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ENGL 210F Textbook Summary [Full Course] File contains concise, easy-to-read summaries of assigned textbook readings. Readings arranged chronologically by when they were assigned for ease of use; organized by chapter for increased readability.

Course Code
Nadine Gingrich

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Chapter 1
- Communicating: A transactional and relational process involving the meaningful exchange of
- Message: Any type of oral, written or non-verbal communication that is transmitted by a sender
to an audience
- Sender: The participant in the transaction who has an idea and communicates it by encoding it
in a message
- Encoding: The act of converting ideas into code in order to convey a written, oral or non-verbal
- Channel: A communication pathway or medium over which a message travels
- Receiver: The person for whom a message is intended, who decodes the message by extracting
meaning from it
- Decoding: The act of extracting meaning from spoken, written and non-verbal communication
- Feedback: the receiver’s response to a message that confirms if the original was received and
- Noise: Any form of physical or psychological interference that distorts the meaning of a message
- Communication Barriers: Problems that can affect the communication transaction, leading to
confusion or misunderstanding
- Barriers to effective communication:
o Channel Overload: The inability of a channel to carry all transmitted messages
o Information Overload: A condition whereby a receiver cannot process all messages due
to their increasing number
o Emotional Interference: A psychological factor that creates problems with the
communication transaction
o Semantic Interference
o Physical and Technical Interference
o Mixed Messages and Channel Barriers (e.g. Claiming to agree with an idea and raising
your eyebrows)
o Environmental Interference: Differences in demographics, attitudes and perceptions

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- Non-verbal Communication: Communication that does not use words but takes place through
gestures, eye contact and facial expressions
- Paralanguage: Non-verbal vocal communication
- Body Language (kinesics): Non-verbal communication conveyed by gestures, eye contact,
posture and facial expression
o Gestures and Posture
o Eye Contact: The act of looking another person directly in the eye
o Facial Expressions
- Proxemics: The study of the use of space
o Intimate Distance: 0 18 inches
o Personal Distance: 18 inches 4 feet
o Social Distance: 4 10 feet
o Public Distance: Beyond 10 feet
- Internal Communication: Communication through the channels of an organization
- External Communication: Communication with audiences who are part of an external
environment and not part of a writer’s organization
- The general functions of business communication are to:
o Inform
o Persuade
o Promote Goodwill
- Active Listening: Listening that demands close attention to the literal and emotional meaning of
a message and a level of responsiveness that shows the speaker the message was both heard
and understood
- Formal Communications Network: A system of communication sanctioned by organizational
- Informal Oral Network: Unofficial internal communication pathways that carry gossip and
rumours, sometimes accurate, sometimes not (also known as the grapevine)
- Formal Communication Channels: Facilitate the flow of information through an organization’s
- Upward Communication Flow: Channels information from subordinates to superiors

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o This kind of communication can help insulated upper management to stay in touch with
workplace realities and give subordinates a valuable opportunity to provide input
- Downward Communication Flow: Channels information from superiors to subordinates
o Sometimes the downward flow strategy takes on the added purpose of instilling loyalty
and improving the morale of employees
- Horizontal Communication Flow: Enables individuals at the same organizational level to share
ideas and exchange information
- Business Ethics: The socially accepted moral principles and rules of business conduct
- A few of the better-known ethical traps:
o The safety-in-numbers rationalization (“Everyone else does it”)
o The head-in-the-sand rationalization (“Don’t rock the boat”)
o The between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place rationalization (“I had no other choice”)
o The “It’s-no-big-deal” rationalization
o The entitlement rationalization
o The team-player rationalization (Yes-man syndrome)
- Libel: A false published statement that is damaging or injurious to a person’s reputation
- Non-verbal Behaviours: Communication that takes place through gestures, facial expressions,
eye contact and posture
- Culture: The shared customs and patterns of behaviour of a particular group or society,
including its language, rules, beliefs and structures
- Low-context Cultures: Cultures which favour direct communication and depend on explicit
verbal and written messages exclusive of context
- High-context Cultures: Cultures in which communication depends not only on the explicit
wording of a message but on its surrounding context
Chapter 2
- The most reliable route to a successful finished product is a process that involves:
o Prewriting: Assessing the purpose, audience and most appropriate channel for the
o Organizing and Outlining: Mapping out the most strategic and logistical arrangement of
ideas and details
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