Study Guides for Shedletsky and Aitken

Chapters 1 and 2

As you read these chapters work out answers to the following questions that will shape our class discussion:

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

There are concepts important to considering chapter 4 that Shedletsky and Aitken do not introduce. First, is the difference between information and framing.

Information is built by reducing things we know to facts -- isolatable pieces of knowledge that can be conveyed and memorized. Framing is built by putting facts together into a new or old way of thinking about a subject. Thus, framing takes a piece of information and reinterprets it by relating it to other facts.
Information is measured in bits. Framing is understood as different frames for information
Information is ultimately analytical: that is, we reduce complexity to single, isolated facts that we can present through communication. Framing is ultimately synthetic: that is, we take a set of facts and give them a relationship to each other by tying them together with the frame.
The power of communication with relationship to information is the power to pass the information from one person to another. The power of communication with relationship to framing is the power to alter or reinforce a framework within which facts are interpreted.
Example: How many people of color are there in the United States? Example: Should we be asking questions about race in a census? Aren't there more significant ways in which our people differ than race? Doesn't the question assume that there are people without color? Thus, isn't it whitist?
A search engine responds to the cyberworld as information, focusing on particular words and phrases. How do we gather different frames from the internet?

This chapter does not show full awareness of this distinction, and it is an important one.

Second, I think you need to think of this chapter as developing an example more than as about a "function" itself. To help set that up:

Review this website that teaches how to evaluate websites. Be prepared to evaluate the advice on that website.

Go to the UM Library website. Find "Communication and Media Complete," a data base of research in communication. Use the website to find the following:

Take a look at "Undergraduate Library Services in the 21st Century." Read at least the Executive Summary and as much else as you wish.

Bring in the URL of your favorite search engines.

Chapter 5

Return to the COMM 498i home page

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Drawing on your study of websites of organizations and your reading in the book, think through the following:

Chapter 12