The project will demonstrate an understanding of FCC and professional guidelines, be thoroughly researched and well written, and technically sound, accurate, fair, and take into account diverse perspectives.

Core Assessment:

The final project will be graded using a rubric developed by Dr. Steve Atkinson for evaluating the Writing Competency Test (WCT). Some minor modifications have been made to adapt the rubric to the specific assignment.
The final project will be evaluated using the following four criteria:

An "A" is awarded to a project whose controlling idea seems not only clear but particularly thoughtful or imaginative.
A "B" indicates a focus that is clear and sustained throughout but that may not be especially original.
A "C" indicates satisfactory competence: the focus is clear but commonplace or conventional.
"D" and "F" projects lack focus.

An "A" is awarded to a project that, whatever its length, seems to the reader to be a full discussion. It makes use of both the material from the supplied readings and also ideas, experiences, or information supplied by the writer. All the material is smoothly integrated and persuasively supports the project's focus. The writer seems to be a thoughtful, critical reader of the material with a genuine personal "voice."
A "B" indicates that the writer has incorporated the material both appropriately in terms of content and smoothly in terms of style, and has also contributed personal ideas and experiences to the discussion. The project's focus is clearly supported.
A "C" in this category indicates an essay that makes at least some use of the supplied readings and some other material to support its focus, though the use may not always be relevant, and the sources not discussed critically.
"D" and "F" projects make no use of the sources, fail to provide coherent support for the project's focus, or whose use consists of unmarked quotations (copying from the sources word-for-word.)

An "A" project is not only easy to follow, its structure seems effortless because of smooth transitions and a convincing rhetorical pattern.
A "B" is awarded to the project that has a clear paragraphing and a logical sequence of topics.
A "C" project is generally easy to follow, with reasonable paragraphing, though the discussion may wander briefly.
"D" and "F" projects are difficult to follow, either because the sequence of topics is not logical, because it is repetitive, or because the paragraphing is not helpful.

An "A" project reads exceptionally smoothly, and the reader notices no errors in grammar, usage, punctuation, or spelling.
The "B" project may contain an occasional problem in sentence structure or diction, but the reader is never seriously distracted.
In a "C" project, there may be enough mechanical problems to distract the reader temporarily, but it is always possible to understand what the writer means.
"D" and "F" project have severe problems with sentence structure or word choice -- severe enough so that the meaning is difficult or impossible to understand.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
All Senior Projects must be submitted to Dr. Noe in Copley 203 by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, 2006.  Late projects will not be accepted.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Due Date:  All Senior Projects must be submitted to Dr. Noe in Copley 203 by 4:30 p.m. by Tuesday, July 25, 2006.  Late projects will not be accepted.

Part I – Introduction
A Statement of Purpose and Justification for conducting the project.  (4-8 weeks, depending on prior preparation.  This is the stage of moving from the general to the specific and narrowing the scope to a manageable size. These estimated times should be cut in half for Park Accelerated Program students.)

Part II – Review of the Literature
You will need a minimum of ten sources such as articles from journals and books.  Summarize each source and tell how it relates to your specific purpose.  (8-12 weeks to locate, summarize, and synthesize current literature related to the project.  Students who finish early may continue to Part III.)

Part III – Research Methodology
Can include surveys, interview guides, statistical analyses, etc.  (7-9 weeks.  All instruments must be approved before they are administered to research participants.  This section also includes the research setting, data collection, controls, etc.)

Part IV – Results and Discussion
This section explains the findings obtained in Section III.  (6-8 weeks)

Part V – Directions for Future Research
1. Is there a need for further research in the area of inquiry?
2. Have I added to the pool of information?
3. What are the limitations of the current study?  (1-2 weeks)

Note – The word “communication” should appear in the title of the Senior Project.  Sections I and II must be completed during the first semester.  Students who finish those sections early may proceed to Section III.  Refinements to Sections I and II may be finished during the second semester.

1. Importance of evidence
  A. Protection from dogmatists.
  B. Enhance credibility/persuasiveness of argument.
  C. Demonstrate soundness of position.

2. Definition of evidence
  A. Definition - the verifiable condition of fact or opinion used to give credence to a line of reasoning (argument) structured for the express purpose of securing adherence to a position.
  B. Types
     1. Factual. Known to be true in past or present. Facts are living, growing, hanging  events with cores that represent enough relative permanence so as to enable to count on them and use them for confirming a belief.
        a. Can be verified with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
        b. Factual examples tend to be more influential than hypothetical examples.
        c. Examples can aid comprehension of an argument.

    2. Opinion. An interpretation of facts or a judgment of value concerning them. An opinion is support for a statement only when the person making the statement is in a position to know, observe, and interpret given facts.
        a. Who is an authority? What should I consider when using it?
           i.  Person who has specific qualifications.
           ii. Sometimes this is the only type of evidence available.
           iii. Shouldn't rely too heavily on.
   iv. Untrained witnesses are lay witnesses. These should only be used as evidence when they are only reporting their observations, not their interpretations of facts.
        b. Authority is evidence when:
   i.  A relevant authority gives his or her opinion.
   ii. A complete and accurate citation is given.
   iii. The source is unprejudiced.

3. Tests of evidence
   A. General tests
     1. Is there enough evidence offered?
     2. Is the evidence clear and meaningful?
     3. Is the source clearly and accurately cited?
     4. Is the evidence the most recent?
     5. Is the evidence typical?
     6. Is the evidence internally consistent?
     7. Is the evidence relevant?

   B. Specific tests
     1. Factual examples
a. Have all the facts in the example been cited?
b. How credible is the witness? This is important when the information is not already public knowledge.
c. Is the fact distorted?
d. How recent is the fact?
e. Are the facts relevant?

     2. Statistics
        a. Was the unit of study clearly defined?
b. Are the units of statistics an accurate index of what we want to prove?
c. Are the statistical units comparable?
d. Can other studies verify the findings?

     3. Authority
        a. Did the authority quoted make the study?
b. Does the authority have the necessary training?
c. Is the authority in a position to gain access  
           to important information?
d. Is the authority biased?
e. Is the authority prone to hyperbole?
f. Is the authority internally consistent?
g. Is the authority externally consistent?
h. Is the authority respected in the field?

     4. Witnesses
        a. Did the witness have an opportunity to observe what was happening?
b. Was the witness physically capable of observing the event?
c. Is the witness capable of accurately reporting the event?
d. Is the witness prone to hyperbole?
e. Is the witness free from personal involvement?

4. Ethics of evidence
  A. Selective reporting
     1. Is the quotation taken out of context?
     2. Is important information deleted in the presentation of the evidence (e.g., important words and phrases, date)?
     3. Is the source cited?

  B. Colored reporting - Is the information deliberately falsified?
  C. Implications of selective and colored reporting
     1. Persuasion based on deception is unethical. It has the potential of persuading an audience to take specific courses of action based on faulty information. They could take actions that are detrimental to themselves and/or others.
     2. It could destroy the speaker's credibility even if the speakers had not intentionally selectively reported the information.

5. Research should be thorough
  A. Need to thoroughly research a topic. Know both the position that you want to advocate and the position taken by the opposition.
  B. Should carefully take notes. Don't delete important information about the text itself or the source.

6. Each evidence citation should include:
  A. The name of the author (if given).
  B. The qualifications of the author (if given).
  C. The title of the article (for periodicals).
  D. The title of the publication.
  E. The date of publication.
  F. The page number from which the quotation was taken.

  (A, B, D, and E should always be included in the oral presentation of evidence)

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:6/9/2006 5:09:06 PM