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Interpersonal Communication

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Application

Interpersonal Communication: What Makes It Different?

Interpersonal communication is just one of many methods in which you can communicate with others. You can talk to yourself, with a small group of people, or to a global audience, to name a few possibilities. Each method of communication has its own limitations and requirements. In this Application, you will contrast the five other methods of communication against interpersonal communication. Additionally, you will describe how today’s technology impacts these methods.

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To prepare for this Application:

Review Chapter 1 in Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times. Focus specific attention on the six different types of communication found on pages 8–9. What are the key factors that make each type of communication different from the others?
Read Chapter 9 of Composing Relationships: Communication in Everyday Life. How does technology influence interpersonal communication?
View the Flash media “Interpersonal Communication: An Introduction” located in the Learning Resources. How would you expect the communication style of the speakers to change if they were communicating with a large audience, a small group, or to themselves?
Consider the major differences between interpersonal communication and the five other types of communication. What specific elements can you identify that separate interpersonal communication from each of the other types of communication?
Reflect on how technology has influenced the five other methods of communication. What examples can you think of where technology has changed the traditional methods of each type of communication? (For example, writing in a journal is a traditional method of intrapersonal communication; writing a Web log or “blog” is a new way in which people can write out their personal thoughts.)
The assignment:

Compose a 2-page paper in which you do the following:
Differentiate between interpersonal communication and each of the five other types of communication listed on pages 8–9 of Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times.
Include how today’s technology influences each type of communication.

Reference:Course Text: West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2009). Understanding interpersonal communication: Making choices in changing times (2nd ed.). Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Chapter 1, “Introduction to Interpersonal Communication” (pp. 2–40)

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