Homework Assignment
Micro-Communication Analysis


The objective is to apply what you've read in Tannen to your own life. I want you to record and analyze your own conversations (or those of your friends) in terms of the concepts presented in Tannen's books. The specific topic is up to you, as long as you stick to these basic guidelines. This is an opportunity to pick any aspect of Tannen's work that has interested you, and really look into it in depth. For example, you might focus on mitigation -- who does it, how they do it, when they do it, what are the consequences. Similarly, you could look at indirection. Another idea is to look at differences in speech among your male and female friends.

An 'A' paper will be full of conversation excerpts, anecdotes, and other bits of real data that are then dissected at length. The paper should probably be 10-15 pages (1 inch margins, 12 point Times Roman font). Longer is fine.

There are a ton of ways to approach this paper. For example, you might look at communication breakdowns that you have been involved in. Or you might look at interactions between students and BC offices, like the registrar. If you have trouble coming up with a topic, please come see me, or ask other people in the class for suggestions.

Copyright 1997 Stephen P. Borgatti Revised: 24 March, 2000 Home Page