CA500 Intro to Graduate Comm Study

for S1P 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


CA 500 Intro to Graduate Comm Study


S1P 2012 DL


Cohn, Lora


Associate Professor of Communication Arts


B.S. Ed. (Mass Communication) Truman State University
M.A. (Communication Studies) University of Kansas
Ph.D. (Communication Studies) University of Kansas

Office Location

9N Copley Hall

Office Hours

M 1- 4 pm; T 2-5 pm; W 2-4; and by appointment

Daytime Phone

816-584-6311 (fax 816-505-5454)

Other Phone

816-741-8443 (calls between 9am and 9pm CST welcome)


Semester Dates

Jan. 10- March 6

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



American Psychological Association (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological
            Association (6th ed.). 
Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. (ISBN

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

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 student's first course in the degree program.

Educational Philosophy:
 When I went to graduate school, we read books and articles, discussed them in class, and wrote papers.  Through my teaching I have discovered that not everyone learns all they can in that type of system.  I believe even graduate education must address different learning styles and intelligences.  To that end, my class features activities, presentations, discussion, reflection, reading, and writing—I will try to balance activities meeting the needs of different learners with old graduate school standbys like reading and writing.  Writing is the most visible product of graduate education and the ability to clearly communicate via writing is a key skill for graduate students.  This course, therefore, will focus on writing skill.  Discussion and debate helps refine and justify ideas as well as enhancing critical thinking and communication skills which are also key outcomes of graduate education.  In this class, expect to defend your ideas and interpretations to develop these skills.  I will grade based on a balance of participation, writing, and testing so that all students have a chance to succeed. 

I am guided by this quote from Ayn Rand:  The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life - by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort--  Ayn Rand, "The Anti-Industrial Revolution"

  Instructor 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: Five- to seven-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.


500 points possible:

Literature review  100 points
List of lit review sources 20 points
Lit review grid  30 points
Lit review map 20 points
Draft of literature review 30 points
Methods paper  20 points
Article reviews  30 points
Library search  20 points
Park history quiz  20 points
Library scavenger hunt 20 points
APA style activities  80 points
Weekly discussion 80 points
Peer editing lit review 30 points

450-500 points = A; 400-449 points = B; 350-399 points = C; 300- 349 points D; below 300 points = failing

Late Submission of Course Materials:
I expect all course work to be done on time.  If you know you will be unable to participate in the class for a week, talk to me.  Illness, sudden or otherwise, is no excuse for missing a due date.  You must contact me and make arrangements before the due date.   All late work will be penalized 20%.  All late work must be completed within one week of the original assignment unless special permission is granted.  Work is considered late if it is not in my possession by midnight on the date due.  Plan ahead and start early.  It has been my experience that the night before an assignment is due, all the books in the library on the topic have been checked out and the computer systems will be down.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
 Writing: 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.  I believe that 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.  All papers should be typed, double-spaced, left justified, and use a 10-12 point font.  Margins should be no larger than one inch.  NOTE: While computers make writing easier, you must realize that technology can cause problems.  Keep hard copies of papers you have submitted and save work in multiple places should we experience computer failure.

 The 24-hour Rule:  Anytime you need to schedule an alternative day to turn in an assignment, you must contact me 24 hours prior to the assignment deadline you are trying to avoid.  Additionally, if you are dissatisfied with a grade on an assignment, you must wait 24 hours to talk to me about it.  There are no exceptions

Office Hours:  Please feel free to come to my office, email, or call to discuss papers, presentations, and any problems you are having.  If my office hours conflict with your schedule, we can arrange another time to meet.

Student/Teacher Responsibilities: As a graduate student you must accept responsibility for your own actions.  Reading for class, preparing for tests, completing assignments on time, and contributing to class discussions are the major responsibilities I expect from you as your part of the learning process.  My responsibility is to give you my best teaching effort, to create a positive learning climate, and to challenge you.  It takes work from both of us to make this a worthwhile experience.  Additionally, at times we will discuss controversial topics and have people who disagree with each other.  You and I both must remember that while each of us has a right to our own opinion, we must respect the right of others to have differing opinions.  Calling someone or some idea "stupid" creates a defensive communication climate and hampers the ability of all of us to learn.  Think before you criticize.   If anyone in class makes a comment you are uncomfortable with, please contact me immediately and first.  Apologies and policy changes are best handled in the classroom. Finally, come talk to me when you have questions, concerns, or suggestions about the class.  It is less frustrating for both of us if you ask questions before the assignment is due, rather than after it has affected your performance. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One: Orientation

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

 DUE— Library scavenger hunt, Park scavenger hunt, journal article review, discussion

READ—In doc sharing -- Craig Tables, Payne article, Littlejohn and Foss chapters 1 and 3, Rubin, Rubin, and Piele, chapters 1 and 2.


Week Two: Methods of communication research and reading research

DUE—topic for literature review, article reviews, discussion

READ— From doc sharing, handout on communication research

Learning Outcome- 3

Week Three: Writing and Using APA style

DUE— APA style quiz I, discussion, method paper

READ— APA manual chapters six and seven


Week Four: Advanced library searches

DUE— discussion, APA style quiz II, Library search, list of sources

READ— From doc sharing, handout on sources


Week Five:  academic writing and the literature review

 DUE— APA style quiz 3, discussion, lit review grid                                                               

READ— APA manual chapters 3 and 4


Week Six: the literature review in depth

DUE— APA quick sheet, discussion, lit review map

 READ— handouts in doc sharing


Week Seven:  revising your writing

 DUE— discussion, rough draft of lit review, peer edits,

READ—handouts in doc sharing


Week Eight: the prospectus, the thesis, and the project

DUE— discussion, final literature review

READ—handouts in doc sharing


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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


Plagiarism is 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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

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: .

example journals


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Last Updated:1/8/2012 12:29:41 PM