Ways of Improving Family Relationships

Improving Family Relationships

Regardless of what type of relationship we are in—whether in terms of friendship, romance, or family members, all relationships are in the process of either developing or dying.  This paper requires you to analyze a family relationship using communication concepts/theories and principles from the text, discussions etc.


The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize students with all of the course objectives.  You are to analyze interpersonal communication principles and concepts in the development, maintenance, and possibly, the deterioration of a long term significant family relationship.  The relationship you choose to write about can be one that you are currently engaged in, or one that has already ended.   It should, however, be a fairly recent one, not a relationship you had in grade school.  If you cannot think of one involving a family member then and only then can it be a friendship relationship or a romantic relationship.  You don’t need to disclose any information you are not comfortable with disclosing and please change names for privacy.


This paper involves more than just simply summarizing the development of a relationship.  While you will want to offer some description of the relationship; the main emphasis should be on how it has developed in communication between two people.  You should organize your paper into the following three parts:

1. Introduction:  Describe the relationship.  Who are the participants?  What is the history of the relationship?  What is the current status of the relationship?  This information should be relatively brief.  Next, introduce the body of the paper by indicating the terms/concepts you will use to analyze the relationship.

2. Body:  In this section of the paper you will analyze the relationship using interpersonal communication concepts, terms, topics, etc.  This is by far the longest section of the paper.

· First organize the body of the paper around the stages of relationship development (see your textbook and utilize your research).  These stages can provide an excellent outline for the paper.  The key here is to talk about how the stages are created in COMMUNICATION.  How did communication change to move the relationship to another stage, and how did communication define a certain stage?


· Select at least three concepts that we’ve discussed in class and apply them to your relationship.  You may discuss these concepts and how they affected the communication in your relationship as you take us through the stages, or you may want to discuss them apart from the stages in terms of how they have played out in your relationship.  Use evidence to support your claims and use it in each stage—using direct quotes from the text, and specific examples from your relationship.

3. Conclusion:  This section includes a brief summary of the body of the paper.  End the paper with some reflections on your relationship, and what you learned as a result of writing this paper.

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