Recommended Readings

There are many books and journals available on communication research, as a visit to your campus library will indicate. Many journals ranging from administrative theory to women’s studies may also focus on human communication. A few key journal titles are listed below. Chapter 4, “You Could Look It Up: Reading, Recording, and Reviewing Research,” will move us on to developing more relevant, targeted lists of readings.

Journal Article 12.1: Carter, C. (2015). Rhetorical exposures: Confrontation and contradiction in US documentary photography. Tuscaloosa, AL: University Alabama Press.


Journal Article 12.2: Dean, D. (2005). Fear, negative campaigning and loathing: The case of the UK election campaign. Journal of Marketing Management, 21, 1067–1078.

Description: This paper uses Aristotle’s concept of rhetoric as a basis for understanding how messages are conveyed to the electorate.

Journal Article 12.3: Shanahan, F., & Seele, P. (2015). Shorting ethos: Exploring the relationship between Aristotle’s ethos and reputation management. Corporate Reputation Review, 18(1), 37–49. doi: 10.1057/crr.2014.19

Description: Explores the role of Aristotle’s notion of ethos in corporate reputation and repairing reputational damage.


Journal Article 12.4: Adams, A. S. (2013). Needs met through role-playing games: A fantasy theme analysis of Dungeons & Dragons. Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research, 12, 69–86.

Description: Using fantasy theme analysis, this study identifies four themes within D&D player talk on Facebook: democratic ideologies, friendship maintenance, extraordinary experiences, and good versus evil.

Journal Article 12.5: Bormann, E. G. (1972). Fantasy and rhetorical vision: The rhetorical criticism of social reality. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 58, 396–407.

Description: An overview of fantasy theme analysis.


Journal Article 12.6: Foss, S. K. (Ed.). (2018). Rhetorical criticism: Exploration and practice (5th ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

Description: Discussion and examples of Burke’s work and pentadic criticism. Also includes chapters on fantasy theme, metaphor, and narrative criticism.

Journal Article 12.7: Milford, M. (2015). Kenneth Burke’s punitive priests and the redeeming prophets: The NCAA, the college sports media, and the University of Miami scandal. Communication Studies, 66(1), 45–62. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2013.856806.

Description: A Burkean analysis of organizational adaptation to new circumstances.

Conversation Analysis

Journal Article 12.8: Clifton, J. (2006), A conversation analytical approach to business communication: The case of leadership. Journal of Business Communication, 43(3), 202–219.

Description: A study of the normally unnoticed machinery of talk by which leadership in a group is enacted.

Journal Article 12.9: Richards, K., & Seedhouse, P. (2005). Applying conversation analysis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Description: See in particular the chapter on conversation analysis as a research methodology.

Discourse Analysis

Journal Article 12.10: Bingham, A. (2010, Winter). Discourse of the Dammed: A study of the impacts of sustainable development discourse on indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon in the context of the proposed Belo Monte hydroelectric dam. POLIS Journal, 4, 1–47.

Description: A discourse analysis study of a dominant discourse of sustainable development based on science, technology, and management versus a secondary discourse of decentralization and full participation and the impact of the former on indigenous peoples.

Journal Article 12.11: Gee, J. P. (Ed.). (2014). An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Description: An introductory text that discusses a variety of approaches to discourse analysis.


Journal Article 12.12: Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Description: Discusses metaphor and its role in our lives. Why is “up” good and “down” bad, for example?

Narrative Analysis

Journal Article 12.13: Nettleton, P. H. (2011). Domestic violence in men’s and women’s magazines: Women are guilty of choosing the wrong men, men are not guilty of hitting women. Women’s Studies in Communication, 34(2), 139–160. doi: 10.1080/07491409.2011.618240.

Description: Using narrative analysis, this study found that men’s magazines show ongoing tolerance for domestic violence and that women’s magazines hold women responsible for male violence.


Journal Article 12.14: Chandler, D. (2007). Semiotics: The basics (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

Description: An overview of semiotics. Shows how language and signs cannot be regarded as neutral carriers of meaning.

Journal Article 12.15: Floch, J. (2001). Semiotics, marketing and communication: Beneath the signs, the strategies. New York: Palgrave.

Description: An overview of semiotic theory and its application using specific examples from advertising and marketing.

Journal Article 12.16: Harrison, C. (2003). Visual social semiotics: Understanding how still images make meaning. Technical Communication, 50(1), 46–60.

Description: A paper, illustrated with examples, on analyzing imagery in documents and websites. Discusses the relationship of words and text and how to choose images to enhance text.

Journal Article 12.17: Zhao, S., Djonov, E., & van Leeuwen, T. (2014). Semiotic technology and practice: A multimodal social semiotic approach to PowerPoint. Text & Talk, 34(3), 349–375. doi: 10.1515/text-2014-0005

Description: Considers PowerPoint as a semiotic practice with three dimensions—the software’s design, the multimodal composition of slide shows, and their presentation.