COMM 453
Spring 2010

COMM 453
The Power of Discourse in American Life


Course Information

Course Policies


Study Aids

Class Notes

Welcome to the home page for
COMM 453: The Power of Discourse in American Life.

My goal on this site is to provide information that will facilitate the learning of students in the course. Your suggestions for material are welcomed.

In preparation for the final

There will be questions on your exam having to do with the following pieces of discourese: A column by Sally Jenkins, a speech by President Obama. You may have to sign up for an account with the Washington Post to access the Jenkins column, but I have never had spam generated from my WP account, so I think it is safe.

You may feel free to read and familiarize yourself with these two pieces of discourse prior to the exam. I will reproduce the relevant excerpts on the exam so you do not need to bring copies of this discourse to the exam. Of course, the questions I want you to answer about these pieces of discourse will also be on the exam.


  • Information on the Instructor
  • Information on the Course
  • Course Policies
  • Assignments
  • The Powers of Language
  • The Sociological Influences of Language
  • The Epistemological Influences of Language
  • The Behavioral Influences of Language
  • Summary of the Powers of Language
  • Applications
  • Shopping Motives
  • Defining American Moments: Presidential Inaugurals
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Alienated Government
  • Attica as Symbolic Event
  • Beyond the Mass Media Age
  • Study Aids
  • Sample Midterm Exam
  • Analyzing your Midterm exam
  • Sample Final Exam Questions
  • Some Advice on Taking Essay Exams
  • How I grade

  • Watch for additional material during the semester.

    This page maintained by James F. Klumpp, Last update: May 12, 2010