Communication Essay Topics

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This list of more than 100 communication essay topics has been divided into 15 thematic categories in an attempt to provide a one-stop source for the wide variety of interesting essay topics that the field of communication studies provides.

Advertisement Essay Topics

Advertisement Campaign Management
Advertising as Persuasion
Advertising Effectiveness
Advertising Ethics
Advertising Frequency and Timing
Advertising Strategies
Cross-Cultural Advertising
Emotions in Advertising
Endorsement in Advertising

Communication and Technology Essay Topics

Communication Infrastructure
Communication Technology and Democracy
Communication Technology Standards
Crime and Communication Technology
Digitization and Media Convergence
Information Literacy
Information Overload
Internet Technology
Technology and Communication
Technology and Globalization

Developmental Communication Essay Topics

Age Identity and Communication
Computer Games and Child Development
Developmental Communication
Family Communication Patterns
Friendship and Communication
Intergenerational Communication
Media Use and Child Development
Media Violence Effects on Children
Parental Mediation Strategies
Personality Development and Communication

Information Processing Essay Topics

Aging and Cognitive Processing
Attending to the Mass Media
Attitude Functions
Attitude–Behavior Consistency
Attribution Processes
Cognitive Processing of Visuals
Compliance Gaining
Information Processing
Message Production
Speech Fluency and Errors

Educational Communication Essay Topics

Classroom Power
Curriculum Studies
Distance Education
Educational Communication
Educational Media
Teacher Clarity
Teacher Confirmation
Teacher Feedback
Teacher Socialization
Teacher Use of Humor

Intercultural Communication Essay Topics

African Communication Modes
Asian Communication Modes
Cultural Patterns and Communication
Culture and Communication
Hispanic Communication Modes
Intercultural Communication in Health-Care
Intercultural Communication Training
Intercultural Norms
Muslim Communication Modes
Western Communication Modes

International Communication Essay Topics

Americanization of the Media
Cultural Imperialism Theories
Free Flow of Information
History of Global Media
International Communication
International Television
Satellite Communication, Global
Social Movement Media
Voice of America
War Propaganda

Interpersonal Communication Essay Topics

Comforting Communication
Communication Apprehension
Dating Relationships
Interpersonal Attraction
Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal Conflict
Long-Distance Relationships
Marital Communication
Relational Maintenance
Verbal Aggressiveness

Journalism Essay Topics

Advocacy Journalism
Alternative Journalism
Citizen Journalism
Journalism Education
Journalism, History of
Newspaper Journalism
Online Journalism
Political Journalists
War Correspondents
Yellow Journalism

Media Effects Essay Topics

Agenda-Setting Effects
Cumulative Media Effects
Direct and Indirect Media Effects
Fear Induction through Media Content
Intercultural Media Effects
Knowledge Gap Effects
Media Effects on Emotions
Media Effects on Public Opinion
Media Effects on Social Behavior
Strength of Media Effects

Organizational Communication Essay Topics

Bureaucracy and Communication
Control and Authority in Organizations
Decision-Making Processes in Organizations
Group Communication
Leadership in Organizations
Organizational Communication
Organizational Conflict
Organizational Culture
Organizational Ethics
Organizational Structure

Political Communication Essay Topics

Agenda Building
Election Campaign Communication
Election Polls and Forecasts
Media Democracy
Mediated Terrorism
Mediatization of Politics
Political Advertising
Political Communication
Political Marketing
Political Persuasion

Popular Communication Essay Topics

Celebrity Culture
Consumer Culture
Girl Culture
Media Ecology
Popular Communication
Popular Culture
Popular Music
Reality TV
Video Games
Youth Culture

Public relations Essay Topics

Intercultural Public Relations
Media Influence on Public Relations
Public Affairs
Public Diplomacy
Public Relations
Public Relations Ethics
Public Relations Evaluation
Public Relations Field Dynamics
Public Relations Planning
Public Relations Roles

Visual Communication Essay Topics

Film Genres

Communication Essay TopicsThe discipline of communication has grown in popularity from the time professors of journalism and speech decided, in the mid-1960s, that the term communication was an excellent general descriptor for the theory and research that each group aspired to create. Over time, the two groups grew closer together and began to recognize significant overlap in their theoretical and research interests, but there were also differences in their traditions that kept them apart. While both groups agreed that communication is a practical discipline, journalism professors focused a great deal of their attention on the education of media professionals. Speech professors, on the other hand, often were more oriented to the liberal arts and valued the fact that communication could be approached from a variety of traditions, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, and even the sciences.

Communication as a concept always has been with us, but the origins of the discipline are more recent. In the United States, the humanistic roots of the discipline can be found in the study of rhetoric in ancient Greece and Rome, while the social scientific side typically dates its origins to the rise of studies of mass media, public opinion, propaganda, and persuasion early in the 20th century and especially during World War II. Both strands had a decidedly pragmatic bent: The five canons of rhetoric—invention, organization, style, delivery, and memory—were designed to help a speaker better prepare for and argue a position in the court, the assembly, or at a ceremonial event. Social scientists had a similarly pragmatic concern in understanding the functions and possibilities for communication in advertising, media, and technology as well as in face-to-face contexts.

Communication theory, then, followed from the pragmatic concerns about the study of communication. At first, communication scholars turned to existing disciplines for theories—not surprising since virtually every discipline concerned with the human being must study communication to some degree. The recognition of social sciences as legitimate disciplines after World War II gave even more credence to the contributions of psychology and sociology for understanding human communicative behavior. European scholars began to influence communication theory in the United States after World War II as well; heavily influenced by Marxist theories, European scholars from a variety of disciplines have been responsible for the introduction of critical–cultural theories and methods into the study of communication.

Gradually, however, separate communication departments began to form. At first often referred to as departments of speech communication to reflect both the rhetorical and social scientific roots, most departments today are simply called departments of communication or communication studies. In contrast to scholars in related disciplines who tend to consider communication a secondary process for transmitting information about the world, communication scholars see communication as the organizing principle of human social life: Communication constructs the social world rather than simply providing the means for describing that world.

Of course, theories of communication are not distinctive to the Western tradition and the United States. Virtually every culture has been concerned with the nature and functions of communication, and communication scholars are beginning to integrate theories from a variety of countries and cultures. Feminist scholars have sought to describe ways feminine worldviews might foster different modes of communication since the 1970s. Afrocentric and Asiacentric communication are perhaps the best articulated bodies of work to date that describe the communication assumptions and practices of African Americans and Asians, respectively. Increasingly, then, communication scholars are seeking to understand similarities and differences across cultures and to articulate more nuanced theories to reflect these more comprehensive understandings of how communication works.

Although the communication field now has the legitimacy and coherence that comes from disciplinary status, it remains a continually evolving and changing discipline. This collection will offer the student of communication a sense of the history, development, and current status of the discipline with an emphasis on the theories that comprise it. We hope readers in communication will engage these theories in a spirit of ongoing inquiry that is crucial to the continued development of the field. And we hope those in related fields will gain a better understanding of what the communication discipline is all about.


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