University of Wisconsin Green Bay
Communication Department

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"Anyone can talk, but few do so strategically"

Case Studies

What you're expected to do


Purpose:  Develop an understanding of key theoretical principles by analyzing specific communication "problems".

Requirements:  All groups are required to make an oral presentation and produce a written paper.  The oral presentation should last about 20 minutes and the group should be prepared to defend the ideas presented.  The written paper is due one week after the initial presentation.  The written version may include responses to class feedback about the oral presentation. 


1.  Describe the details of the communication problem including the situational background, audience analysis, and your grounded assumptions. 

2.  Discuss the nature or the "cause" of the problem.

3.   Discuss your strategy and specific solution. Include relevant documentation. (i.e., speeches, brochures, videotape, etc.)

4.   Describe the rationale for your choices. Show how the solution specifically relates to the principles discussed in the class. 



1.      Professional Style -  Does the case meet professional standards in two areas? 

·        Oral Report – Is the material professionally presented (e.g., organized, creative, interesting, proper visual aids, focused)? Is the defense of the case handled in a professional manner?

·        Written Report – Does the report adhere to professional standards (e.g., well organized, one voice, proper design, well written, proper citations & appendices)?

2.      Communication Principles - Is the rationale for the project based on communication models, theories, research and rules of thumb discussed in the class? Does the group highlight the link between their specific ideas and the principles discussed in the class?

3.      Analytical Methods – Is the case properly and logically analyzed? Are the congruency tests met? Did the group make proper use of Phil’s 7 questions?


Listed below is some advice from former communications students who have successfully trained their neural pathways.

"Taking a Phil class will definitely raise your stress levels.  However, once the class is over, you will realize that it was all worth it."   -Jerome Allen

"Do not concern yourself with what you believe Phil is "looking for" as the "right answer," rather construct a unique solution to the problem and develop a strong line of rationale and you will succeed beyond measure" -Marcus Reitz

"GO TO CLASS!!!  No matter how many notes you print off the website, you will never get all the information!, read, read!  If you don't read, the multiple choice questions in the exams are going to kick your butt!" -Angela Stangel