ENGL 3700

In describing today’s accelerating changes, the media fire blips off unrelated information at us. Experts bury us under mountains of narrowly specialized monographs. Popular forecasters present lists of unrelated trends, without any model to show us their interconnections or the forces likely to reverse them. As a result, change itself comes to be seen as anarchic, even lunatic.

~ Alvin Toffler

The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.

~ Edward R. Murrow

The problem with communication … is the illusion that it has been accomplished.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Course Outline

Course Introduction to Communications
Credits 3: Semester Hours
Prerequisites: Engl 2100
School College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy

Catalog Description

Survey of the profession, designed to familiarize majors with the history of communications as a profession, to introduce them to the number and variety of careers available to communicators, and to suggest methods of career planning. Prerequisite: Each student must attain at least one of the following prior to enrolling: (a) a score of at least 380 SAT Verbal and 40 or above on the TSWE (Test of Standard Written English) or 20 on the verbal section of the ACT; or (b) a passing score on the Compass in English and in reading; or (c) exit learning support English and learning support reading successfully. A composition course focusing on skills required for effective writing in a variety of contexts, with emphasis on exposition, analysis, and argumentation, and also including introductory use of a variety of research skills.

Course Goals

The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly and unambiguously. Doing this involves effort from both the sender of the message and the receiver. And it’s a process that can be fraught with error, with messages often misinterpreted by the recipient. When this isn’t detected, it can cause tremendous confusion, wasted effort and missed opportunity.

In fact, communication is only successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication.

By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you send do not necessarily reflect your own, causing a communication breakdown and creating roadblocks that stand in the way of your goals – both personally and professionally.

There will be three major areas in which you will work this semester.

  • First, you will read. You will read the textbook. You will read emails. You will read other people’s work. You will read web sites.
  • Second, you will write. You will write responses to discussion questions. You will write in groups. You will write two essays: mid-term & final.
  • Finally, you will take quizzes (4). The quizzes are designed to help you to see where you still need work, and to let you know the progress you’re making in familiarizing yourself with the important terms and concepts of the communication field. The class is demanding. However, if you’re taking this course in an effort to enhance your abilities as a communications expert, the class can be fun. If you’re not in this course to enhance your abilities as a communications expert, then . . . hummm. . . why are you here?
  • Course Outcomes
    To develop an analytical and critical eye towards the social and political concerns of the field of communications and its impact on our world today
  • To develop a firm grasp of the history and development of the communication field
  • To understand the basic laws and regulations governing the communication industry
  • To understand and apply communication ethics in a variety of situations
  • To better understand the basic concepts of communications theory
  • To recognize communication climates
  • To better recognize the differences in social and cultural communication communities
  • To practice good verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • To become familiar with current communication technologies