Courses in Communication (Division 352)

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

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 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)

101. Interpersonal Communication. Not open to seniors. (4). (SS).

This course is designed to provide students with an increased understanding of the complex processes underlying face-to-face interaction. Topics discussed include the role of perception in communication, the creation of interpersonal understanding through communication, the role of communication in the development of relationships, nonverbal communication, barriers to communication, the strategic management of interpersonal interaction, and the general structure of informal communicative transactions. Evaluation of students is based on exams and assigned papers. (This course is a pre-concentration requirement.) (Harrington)

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. (Martin, Buckley)

202. Freedom of Expression. (3). (SS).

This lecture course seeks to define free expression and to show how freedom of speech and press evolved. It weighs the personal and societal benefits from unrestricted freedom against societal interests in preserving order, reputations and morals. It considers ethical, as well as legal, restraints. All exams (two hourlies and a final) are machine-graded, multiple- choice. There are no term papers. Offered Winter Term only. Required for Communication concentrators. (Stevens)

210. Persuasive Communication. (3). (HU).

Exploration of the principles of persuasion as applied in print, broadcast, and interpersonal communication. From the theoretical perspective of balance theories of attitude change, strategies are examined for such topics as: attention, perception, credibility, identification, reinforcement, activation, logical proof, reducing resistance, verbal suggestion, and motivation. Students make two individual presentations, one oral and one written, on proposed projects of a creative, critical or experimental sort. In addition, students complete a final team project involving development of a persuasive campaign using several media. Class format involves lectures and discussion sections, readings, a final exam. Required of concentrators in Communication. (Martin)

290. News Writing. 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).
Section 001 Feature Writing.
This is an advanced journalistic writing course. Successful completion of Communication 290 is the prerequisite for Communication 302, and students who receive a "C" or lower should not elect the course. Ability to originate story ideas and work independently is essential. Knowledge of the AP style rules is required. Certain sections deal with specific topics. (Marzolf)

312(212). Communication and Contemporary Society. (3). (HU).

An examination of changes in communication practices that have affected "elite" and "popular" culture in the United States, and of cultural and social changes that have affected the modes and functions of communication. Some topics: cultural pluralism and access to communication channels, pressures for cultural homogeneity affecting communication practices, cultural myths and rituals reinforced in public communication media, communication genres, styles and modes, communication technology and privacy autonomy, communication and social change, cultural "imperialism." Lectures, discussions, readings in a course pack. Three "spotlight" papers, midterm and final exams. (Martin)

400. The Media in American History. Upperclass standing. (3). (SS).

Communication 400 will survey the historical development of the mass media in America. The evolution of the newspaper, magazine, radio, television, and motion picture industries will be examined in terms of the political, social, cultural, and economic forces which have shaped them. (Buckley)

401. Selected Theories of Communication. (3). (HU).

Theory development in human communication research is the focus of this course. We examine communication as a social science and are concerned with theories of historic and current interest, including theories of language and meaning, persuasion, information processing, nonverbal communication, symbolic interactionism, rules theories, relational theory and systems theory, group influence and decision making, organizational communication, mass media effects, uses and gratifications, diffusion theory, agenda-setting theories of the mass media, and other theories of interest to communication scholars. Students will also examine the process of theory development and criticism, so that they can apply criteria for scientific theory evaluation to the theories of communication we study. Book: Littlejohn, Theories of Human Communication; Reynolds, a primer in theory construction. Prerequisite: none. Communication 101 and/or 103 recommended. Lecture/discussion. The course is one of a sequence for undergraduate concentrators. (Zoppi)

404. Media and the Marketplace. Upperclass standing. (3). (SS).

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. Upperclass standing. (3). (SS).

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 six 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 six two page exercises and a final project and take midterm and final exams. (Cohen)

407. Television and Children. (3). (SS).

The course is an upper-level overview of the field of children and television. We will deal with each of the major issues in the discipline: behavioral effects, impact on education and consumerism, programming structure and network considerations, legal regulation and policy development. Junior standing and a background in developmental psychology or another behavioral science is helpful, and recommended. Grades will be based on viewing assignments, observational work, a major paper or project, and exams. Course is three, one hour lectures per week. The text will be Dorr and Palmer, Children and the Faces of Television: Teaching, Violence, Selling; Kelly and Gardner, Viewing Children Through Television; Lesser, Children and Television, and a course pack of related articles. (Watkins)

410. Introduction to Group Communication. Junior standing. (3). (HU).
Section 001.
The course examines theory and research on the communication process as it relates to small groups. Practical application of group processes is emphasized. Where possible, actual group activity is central to illustrating concepts from readings and student investigations and observations. Evaluations are based on understanding of concepts and growth in application of communication skills in group settings. Many options are available. (Luker)

Section 002. 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)

412. Elements of Persuasion. Comm. 100 or 102. (3). (HU).

This is a lecture course focusing on competing theoretical accounts of persuasion (the evidence concerning them, the problems they have encountered, etc.) and on research evidence concerning the effects of various factors on persuasion. No special background is required. The grade is based equally on each of two exams (midterm and final) and an individual project. (Allen)

420/Poli. Sci. 420. Politics and the Mass Media. Poli. Sci. 111, 300, 410, or 411. (4). (SS).

See Political Science 420. (Traugott)

425. Introduction to Radio and Television Directing. Comm. 421. (3). (HU).

The course assumes basic directorial background, and familiarity with production equipment. However, the course is not basically technical, but a synthesis of technical and creative skills. Students will be graded on production exercises and examinations. Instruction will be through lecture, discussion and lab. (Jackson)

427. Preparation of Radio and TV Continuity. 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. (Watson)

428. Writing Drama for Radio and Television. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

A creative writing course in crafting drama for radio, TV, and motion pictures. Permission of the instructor is required. Interested students may hand in samples of their writing to the department. Samples may include short stories, parts of a novel, one act plays, as well as scripts. During the term students will be expected to complete either two half-hour radio or TV dramas (or comedies), or a feature length (90 plus minutes) motion picture screenplay. In addition there will be short written exercises in writing dramatic dialogue, moving plot through dialogue, creating character, conceiving visually for screenplays and creating visually through dialogue for radio. The class will be taught in a workshop manner with students genuinely helping other students. Attendance is thus important and required. (Slote)

500. Seminar. Open to senior concentrators. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 021: Opinion Function.
An examination of the opinion/editorial function of the news media in the context of the first amendment, including the newspaper, magazine, and radio-TV editorial, and channels provided for the dissenting views, such as letters from readers/listeners; also, actual practice in editorial research, editorial thinking and editorial writing. (Hovey)

521. History of the Motion Picture. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

This course is a historical survey of international film styles, examining through representative works the uniqueness of cinematic expression in twelve separate countries. The course analyzes the role played by the motion picture in the life of the countries surveyed as well as the social, cultural and political conditions which have given rise to ideas and styles of special national character. Among the countries examined are Germany, Italy, India, Israel, the United States, Australia, Japan, France, Russia, Poland and Great Britain. An introductory film aesthetics course is recommended but not essential. Course evaluation is based on a series of short papers and an examination. Weekly film screenings, lectures and discussions constitute course content. A nominal lab fee is charged for the film screenings. (Beaver)

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

In this seminar, we will explore the processes and effects of communication. Also, we will examine various substantive issues and the accompanying evidence regarding the role of the mass media on various types of social systems. One exam and a final paper forms the basis for student evaluation. This is a graduate seminar, but undergraduates may be admitted with the permission of the instructor. (Allen)

553. Media Economics. Comm. 404 or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).

This course is designed for upperclass and graduate students who want to understand the economics of the media. The first three lectures cover economic technology and applications. Then market strategy, industry trends and concentration trends are covered in four lectures. The third block analyzes the media firm financially - buying and selling of television stations. The fourth block of five lectures covers management, organization, new products, and developments. The basic aim of the course is to help graduate students in journalism and communication understand the economic environment that the firm must operate in to survive. Another aim is to dispel the idea that marketing and financial expertise should naturally stop an editor from creating, running or controlling a media organization. Students should have economics, statistics, and accounting courses and have taken Communication 404. Term paper and final exam required. (Currier)

556. International Communications. Comm. 402 or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).

The study of comparative differences among the mass communication systems of various nations in such matters as: the statutory relationships between government and the mass media; government ownership and subsidization; the role of the media in politics and governance; the training, work environment, and status of journalists; and the stipulated function of the press in national development and security. Countries discussed will vary according to the topic; the range will include Eastern Europe and the Third World. Texts and readings to be announced. Midterm, final, and two student papers required. Format: lecture and discussion. (Porter)

557. Media Law. Comm. 530 or 531, and 600; or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).

A case method study of First Amendment and other legal principles related to the rights and responsibilities of the mass media with emphasis on news gathering, libel, privacy, and obscenity. Students will read approximately 120 appellate court decisions (contained in a course pack) and must be prepared to discuss and analyze these decisions in class. Because the course materials and the application of the legal principles developed are cumulative, the evaluation of students based primarily on the final examination. (Murray)

559. Foreign Correspondence. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Reporting International Affairs is designed to allow a select group of graduate students, hopefully with reading knowledge of a foreign language, to evaluate the quality of current media performance. The class as a whole will closely monitor US broadcasts and publications; individuals will compare these with available foreign journals. Group discussion will center around exchanges based on specific news events viewed from the cross-cultural perspective thus built into the structure of the course and be enriched by: (1) Visits of US-based foreign correspondents for accounts of their procedures; (2) Visits to international divisions of multinational corporations, to gauge the effectiveness of their communications systems; (3) Visits from diplomats for their impressions of international understanding. (Eisendrath)


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.