Overview The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the practical utility of the t

Overview
The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the practical utility of the theories we examine this
quarter and to gain experience explaining, reviewing, applying, and critiquing theory.
You will employ the main concepts, axioms, or ideas of a single theory and apply it to a specific
issue, problem, or phenomenon in contemporary society. You need to make a series of claims
for how knowledge of your selected theory will help address (e.g., improve, change) your
selected social issue, problem, or phenomenon.
Paper Components (A Much More Detailed Overview is Provided Later in this Document):
1. Informative and interesting introduction
2. Discussion of the social problem or phenomenon that you’re focusing on in your paper
3. Review of your theory or perspective
4. Detailed application of the theory to your selected social problem/phenomenon
5. Description of the intended effects of your proposed solution and the types of data you
could collect to determine if your proposed solution has the intended effects
6. Critique and discussion of limitations of your solution
7. Conclusion
Format Guidelines
The papers, as described in greater depth below, should be approximately 6 -7 pages. Papers
that exceed 7.5 pages will received a 5-point deduction. It is essential that we be mindful of
paper length to facilitate fair and timely grading.
Papers must adhere to APA format (7th edition) for class papers. These guidelines will be
reviewed in section. Additional resources will also be posted on GauchoSpace under the
Theory Application Paper tab. Note that Word’s default settings are usually wrong for this
assignment (margins too big, font too small, extra line spaces inserted after paragraphs, etc.),
so you’ll need to change these settings. If you have questions about formatting, don’t hesitate
to ask!
Papers must be 12-point Times New Roman (or equivalent serif) typeface. Double spacing must
be used for this paper. Paper margins should be set to 1-inch margins on the top, left, right,
and bottom of the page. You DO NO need an abstract for this paper. Your title page should have
your name, Perm #, course name (i.e., Comm 89: Theories of Communication, and TA Name.
Potential Topics
(Note: these are just examples to help you think of topics you might write about. You can
propose your own. But your topic must be approved by your TA)
Notice, how in each of the examples below, a specific theory is being linked to a
problem/challenge/phenomenon of some kind. These examples DO NOT, however, tell you
what the solutions/applications would actually be—that one of your key tasks in the paper.
1. Cognitive dissonance theory to fight online disinformation campaigns regarding a specific
topic (e.g., vaccines, climate change)
Potential Topics
(Note: these are just examples to help you think of topics you might write about. You can
propose your own. But your topic must be approved by your TA)
Notice, how in each of the examples below, a specific theory is being linked to a
problem/challenge/phenomenon of some kind. These examples DO NOT, however, tell you
what the solutions/applications would actually be—that one of your key tasks in the paper.
1. Cognitive dissonance theory to fight online disinformation campaigns regarding a specific
topic (e.g., vaccines, climate change).
2. Cultivation theory (or Social cognitive theory) to educate parent groups about their
appropriate guidelines for children’s TV viewership.
3. Elaboration likelihood model to help advertising agencies improve the persuasiveness of
their ad campaigns for a specific product or social cause.
4. Uncertainty reduction theory to educate dental or medical students on how to best interact
with their patients.
5. Theory of planned behavior to reduce a problematic health behavior (e.g., binge drinking)
on a college campus.
6. Theory of planned behavior to reduce distracted driving among a specific group of people.
7. Inoculation theory to reduce a problematic health behavior amongst high school students.
8. Inoculation theory to increase charitable contributions to a non-profit organization of your
choosing.
9. Agenda-setting theory to help design a media literacy program for a specific group of
people.
10. Communication privacy management to educate teenagers about their use of social media.
11. Communication privacy management to develop training for doctors on how to effectively
communicate with patients who do not speech English (or speak limited English) and use
translators or language brokers during doctor’s visits.
12. Communication privacy management to help physician’s offices comply with HIPAA
guidelines.
13. Groupthink for assisting organizations improve decision-making procedures.
14. Uncertainty reduction theory to develop better online dating sites.
15. Expectancy violations theory to help customer service professionals communicate
effectively (and ethically) with unhappy customers/clients.
16. Symbolic interactionism to teach daycare and preschool staff members how to plan
activities for children.
17. Symbolic interactionism for helping companies think critically about representation,
inclusivity, and ethicality of marketing materials
18. Theory of planned behavior to improve community members’ water conversation efforts (or
other positive social behavior).
19. Message design logics to educate U.S. doctors on effective doctor-patient interaction and
patient compliance care instructions.
20. Message design logics to help public relations firms develop a specific public relations or
advertising campaign (i.e., for a specific product or organization).
21. Agenda setting theory to help political campaign advisors conceptualize and strategize
their use of media.
22. Communication accommodation theory to reduce problematic or hurtful forms of speech
(e.g., in the context of caregiver-patient communication in nursing homes).
23. Communication accommodation theory to improve the communication of police officers
who work in communities with large immigrant populations.
24. Theory of Resilience and Relational Load to inform the development of a program to
improve family relationships, particularly for families managing a difficult circumstance
(e.g., health challenge).
Detailed

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