Courses in Communication (Division 352)

100. Public Speaking. Not open to seniors. No credit granted to those who have completed 102. (3). (Excl).

This course emphasizes communication as a means of bringing about social change. It is especially designed for underclass students, and is recommended for students who will be pursuing degrees or careers in teaching, law, business, administration, or politics, and others who are concerned with communicating effectively with the general public. Each week three hours are devoted to small section meetings which focus on communication principles and application of these principles to problem-solving in public speaking settings. Course topics include audience analysis, source credibility, stage-fright, techniques of persuasion, and ethics. The ultimate purpose of the course is to encourage more effective communication by providing students with instruction and experiences which help them to be at ease before audiences and which encourage them to develop and present messages which have maximum audience impact. (Storey)

103. Media of Mass Communication. Not open to seniors. I and II. (4). (SS).

This course examines (1) the political, economic and historical context in which American mass media of communication perform, (2) the structure and functioning of the broadcasting, newspaper, magazine, book publishing, sound recording, and film industries and (3) the effects of these media on contemporary society and culture. Communication 103 serves as an introduction to advanced-level departmental media-related courses. One discussion section per week. Grading is based on discussion section assignments and three one-hour examinations. Two texts constitute required reading: Hiebert, Ungerait and Bohn, MASS MEDIA IV, and Lowery and DeFleur, MILESTONES OF MASS COMMUNICATION RESEARCH. (Buckley and Stevens)

250. Information Gathering for the Mass Media. Comm. 103 and concentration in Communication. (3). (Excl).

This course teaches the strategies used in seeking information and evaluating its validity in a number of mass media applications, including journalism, broadcasting, marketing, media research and public relations. The basic approach combines research methods used by librarians and journalists in a problem-solving model that applies to many tasks in the information industry. Institutional, human, library and data base sources are examined. A computer game helps introduce the search strategy model. The course will be taught with two lectures and a lab, and will make use of several short weekly assignments. There will be a midterm and a final, plus a final project. Students should be sophomores and Communication concentrators. The course may be taken prior to other writing courses in the Department, and is strongly recommended as a prerequisite to Communication 302. There will be assigned course pack readings and texts. (Marzolf)

290. News Writing. Comm. 250 and sophomore standing. (3). (Excl).

This course teaches the fundamentals of journalistic writing for newspapers and general audiences. The ability to type is essential. Laboratories and discussion sessions are led by teaching assistants and cover topics such as journalistic writing style, news values, writing news leads, information seeking, copy editing, and interviewing. Laboratory sessions are used for writing and for editing in class. Teaching assistants also confer with students individually during the term to discuss student writing progress. Periodic performance tests are given to determine student progress in the course. (Buckley)

302. Writing for Mass Media. Comm. 290. (3). (Excl).

All sections. An advanced journalistic writing course, designed to teach students how to report for newspapers, periodicals, television, and radio. Students will gain experience in using a variety of research methods and materials. Students will practice covering local news stories using a variety of formats and styles. Students will also learn how to analyze critically topical economic issues in the news, as well as the media which report these issues. Course counts in "skills" group for concentrators. Books, quizzes, exams vary with sections.

320(220). Film Analysis. Comm. 103. (3). (HU).

This course is a survey of the history, theory and aesthetics of the motion picture as illustrated through the works of representative film makers. It considers the types of artistic efforts that go into the making of a motion picture by emphasizing the roles of the director, the editor, the cinematographer as well as the roles of music and composition. The course traces the development of the motion picture from a primitive tool to a sophisticated art form. The latter part of the course is devoted to a selection of various films that illustrate genres, approaches to motion picture art: fantasy, neo-realism, the documentary film. An effort is also made to explain some of the more recent developments in film beginning with the experimental film and concluding with the animated film. There is a midterm examination and final exam. A written review of a contemporary film is required. There is one major text and one supplementary text. The course format is unusual in that the film medium itself (in the form of short clips, slides, etc.) is used to the largest possible extent in presenting the course material. Students who expect to pursue the film-making course sequence should take this course as early as possible, preferably during the freshman or sophomore years. (Beaver)

400. The Media in American History. Comm. 103, 202, and upperclass standing. (3). (SS).

The media of mass communication (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, books and movies) considered in the context of American social and intellectual history. Emphasis is on periods of change, such as the 1830s, the 1880s and the 1920s. Familiarity with American history desirable. The course fulfills an "institutions" group requirement for concentrators. Two hourlies, a research paper and a final exam. Mostly lecture. (Stevens)

401. Selected Theories of Communication. Comm. 103 and one theory and research course. (3). (SS).

Communication 401 provides an overview of theories of communication relevant to both fact-to-face and mediated communication. The course begins by establishing a general framework for understanding communication theory. The framework includes consideration of the historical, philosophical, and interdisciplinary influences on the development of theories about communication, the primary modes of discourse used in communication theory, and the major scientific approaches utilized in the construction of communication theories. The second section of the course concentrates on three levels of study: the social, the interactional, and the individual. The major issues related to the development of communication theory at each level are discussed and representative theories are analyzed. Grading is based on two hourlies, section assignments and a final exam. Required readings include two textbooks and course pack articles. (Allen)

402. Comparative World Journalism. Comm. 103 and upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

Describes and analyzes the newsgathering, processing, and distribution systems of major industrialized countries and several representative countries from less developed parts of the world; also describes world news agencies. (Porter)

403. Analyzing the Media. Comm. 103, 202, and junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the practices, ethics, values and performance of the modern American mass media. Students will look at the practitioners' definitions of their jobs and responsibilities, at media standards and codes of ethics and how these work out in terms of media content. Case studies and critical analysis of the media from scholars and popular writers will be used. There will be assigned texts and readings. A project and a critical analysis paper will be required. There will be a midterm and final examination. (Marzolf)

404. Media and the Marketplace. Comm. 103, 202, and upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the structure of the mass media marketplace by focusing on the web of economic relationships, market processes, and external constraints which direct the activities of suppliers, producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers of communication products. It explores why mass communication industries are organized as they are and how their structure affects the behavior of media markets. The newspaper, magazine, book publishing, radio, television, cable, and motion picture industries are studied in terms of: market structure, product differentiation, ownership patterns, financial controls, competitive behavior, demand-side and supply-side constraints, organizational adaptation, technology, and public policy. As an overview of contemporary issues involving the economic performance of mass media industries, this course investigates attributes of the media marketplace that influence the nature of the competitive process. (Buckley)

405. The Media and the Arts. Comm. 103 and upperclass standing. (3). (HU).

Communication 405, Media and the Arts, is an exploration of the relationship between the arts and the mass media. Students will study the way various forms theatre, dance, music, architecture, and the fine arts are reported and critiqued in newspapers, magazines, and on TV as well as the ways the arts and the media effect each other. Because students will need an understanding of the emphasized art forms in order to appreciate what is written about them, the nature of each will also be examined. The course will center on four assigned art events, plays, concerts, exhibits, etc., that students will attend outside of class. In conjunction with these events, many related, in-class activities are planned: guest lectures by reviewers and artists, films, and demonstration. Readings will include selections from scholarly works on criticism, basic works on the arts, and local and national newspapers. Students will be required to prepare five two-page exercises and take midterm and final exams. (Cohen)

406. Mass Communication Research. Comm. 103, 202, and upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

Provides training in research skills relevant to studies of the impact of media on individuals and society. Topics covered include an introduction to research methods, an overview of issues and problems in mass media research, an extended examination of the influence of television and future developments in media research. In addition to lectures and discussions, students will be active participants in the implementation of a research project. Text: Wimmer,R. and Dominick,S., MASS MEDIA RESEARCH: AN INTRODUCTION, Belmont, CA.: Wadsworth, 1983, plus course pack.

410. Introduction to Group Communication. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

SECTION 001. Emphasis is given to the oral communication process in small group problem-solving situations. Subject matter includes: group leadership styles; member functions; barriers and obstacles to understanding in small groups, and techniques for group discussion effectiveness. Methods of class operation include: class discussion; mini lectures; research reports; participation in small group processes; case problems, and class member evaluation of group discussions. Reading materials include selected readings on oral communication and small group research. (Storey)

421. Introduction to Radio and Television. Comm. 103, one institutions course, and upperclass standing. (3). (N.Excl).

A lecture-discussion course which introduces students to the terminology, aesthetics and organizational methods of broadcast programming. Emphasis is also given to an understanding of how social, cultural, and economic factors affect the nature and content of various types of broadcast programming, including news, magazine programs, documentaries, public service programs, as well as dramatic formats. Midterm and final examinations are given along with short critiques and practicum projects. This course is a pre-production prerequisite for Communication 425, a radio and television studio laboratory course.

427. Preparation of Radio and TV Continuity. Comm. 250, 425, and upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed to give students experience in writing seven or eight different types of radio or television continuity. The writing assignments include: a radio commercial, a television commercial, a broadcast editorial, a four-minute feature talk for radio, the continuity for a radio or television show that features music, a comedy script, written in company with two other students in the class, and the planning of an hour-long radio or television documentary for which seven to ten minutes of narrative connective material is written. There are brief lectures but students gain most of their background for writing the scripts from the textbook. The scripts are read by the instructor and a written evaluation is provided for each script. The scripts are then discussed and evaluated by the students and instructor. Grading is based on the quality of the scripts. Students are also expected to attend the class regularly and to take part in the discussions. You must be present at the first meeting of the class to maintain your enrollment. If you cannot be present, notify the instructor in advance.

428. Writing Drama for Radio and Television. Comm. 250, 421, and upperclass standing. (3). (N.Excl).

WRITING DRAMA FOR TELEVISION AND FILM. This course is designed to introduce students to dramatic scriptwriting for television and film. During the term, each student is required to complete a script for a full length feature film or a made-for-television movie OR a script for a one hour dramatic episode for a television series and a 30 minute situation comedy. In addition, short exercises in character development, dialogue, plot design and creative visualization will be assigned. Class time will be divided between lecture, critical discussion of dramatic theatrical film and television programming, and in-class evaluation of student work. Attendance is thus important and required.

527. Radio Television Management and Program Development. Comm. 426 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed to explore specific behaviors, skills, problems and issues associated with administrative roles in media organizations. The objective of the course is the preparation of students for administrative tasks. At the end of the course, they should be able to: (1) Identify and describe the variety of organizations in the electronic media. (2) Demonstrate skills in accounting and financial management. (3) Analyze executive tasks in the light of effective management of time. (4) Show improvement in the writing of reports and letters. (5) Demonstrate knowledge of effective managerial approaches to organizing, staffing, personnel supervision, determination of objectives and other problems facing today's executives. (6) Increase ability to discuss different problems in a rational and systematic fashion. The course is recommended for graduate and professional students and a few undergraduates who are capable of completing the writing assignments. A basic text on Accounting is required. Instructional methods are basically lecture and discussion including a number of guest lecturers. Papers are required on Marketing, Time Management, Law, Engineering, Financial Management and other management related areas. Although the course is not concerned with production, students from outside the Communication area, i.e., Law, Business, Engineering, etc., are paired with Telecommunications majors for the observation of studio programs to assist them in understanding the production-related aspects of management. (Schumacher)

552. Society and Mass Media. Graduate standing or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The seminar examines such issues as economic concentration and ethics of the mass media. Course pack based on current crises. The course is for graduate students, but a few outstanding seniors may be admitted, but only with written permission of the professor. Students prepare oral and written reports throughout the term. There is a midterm exam and a final research paper. (Stevens)

554. Media and Government. Comm. 202 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course explores in descriptive fashion various aspects of interactions among mass media, government, and political institutions generally. Particular attention is given to the president-press and foreign policy-press relationships, both historically and through ongoing current analysis. Midterm and final; a research paper also is required. Texts to be announced. (Porter)

555. Media History. Comm. 400 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Section 001 By focusing on a single topic or period, the course examines the historiography and literature of journalism. Students will be introduced to methods of gathering and writing journalism history. Students this term will explore the institutional, entrepreneurial, and economic history of American mass media during the 20th century. (Buckley)

Section 002 AMERICAN BROADCASTING in the 1960s. A seminar (20 student maximum) for upperclassmen and graduate students employing an historical/critical approach to American broadcasting in the decade of the 1960's. Readings will consist of a variety of qualitative and quantitative studies of both news and entertainment programming. Each student is required to undertake a research project examining the relationship between broadcasting and some form of social change during the era. Weekly viewing/discussion sections will consider issues of broadcast history including regulation, impact on political behavior, emerging programming traditions and aesthetics of popular culture. (Watson)

lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.