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Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Department of Communication
COM 491 – Negotiation and Conflict  – Spring Semester 2014
Instructor: Irwin Mallin

Conflict Analysis Paper 1
Due at Beginning of Class on Tuesday, March 4

During this part of class, we’re reading and discussing a wide variety of theories about and models of conflict.  This paper is your chance to apply the ideas we talk about to a conflict that you have been involved in.  Choose a conflict or “fight” you’ve had recently, preferably one that was frustrating and/or that failed to solve the problem at hand, and analyze it using any of the major ideas we read about and discuss prior to the first test.

Organize the paper into the following sections, using the following section headings:

I. The Conflict: Explain what the conflict was about.  Although this is the section of the paper that will appear first, it’s actually the section that you should write last, as explained below

II. The Concept: Briefly set forth and explain in your own words the theory (or model or whatever) that you’re using to analyze your conflict.

III. Analysis of Conflict: This should be the longest section of the paper.  Apply the concept you’ve chosen to your conflict.

IV. Conclusions about Conflict: Explain how the concept you chose is and isn’t useful for understanding how to deal with conflicts like the one you’ve analyzed here.  This should be the next-to-longest section of the paper.

Generalizations will not lead to good papers. Support any assertion you make with a specific example from your interaction. When I read the paper I should be able to “see” the interaction to which you're referring.  Try to remember exactly what people said and did as best you can.

The best papers will have reasonably detailed analysis and display insight and creativity.  They will also be grammatically correct, free of spelling and punctuation errors.

The essay should be between three and five pages in length.  It should be typed (double spaced, margins of 1" all around, font no larger than 12).  It should also be stapled.  Of course, keep a copy of your paper.

How to proceed:

I suggest writing Sections II, III and IV first and then going back and writing Section I, even though Section I will appear first in the final draft of your paper.  That way, you need only include those facts that are necessary to your reader’s understanding of the subsequent sections.

Hints for success for this paper:

•Make sure you do everything called for in these directions.
•You have four weeks so start now, take your time, and use the services of  the Writing Center on the second floor of Helmke Library  if you need to.
•You are invited to show me a draft or discuss potential paper topics in office hours or by appointment.

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Last Updated: 23 January 2014