Intercultural Encounter Essay (Final Essay Comm 174: 200 pts)

Intercultural Encounter Essay (Final Essay Comm 174: 200 pts)


•    Link concepts about intergroup contact, prejudgement, and prejudice to personal communication encounters

•    Analyze a “problematic” encounter that occurred because of cultural differences (ethnic/racial, religious, sexuality, age, etc.)

•    Discuss your perception of interaction with culturally different individuals and how this perception influences interactions across these cultures

•    Take the perspective of others and attempt to analyze the situation from a perspective other than your own

•    Be reflexive about the ways the interaction could have gone differently, focusing on your own behavior and the behavior of others.

•    Suggest ways to better engage with culturally different persons.


•   6-8 pages NOT including your reference page or title page.

•    Use APA or MLA style when formatting your paper (double spaced, headings and title, proper grammar and punctuation, etc.) and citing your sources in-text and on the Works

Cited / References page.

•    Cite AT LEAST 5 sources from our course readings. Module 6 has many sources on Intercultural Conflict which will be very helpful in this essay.

Prompt (this essay is in three parts, in order, as follows):

1. Description of “Problematic” Encounter (1 pg.)

a. Fully describe, in vivid detail, an intercultural communication encounter where you:

i. Felt dissatisfied or confused by the interaction.

ii. Believe that the problems were caused by cultural

differences or misunderstandings (meaning, the problems arise from a lack of shared language, history, religion, social practices, and behaviors with socialy constructed, cultural meanings.).

b. Give concrete and vivid description of the encounter as you remember it. Do not analyze the encounter yet,

just tell us about it in as much detail as possible.

2. Analyzing and Rethinking the Encounter (3-4 pages):

a. Using AT LEAST FIVE (5) concepts from our Module on

“Culture, Communication, and Conflict”, deeply analyze the encounter, using the following questions as a prompt and guide in your analysis:

i. How and why do you perceive the encounter as


ii. Why do you think you acted the way you did? Why do you think the other person acted the way they

did? Why did the encounter go the way that it did?

iii. What influence did the cultures of the participants have in influencing the direction of

the encounter?

iv. Did this encounter influence your perceptions of those who are culturally different than you? How

and why?

b. Be sure to utilize at least 5 course concepts from

Module 6 on Intercultural Conflict in your analysis.

3. Re-Making the Encounter (2 pages):

a. Referring to your analysis above, argue for what could have happened to make this interaction play out differently.

b. Analyze your own actions and assumptions, as well as those of the other person(s) in the encounter. DO NOT do a one-sided analysis.

c. Imagine how this encounter could have gone if you and the other party had acted in the ways you suggest.

d. Based on what we’ve discussed in class, the readings,

your own analysis, and your life experiences, provide

some general suggestions on how people should approach communication encounters with those who are culturally different than them. Provide reasons why these suggestions could be important for others.


•    Description: Vivid, specific description of the personal encounter. Provide below-the-surface details about your thoughts and feelings during the encounter. Be detailed.

•    Analysis: Thorough and thoughtful analysis of the encounter, using course concepts/readings, which goes beyond the surface to answer questions of how these concepts are connected and why you see these concepts as important

•    Logistics: Meets all minimum requirements for length, depth, breadth, citations, formatting, etc.

Intercultural Encounter Essay Grading Sheet (200 pts.)

Description of "Problematic" Encounter:

Fully describes a “problematic” intercultural encounter? Vividly? Concretely? (35 points)

Analysis -- Re-thinking the Encounter:

Explicitly uses at least 5 concepts from the module on "Culture, Communication, and Conflict" to answer the required questions

with thoughtful, analytical, and complete answers? (45 points)

Re-Making the Encounter:

Re-makes the encounter? Provides thoughtful, well-argued

suggestions for "successful" intercultural communication encounters? (45 points)

Overall Parameters:

The degree to which you continually connect your personal feelings/examples to at least 5 course concepts. (25 points)

The extent to which you provide arguments, take stands, and answer the questions "How?" and "Why?" in your essay. (10 points)

The extent to which you go beyond the surface(s) of ideas and discuss/critically analyze & evaluate the assumptions that drive your statements/class concepts and the implications of those statements/class concepts (the extent to which you explore the hidden, deeper, and more complex issues). (20 points)

Paper utilizes proper APA format, grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. (20 pts)