Journal Entry Grading Scale

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Journal Entry Grading Scale

Journal Entry Grading Scale

Journal Entries are graded on a 5-point scale. Below is an explanation of what is required to earn the full 5 points.

Points Requirements

5 points Fully answers the question in a thought-provoking and interesting way

Explains the theory with quotes from the book and provides a superior explanation of what the theory says and what it means for interpersonal communication

Offers a detailed communication example that focuses on the communication event/behavior

Explains how the example is related to the theory and how the theory helps to explain/understand what happened in the example

Written communication is polished, descriptive, vivid, and exceptionally clear

Well written paragraphs and easy to follow

No typos, grammatical errors, or spelling errors

4 points Answers the question at a basic level but doesn’t provide enough details or critical thought. Questions are not answered directly.

Explains the theory and shows some understanding of it without quotes from the book

Offers an example that may or may not be communication related and lacks necessary details

Fails to explain how the example is connected to the theory or how the theory helps to explain/understand the example

Written well, but lacks organization

No typos, grammatical errors, or spelling errors

3 points Fails to fully answer the question

Theory is mentioned but not explained well, nor does it show an understanding of the theory. Or, quotes the book.

Offers a brief example that lacks details and a communication connection

Example does not relate to theory in any way and no attempt is made to connect theory to example

Written communication is difficult to follow and includes grammatical errors, punctuation errors and typos. Lacks full paragraphs.2 points Part of the question is left out, either theory discussion or example

Theory is not explained or is not discussed at all

Example lacks detail or is not offered at all

Relationship between example and theory is not discussed at all

Written communication is poor and full of errors

1 point An assignment turned in that does not meet ANY criteria for assignment or address the questions given in any way

Poor written communication, typos, spelling errors, and grammatical errors

SAMPLE Journal Entry Answers

Journal Entry Requirements:

Define the theory from the chapter in your words. Do NOT quote from the book.

Give a personal Interpersonal Communication-based example or story of this theory in action. Focus on the communication between you are the relationship partner. Make sure to give me details so I can imagine what it would be like if I was there and watching your communication. Think about this as a script, dialogue can help.

Discuss how the theory helps to explain what happened in your story/example. Does the example follow what the theory suggests or does the example go against the theory?

Discuss how Culture and Gender influences Interpersonal Communication and how these issues work within your story.

Discuss how this story helps explain how communication helps us build and maintain interpersonal relationships.

Sample Journal Entry Question: Give an example of a situation when you explained someone else’s behavior. Examine how you used attribution theory – specifically examine external attributes, chance, and internal attributes. Did you make a fundamental attribution error? Why or why not?

5 point answer:Attribution theory helps us examine why people communicate or behave in the way they do. So, attribution theory helps us better understand communication events. People often find themselves in situations that lead them to attempt to explain the unusual behavior of another person. When this happens, we look at external attributes, chance, and internal attributes. External attributes offer a reason for the communication that is outside of the person’s personality, such as someone being too busy or being sick. Internal attributes are when the communication is the result of someone’s personality or who they are. For example, someone might just be always late or isn’t kind. Chance is when neither internal or external attributes happen and can be confusing to understand. Sometimes we can mis-attribute a reason for a communication behavior. We call this a fundamental attribution error, and it happens often when we blame an internal cause when it’s really an external cause. For example, if someone doesn’t respond to a text and we think they are mad at us (internal), but in reality, this person is sick (external).

One example of this from my life is when my friend, John, was at our fraternity’s tailgate and was acting more obnoxious than he usually does.  John is a rather off-the-wall and free-minded fellow, but in this situation, he was clearly acting out for a purpose.  I had to explain to a couple of my fraternity brothers that the reason John was acting ridiculous was because the girl that he was dating recently ended things with him, and she happened to be at the tailgate that day.  Clearly, John was acting out because her presence at the tailgate made him uncomfortable.  Also, there was a bit of alcohol in his system, so that also could have been a valid cause for his behavior.  These two causes would be considered external attributes because they are situational factors that influenced his behavior, and this was beyond his normal behavior.  I went on to tell my brothers that I honestly wasn’t sure how long the behavior would last or if it would happen again at next week’s tailgate, because I had no idea what his romantic situation would look like in the future.  This is an example of using chance to explain his behavior.  But based on his internal attributes though, knowing that John is naturally a pretty crazy, obnoxious guy, and that his behavior in this situation was more extreme than his normal nonsense, I could guess that if this did happen in the future, he might act the same way.  I do not believe that I made a fundamental attribution error, as I was careful not to overestimate the internal factors of his behavior while attempting to explain his behavior. His internal factors were not different than normal, just more intense. The external factors of his breakup were clearly causing the intense behavior.

Attribution theory is an important part of the perception process and helps us understand communication events. Attribution theory helps us make a quick decision about what is going on, so we know how to communicate in that situation. We have to be careful and make sure we are not making fundamental attribution errors. Often our perception, and the attributions we make through perception, can be clouded by both gender and culture issues. Perception and attribution theory use stereotypes. And while stereotypes are helpful, they can also be influenced by gender and cultural issues, so we have negative stereotypes. In order to keep from making attribution errors and using our perception in the wrong way, we must be aware of the stereotypes we use and how to make sure we are not using bias stereotypes. If we don’t do this, our relationships will suffer because we can have misunderstandings. Using self-reflection and empathy can help us make sure we use attribution theory correctly, so we don’t damage our relationships.

4 point answer: Example 1: People often find themselves in situations that lead them to attempt to explain the unusual behavior of another person.  One example of this from my life is when my friend, John, was at our fraternity’s tailgate and was acting more obnoxious than he usually does.  John is a rather off-the-wall and free-minded fellow, but in this situation he was clearly acting out for a purpose.  I had to explain to a couple of my fraternity brothers that the reason John was acting ridiculous was because the girl that he was dating recently ended things with him, and she happened to be at the tailgate that day.  Clearly, John was acting out because her presence at the tailgate made him uncomfortable.  Also, there was a bit of alcohol in his system, so that also could have been a valid cause for his behavior.  These two causes would be considered external attributes because they are situational factors that influenced his behavior.  I went on to tell my brothers that I honestly wasn’t sure how long the behavior would last or if it would happen again at next week’s tailgate, because I had no idea what his romantic situation would look like in the future.  This is an example of using chance to explain his behavior. 

But based on his internal attributes though, knowing that John is naturally a pretty crazy, obnoxious guy, and that his behavior in this situation was more extreme than his normal nonsense, I could guess that if this did happen in the future, he might act the same way.  I do not believe that I made a fundamental attribution error, as I was careful not to overestimate the internal factors of his behavior while attempting to explain his behavior. His internal factors were not different than normal, just more intense. The external factors of his breakup were clearly causing the intense behavior.

3 point answer:

Chapter 4 defines the attribution theory as: The dominant theory that explains how people explain their own and others’ behavior.  There are three basic assumptions to the attribution theory:

That it is natural for people to attempt to establish the causes of their own and others’ behavior.

That people assign causes for behavior systematically.

That the attribution impacts the perceiver’s feelings and subsequent behavior

I remember one time, not too long ago, my friend and I were supposed to go to lunch because I had not seen her in a long time.  We had a resturaunt picked out and a time to be there.  I showed up at the resturaunt at the designated time, but she was not there.  I waited for her for about an hour, and then gave up and left.  When I tried calling, she never answered and I did not hear from her the next 2 days.  I called one of my team mates to tell her about the incident.  I told my team mate that it is usually not like this friend of mine to not show up.  I told her that she is typically extremely loyal and if she says she is going to be somewhere at a certian time, she shows up.  I also mentioned to her that she is very talkative and outgoing and would not fail to communicate with me if something had come up, or changed.  I started then to jump to conclusions about maybe her getting into an accident, or maybe her car breaking down or something like that.  My team mate, who also knew this friend agreed with me.  She also said that it was not like her not to show up.  She is a very trustworthy person who keeps her word.  When I was finally able to talk to my friend, it turned out that she had dropped her phone in the toilet, locked herself out of her house, and was having car problems.  She apologized for not getting in touch with me, but explained that after everything that happened that day, she just wanted to relax and do nothing.  Understanding completely, I simply told her that it was perfectly fine, and we ended up going to lunch together the following week.

2 point answer:Example 1: When Larry gets really quite, I immediately thinks something wrong or he’s aggravted by something. So I continue to bug him and ask whats wrong until he confrims that its absolutely nothing. 

I used attribution theory is this example by explaining my behavior when being mad at something. The external attributes are taking in to consideration that the behavor may be because he’s mad. So taking the situation into consideration that caused this behavior is apart of external attributes.

Yes, I made a fundmental attribution error because just because he not saying anything doean’t necessarily mean hes upset about something or by someone. It can also mean that he just has nothing to say or that he’s just really into whenever it is he doing and watching.  

Example 2: My best friend in high school was always the life of the party. She loved to have a good time and everyone really enjoyed her company. Of course I loved her dearly, but when she would get mad she would always take everything out on me. I never understood why she would do that. It wasn’t like she would get just a little angry, she would get angry to the point of a blood vessel popping out in her forehead (which of course I would point out in attempt to lighten the mood). No one ever saw this side of her though. Anytime we wanted to go out or do something, it would always be an ordeal. She never liked how she looked. She would say she was ugly and constantly talked about how “fat” she thought she was. I thought it was crazy! She was in NO way fat. Anything I said was not what she wanted to hear. All this anger she had started to make me feel like she hated me. I felt like I could not say or do anything right. Everytime I saw her I did not know what kind of mood she would be in. Once I started dating this guy, it became even worse. In her mind I never had enough time for her and I just completely forgot about our friendship. I was so confused! She yells at me, she loves me, she hates me, we are best friends, I was losing my mind. I did not know what to do anymore. Finally, I decided enough was enough. We sat down and talked and it was that moment that everything made sense. She did not hate me, in fact, I was the best friend she had ever had. She lost her father at a really young age and because of that, it has always been hard for her to get close to people. She had some anger problems because of what she went through. I began to understand how to react to her. I knew what to say and what not to say. We are still best friends to this day. It was difficult but all relationships are. My father passed away and no one was able to help and understand me like she was. Trying to figure out and understand people’s characteristics is difficult. Most of the time we can’t truely determine why someone is the way they are. Life happens and with that situations happens. You never understand something until you have personally been through it.

1 point answer:once I got in fight with shane. He was like mad at me and I dont evan no why. we stop talking after that time and we still dont talk anymore.

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