COM 110 Introduction to Communication                        Fall 2005                                                    

Office: S-200D, D’town, N317 North                                 Hrs: MTWF 11-12:00, D’’town TH 9:15-10:15, North
Instructor, Karen Brown                                                    Phone: (910) 362-7236                                           Website:                                  

Course Description: This course provides an overview of the basic concepts of communication and the skills necessary to communicate in various contexts.  Emphasis is placed on communication theories and techniques used in interpersonal, group, public, intercultural, and mass communication situations.  Upon completion, students should be able to explain and illustrate the forms and purposes of human communication in a variety of contexts.


Course Objectives: 

You will demonstrate through tests, projects, and other activities your

1.      Understanding of the human communication process and your awareness of the factors which influence the process of communication  such as perception, self-concept, informational and evaluative listening, and nonverbal communication.

2.      Abilities to observe and analyze human behavior in the interpersonal situations and to make competent communication choices in interaction with others.

3.      Cooperation with others as you communicate and develop problem-solving skills in a small group setting. 

4.      Abilities to select a subject to gather, analyze, focus, organize develop and present information to or persuade a specific audience.


3 credit hours, 3 contact hours weekly


Required Text:  Communicate! by Rudolph F. Verderber.  11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2005.


Materials required:  One #2 pencil, one PC formatted 3 ½ diskette


Specific course requirements:  There are 4 small projects, one dyadic project, one speech, and one group project.  There is a final exam.  All students are required to participate in class group activities.


Tests and other assigned material:  The assignments will cover communication foundations, interpersonal communication, group communication and public speaking.  Assignments/projects will be centered around each one of these areas and each one, together with the final exam will account for your final grade.


Course Meeting Schedule


Week 1           Introduction to course, classmates. 

Week 2           Ch. 1 – Communication Perspective

Week 3           Ch. 2 - Perception of Self and Others 

Week 4           Form dyads and work in dyads

Week 5           Ch. 3 – Verbal Communication

Week 6           Ch. 4 – Communicating through Nonverbal Behavior

Week 7           Ch. 5 – Holding Effective Conversations, Ch. 6 - Listening and Responding

Week 8           Ch. 7 – Self-Disclosure and Feedback

Week 9           Ch. 8 Relationships

Week 10        Chapter 9, Resumes & Covers Letters, Interviews

Week 11        Interviews continued

Week 12        Continued

Week 13        Speech Chapters

Week 14        Speeches

Week 15        Ch. 10 & 11 Participating in Group Communication, Members’ Roles& Leadership in Groups           

Week 16        Group Work

Week 17        Group Presentations/review for final

Week 18        Final Exam



Grading Scale:        A=92-100       D=68-75         WP=Withdrawal Passing

                                    B=84-91         F=0-67           WF=Withdrawal Failing

                                    C=76-83         I=Incomplete  NC=No Credit


Attendance is mandatory on the day of speeches/presentations.  If you are absent on the day another person/group presents, your grade for that project will be lowered one letter grade.  In addition, your attendance will be averaged as a grade worth 100 pts.


Plagiarism statement: Plagiarism is using as your own the words or ideas of another, whether written or oral.  When you use material from a source, you must quote or paraphrase accurately and properly cite the information.  Failure to do so is considered plagiarism.  Examples of plagiarism include word-for-word copying without correctly indicating that you are quoting, inaccurate quoting and paraphrasing and incomplete or missing documentation.  Purchasing a paper or copying someone else’s work and submitting it as your own is also plagiarism.  Any misrepresentation of the source in your writing or speaking would constitute a form of plagiarism. 


            Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is not acceptable.  The Humanities and Fine Arts Department adheres to the CFCC policy on cheating as stated in the Catalog and Student Handbook. 



1st Day Handout for Com. 110:  Introduction to Communication      





            Course Hours Per Week:  3 Semester Hours Credit:  3

            Pre-requisite:  English 095 or English and Reading ASSET score of 42 or higher



Prompt and regular attendance is important.  Save absences for emergencies.  Cape Fear Community College has a published attendance policy which states that students must attend 80 percent of the class time in order to receive credit for the course.  Absences totaling 20 percent of class time is the maximum we can miss and still receive credit for the course.  This rule is enforced.  It is your responsibility to keep a record of your own absenteeism. 


Please arrive on time to class.  If you are tardy 3 times, it counts as an absence.  If you arrive late, please see me at the end of the hour to makes sure you are counted present.  If, however, according to the clock in the room or the instructor’s watch you are 25 or more minutes late, you will be counted absent for a 50-minute class.  If you must leave early, please inform the instructor ahead of time.  You must be in class 25 minutes for a 50-minute class. 


If you “over cut” or miss more than 20% of class time, you will receive a grade of “F.”   Therefore, if you find you must “over cut” a class, I suggest that you officially withdraw from the class, especially if you have a passing average; a “WP” (withdrawal passing) does not affect the grade-point average.  You must withdraw before you overact in order to receive a “WP.”


If you are absent, you are responsible for catching up; call the instructor or a dependable classmate so that you can be prepared when you return to class.


Students with perfect attendance will be exempt from the final exam.  You are not allowed to make up a class unless:

·        You talk to me before you plan to be absent (for only 1 class)

·         You contact me personally via phone/email before or during your scheduled class

·        You must stay the entire class time for all classes

Failure to comply with these rules will result in non-exemption from the exam. 




Tests, projects, and papers are due on assigned dates.  If you have a conflict with a due date or a set schedule, contact the instructor as soon as possible before the due date to see if rescheduling is possible. 


If an emergency occurs which prevents your meeting a deadline, contact the instructor before you return to class to see if rescheduling is possible. NO late work will be accepted.   


Assignments may be taken early but may not be made up unless you have a verifiable emergency.  Presentations must be given on the due date and may not be made up unless you have a legitimate, verifiable emergency, such as being hospitalized, or a death in the family.   This is a Communication Departmental guideline that all communication instructors adhere to.  We have a tight schedule to maintain, and in real life, presentations must be given when the audience is present in a specific place, on a specific date, and at a specific time. 


Note:  Please, no eating, drinking in class; it’s CFCC’s policy.  Please! 


Assignment Point Values

Chapter 1, 2, 3, & 4 Assignment (50 pts. each)                     200

Chapter 2 Object Representing Yourself                                 25

Dyadic Presentations - Interpersonal Communication          100

Small Group Project                                                               100

Mock Interview, cover letter, resume, Thanks You                 130


Final Exam                                                                              100

Attendance (% grade based on attendance)                          100

Instructor Optional Points                                                         25


INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACHES:  Reading, Writing and ACTIVITIESStudents should be continuously and actively involved in each of these activities.  Reading activities can be used in a variety of ways to stimulate critical thinking skills and raise conscious levels regarding topics covered in class.  Writing and activities (games, role-play, informal group work) will be in a variety of forms.  Not all assignments need to be “graded: activities.  Some are for purposes of interaction.  Classroom participation and discussion is vital in this course. 

PERSONAL COMMENT:  If you want it to, this course can change every area of your life:  personally, educationally, physically, and professionally!  Go for it!!!!



Dyadic Project


1.  Select an activity:  Teams of two students are to select an interpersonal communication activity to conduct in class.  You may select this activity from your textbook, from another book or class, or create your own.  Choose an activity which involves the a concept of interest to you and your partner from the list below.  Be sure the activity is workable and has not been conducted in class before.  Plan on a maximum of 10 minutes of class time for your activity.  From the sign up sheet provided by the instructor, teams will be assigned a date to conduct the activity in class that correlates with the discussion topic for that day.  

2.   Explain and conduct the activity.  A written paper (two-pages, typed, (answer a bullet with a bullet) should include the following: This paper is due before you begin on that day of your presentation.

·        Clear identification of the activity

·        An explanation of why you chose the activity

·        Indication of what you hope the class will learn from participating in the activity

·        Discussion of the significance of the activity

·        Discussion about the workability of the activity

·        Plan for a follow-up discussion after the activity discussing with the class what happened and what was learned about the concept and about communication

·        Include 2 opened ended questions to ask the class at the end.

Dyadic Presentation Topics -                                             Dates of Presentations

Perceptions of Self: Self-Concept and Self-Esteem (30-33)______________________________


Perception of Others (pp. 37-45)     _____________________________________________


The Nature and Use of Language (pp.52-56)  _____________________________________


Speaking More Clearly & Speaking Appropriately  (pp. 57-67 )      ________________________


Communicating through Nonverbal Behavior (Chapter 4)  ______________________________


Holding Effective Conversations (Chapter 5) ________________________________________ 


Attending and Understanding (pp. 124-129)   ________________________________________


Remembering :Retaining Information & Critical Analysis (pp. 130-141) ____________________


Self Disclosure/Disclosing Feelings (pp. 150-149) ____________________________________


Giving Personal Feedback/Assertiveness (pp. 160-171) _______________________________


Types of Relationships/Types of Relationships (pp. 176-188) ___________________________


Conflict in Relationships (pp. 188-201) ____________________________________





Introduction to Communication, COM 110, Assignments for Chapters 1 - 4

Unless otherwise noted, each assignment must be 1 typed page, double-spaced.  (Please write your name, date and the DAY/TIME of the class above the top margin of your paper.).  Ten points will be deducted if it is not typed.


Chapter 1: Choose 1 of 4 listed below.  Due:  _________________

Choice 1: How would you describe a competent communicator? Using the description of a competent communicator in Chapter 1 and your own thoughts and opinions, describe one of the best communicators you know and discuss the characteristics that make them a competent communicator.

Choice 2: Choose a movie (approved by teacher) to watch and review – relating the movie to at least 6 concepts discussed in this chapter (highlight/underline) the 6 concepts in your paper).

Choice 3: Do the “Observe and Analyze” from the text on p. 10.  Please give detailed examples and highlight/underline the chapter concepts in your paper. 


Object Representing Yourself: Assignment due:  __________________

You are to devise a means of relating some part of or the essence of your “self” by bringing an object that represents you to class (2-3 minutes). The only restrictions are that your project must be in good taste and that you really put some thought into it.  Do not start your presentation by saying, “My name is . . ..”  Instead say something that will grab your audience’s attention (use an attention getter that directly relates to your object and you!), and then tell us your name.  Do not memorize what you are going to say or read it, but make sure you practice and write down a few, short notes to guide you.


Chapter 2: Due: _____________________

Make a personal goal picture book like the one I read about from Chicken Soup for the Soul.  Use magazine pictures or other types of pictures to create your book.  Your book must include at least 5 pages.  Do not use white paper.  You must type a paragraph for each goal, which explains your pictures.  You do not have to type an additional paper or share this book in class.


Chapter 3: Complete the following: due__________________What are five “new” words that have become popular in the last five years? Give a detailed explanation of each word’s popularity, when and where you first heard the word used and examples of how you and others use the word in sentences. 

·         What are five “old” (obsolete) words that are no longer commonly used (e.g. unusual expressions you’ve heard used by persons who were raised in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, etc.)?

Give a detailed explanation of each word’s popularity, how the word was used and where or from whom you heard about the word.

·         List your connotation for (5) of the following word and attempt to determine the source of that connotation (why do you feel the way you do about the word?): generation x, confederate flag, marriage, education, alternative lifestyle, assisted suicide, athlete, president, ballet dancer, censorship, feminist, illegal aliens, media, police officer, politically correct, soccer mom, welfare.

Chapter 4: Choose one of the following to be presented to the class (in small groups) aloud ________________________.

Choice 1: Dress 3 different ways and go into a store to make a purchase.  Observe if you are treated differently by the way that you are dressed. 

Choice 2:  Create a box or bag that describes you nonverbally.  Disclose personal things on the outside that everybody can see, but share some things on the inside that people may not know about you.