CA500 Intro to Graduate Comm Study

for U1P 2009

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Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


CA 500 Intro to Graduate Comm Study


U1P 2009 DL


Dr. Joan E. Aitken


Professor, Communication Arts


Doctorate in Education and Communication
MA in Speech, MA in Curriculum and Leadership
BA in Communication Theory

Office Location

229 Copey

Office Hours

I'm not on staff during the summer, so contact me for an appointment.

Daytime Phone

Email me, and I'll send my home phone number to you.


Web Page

Semester Dates

U1P 2009

Class Days


Credit Hours



American Psychological Association (latest edition). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.  Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Rubin, Rubin and Piele (2005).  Communication research: Strategies and sources (6th Edition).  Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.  (ISBN 0534564860).

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Dr. Aitken's Tutorial Links

APA Style Information

Comprehensive Exams

Database Tutorial

Fun Page for Communication & Leadership Graduate Students

Graduation Options for Major Cumulative Work: 

·                    Project Information

·                    Reflection 

·                    Thesis

Program Information for Regular Student Status and Success

Example Communication Journals

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
CA 500 Introduction to Graduate Communication Study: This course introduces students to the skills necessary to succeed in the Masters in Communication and Leadership Program. The class will focus on the structure of the discipline, library research, reading communication research, types of research methods, APA style, and writing. The class will be offered each term in the online format and should be taken concurrently with the students first course in the degree program.

Educational Philosophy:
The Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership starts with the premise that communication is the essence of effective leadership. The student trained in communication is uniquely qualified to provide innovative leadership within the global community.

Class Assessment:
Learning Outcomes

   1. Explain the different fields of study within communication.
   2. Use online databases and card catalogs to find peer-reviewed materials.
   3. Recognize different ways of knowing and studying communication.
   4. Use APA citation and reference style in writing.
   5. Describe the elements of a research article: including review of literature, method, data collection and analysis and discussion.
   6. Write a brief review of the literature on a designated topic.

Class Assessment:
You will demonstrate that you have mastered the learner outcomes through: discussion, homework, examinations, and writing.  The core assessment is the final literature review.
Core Assessment: Four-page literature review relevant to one field of communication (such as organizational communication or rhetoric) which includes a minimum of 10 peer-reviewed journal articles and two scholarly books.  APA citations and reference lists required.  The review should discuss the way of knowing and method of investigation common to this field.  It should be organized around themes or concepts, not individual articles. This core assessment covers learning objectives 2, and 4-6.

Each professor is responsible for assignments and grading.  See your professor's specific requirements.

WRITE WELL: All work must be typed or word-processed.  Make sure all written work has been proof read and spell checked.  Spelling and grammatical errors hurt your credibility and reduce the possibility of effective communication.  Writing is a means to learning; that there is a correlation between reading and writing; and that writing helps one discover, clarify, examine, and synthesize information.  Writing is, therefore, integral to this course and will be evaluated on its form as well as its content. 

USE APA STYLE:  All papers should be typed, double-spaced, left justified, and use a 10-12 pt font.  Margins should be no larger than one inch. 

NOTE: While computers make writing easier, you must realize that technology can cause problems.  Keep separate electronic files and hard copies of papers you have submitted and save work in multiple places should we experience computer failure.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Make sure your turn in assignments by the due dates in order to receive credit.  The eight weeks move quickly.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Follow Park, departmental, and your professor's guidelines.  By way of example, here is Dr. Aitken's expectations:


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



Additional Exploration


Assignment Due by Sunday 11:59 PM Parkville, MO time.

Week 1: Orientation

History of Park University; Using the Park Library; The history and areas of research within the communication field


Read Lecture in eCollege

Skim APA manual and read Chapter 1: Manuscript

R. R. & P. Chapters. 1-2; Craig PowerPoint.

Fun Page for Communication & Leadership Graduate Students

Using Databases

Required: Review of journal article from EBSCO Host Communication and Mass Media Complete review (250 words). This review must be IN YOUR OWN WORDS.

Instructional Options: Library scavenger hunt, Park scavenger hunt.

Week 2: Methods of communication research and reading research


Read Lecture in eCollege

APA Chapter 2: Writing

R. R. & P. Chapters. 9-10

APA Style Information

Required: Topic for thesis or project due and review of journal article from EBSCO Host Communication and Mass Media Complete review (250 words). This review must be IN YOUR OWN WORDS.

Instructional Options:Library search.

Week 3: Advanced library searches


Read Lecture in eCollege

APA Chapter 3: Editorial Style

Program Information for Regular Student Status and Success

Required: Review of journal article from EBSCO Host Communication and Mass Media Complete review (250 words). This review must be IN YOUR OWN WORDS.

Instructional Options: Methods paper, discussion, 2 library searches.

Week 4: Writing and Using APA style


Read Lecture in eCollege

APA Chapter 4: References

R. R. & P. Appendix A and chapter. 12

Required: Review of journal article from EBSCO Host Communication and Mass Media Complete review (250 words). This review must be IN YOUR OWN WORDS.

Instructional Options: APA style quick sheet, discussion, annotated bib.

Week 5: Academic writing and the literature review.

Read Lecture in eCollege

APA Chapter 5-end.

R. R. & P. Chapt. 11

Required: Review of journal article from EBSCO Host Communication and Mass Media Complete review (250 words). This review must be IN YOUR OWN WORDS.

Instructional Options: Style quiz one, discussion.

Week 6: The prospectus, the thesis, and the project

Read Lecture in eCollege

Handouts in doc sharing

Graduation Options for Major Cumulative Work:


          Project Information

·          Reflection or

·          Thesis

Discussion is extra credit this week.

Required Core Assessment Assignment Due: Review of Literature.

Instructional Options: Style quiz two.

Week 7: Revising your writing and meet the faculty

Read Lecture in eCollege

Handouts in doc sharing

Discussion Options: Style quiz three, revised lit review.

8 Week Eight: Review and closure.

Read Lecture in eCollege

Handouts in doc sharing

Comprehensive Exams

Any needed revision due by Friday.

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog Page 25


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog Page 25

IMPORTANT TO AVOID PLAGIARISM:  The journal article reviews and review of literature MUST BE IN YOUR OWN WORDS.  You cannot quote from an abstract.  You cannot use the author or database abstract.  Use no more than a very small percentage of contents as direct quotation, but instead use your own words.

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences for two successive weeks, without approved excuse, will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Executive Director for the Graduate School, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog Page 29

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:5/6/2009 1:18:55 PM