An Evaluation of Tannen’s Communication Theories

| March 19, 2014

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For our second paper, we will write a supported argument, evaluating some of Deborah Tannen’s theories of communication from the book That’s Not What I Meant. To support (or refute) Tannen’s theories, we will be using examples from our own communication with others (i.e. friends, family, work associates, schoolmates, acquaintances), and/ or you may use examples from TV shows or films, to evaluate whether or not Tannen’s theories are evident in contemporary media.
The overall point of your essay is to decide, of the concepts you explored, if Tannen is correct in her assessment of how people truly communicate and the issues they come across during that communication. (It may help to realize that your thesis is answering the previous sentence.)
In your essay you will need to explore at least 4 of Tannen’s concepts in detail. Concepts are generally marked as italicized subheadings within chapters. Most students choose to evaluate concepts that are related within the book in order to have a more unified thesis, for example, evaluating 4 of the concepts within Chapter 8’s discussion on gender differences, or examining 4 concepts within the “Power and Solidarity” chapter of the book.
You have a lot of information that you may include in your discussion of each concept, including Tannen’s definition of the concept, Tannen’s dialogue example, a personal example of your own, and/or a media-based example. Overall however, your discussion of each concept should yield for the reader a clear understanding about how you feel about the validity of each of Tannen’s concepts you investigate. Your own examples will either echo Tannen’s views, or refute them. It is okay to agree with some of the concepts you explore and not others—your thesis will then just state the difference.
Essay Specifics:
Your essay should be at least 4 ½ -5double-spaced pages (papers less than 4 ½ will be marked down)
You must use standard MLA formatting for in-text citation, general formatting and a Works Cited page.
Include at least 4 quotes from Tannen’s book.
Have an introduction and an argumentative thesis that reveals whether you agree with Tannen’s proposed concepts or not
Include detailed observations or examples that either refute or agree with Tannen
A conclusion
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Category: Communication Strategies

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