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The Communication Age

The Communication Age
Connecting and Engaging

Second Edition
Additional resources:

January 2016 | 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The Communication Age: Connecting and Engaging is the most accessible, user friendly introduction to speech communication currently on the market. It is truly a title that not only captures the challenge of teaching this subject but which also rises to that challenge and makes that goal attainable for 21st Century undergrads.” — Dr. Tim Chandler, Hardin-Simmons University


We are in “the communication age.” No matter who you are or how you communicate, we are all members of a society who connect through the internet, not just to it. From face-to-face interactions to all forms of social media, The Communication Age, Second Edition invites you to join the conversation about today’s issues and make your voice heard. This contemporary and engaging text introduces students to the essentials of interpersonal, small group, and public communication while incorporating technology, media, and speech communication to foster civic engagement for a better future.


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Chapter 1: Communication in the 21st Century
The Communication Age  
Benefits of Studying Communication  
What Is Communication?  
Contexts of Communication  
Communication Metaphors  
Communication Competence  
Communication Ethics  
Connecting and Engaging in Communication  
Chapter 2: Perception, Self, and Communication
Perception and Communication  
Self and Communication  
Perception, Self, Communication, and Convergence  
Chapter 3: Verbal Communication
Verbal Versus Nonverbal Communication  
The Building Blocks of Language  
Functions of Verbal Messages  
Production and Interpretation of Verbal Messages  
Verbal Communication and Convergence  
Chapter 4: Nonverbal Communication
Why Does Nonverbal Communication Matter?  
Functions of Nonverbal Communication  
Codes of Nonverbal Communication  
Improving Your Nonverbal Communication Skills  
Nonverbal Communication and Convergence  
Chapter 5: Listening
Hearing Versus Listening  
Listening Problems  
Benefits of Being a Good Listener  
Types of Listening  
Becoming a Better Listener  
Listening and Convergence  
Chapter 6: Communication, Culture, and Diversity
Culture and Diversity Defined  
Cultural Awareness  
Cultural Competence  
Examples of Diversity Across Communication Contexts  
Barriers to Communication, Culture, and Diversity  
Communication, Culture, Diversity, and Convergence  
Chapter 7: Interpersonal Communication
Forming Relationships  
Models of Relationship Formation  
Communication of Interpersonal Relationships  
Interpersonal Communication and Convergence  
Chapter 8: Small Group and Team Communication
What is Small Group Communication?  
Small Group Development  
Small Group Member Roles and Leadership  
Small Group Conflict  
Small Group and Team Communication and Convergence  
Chapter 9: Workplace and Organizational Communication
What Is Workplace Communication?  
Workplace Culture  
Workplace Socialization  
Workplace Dissent  
Workplace Relationships  
Workplace and Organizational Communication and Convergence  
Chapter 10: Communication and New Media
Communication Traditions and Technology  
New Media: Connecting and Engaging  
Characteristics of New Media Theory  
Presenting My Online Identity  
New Media as Your Community  
New Media and Convergence  
Chapter 11: Selecting Your Topic and Knowing Your Audience
What Is the Purpose of Your Presentation?  
Types of Presentations  
How Do I Choose a Topic?  
Audience Analysis  
The Basics of Your Presentation  
Selecting a Topic and Knowing Your Audience and Convergence  
Chapter 12: Researching Your Presentation
Building Credibility With Research  
Finding Information  
Types of Evidence  
Citing Your Sources  
Research and Convergence  
Chapter 13: Organizing Your Presentation
Telling a Story  
Organizational Patterns  
Introducing the Topic  
Time Considerations  
Organizing Your Presentation and Convergence  
Chapter 14: Delivering Your Presentations
How to Reduce Your Anxiety and Fear Over Presentations  
Methods of Delivery  
Effective Delivery Skills  
Multimedia Presentational Aids  
Delivery in Presentations and Convergence  
Chapter 15: Informative Presentations
The Difference Between Informative and Persuasive Presentations  
Relating Your Topic to the Audience  
Types of Informative Presentations  
Strategies for Informative Presentations  
Samples of Informative Presentations  
Informative Presentations and Convergence  
Chapter 16: Persuasive Presentations
Types of Persuasive Claims  
Crafting Persuasive Arguments  
Strategies to Persuade  
Organizing Your Persuasive Presentation  
Samples of Persuasive Presentations  
Persuasive Presentations and Convergence  
Appendix: Interviewing in the Communication Age
Basics of Interviewing  
Types of Questions  
Structure of the Interview  
The Interview Environment  
Types of Interviews  
Interviewing and Convergence  


Student Study Site

SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning in an easy-to-use environment that offers:

  • Mobile-friendly flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, and make it easy to maximize your study time, anywhere, anytime
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow you to assess how much you’ve learned and where you need to focus your attention
  • A customized online action plan that includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials
  • Learning objectives and summaries that reinforce the most important material
  • Chapter-specific study questions that allow you to engage with the material
  • SAGE Premium Video, tied to learning objectives and curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life, featuring:
  • Engaging Communication in Action and Speeches in Action videos
  • Want access to more SAGE Premium Video? Ask your instructor about the YouSeeU for The Communication Age, where you can access even more video resources and digital tools.
  • Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives, and make learning easier
  • EXCLUSIVE access to full-text SAGE journal articles and other readings, which support and expand on chapter concepts 


Instructor Resource Site

SAGE COURSEPACKS FOR INSTRUCTORS makes it easy to import our quality content into your school’s LMS. Intuitive and simple to use, it allows you to



Say NO to…

·         required access codes

·         learning a new system


Say YES to…

·         using only the content you want and need

·         high-quality assessment and multimedia exercises

For use in: Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

Don’t use an LMS platform? No problem, you can still access many of the online resources for your text via SAGE edge.


SAGE coursepacks includes:

  • Our content delivered directly into your LMS
  • Intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort
  • Pedagogically robust assessment tools that foster review, practice, and critical thinking, and offer a more complete way to measure student engagement, including:

o    Diagnostic chapter pre tests and post tests that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives

o    Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation

o    Activity and quiz options that allow you to choose only the assignments and tests you want

o    Instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided

  • Chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to different learning styles, featuring:
    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options that automatically feed to your gradebook
      • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions
      • Over 100 video clips highlighting tips for improvement and 18 full-length professional speeches and model student speeches
      • 3 full length speeches include embedded PowerPoint slides for students to reference when creating visual aids.
  • Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives and make learning easier
  • EXCLUSIVE, influential SAGE journal and reference content, built into course materials and assessment tools, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • Sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring your course that give you options to customize your course in a way that is perfect for you
  • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for your students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources
  • All tables and figures from the textbook




The Communication Age: Connecting and Engaging is the most accessible, user friendly introduction to speech communication currently on the market. It is truly a title that not only captures the challenge of teaching this subject but which also rises to that challenge and makes that goal attainable for 21st Century undergrads.”

Dr. Tim Chandler
Hardin-Simmons University

"This generation of students learns differently, approach life differently, and has a different set of goals than generations in the past. The whole tone and theme of this book is just that! It embraces life in the communication age and the civic-mindedness of our current students. From the relevant real life scenarios presented by the authors to the Career Frontier feature, which offers practical strategies for communication competence in the workplace, this book has been so useful for me in the classroom. It's definitely more accessible/relevant than other textbooks on the market." 

Jaime Bochantin
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

“The Communication Age is a thought-provoking reflection of how we have arrived at a time in which traditional means of communicating are intricately intertwined with new technologies.  Through the authors’ modern, conversational writing style and extensive connection to current issues, the information in the text demonstrates a keen sense of understanding how to reach Millennial (Digital Native) students while also appealing to their Generation X (Digital Immigrant) professors.  It is a solid base and a must read for any course that is designed to blend 21st century communication concepts with public speaking mastery.” 

Deborah Sheffield
William Paterson University

Good overall text on communications with an especially nice treatment of communications within the organization.

Dr John Duffy
Public Administration, University Of Alaska
November 20, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

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For instructors

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