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The main function of the Department of Speech is the generation of knowledge about the human communication process. Both the BA and MA (Plan A, thesis and Plan B, non-thesis options) degrees are offered, as well as a minor in Speech. Human communication is studied as a unique process of symbolic interaction between persons. Attention is given to the verbal and non-verbal elements of the speech process. Cultural influences are examined. The role of communication is studied in situations ranging from person-to-person persuasion to group dynamics, to persuasion in mass movements. Students receive practical training in speech applications to accompany theoretical concepts and models explaining communication. Course work, seminars, and student research in the program focus on developing a cross-situational understanding of three areas central to the discipline: message production, processing, and understanding; interpersonal communication and relational management; and persuasion and social influence.

The department has strong undergraduate and graduate programs and also provides non-majors with service courses in Speech.

Faculty research is social scientific in nature, with interests in communication theory and research in the following areas: relationship development, maintenance and repair, and dissolution; message processing (encoding and decoding); nonverbal behavior; persuasion and social influence, intercultural communication; conflict management; health communication, group processes, organizational communication, and instructional communication.


Speech (Communication) is an interdisciplinary and applied research department with interests in social psychology, sociology, educational psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and business. Acquisitions in support of these areas normally supply the needs of this department. Science Technology selectors generally acquire materials on speech impediment and therapy (note: this is irrelevant to Speech faculty members and students). Most of the titles acquired for the Communication Department are also of interest to Speech.

Audiovisual material in the areas of communication and public speaking skills, nonverbal communication, family communication, conflict management, intercultural communication, persuasion & social influence, research methods, gender communication, group communication, and organizational communication are selected by the Wong AV Center in close consultation with the Speech selector.


Language: English is the primary language.

Chronological: Emphasis is on current material; some historical material is also of interest.

Geographic: No limitations.

Date of Publication: Primary interest is in current imprints.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected: Monographs, journals, annual reviews, dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, directories, case studies, proceedings, and reports of societies and research organizations form the bulk of the acquisitions. Dissertations are purchased only at the specific request of the faculty. Collections of speeches are acquired selectively.

Electronic Format: All formats may be collected, including electronic, print, and microform. Electronic resources include indexes, databases, reference tools, e-books, and so forth. Networked electronic access is preferred for full text journal literature and for indexing and abstracting.

Treatment: Practice and theory applications, professional and applied training, as well as reference and bibliographical, legal, medical, business, social and creative aspects, international, intercultural and historical treatments are all of interest.

Compiled by: Jodie Mattos

Date: June 2008

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