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For over three decades, this has been the best-selling text for the introduction to human communication course.  Understanding Human Communication is written with one goal in mind: to provide you with the insights and skills to succeed in our changing world.  Ronald B. Adler, George Rodman, and new author Carrie Cropley Hutchinson place communication theory within the context of everyday skills and draw from the latest media, culture, and scholarship, creating a distinctive pedagogy that gives you the tools you need to master – and enjoy – this intriguing and relevant subject.

How to succeed with this book:

  • Understanding Diversity sidebars address subjects such as managing identity during the process of "coming out," the potential for misunderstandings during translation, and how lessons from other cultures can enhance your listening skills.
  • Understanding Communication Technology boxes focus on topics related to mediated communication, including how social media can meet a variety of communication needs, the etiquette of revealing what you've learned about others online, the dangers of being overly connected via the internet, and the ethical principles for using and acknowledging information gleaned from the web.
  • Invitation to Insight sidebars offer readings that show how the elements of communication operate in contemporary society, including the risks of broadcasting personal information via "sexting," social standards for using profanity, and the limitations of free speech when civil listening is absent.
  • Critical Thinking probes encourage you to consider your own actions in light of concepts covered in the text.
  • Ethical Challenges invite you to ponder contemporary ethical issues in communication, such as whether honesty is always the best policy, the acceptability of presenting multiple identities, the tension between allowing free speech and the acceptability of hateful language, and the challenge of dealing politely but effectively with obnoxious group members.
  • Cultural Idioms appear in the margins of each chapter, helping non-native English speakers understand American colloquialisms while also showing more proficient speakers how supposedly everyday speech can be misunderstood by listeners from other cultures.

For Students

  • Student Success Manual (print) is packed with tips that will guide students to mastering the course material.  It includes a primer on effective study habits as well as chapter-specific information such as outlines, summaries, key terms, review questions, and critical-thinking exercises.  Available free in a package with a new copy of the book.
  • Now Playing (print) looks at contemporary films through the lens of communication principles.  Conceived and written by Russell F. Proctor II of Northern Kentucky University and regularly updated by Darin Garard of Santa Barbara City College, Now Playing illustrates how communication concepts play out in a variety of situations, using a mass medium that is interactive, familiar, and easily accessible to students.  Available free in a package with a new copy of the book.

For Instructors

  • The Instructor's Manual and Test Bank (print) provides the largest, most comprehensive package of support of any text for this course.  The Instructor's Manual includes teaching tips and course information, chapter-by-chapter overviews, objectives, critical-thinking and classroom activities, and suggested readings and films.  The comprehensive Test Bank includes an average of sixty exam questions per chapter in multiple–choice, true/false, matching, and completion formats.  The questions have been extensively revised for this edition, and new questions of slightly higher difficulty have been added.
  • Instructor's CD-ROM and Computerized Test Bank includes the full Instructor's Manual, a computerized test bank, and pre-built, editable PowerPoint-based lecture presentations with selected tables and figures from the main book.
  • Instructor's companion website: Instructors wishing to access either the companion website for materials or ClassMate (the nationally hosted online homework system) should contact their OUP sales representative or call (800) 280-0280.
  • Now Playing, Instructor's Edition (print) includes an introduction on how to incorporate film clips in class, as well as even more film examples, viewing guides and assignments, a complete set of sample responses to the discussion questions in the student edition, and a full list of references.
  • New part-opening "Case Studies" present real-life communication challenges on the job, in school, and in personal relationships.
  • A brand-new chapter, "The Changing World of Communication," considers demographic and cultural influences and the ways in which technologies have created both new opportunities and challenges in our modern world.
  • This edition presents current research on many new topics including how we perceive strangers differently in mediated and face-to-face communication, how linguistic labels reflect cultural identity, the differences between conflicts online and in person, and the ways in which gender influences styles of conflict.
  • New "@ Work" boxes demonstrate how key concepts presented in the book can be applied in the workplace.
  • Part Five: Public Communication has been streamlined and reorganized to give you a more efficient introduction to public speaking.  The new Chapter 11, "Preparing Speeches," discusses choosing and developing a topic as well as managing communication apprehension.
  • A new Appendix, "Communicating for Career Success," provides you with practical information on interviewing and networking.

The text is accompanied by a Student Success Manual, an Instructor's Manual and Test Bank, a comprehensive companion website, and Now Playing, a vibrant resource (available both online and in print) that examines contemporary films through the lens of communication principles.

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