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Communicating a problem | english | University of Maryland University College


This discussion topic is designed to help you consider a problem in your workplace or community and to design strategies in communicating about it.  This discussion topic might help you approach your final research-based report in WRTG 394.

First, please access and read through the following  articles about communication inhibitors.

  • Dr. K. Usha Rani, “Communication Barriers”
  • Lumen Learning, “Communication Barriers”

These items are available as eReserves in our class in LEO. You can access the articles by taking the following steps:

• click Content
• select Class Resources
• select eReserves
• select the icon for eReserves in the middle of your page.
• in the list of items that appears, locate the articles and download them

Then, respond to this discussion topic by completing the following tasks:

Please think of an example of a problem with communication in your workplace or your community .  Then answer the following five questions with regard to that problem.  Post your answers to this discussion topic. 

  1. What is the specific problem with communication?
  2. Does the problem represent an example of one of the barriers that the articles that Dr. Rani and Lumen Learning identify?  If so, which one(s)?
  3. What are some possible communication strategies in notifying someone about the problem?
  4. What is the best course of action for you to take in solving the problem?
  5. What is the best way for you to communicate this problem to the relevant individuals?


An example of how to respond to this discussion topic is the following:

1. What is the specific problem with communication?

I am on a committee at work.  There are five members of the committee.  However, three of the members telework two days a week, and, as a result, we can never meet face-to-face.  Our meetings are not very productive because some of us are in the room during the meeting while some of us are on the phone during the meeting.  

2. Does the problem represent an example of one of the barriers that the articles by Dr. Rani and Lumen Learning identify?  If so, which one(s)?

Yes.  This is an example of a channel barrier.  The medium chosen for our type of communication — online meeting software — is not suitable or appropriate for our context.

3. What are some possible communication strategies in notifying someone about the problem?

I could email my supervisor, who formed the committee.

4. What is the best course of action for you to take in solving the problem?

Our committee was formed for a specific duration of time.  We have two months remaining for our committee. 

I think we should arrange for everyone to be in the office on the same day each week for this two months.  We could hold our committee meetings on that day of the week. This arrangement would solve the problem in that we would all be physically in the room for the meeting.

5. What is the best way for you to communicate this problem to the relevant individuals?

A series of messages would be preferred in this case.  They would be the following:

I could send an email message to my supervisor.  In that email message, I would note the following:

  • how many times we have met
  • what types of communication problems have occurred during our meetings that have caused the meetings to be less than productive

I could then outline a plan for having everyone in the office one day during the week so that we could hold our meetings on that day.

710View profile card for Christina RatliffChristina Ratliff2 hours ago

Must post first.

Your response to this discussion is due by this week Friday  before midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST).

You are also asked to respond to at least one other student in the class on his or her response.

Your response to your fellow student is due by this week Sunday  before midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Please note that you will not be able to see other students’ responses to this discussion topic until you post your response.


This discussion topic is designed to give you the opportunity to peruse the assignments that a previous student in WRTG 394 wrote as she successfully completed the class.

This task will allow you to begin thinking about and planning for your WRTG 394 research writing assignments, the Synthesis Literature Review, the Research Proposal Memo, and the Research-Based Report. 

NOTE:This is not your first writing assignment. This is a discussion topic designed to help you begin thinking about the three research-related writing assignments in WRTG 394

In the Content area of the 394 classroom under the heading Sample Papers, open the “Wellness Program” and you will find the following:

  • sample synthesis literature review (WA #2)
  • sample research proposal memo (WA #3)
  • sample research-based report (WA#4)

Note that the student used the same topic for all three of these assignments. NOTE ALSO: the student cited sources and created the reference pages using APA 6th Edition.

Please use these sample papers to help you answer the following questions:

1.Peruse the sample Synthesis Lit Review (WA#2). This assignment calls for the student writer to use scholarly (academic) and professional (trade) sources. Does the student do this successfully? Name one example of each type of source used in this sample student-written assignment.

2. Examine the sample Research Proposal Memo (WA#3). Has the writer identified a problem and suggested possible solutions? What has the writer asked permission to do? What kind of primary research has the writer proposed to do?

3. Take a look at the sample Research Report (WA#4). Has the writer followed through on conducting and using the primary research proposed in the memo in the report? How has the writer presented the research?

 ( Due to the Corona virus pandemic you may not be able to do primary research for your later writing assignments, the proposal memo and research report; however, it’s important that you know how and why this research is used in business reports.)

4.  One final task. Look at the secondary research sources used in the Synthesis Lit Review and the Research Report.  Writing on the same topic for WA#2 and WA#4 made the writing of the research report an easier task than it would have been if different topics had been chosen.  Comment on how the writing on the same topic for both these assignments helped the writer. 

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