Question on Last Assignment : LUSENET : SCILS-Comm300 : One Thread

Hello, There were three requirements for the final assignment that I was hoping you could explain. The first one, I'm not sure I understand the section that asks us to "discuss briefly issue area or communication theory issue area" and I'm also not sure how to show the link between hypotheses and practical question. Also, could you explain what is expected for the part that asks "what significance, import, or consequences do these findings have for practical issues or communication theory?"

Thank you for your time, Katie Dippold

-- Katherine Dippold (, April 18, 2000


Hi, Katherine and others-

Issue area or communication theory issue area: For deductive approach in communication research, you need to have a broader concept for what you are doing. That is, you need a theory that you are actually applying to your hypotheses testing. Such a theory might be from communication discipline -- communication theory. Or it might be from social theory and even a mundane theory about a social phenomenon. For example, there is a theory which is called "media richeness theory." The theory, in a nutshell, states that each medium has its own capacity to convey a certain type and amount of information -- that is, face-to-face communication convey a whole number of subtle and delicate information because it convey all sort of information including non-verbal and body-language type information. On the other hand, some computer media such as e-mail is supposed not to carry such subtle nuanced communication expression. If you want to use the theory, you need to describe or explain what it is and how some studies have been done in the line of this thought and what is your interests in it, wchich may leads to your ultimate hypotheses you are going to test. The first part, "describing and explain what the theory is and how some studies have been done," is the "brief discussion of issue area or communication theory issue area." The second part, describing "what is your interests" may be your hypothesis part.

What is the link between the hypotheses you are testing and practical issues? For example, suppose that I initially used the media richeness theory and argued that since e-mail is a lean (not-rich) media, the content of the email communication are mainly information specific or task-oriented. Based on this idea, I set up some hypotheses to be tested. By doing this, I can implicitly and explicitly argue some potential consequences of my findings. For exmaple, I may state: "if the hypotheses are supported, the possible consequences of some organizational (or business) settings are such and such...: therefore, putting a priority of setting up e-mail communication on information or task oriented department first may be the best policy for organizations. [Please note that this is a fraction of what I may argue from the thoughts (theory and hypotheses) -- that is, you can explore this sorts of things on your own.

And suppose that the hypotheses were supported by some statistical tests. Then, you may apply what you have found here to a practical situation, which might be the reiteration of the former (the above) part. You might find that the hypotheses are NOT supported. Then, you also need to discuss why they are not supposed and provide possible explanation.

Then, you may want to go back to the theory you initially used. And explain how your study contributed to the theory and what became the major issues out of the theory. In case you did not find hypothetical support, you can discuss what are the implication of it to the practical situation and theoretical consideration as well.

I hope it helps a bit. If you have more question, please let me know!


-- hyo kim (, April 21, 2000.

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