you will prepare a term paper that is a minimum of 2,500 words in length (approximately 10 pages), not including your title page or list of references. You will need to integrate a minimum of 8 credible, academic sources into your discussion, properly citing and referencing them using a standard format (I prefer APA style)
While you have an incredible degree of freedom in determining the direction of your paper, I expect that your discussion will cover the following four major topic areas, in the following order:
PROBLEM: Discuss a real-world intercultural communication problem. This should be very specific and narrow. For example, it is not sufficient to use something as vague as “sometimes people from different cultures misunderstand each other.” Instead, your statement of the problem should specify the context of the communication problem (Workplace? Interpersonal? Family? Education? Healthcare? Something else?), specify who is involved, specify what cultures are involved, and give evidence of how culture relates to the problem Further you should also clearly describe one specific, non-fictional example of how this problem plays out. While you may use your own personal experiences to illustrate your discussion of the problem, you must also go beyond your own personal experiences and cite credible evidence of the problem. Overall, I am looking for you to give clear, compelling evidence that a problem exists, evidence of the inherency (also known as the source or cause) of the problem, and evidence that harm results from the problem. I would strongly suggest that you discuss your statement of the problem with me well in advance of moving forward with any other part of this paper. It would be important that you start off on the right track, and you should take the initiative to ensure that you are by consulting with me. I would expect to see an absolute minimum of three referenced sources (not your personal experiences) supporting your discussion of this intercultural communication problem.
THEORY: Discuss a specific theory of intercultural communication in substantial depth. You may select any theory discussed in your textbook, and your textbook is a good initial source. Start by picking a chapter in your textbook that seems to help you better understand the intercultural communication problem you discussed in part 1, above. Look for specific concepts and ideas, that are of interest to you and that could be explored more deeply. Consider looking up some of the original sources that your textbook cites. Go substantially beyond your textbook and use a number of primary academic sources to further round out your discussion and demonstrate your in-depth understanding of this theory. I am looking to see a good number of credible, academic sources cited here. This section should be cited heavily. Avoid using quotations – paraphrase your research into an original discussion. Make sure that your source citations are accurately and correctly documented. I would expect to see an absolute minimum of five referenced sources supporting your discussion of this intercultural communication theory.
ANALYSIS & APPLICATION: Discuss how this theory applies to the communication problem you discussed in the first part of your paper. You should bring together a specific element of the problem and a specific element of the theory, and draw reasonable conclusions from applying the theory to the problem.
PRAXIS: Throughout your textbook, and particularly in Chapters 1 and 10, Sorrells (2015) emphasizes the importance of taking action – of applying your understanding of intercultural communication to make a difference and engage as a global citizen. In this section of your paper, based on your analysis and application in part 3, discuss what can be done to help resolve (or at least work toward a resolution) of the problem you discussed in the first part of your paper. Please focus on yourself and your behaviors. It doesn’t do much good to hope someone else acts differently; in this section of the paper, discuss what action YOU can take.
Of course, the body of your paper should begin with a strong but brief introductory paragraph end with an even more concise concluding paragraph, contain well-structured paragraphs that start with a topic sentence and end with a transition to the next paragraph, and all reflect mastery of all of the other skills and techniques appropriate for university level writing.
Note that in the above description I talk about some “minimum” expectations for your work. A paper that just barely meets the most minimal of expectations is NOT “outstanding” and will most likely earn an “average” (“C”) grade. If you are attempting to earn a grade higher than a “C,” then your work should go well beyond the minimum requirements, employ skilled use of language, contain no errors in grammar or style, and reflect an insightful, sophisticated, and truly original treatment of your topic.
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