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Communication Theory

textbook cover image
Looking straight into The Wave, Coyote Butte North, Arizona ( by Frank Kovalchek ( used under a CC-BY license (

Description: This book is an introduction to communication theory — the theory of how humans share, encode, and decode what they know, what they need, and what they expect from each other.


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Adoption (faculty): Contact us if you are using this textbook in your course

Adaptations: Support for adapting an open textbook

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  1. WEBSITE External website. This icon is licensed under a Creative Commons
		Attribution 3.0 License. Copyright Yusuke Kamiyamane. Read this book online
  2. DOWNLOAD PDF file. This icon is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 License. Copyright Yusuke Kamiyamane. Print (.pdf) (1 MB)
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1. Reviewed by: Leanne Rose
  • Institution: Vancouver Island University
  • Title/Position: Faculty/Chair of the CYC department
  • Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The text is very comprehensive in relation to the index. A thorough breakdown of the development of theory is offered, with each major contribution being clearly linked to the theorist. The focus is very theoretical and historical and give that, offers very little in the way of practical application. I would be curious as to the influence of the feminist movement on the development of communication theory and did not find this in the text.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

The content is very thoroughly presented. I did not note any errors. The only bias would appear to be somewhat of a cultural bias, in that it did not address the influence or structures of communication in cultures other than the dominant one.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

Given that it appears to be primarily research history and development "up- to -date" is somewhat irrelevant. It is noteworthy that is does not appear to include some of the theories related to feminism and culture relevancy. I think updating it would be straightforward as the addition of another chapter or two could address this.

Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

Language is a bit complicated for a "fresh out of high school" student. However, terms are explained clearly and some context given on the more complex ideas.

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The framework of the text is nicely presented and consistent throughout the text.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Given the developmental nature of the text, reorganization could pose a challenge. However, within the sections it is readily divisible and lends itself to small pieces of texts being used and assigned at different points within the course.

Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

Very nicely laid out. The headings and subheadings assist the reader in maintaining a flow of understanding.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

Well done. A very more interactive points in the text could make it more interesting for visual learners.

Interface Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

As far as I could see all is good.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

This would be my strongest area of suggestion for improvement. I believe that the text needs to address the research available in other cultures regarding communication theories. Even a paragraph in each chapter with some research history from other cultural groups that might support and or conflict with the dominant theories presented.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

I believe I have addressed these in the review. Given that my profession is really focused on the application of theory this text was a little heavy on just discussing research and not the application of the theory. It would be important to ensure that interpersonal communication research in the areas of disabilities and Aboriginal and other cultural Canadian communities are represented to make this inviting to Canadian students.

Overall, I thought the text was easy to understand and consistent in format.