Interpersonal Communications

  • Improving Communication Competence Paper

    Purpose of the Paper

    All of us, no matter how learned or skilled in the field of communication, still experience problems communicating interpersonally with others to some degree, so we need to find ways to increase our competence as communicators. By completing this paper I hope you will gain both confidence and ability to more effectively deal with interpersonal communication problems in the future.

    Specifics of the Paper

    In this paper, you will: (1)
    describe an aspect of interpersonal communication that you recognize as being an area of needed improvement for yourself, (2) use theories and concepts from our textbook and/or class lectures to
    analyze why you might encounter some of the communication problems that you experience, (3) again, using theories and concepts from reading and/or online lectures,
    describe an action plan for improving communication competence in that area that you’ve discussed.

    Selecting a Topic Area

    One way to proceed with this paper is to think of situations where you find it difficult to engage in communication or to achieve your communication goals. For example, maybe you find it difficult not to compete during interpersonal conflict, maybe you’re just not sure how to disclose feelings in a relationship that is important to you, or maybe you don’t know how to effectively listen to a child or parent. Another suggestion is to make notes of topics discussed in your text with which you can personally identify. For example, after reading the text you may realize that you use language in unconventional ways, possibly in detrimental ways. Or, after reading about nonverbal communication, you realize that you misinterpret a friend’s facial expressions a great deal.

    Format of the paper

    • Each paper should be 3 – 5 pages long. Headings, title pages, and works cited pages do NOT count toward your page count.
    • Paper should include an introduction, body, and conclusion.
    • Each paper should include documentation of your source(s) – at a minimum, you should cite our textbook.
    • The paper should be double-spaced the paper with 12 point Time New Roman font.
  • Item

    Organizational Guide

    You do not submit this outline. I am providing the guide to help you organize your writing. Introduction (usually 1-2 paragraphs)

    I. Statement to get reader’s attention II. Identify importance of communication to relationships III. Thesis statement

    Body (majority of paper – usually 3 to 8 paragraphs)

    I. Describe an aspect of communication that you recognize as being an area of needed improvement for yourself.

    • Provide at least one detailed illustration of how this aspect of communication impacts your ability to achieve communication goals.

    II. Analyze why you might experience the problems that you do.

    • In this section, it’s critical that you use theories and concepts from your textbook and/or class lecture as a basis for your analysis.
    • Please be very specific about how a theory/concept relates to the analysis you’re making.

    III. Describe an action plan for improving communication in the area that you’ve discussed.

    • Prepare and detail a plan for improving your communication competence.
    • Again, use theories and concepts from reading and lectures as a basis for your plan.
    • Also, explain how your plan will help you attain your goals.


    I. Summarize the paper II. Wrap up the paper with a statement of significance

    • I call this the “So What?” statement. You should tell your readers why this experience and/or concept/principle is important for you, for them, and/or for everyone to know

    Works Cited Your works cited list will follow MLA or APA format. Visit the Purdue OWL to learn more about MLA or APA format.