The most important element of learning within the communication discipline is the ability to view theory, and take that theory to apply to relevant content, as defined by the seventh outcome of comprehensive project creation. As with all others, students in this program made use of comprehensive elements in nearly every project we completed. But there were a couple that stood out. The best of these is a textual analysis I conducted of an NPR job description. This required an academic paper portion, wherein the actual analysis using a system of codes I created was placed, and a blog post describing the rationale behind the project in less formal language. A video presentation of the final product was added upon the project’s conclusion. I primarily used the lens of organizational culture theory to make my argument.
In preparing this and other multi-part projects throughout the program, I learned the importance of considering one’s audience. If I wish both to write effectively and to convey the intended message, I need to make sure that I’m using language that people can understand based on their background. The more formal nature of academic writing requires less opinion-inspired wording that simply transmits the research as it was found, while often in a blog post one wishes to bring the content to life to make it readable even to non-experts in a given field. The better I can become at composing for both audiences, the more varied my potential use cases of theory and practice that I have acquired along the way.
Going forward, I intend to continue approaching all project with the knowledge that they may be consumed by different groups. I do not especially envision myself in an academic setting, yet it is still useful to have gotten better at preparing well-crafted papers that present supported arguments and the like. More importantly from my perspective though is the ability to demonstrate how research and theory can be applied in new and exciting ways that help people understand communication and how to engage in it more smoothly.