Expectancy Violations Theory

The final paper is a 5-7 page miniature Literature Review. The paper provides a coherent and comprehensive treatment of the theory you have chosen and research that you have read.


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You have chosen a theory that is discussed in Griffin’s textbook Communication: A First Look at Communication Theory. Your theory is the topic of your paper. In this paper, you will discuss the theory and the findings from research studies published in peer reviewed scholarly communication journals — studies that explicitly use the theory you have chosen. Ideally, these are articles you have used for your Coding Sheets and your Annotated Bibliography assignments.


Thoroughly read the various studies that use the theory you have chosen. After you have read (and re-read) your research articles so that you understand them, consider the following questions: What are the similarities and differences in the findings/results? What are the similarities and differences in the research methods/procedures and in the way the authors conceptualize and/or measure various aspects of the theory? When you look at all the studies as a whole, do they generally support the theory? How so? Based on the studies that have employed the theory, what do we know and what do we not know about communication? These are all questions you will need to address in your paper.


Your Literature Review paper must do four primary things:

Introduce your theory (your topic) and its importance to the field of communication
Summarize and/or explain the theory
“Synthesize” the recent communication research on your topic/theory
Include a conclusion where you evaluate the research you reviewed and suggest future directions communication researchers might take in exploring the theory.


Writing a Literature Review


The process of writing a literature review includes finding, reading, and evaluating current research on a specific topic. Again, in this assignment, your topic is your theory. You are required to include the following sections in your paper: 1) Introduction, 2) Theoretical Discussion, 3) Synthesis of Scholarship, 4) Conclusion, 5) References. Below you will find the specific elements that you should include and address in each section.


1. Introduction (approx. ½ page)


This part of the paper should include the following:

a. Appropriate title for the paper

b. Attention getter (i.e., citation that includes a statistic, a relevant current event)

c. Introduction of the theory: Provide a 1-2 sentence summary of what the theory predicts and/or explains.

d. Significance/importance of theory you are covering: Why/how is this theory important to communication scholars? Why/how is this theory important to the general public?

Why/how is this theory important to practitioners?

e. Preview Statement: Let the reader know what the sections and/or main points of your paper will be and the order in which they will occur (i.e., theoretical discussion, synthesis of research). This should be the last item, and, therefore, the last sentence in your introduction.


The BODY of your paper is comprised of two major sections: 1) the theoretical discussion and 2) the synthesis of scholarship


2. Theoretical Discussion (approx. 1 ½ pages)


You should draw upon Griffin (and other sources) for this section of your paper.

A. Summarize and/or explain the theory. What does it explain, describe, and/or predict? What are the key terms and how are they defined? What are the key concepts or principles of the theory? Are most of the studies that use this theory quantitative, qualitative, or rhetorical? This summary/explanation of the theory needs to be much more detailed than the brief summary you provided in the intro. This summary should be at least one full paragraph, but will most likely be two paragraphs.

B. What are strengths of the theory (Griffin is helpful here)?

C. What are weaknesses of the theory ((Griffin is helpful here)?

D. What paradigm does the theory fall under?

E. What are the epistemological and ontological assumptions of the paradigm?

F. What communication tradition does the theory fall under?

G. How does the tradition conceptualize communication?

H. What type of scholarship has the theory generated? In other words, what topics and/or communication phenomenon are studied using this theory?

I. Transition into the next section of the paper


3. Synthesis of Scholarship (approx. 2 ½ to 3 pages))


This section will be based on at least 7 scholarly primary-based research articles that use your theory explicitly and are primary-based research. 6 of the 7 must be published in communication journals (or approved journals; see Blackboard). The 7th must come from a peer reviewed scholarly journal, but it can be from either a communication journal (or approved journal) or from another discipline, i.e., psychology or sociology.


The synthesis should focus on the FINDINGS/RESULTS of the studies, summarizing what is known. The findings/results of your articles are what is known, and are what overall comprise a literature review. A review of literature can also be thought of as a summary of research to date.


How do you start working on the synthesis? Locate the most applicable studies to your theory and pull out of each study the findings/results that are more useful. Then start looking for common themes and similarities across the studies, and for differences between the studies. When you synthesize, you combine and/or blend the findings/results of the studies that you have read into a complex summary of what we know, about specific constructs, variables, or ideas that are parts of the theory, and/or about a particular communication phenomenon. Basically, the synthesis portion of the body of your final paper will summarize the research using the theory being studied, and the synthesis will present that research in a relevant organizational format.


A good organizational scheme provides the framework to write a coherent explanation of the research conducted using your theory, leads to helpful transitions between studies, and shows relationships among studies more clearly. Your studies should be presented in an organized and coherent manner that flows smoothly from one idea to another NOT from one study to another. Make sure you decide on the organizational scheme before you start writing this portion of your paper.


The following are five potential organizing schemes/orders that you may choose from for the synthesis portion of your paper:


1. Topical: Organized by main topics or issues, emphasizes relationship of issues to main phenomenon or problem

2. Comparison-and-contrast (choose one):

· Shows how findings/results of research studies are similar to each other

· Shows how findings/results of research studies are different from one another

3. Chronological: Organized by historical progression in terms of time to show the development or refinement of the theory

4. General-to-specific: Examines broad-based research first then focuses on more

specific research studies that relate to the topic

5. Known-to-Unknown: Is also organized by main topics or issues that emphasize the relationships of issues to main concern or problem. Then, identifies at the end, in one sentence, what is still not known.


DO NOT write a literature review that takes the form of, “Here’s one study, and this is what they found; and in another study…” Do NOT organize main topics or issues by article (one article = one topic). This will result in a failing grade, as it does not demonstrate a synthesis of the research, and your synthesis of research represents a significant portion of your grade.


Make sure you do the following for the synthesis portion of your paper:

A. Introduce the synthesis portion of the paper by clearly stating the organizational scheme in which it will proceed (your options are listed above).

B. Preview what the main points of the synthesis portion of the paper will be (these should match up with the sub-headings in this part of the paper).

C. Present your synthesis of the research, following the organizational scheme and order of main points that you said you would use, and integrating research from the (minimum) scholarly journal articles that use your theory.

D. Transition between sub-sections (each main point of the synthesis is a sub-section)

E. Transition to the next section of the paper (the conclusion)


4. Conclusion (approx. 1 page)


In this section (should be about two to three paragraphs), you will evaluate the literature you reviewed and suggest directions for future research. Address the following in your conclusion:

a. Re-state the main points of your paper AND the main points of the synthesis.

b. Present 2 strengths of the research studies you reviewed (this is different from the strengths of the theory!!)

c. Present 2 weaknesses of the research studies you reviewed (this is different from the weaknesses of the theory!!)

d. Indicate where there are gaps in the research: When you consider all your studies as a whole, what do they fail to address and/or look at?

e. Suggest ideas/directions for future work (you should have at least 2 suggestions). This might include new topics, different theoretical frames as means of addressing questions that scholarship has failed to address, or different research methods/procedures. These should be somewhat detailed suggestions. Justify your suggestions—why are they important or worthwhile?

f. Finally, close the paper with a concluding sentence or two so the reader is not “left hanging.” This can be linked directly back to the introduction addressing the importance of the topic or the attention getter with which you opened the paper.


5. References


Your References list should be written in APA format. It should include every article and book that you use in your paper—every article and book that you quote and/or paraphrase. Please note that the Reference page does NOT count towards the 5-7 page requirement.


Your Literature Review must follow APA format and be written appropriately:

· Make sure you provide parenthetical citations in your paper that follow APA format and that match up with the sources listed on your References page.

· Make sure you have section headings: Theoretical Discussion; Synthesis of Research (and then provide sub-headings for the main points that will be presented in the synthesis); Conclusion

· Provide a coversheet with header, running head, paper title, student name, institution name

· Numbered pages

· 5-7 pages in length – not counting cover page & references pages

· Instructors may stop reading your paper if it exceeds the page limit.

· Typed, double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, 1” margins

· A formal style rather than informal style

o No use of the first person (“I”)

o No personal stories/evidence

o No contractions, no colloquialisms (slang)

o No biased language

o No grammar or spelling errors—Proofread!




The synthesis portion of your paper must include at least seven (7) scholarly journal research articles, all of which must incorporate the theory you are writing about (in other words, all 7 articles need to draw on the same theory), and must be based on primary research. Six of these articles must come from communication journals, or journals on our approved list. The 7th article must come from a peer reviewed scholarly journal, but it can be from either a communication journal (or approved journal) or a scholarly journal from another discipline, i.e., psychology or sociology.


If you include a scholarly journal article that is theoretical and does not describe an actual study and the study’s findings, this counts as an additional source (NOT one of the seven required).


Literature Reviews typically do not utilize textbooks as sources. However, you may draw on Griffin for the theoretical section of your paper. If you use your textbook, make sure you properly cite it both in the body of your paper and in the reference section. If you use your textbook, and do not cite and reference your textbook, you are plagiarizing, and you will earn a zero on the paper.


It is your responsibility to identify fully, honestly, and accurately all the research you refer to in your paper. Disclosure takes the form of in-text citations and references, including a complete and accurate list of all sources cited in the paper. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism. If you fail to cite properly, this constitutes plagiarism, whether intended or not, and you will be penalized.


If you have questions about how to cite references either on your references page or in the body of your paper, please refer to the APA/OWL website or the official APA 7th ed. publication manual.


Grading Criteria:


Introduction 20 points

Theoretical Discussion 35 points

Synthesis of Scholarship 100 points

Conclusion 25 points

APA Citations & References 20 points



Total 200 points


Deductions: Points are deducted for grammar / spelling errors, informal, unclear or poor quality writing, less than sufficient number of sources


Turn in your Literature Review as outlined below by the due date/time:



(A) Upload an electronic version of your Literature Review to Turnitin through the link provided on your Canvas course site before the deadline on the due date.




Evaluation Form: COM 207 Literature Review


Introduction ______/ 20 points

-Appropriate attention grabber with citation

-Introduced theory and/or topic (1-2 sentence summary of what theory explains/predicts)

-Stated significance/Importance of theory (with citation)

-Stated significance/Importance of research (with citation)

-Preview statement of what main points of paper will be and the order in which they will occur

(This should be the very last sentence of introduction.)



Body/Theoretical Discussion ______/ 35 points

-Summarized and explained the theory, including key terms and concepts

-Noted which paradigm and which communication tradition(s) it falls under

-Addressed the epistemological and ontological assumptions

-How the theory conceptualizes communication

-Addressed Strengths of Theory

-Addressed Weaknesses of Theory

-What type of scholarship has the theory has generated (quantitative and/or qualitative methods?)

-In general, the organization of their main point(s) and subpoints are clear

-In general, their content is accurate and clear, demonstrating mastery of this subject

-Provided Transition into next section of paper


Body/Synthesis of Scholarship ______/ 100 points

-At least 7 scholarly journal articles used

-6 articles from communication journals

-All 7 articles based on primary research studies

-They noted what organizational scheme used for synthesis

-Followed the organizational scheme they set out

-Scheme was appropriate for the research used

-Synthesis was clear

-Integration of the articles accurate, relevant, sufficient and appropriate

-Was synthesis in depth? Demonstrated an outstanding grasp of the research

-Connected the studies to the theory

-Adequately and accurately summarized what is known about the research using your theory (and/or the research on your particular topic)?


-Main point(s) and subpoints are clear

-Provided transition sentences between main sections? Between subsections?

-used appropriate level headings


Conclusion ______/ 25 points

-Restated the main points of the paper

-Stated the 2 strengths & 2 weaknesses of the studies reviewed

-Noted the gaps in the research (as a whole, what did studies fail to address or look at?)

-Provided at least 2 suggestions for future work

-Were those suggestions substantive/detailed enough

-Provided reasons for why each suggestion is relevant (suggestions adequately justified)

-Wrapped up the paper effectively so that the reader was not “left hanging”

APA Citations & References & Format ______/ 20 points

– Cover page___ with a running head ___ , paper title_ __, your name ___, and university___

-Page numbers ___ double spaced ___12 point Times New Roman font ___ 1” margins___

-Headings formatted correctly _______ subheadings formatted correctly _______

-Citations in paper in correct APA format

-References page in correct APA format

Deductions: – ______ points

Excessive quoting Block quoting Grammar errors

Spelling errors Informal writing (such as using first person “I”, personal stories, contractions, slang) or poor writing Poor paragraph structure



TOTAL: ________/ 200 POINTS

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