Paper # 2 Relationship Analysis Paper

This paper must focus on a specific relationship. You have two choices:

Choose a significant relationship in your life, such as your relationship with your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend, your relationship with your parent/guardian/sibling, your relationship with a longtime friend or your relationship with a supervisor/co-worker.

If you don’t want to write about yourself, choose a couple (romantic or friendship) you know that has been together several years, such as your grandmother and grandfather, your best friend and her husband, etc. Interview the members of the couple separately. You will listen to their stories of their relationship and analyze it.

In either case, feel free to change the names of the people you are writing about to protect their privacy.

Writing the Paper:

Write a two page paper that analyzes the relationship you have chosen based on information presented in class lectures and in chapters 10, 11 and 12 of the textbook. Give specific examples and details about the relationship that show me you understand the material we have covered. You should also incorporate references to the textbook and/or class lectures in your paper. When you make a point or discuss a communication theory, use support material such as examples and quotes or paraphrases from the text or lectures to back up what you are saying. When using support material, ALWAYS cite your sources. If you incorporate writing or ideas from the text or lectures without giving the source credit, you are committing plagiarism! Also, your support material should be brief. Do not include long passages from the textbook just to make your essays look longer! When citing your textbook, using the author’s name and page number will be sufficient. When citing lecture notes, using the instructor’s name and lecture dates will be sufficient. For example:

Paraphrase: As Devito notes in Messages, when managed properly, conflict does not damage relationships (p. 236).

Quote: According to Devito, “…with a little effort win-win solutions can be identified for most interpersonal conflicts ” (p. 244).

The paper should be typed and double spaced using 12-point font. Please proofread your paper, run spell-check if you are using a computer and ask a friend to check it over for spelling and grammatical errors. Please see below for suggestions on how to structure your paper.

Recommended Structure for Relationship Analysis Paper

I. Introduction

Tell me what you are going to tell me: identify the interpersonal relationship that will be the topic of the paper and briefly preview what the paper will discuss.

II. Background/History of the Relationship

What is the nature of this relationship?

How did it begin?

How long has this relationship existed?

How has this relationship progressed, evolved, changed and/or developed?

III. Details of the Relationship

What needs does this relationship meet?

What are the rewards/demands of this relationship?

IV. Communication within the Relationship

If you are writing about a romantic relationship, describe the love style of each person in the couple and how each person’s love style impacts the relationship.

If you are writing about a friendship, describe the type of friendship (reciprocity, receptivity, association) that occurs in this relationship

If you are writing about a family relationship, discuss the family type (traditional, independent, separate) and the family communication pattern (equality, balanced split, unbalanced split, monopoly) represented in the relationship.

If you are writing about a supervisor/employee relationship, discuss the leadership style of the supervisor (autocratic, participatory, free reign)

V. Conflict and Power within the Relationship

How is power used in this relationship?

What has been the nature of the interpersonal conflict in this relationship?

How has conflict handling style (competing, accommodating, avoiding, compromising or collaborating) played a role in this relationship?

What conflict management strategies do the people in the relationship use?

VI. Effectiveness of the Relationship

Are there any problems or areas that need to be improved in this relationship as you see it?

If so, what specific changes could improve this relationship?

If not, identify what factors make this relationship successful.

VII. Conclusion

Sum up what you have told me.

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