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1 Introduction to Communication Skills 1

1.1 Learning Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.3 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
•.1 A few concepts to note and clarify in the
above definition: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.4 The Communication Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.5 Quality/Effective Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.6 Barriers to effective communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.7 The 7Cs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.8 The communication medium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.9 Levels of Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.10 Forms of communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

2 Verbal Communication 21
2.1 Learning Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
2.2 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.3 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.4 Oral Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.4.1 Factors that make oral communication effective . . . . . . . 24
2.4.2 Advantages of oral communication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
2.4.3 Disadvantages of oral communication. . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
2.5 Written Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
2.5.1 Selected Written Forms of Communication . . . . . . . . . 27
• Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
• Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
PORT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
• FORMAL REPORT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
• Minutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
• Curriculum Vitae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
2.6 Non-verbal Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
2.7 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
2.8 Audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
2.9 Visual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
2.10 Audio-visual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
2.11 Body language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
2.12 Non-verbal Communication Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

3 Patterns and Techniques in Communication 47

3.1 Learning Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
3.2 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
3.3 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
3.4 Formal communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
3.5 Vertical Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
3.5.1 Advantages of vertical communication . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
3.5.2 Disadvantages of vertical communication . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.6 Horizontal / Lateral Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.7 Diagonal Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.8 Grapevine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.9 Techniques in Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
3.9.1 Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

4 Techniques in Communication 57
4.1 Listening skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
• Different stages in listening . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
4.2 Reading skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.3 Writing skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65


5 Sources of Information & use of Technology in Communication 66

5.1 Learning Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
5.2 INTERVIEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
5.2.1 face to face interviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
5.2.2 Stages of an interview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
5.3 Questionnaires. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
5.4 Observation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
5.5 Experiementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
5.6 Technology in Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
5.7 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

6 Information literacy skills 81

6.1 Introduction and course overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
6.2 Understanding Information Literacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
6.2.1 What is information Literacy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
6.3 Information Needs and Information Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
6.3.1 Defining a Topic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
• Selecting a topic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
• Refining your topic: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
• State your topic as a question . . . . . . . . . . . 85
• Narrow or broaden your topic if needed . . . . . . 85
• Determining information needs . . . . . . . . . . 86
6.4 Types of information sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
6.4.1 Primary Sources: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
6.4.2 Secondary Sources: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
6.4.3 Tertiary Sources: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
6.4.4 Popular Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals . . . . . . . . . . 90
6.4.5 Formats of information sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
• Where to Find Information Sources: . . . . . . . 93

7 Access to Information 98
7.1 Searching for information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
7.2 What is a database? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
7.2.1 Types of Databases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
7.2.2 Selecting a Database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99


7.2.3 Searching strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

7.2.4 Identifying search terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
7.2.5 Boolean operators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
7.2.6 Truncation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
7.2.7 Searching the library catalogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
7.2.8 Keyword Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
• Subject Heading Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
• Searching the library databases . . . . . . . . . . 111
• Library Databases vs. Google . . . . . . . . . . . 111
• Library databases Vs Web Resources . . . . . . . 112

8 Evaluating Information Sources 115

8.1 Introduction: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
8.2 Evaluating sources for credibility: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

9 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues for Use of Information 122

9.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
9.2 What is plagiarism? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
9.3 Common forms of plagiarism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
9.3.1 How to Avoid Plagiarism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
9.4 Citing and Documenting Sources: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
9.4.1 APA Referencing/Citation style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
9.5 Periodicals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
9.6 MLA Citation Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
9.6.1 Book with two or three authors: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
9.6.2 Book with an editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
9.6.3 Chapter in an edited book: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
9.7 Print Journal article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
9.7.1 E-journal article: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
9.7.2 Websites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
9.7.3 Conference Proceedings: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
9.8 Some Common Referencing Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

10 The impact of information and communication technologies in society 138

10.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138


10.1.1 Factors contributing to the important role of information . . 139

• Positive impacts of ICT on people . . . . . . . . . 140
• Some negative impacts of ICT on people: . . . . . 141
10.1.2 Impacts on society: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
10.1.3 Developments of Electronic Commerce: . . . . . . . . . . . 143
• Business to Business (B2B) . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
• Business to Customer (B2C) . . . . . . . . . . . 143
• Customer to Business (C2B) . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
• Customer to Customer (C2C) . . . . . . . . . . . 144
10.2 E- Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
10.2.1 Improving Government Processes: eAdministration . . . . 144
10.2.2 Building External Interactions: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
• Some other popular applications: . . . . . . . . . 145
10.3 The digital divide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
10.3.1 Key indicators of the digital divide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
10.3.2 Bridging the digital divide – narrowing the gap . . . . . . . 146
Solutions to Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

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Introduction to Communication Skills

1.1. Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this topic you should be able to:

• Define communication

• Highlight the two main types of communication

• Describe the essentials of communication

• Describe the communication process

• Explain the characteristics of effective communication

• Outline the barriers to effective communication and how to overcome them.

• Explain the various levels of communication.

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1.2. Introduction
Hallo. Welcome to Communication Skills! All human relations, be it formal or
non-formal, official or unofficial are created, developed and sustained through com-
munication. As such it is not only important to carry out communication as a means
to facilitating these relationships but to acquire it as an essential skill of life. This
basically underlines the necessity of the study of this unit as a whole. In this les-
son, we shall acquint ourselves with communication as a process and how we can
make this process as effective as possible during its execution at all levels. As it is
common practice in learning any discipline, we shall also evaluate the barriers to
effective communication and how to overcome them - afterall, knowing your en-
emy, is a big step towards beating the enemy! Let’s start this exiting journey by
defining Communication and other relevant terms that we will use throughout this

1.3. Definition
Communication refers to the conveying of ideas from the mind of one person to the
mind of another which takes place between two or more people, (Harding, 1985 ).
Simply put, it implies that when a person has some idea, they can easily transfer
this idea as it is, to another person’s mind or other people’s minds with no dificulty.
That is, the idea can just be thrown like a ball to another person, passed like water
flowing from one point of a pipe to another. However, this is not usually true as
we will learn soon that people do not always manage to transfer thier ideas to other
people and the ideas are received wholly or fully as was intended. Otherwise, we
would not have such expressions commonly found in communication scenarios as:
misunderstanding, misinterpretation, miscommunication, etc. It is also important to
note that when we use such verbs like ’conveying, transferring, passing’, it brings
to the mind the use of some sort of means or methode to do this. We will learn
more about this means in the later sections. The above definition leads to what
communicators have termed as the traditional conduit model of the communication
process, depicted in fig. 1.1 below:

The traditional conduit method of communication has been criticized for being shal-
low and misleading because:

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Figure 1.1: The Conduit model of the Communication process

• It simply depicts communication as a hollow pipe through which info flows

smoothly without any interference

• It assumes that the intended meaning is always transferred to the other person
which is not realistic

• It does not indicate if there is any shared meaning between the communicators

From the above it has become clear that a better definition of communication is
required. Let us find out what other scholars say. According to Angelo and Robert
(1987 ), communication has been defined as “the exchange of ideas or information
between a ’sender’ and a ’receiver’, and the inference or perception of meaning
between the individuals or parties involved or concerned. An analysis of this ex-
change reveals that communication is a two - way process, consisting of consec-
utively linked elements, in which the sender and the receiver keep changing roles
until an agreement is reached”. This is a more comprehensive definition of commu-
nication, as it implies the perception of meaning (shared meaning, or understanding)
between individuals or parties involved.

•.1. A few concepts to note and clarify in the above definition:

1. Exchange - the use of this verb ’to exchange implies that there is a king of
“give and take” situation between the individuals or parties involved in the
communication. For instance, in fig.1 above, there some communication be-
tween persons A and B. The arrows indicate that person A gets an idea, which
he/she passes to person B. Person B does not just keep quiet, he/she gets an-
other idea that he/she passes to person A.

2. Sender and Receiver - this specification is important as it means that for

maeningful communication to take place, there must be particular designated
individual, groups, or organizations involved in the communication, not just
people who are at large or undefined.

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3. Two - way process - the two - wayness of communication is brought about

by the concept of exchange explained in 1, above. It is not a unidirectional
activity, both individuals or parties must be actively engaged in giving and
taking of ideas or information from the other party. The term process suggests
that communication takes place at different distinct stages of development
which are so crucial for the success of that communication. Each of this
stages form the elements of the process which are consecutively linked, i.e
follow one another in a systematic order. If any of these elements is not given
due considration in the communication process the a break-down occurs.

4. Perception or Inference - when we are confronted with some new idea or in-
formation, we think about it, digest it and create some meaning out of it in our
mind. This mind picture (how we understand the idea) is know as perception
or an inference of meaning. People percieve (understand) things, ideas or
even objects depending on how they were brought up or socialized, i.e based
on how they were introduced to and what they have been told about these
things, ideas and objects by their parents, family members and the larger
society. In other words, communication is culture-based. For example, we
have about 42 different tribes, speaking different languages in Kenya. Differ-
ent words/objects/symbols mean different things to these tribes, and in some
cases, the same word/object/symbol would mean different things to members
of different tribes. Consider the Example below:

Example . What would an animal like a cat mean or symbolize to your friends
from the following tribes living in Kenya?
a) Luo
b) Mijikenda
Solution: To the Luo it is simply a pet and a protection against other unwanted
animals in the home like rats and snakes, while to the Mijikenda from the coast it
will symbolize a bad omen, or mashetani

1.4. The Communication Process

We have said that communication is a two-way process consisting of consecutively
linked elements. Let’s take a brief moment to analyze these elements in order to

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Figure 1.2:

understand the role each of them play in this process. We will use fig. 1.2 below as
an illustration of the continuously linked elements of the communication process.
Beginning from the arrows indicate the direction of the flow of information or idea.

We will now try to understand each of these elements:

1. Sender - Who is the sender? What role does a sender play in the communi-
cation process? This is the originator of any one given information. He/she
concieves an idea, does encoding and creates a message and then looks for
and decides on a suitable method to pass that message on to the receiver. He
actively seeks a feedback, which he decodes to create meaning. The commu-
nication process begins with the sender.

2. Encoding - This refers to the process of transforming a mental idea or picture

into a language that the receiver can understand. The language in this case
does not only mean a description in the words of spoken languages like En-
glish or Swahili or French, but also any signs, diagrams and even photgraphs.
Encoding is important as it enables the sender to think through their idea and
come up with the most suitable way of sharing the idea with others thereby
transfering the intended meaning.

3. Message - This is the output or outcome of the encoding process. Depending

on the complexity of the idea, a sender may decide to use words which are
spoken or written, draw a diagram, use a map or anything that can help a
receiver understand the idea the the sender has. The message carries the

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import of communication and without clear, appropriate message, meaning

will never be transfered accurately between any two communicators.

4. Medium - It is the means, method or channel used to pass some information

or message to a receiver. Various media exist ranging from formal numeric
like computer print out showing the last 10 transactions someone has done in
a bank account obtained from an ATM to a face-to-face form like a meeting.
The medium is as crucial as the message itself and a considerable thought
must be given to its choice. We will look into this in greater details later.

5. Receiver - What do we mean by a receiver in the communication process?

It is the person, or group of people or the organization for whom/which a
message is intended. Mark this word intended. It means that there must be a
particular, designated person, or audience, or organization the sender wanted
to reach with the message. If the message went to any other parties they may
find it irrelevant ant meaningless, The receiver decodes an information from a
sender, transforms it into a mental picture, creatses meaning out it (interprets
the message), and comes up with a new message to be given back to the

6. Decoding - This is process of transforming the information/ message so re-

ceived into a mental picture thereby creating meaning out of it. It is usually
carried out by the receiver. If wrongly done, the receiver ends up with wrong
mental picture and fails to get the intended meaning of the sender. This will
result in a wrong feedback leading to a total communication breakdown.

7. Feedback - This describes the response or reaction of a receiver to some mes-

sage or information given back to an original sender. Once a receiver creates
meaning out a message received, they will be ready to respond. At this point
the second half of the communication process begins, the change of roles oc-
curs - the receiver becomes the sender while the sender becomes the receiver.
It is important to note that feedback completes the communiction process.
The greatest role of the feedback is to enable the parties involved in the com-
munication to make a decision as what is the next step. This particularly
important to business managers and all people in general.

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8. Noise - Also known as barriers to effective refers to anything that interferes

with the information or the communication process at any of its stages. There
are a number of barriers ranging from physical distraction to semantic and
linguitic barriers. This are explained in details the sections below. The ar-
rows from the oval marked ’noise’ in fig. 2 above point to the stages of the
communication process that can be affected by various ’Noises’. It is this
noise that causes misunderstanding, miscommunication and even complete
failure in communication.

Example . Identify the roles that the sender and receiver keep changing in the
communication process.
Solution: The role of sending and receiving messages . At the initial stage the
sender originates the message sends it to the receiver, at the creation of the feedback,
the receiver becomes the sender and the initial sender becomes the receiver.
E XERCISE 1.  a) Why is communication described as a process?
b) Use about ten sentences to create a paragraph describing the communication

1.5. Quality/Effective Communication

The other important terminology we must understand is what is meant by Quality
communication or Effective communication. Quality or effective communication
is defined as communication in which the receiver gets the intended meaning of the
message from the sender. How can this be achieved? Several factors come into play
in determing the effectiveness of communication. These can be looked at from the
following three perspectives:

• Communication that is free from all noise or barriers can be said to be effec-

• Communication which adheres to the 7Cs can be said to be effective;

• Communication in which the ‘Information richness’ of the medium is appro-

priately matched with the ‘complexity’ of the problem/situation at hand can
also be said to be effective.

These are discussed in details in the following sections:

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1.6. Barriers to effective communication

A communication barrier, also known as noise, is anything that hinders or interferes
with the communication at any of the stages of the communication process. There
are many barriers which can be summarized into six major categories as below:

1. Physical distractions – anything in the physical environment where commu-

nication is taking place e.g. noise from planes taking off, telephone rings
during a meeting, extreme weather conditions, or physical distance between
the communicators.

2. Sender characteristics – personal attributes associated with the sender e.

g wrong or poor attitude towards sender, stereotyping, lack of sympathy for
sender, unclear non-specific message (technical or business jargons), physical
appearance, mannerisms, etc.

3. Receiver characteristics – these can be as a result of wrong attitude of the

receiver towards a sender, unreceptiveness to new ideas, inability to concen-
trate, prejudice, lack of empathy for sender among others.

4. Sender/receiver differences - these include differences in age, gender, cul-

tural background, educational background/level, past experiences, personal
preferences and level of exposure.

5. Psychological/Mental/Emotional distractions - this may be caused by stress

related problems, extreme feelings of anger or excitement, mental pre-occupations,
and mental illness.

6. Semantic/Linguistic barriers - these are things such as differences in lan-

guages spoken by the sender and the receiver. If the two do not have a
common language which they can use to communicate, it becomes a barrier.
Others may include discriminative language, pronunciation and articulation
problems, words that sound or look similar but have different meanings to the
communicators, etc.

Overcoming communication barriers

The basic principle is to identify the barrier or barriers and deal with them effec-
tively. Below are some suggestions on how the various barriers can be overcome:

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Physical distractions can be overcome by:

1. Holding meetings in a noise free environment;

2. In addition, take staff away from the normal workplace to avoid temptation
to sneak out of meetings to attend to pending work in the office;

3. Moreover, switch off mobile phone during a meeting or put them on a silent
mode to avoid disruptions;

4. Also,meeting rooms should be of suitable size depending on the number of

people involved, temperatures should be moderate, etc.

5. Besides that, take into account the different geographical time-zones and im-
plications these may have on communication when deciding which media to

Sender oriented barriers can be lessened through:

1. Approaching all communication situations with a right (neutral) attitude to-

wards the receiver

2. Always avoid stereo-typing

3. Moreso, have emphathy for receiver i.e asking the question: “If I were the
one receiving this message, what would I feel about it?”

4. Remember to always compose clear, specific messages

5. Taking care of ones physical appearance and mannerisms by being ’well


A receiver can eliminate barriers associated with him by practising the following:

1. Adopting the right attitude towards the sender

2. Always show interest in what the sender has to say as opposed to dismissing
it as not intereting before it is tabled.

3. Moreover, he or she should be deliberately open and receptive to new ideas.

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4. In addition to this, embrace emotional intelligence- try to be empathetic to

the sender.

5. It is essential to have a clear mind in order to be able to concentrate on the

message being deliverred.

6. Ask questions that seek clarification on the messgae if need be.

Sender/receiver differences can be overcome by practising the following:

1. Being professional, especially in an organisational setup- personal differences

should be kept aside when handling official issues in communication.

2. Being diplomatic, in the event of conflict between sender and receiver, the
two parties should embrace dialogue and reach an amicable solution to their

3. Avoid social discrimination by embracing one another and be willing to com-

municate despite cultural, age or gender differences(ethical practice).

4. Both parties should embrace their differences as a means to build experience

in interacting with different people (attitudinal correction).

5. Embrace variety as a vital principal for development- different people provide

several different views which create a pool of ideas that is necessary for any
development in an organisation.

Psychological, mental and emotional distractions can be undone in various ways:

1. The handlers of staff should be willing to allow them time to sort out social
issues that make them emotional e.g. death of a relative, delivery of a child.

2. Avoid saying anything when you are extremely emotional, be it angry,sorrowful,

or extremely excited.

3. People experiencing psychological stress should take up therapy to relieve

them of stress.

4. In the event of mental illness, please seek medical advice and treatment if

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Linguistic barriers can be overcome through the following ways:

1. In the event of absence of a common language, skilled interpreters should be

engaged to foster communication.

2. Avoid the use of homonyms (words that sound the same and have more than
one meaning), this reduces a great deal the risk of misinterpretation.

3. Both the sender and receiver should make it a habit to speak proper language-
use proper sentence structure, accurate pronunciation and articulation just to
mention a few.

4. Have clarity of speech- use adequate volume in your speech that you may be
heard properly.

5. Take diction into account- be sure of the meaning of your choice words before
you use them.

1.7. The 7Cs

1. Clarity: This refers to the choice and use of simple, precise, familiar right
words and short sentences to express your ideas.

2. Courtesy: this refers to sincere and genuine expressions that stem out of
respect and care for others. It involves being sincere, avoiding anger and
extreme rapture, refraining from preaching, and use of positive words.

3. Conciseness: It means being precise and straight to the point. It is achieved

by eliminating all redundant words.

4. Correctness: it refers to correct use of grammar, message composition, ap-

propriate words and adapting the right level of communication to suit the
receiver’s level.

5. Concreteness: it refers to having precision and being factual. it is the oppo-

site of being abstract and vague.

6. Consideration: it refers to giving due importance to the receiver, keeping

in mind the various factors like price, delivery date, specifications and other
benefits from the receiver’s side.

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7. Completeness: it refers to not only providing all the necessary information,

but also how the matter is put across to the receiver. The substance and style
of the receiver must go hand in hand.

1.8. The communication medium

As mentioned earlier, this element is so important in enhancing communication that
it is worth dedicating considerable time, effort and thought in choosing or selecting
the most appropriate communication medium in any communication arena. The
method, means or ways through which we pass messages to others will greatly in-
fluence the perception of these others of the message thus influencing effectiveness.
In this section we learn about two methods of selecting a communication medium:
1) The general factors, and 2) The contingency approach to medium selection.

General factors to consider when choosing/selecting a communication medium:

• Degree of urgency with which feedback is required.

• Whether for internal or external purposes.

• The organizational structure in place.

• Physical distance between communicators.

• Time of day or season.

• Need for accuracy.

• Importance of a written record.

• Legal requirements.

• Confidentiality.

• Security.

• Credibility.

• Complexity of material to be communicated.

• Availability of the medium to both the sender and receiver.

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• Level of technology required.

• Impression one desires to create.

• Status of the recipient.

• Nature of the message.

• Speed - how fast the information must reach the receiver,

• The cost - how cheap or expensive is the means?

• The size of the intended audience.

This list provides very good guidelines for communicators to use when deciding
which medium to use for which communication. However, in business management
it may prove too long and cumbersome to go through. Most of the cases managers
do not have too much time at their disposition. This necessitates the need for a
method that can help them make quicker decisions, hence the contingency approach
to meia selection.

The contingency approach to media selection:

This is the approach which is widely used by managers to select an appropriate
communication medium. It is based on two factors: the Information Richness of
the medium and the complexity of the problem or the situation at hand. In this the
different communication media are grouped into five major categories, namely:

1. Face -to-face

2. Telephone

3. Personal written

4. Formal written

5. Formal numeric.

So what is the ’information richness’ of a medium, and how do we determine it?

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Table 1.1: Determinants of Information Richness of a Medium

Definition. The information richness of a medium is defined as ’the potential infor-

mation carrying capacity of a given datum of communication’.If communication of
an item of data provides substantial new understanding then it will be considered
high in richness. If the datum provides little understanding then it will be consid-
ered low in richness. For example, if a wink of an eye, during a conversation would
add new meaning to what is being said, then we consider such a datum rich in infor-
mation. To determine the information richness of a medium, the following factors
are considered:

1. Feedback - how fast it can be obtained

2. Channel - ranging from a combination of audio and visual to limited visual

3. Type of communication - ranging from personal to impersonal

4. Language source - ranging from a combination of body and natural to natural

The frame work below will help you understand how this works:

Interpretation. This framework shows that face to face communication is highest

in information richness as it allows for immediate feedback, one can hear
what is being said as well as observe body language, it is more personal in
terms of tone and approach and language source is the entire body that makes
it less artificial. On the other hand, formal numeric has the lowest information
richness when you consider the four important factors.

Let’s have a look at the complexity of the problem at hand:

Definition. Managers face situations of different complexity: Complexity implies

the level of difficulty in understanding or analyzing a problem. A highly complex
managerial problem is one with the following characteristics:

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• ambiguous,

• unpredictable or unexpected/unforeseen,

• hard to analyze and understand

• has no laid down procedures of solving it, and

• is generally emotionally ladden.

Managers spend more time analyzing such because they rely on more sources of
information during their deliberation. There are no straight forward solutions to
such problems or situations.
An example of such a problem is a major re-organization in an institution or a firm,
where some established departments have to merged into one department and others
split or new ones created. The dilemma will be when two or more departments are
merged, which of the existing HOD’s becomes the head of the new department?
What do you do with the other one(s) that now have no department to head? How
best can this be communicated to the affected parties? On the contrary, a problem
that is low in coplexity is one which is:

• simple and easy to understand

• predictable

• has laid down procedures of solving it

• routine

• non-emotional involving

Take the case of preparing a monthly pay for a new employee in an organization,
for example, all the Human Resource Manager needs to do is to inform the salary
section of the effective date of employment and the grade or scale of entry point
of the employee, they will easily come up with the employee’s payslip as most
organizations have predetermined pay packages for all levels of employees. This a
problem which is low in complexity.
Having understood these concepts, we can look at the contingency approach to
media selection. This is usually presented in the form of a gragh a shown in fig

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Figure 1.3: Contingency model of Selecting a Model


The model above is based on the interaction between the information richness of a
mediun, ranging from low to high along the vertical axis, and the complexity of the
problem, also ranging from low to high along the horizontal axis. It is divided into
three major zones or areas which are explained below:

• Overload Zone - The medium chosen provides more information than nec-
essary. For example, if all a person with a savings account in a bank wanted
to know is how much is in the account, then books an appointment for a face-
to-face meeting with CEO of the bank to get that information, the graph when
plotted will fall in the overlaod zone. Face to face medium like the meeting is
a rich medium and should br used to solve amore complex problem. This area
represents a zone of ineffective communication. Like in this case the CEO of
the bank will be wondering if this particular client is in his right senses!

• Oversimplification Zone - The medium chosen provides very little or in-

adequate information to help one make a decision, e.g the use of a simple
medium like an informal notice to inform staff of a take-over of the company
by another company. There will be too many questions from the staff due
to anxiety and future uncertainties whose answers cannot be provided in the
notice! This represents another area of ineffective communication. A more
rich medium should be used to provide a solution to such a complex problem
contained in the example.

• Zone of effective communication - In this middle zone, the Information

richness of the medium is correctly matched with Complexity of a problem

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at hand. For instance, imagine a simple problem like wanting to know the
balance in ones bank account, all the person needs to do is access this infor-
mation from a computer generated print out through an ATM machine, or at
home through the mobile phone - a formal numeric. Or, in the case of busi-
ness mergers, or acquisitions elaborate meetings with affected parties would
be most appropriate - a face-to-face medium.

According to this approach therefore, effective communication is defined as any

communication in which the information richness of a medium of communication
is appropriately matched with the complexity of the problem and hand.

1.9. Levels of Communication

It is important to mention that communication occurs at different levels and some-
times these levels have been also used to describe what communication is, causing
confusion to students as to what communication really is? We briefly describe these
levels in the following paragraphs in an attempt to eliminate this confusion.

Intrapersonal Communication
This takes place within an individual’s mind through the process of thinking and
feeling. The individual is able to process and take time to strike understanding with
him/ herself and others. It is useful in the following ways:

• It helps and individual to shape self-concept and develop conviction of opin-


• It helps an individual to think, plan, analyze and interpret ideas and messages.

• Gives one the opportunity to think of new ideas and be creative about new
decisions and approaches or solutions to organizational problem.

Interpersonal Communication
The interaction between two or more persons in small groups preferably on a one-
on-one basis, is known as interpersonal communication. It has the following advan-

• Makes it possible for people to open up and discuss issues with other people.

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• Encourages exchange of views and opinions.

• Can give immediate feedback for immediate decisions.

Organisational Communication
This occurs within an organization between its members or one organization and
another. It promotes smooth running of daily activities of an organization and is
used generally to communicate policy decisions to members. It has the following

• Ensures efficiency and profitability.

• Makes it is possible to communicate policy and decisions to members.

• Enables executives to obtain feedback.

Mass Communication
It is usually intended for a large audience whose location may not be definite at the
time of disseminating that information e.g. newsletters, press releases, interviews
with media houses, radio and TV. It allows the sender to achieve the following
among others:

• cover large geographical areas

• reach large audience at once

• save on cost and time

Social Communication
This happens when people interact in groups outside the formal organization. Peo-
ple hold general conversations, share ideas etc. It requires social skills such as
greeting one another, making oneself known and being able to sell ideas. Great
business deals can be struck during these social activities like sports, community
work, which sometimes allow people of different status and backgrounds to come

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Transformational Communication
Transformational communication is formed with the aim of building a larger frame-
work of reference for a healthy understanding of phenomena. It aims at changing
an already existing attitude that is usually negative in nature to a positive one. It is
practised by counsellors, teachers, NGOs, voluntary organizations who act to pro-
vide a voice for the less fortunate, those that are considered vulnerable in the society
etc. It is characterized by the following elements; thinking, sensing, intuiting and

Group Communication
This takes place between members of a unique group (social or professional) where
only issues affecting that group are discussed. The spirit of a good group lies in its
respect for shared values and its belief. The communication pattern is interdepen-
dent. The group members have responsibilities and obligations to one another. Its
usefulness include:

• building and sustaining group cohesion

• maintaining standards and discipline

• enhancing professional and career development

• encouraging social support among members of the group.

1.10. Forms of communication

This introductory chapter would be incomplete without highlighting the fact that
there are two major forms of communication: Verbal and Non-verbal. Verbal com-
munication is further sub-divided into Written and Oral forms of communication.
The non-verbal communication takes various forms such as Audio,Visual, Audio-
visual and Body language. These two major forms shall be discussed in lesson 2
and lesson 3 respectively.
E XERCISE 2.  Attempt all questions below:
What is a feedback? Why is it important in the communication process?
Identify at least five sources of noise in the learning process of a student, and suggest
ways through which they can be overcome.

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What do you understand by the following terms: misunderstanding and miscom-

Explain the following concepts: information richness of a medium, communication
is culture-based.
E XERCISE 3.  Discuss the contingency approach to media selection, giving its
relevance to contempary communicators and business managers.
E XERCISE 4.  Describe each of the 7c’s. How do they help in achieving commu-
nication effectiveness?

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Verbal Communication

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2.1. Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this topic you should be able to:

• Describe oral communication

• Highlight the forms of oral communication

• Describe the factors that make oral communication effective

• Outline the merits and demerits of oral communication

• Describe written communication

• Outline the forms of written communication.

• Outline the merits and demerits of written communication.

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2.2. Introduction
As was unravelled in the previous lesson, there are two forms of communicatio,
namely verbal and non-verbal. Communication by the spoken or written word, as
we all may have noticed in our lives, is the most familiar and consciously acclaimed
type of communication. For this reason, official communication is mainly pegged
on verbal communication as it is considerred evidentiary and as such admissible by
law. It is therefore important to understand verbal communication in all its various
forms. In this chapter, you will be exposed to verbal communication in its spoken
and written forms, the merits and demerits of each form.

2.3. Definition
This type of communication involves the use of words to convey information. The
following are the main forms of verbal communication

• Oral communication

• Written communication

2.4. Oral Communication

Oral communication is that communication in which the spoken word is used.In
this case, the voice is the channel of communication and the sense of hearing is
vital for the reception of the message. Oral communication can be in the form of:

1. Face-to-face communication which is presented as;

• Classroom lectures
• Meetings
• Seminars
• Conferences
• Group discussions
• Public rallies
• Teleconferencing

2. Telephone

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3. Mass-media e.g. TV, radio

4. Songs; poems etc

2.4.1. Factors that make oral communication effective

Oral communication is as challenging as written communication. One needs there-
fore, to give a careful attention and thought when engaging in conveying messages
orally. It is imperative to be a good and effective communicator (speaker or orator)
so that your audience can understand your message.
E XERCISE 5.  Are good speaker/orators born or made?
Understanding the factors below could help us address this question:

• Projection/Audibility/ Enunciation; The volume of voice at the time we

speak is crucial to how effective the communication will be. The voice should
be loud enough as per the demand of the audience. The amount of volume
used is varied depending on the size of the audience or room .

• Articulation; One should speak all parts of a word correctly, carefully and
distinctly. He or she should avoid the following:

1. Deletion-this refers to leaving out parts of a word, for instance ’cause’ instead
of ’because’.

2. Addition of extra parts that do not exist to a word. Take ,for example, ’ori-
entated’ instead of ’oriented’ .

3. Slurring- occurs when someone speaks two or more words in a hurry to make
them sound as one e.g. ‘kinda’ instead of ‘kind of’

• Modulation; One should vary the tone and pitch of one’s voice. Pitch refers
to the sound vibration frequency while tone is the rise and fall of pitch. Pitch
should never be too high or too low. Listeners like a controlled pitch. A
varied tone on the other hand helps to enhance the mood of the message at

• Pronunciation; One should open and close the mouth appropriately when
speaking , use correct sounds for vowels and consonants and use appropriate
stress in words and syllables of words to make communication effective.

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• Repetition; The coming over and over of key phrases or words with differ-
ent vocal emphasis to create a desired emotional effect is crucial to ensure
communication is effective.

• Speed; The appropriate rate and timing of words as we speak is important in

ensuring communication is effective.

2.4.2. Advantages of oral communication.

1. First,there is immediate feedback.

2. Also, one can seek clarification of things not well understood.

3. Oral communication also allows participation of all present. The message is

therefore all-inclusive.

4. Oral communication is a very fast means of communication since the sound

is always transmitted immediately or almost always.

5. The sender and receiver are encouraged to be creative as a result of a sponta-

neous reaction to something said or heard at the time.

6. Oral communication is a direct means of communication to people thus less-

ening chances of distortion.

7. There is an increased chance of bonding.

2.4.3. Disadvantages of oral communication.

1. Oral communication lacks tangible record hence cannot be used for future
reference in a legal context.

2. It can be difficult to control discussions where so many people are involved

due to the spontaneity of their reactions.

3. It may take a long time to make decisions when different participants hold
different views.

4. Spontaneous reactions may result in inferior or ill-considered decisions which

reduce the quality of communication done.

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5. It is not easy to hold grounds especially when opposed.

6. If communication is through more than two parties, then chances of distortion

are high.

2.5. Written Communication

Written communication is communication whereby words are put down using let-
ters of the alphabet and symbols to form documents. This type of communication
takes the form of:
• letters

• memos

• notices

• advertisements/publicity

• minutes

• reports

• curriculum vitae

• journals

• newsletters

• circulars

• Statements etc
Each of the above documents are mostly used in organizations for passing informa-
tion to people. It is therefore important to know the following about them:
1. Types

2. Purposes

3. Contents

4. Formats

5. Language used

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2.5.1. Selected Written Forms of Communication

• Letters
There are two types of letters: formal and informal letters. Formal letters may
be in the form of business letters, letters of inquiry, letters of complaint, letters of
apology, letters of order, application letters, letters of recommendation, letters of
confirmation etc.

Contents (features) of a formal letter

1. Address of the sender

2. Reference number (for specific documents)

3. Date of writing

4. Address of the recipient

5. Salutation

6. Subject

7. Body; the intended message

8. Complementary closing (yours faithfully, yours sincerely)

9. Name

10. Designation: official position of the sender

11. Enclosures

12. Carbon copies

Formatting of the formal letter This refers to the various styles of display. There are
two types: Fully-blocked style and the semi-blocked style.
Fully-blocked: All writing begins at the margin on the left-hand side.

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Figure 2.1: Semi-blocking style

• Reports
A report is a structured written document in which a specific issue is examined
for the purpose of conveying information, in order to report findings, to answer a
request, to put forward ideas and make recommendations or offer solutions.
An effective report is one that is written appropriate to its purpose and audience, ac-
curate, logical; clear and concise; and is well organised into clear section headings.
These sections enable readers to find and focus on specific pieces of information.
Purpose, audience and types of Reports
Keep in mind what your audience needs to know, this will dictate what type of
report you will need to write and the amount of detail to be contained therein. Some
questions you need to keep in mind include:

• Who is the report written for?

• How is it relevant to them?

• Why has the report been written?

• Why should they read the report?

• What will the audience do with the information?

• What are the topics covered?

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Figure 2.2: Planning your report

• What are the recommendations or outcomes?

It is most important to think about your reader(s) in terms of heir wants, needs and
expectations. The level of knowledge they have on the topic and their individual
areas of expertise could impact greatly on how your report is received.
It’s always important to make a note on the report itself which outlines who the re-
port was prepared for. If it is not possible to narrow your focus, and you are required
to write a report that is accessible for differing audiences, it may be appropriate to
write several different versions of the same report.
What type of report am I writing?

• Objective reports: The primary purpose of an objective report is to present

both sides of an argument in a balanced non-biased way.

• Persuasive reports are usually quite one sided: stressing the benefits of one
side of the argument and the pitfalls of the other. For this reason, persuasive
reports are structured quite differently.

Planning your report

See fig.2.2
Research the topic
In order to produce a high quality report, it is essential to include accurate, relevant
and up to date information collected from a wide variety of sources. Examples
of where to collect information include: interviews or discussions with experts,
surveys, observations, a compilation of statistics and company or industry data –
this is called primary data. You may also find secondary data in books, theses, on
the Internet, in journals or newspapers, reports, conference papers, brochures etc.

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Table 2.1:

Report writers also consult secondary sources in order to get ideas for writing a
report. It is always useful to not only consult sources but also refer to them directly
in the body of the report.
Create the outline
To begin an outline, start by jotting down a list of topics that you know you need to
cover. break the topics down into subsets.
When creating an outline:

1. Allow chaos to reign

2. Give structure to your brainstorming by deciding on the topics you wish to


3. Create sub topics under your main headings

4. Arrange the topics and sub topics in a logical order

5. Add appropriate introductions and conclusions to your structure

6. You may wish to circulate your outline for feedback at this stage.

The next step is to arrange the headings into a logical sequence. It may help to
follow an argument development method as shown in table2.1:
Write the Draft
Once you have created an outline, the next step is to create a draft. It is important
not to worry too much about details such as punctuation and spelling at this point.
The most important thing is to establish a logical flow and ensure you have enough
evidence to support the ideas you are presenting. For each section and sub-section
ensure you lead with a summary sentence that immediately flags to the reader what
the main idea of the section is.

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Impartiality is imperative in the drafting stage. As the researcher and writer you
must express your ideas in an objective manner. This is why report writers often
express themselves in the third person. For example, they may write: The research
reflected. . . rather than: Our research reflected.
Types of Reports
There are numerous types of reports that are widely used in business. These range
from short informal or semi-formal reports to longer formal reports. The format
is determined by the purpose of the report, the amount of detail required, and the
audience for whom it is intended.


The short report is generally less than four pages or 1200 words in length. It has
fewer parts than a longer report and may use headings to guide the reader through
the ideas being presented in the body of the text. Because the report is written in
an informal or semi-formal style, first person and active voice are preferred (e.g. “I
consider that . . . ” rather than “It is considered that . . . ”).

• Title

• Introductory statement – what the report is about and why it is being written

• Body of the report – findings and discussion

• Conclusions and recommendations

Other formats may also be used for short reports. For example:

• Pre-Printed Report Form

A report form usually consists of questions to gain specific information that can be
stored manually and/or entered onto a computer.

• Letter Report

If a short report is written for a reader outside the organisation in which it was
written, it may be written as a letter report. This report is usually written in the first
person and active voice (e.g. “I consider that . . . ” rather than “It is considered that
. . . ”) and is more informal than a long report.

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A letter report shares certain features with normal letters – features that would not
normally be found in a report: it is written on letterhead and includes the address of
the reader, salutation (Dear . . . ), close (Yours Sincerely/faithfully) and signature.
On the other hand, a letter report is more structured than a normal letter. It has a
subject line, which is sometimes seen in letters, and an introduction and conclusion
which are similar to those of a letter in that neither is prefaced by a heading. The
body of the letter, however, is in report format, with headings and sub-headings
clearly defining the sections and sub-sections.

• Memo Report

A memo report may be written to a reader who works in the same organisation as
the writer. Because the writer is likely to know something about the reader and
his/her requirements and level of knowledge of the subject matter, the memo report
does not need to contain detailed background information about all of the things to
which it refers.
This report is written on memo paper and follows the memo format. However, it
is longer than the conventional memo (two pages or more) and is therefore divided
into separate, labelled sections. The memo report is usually written in the first
person and active voice (e.g. “I consider that . . . ” rather than “It is considered that
. . . ”) and is more informal than a letter report.


Longer informal or semi-formal reports contain more information and deal with the
material in much greater detail than short informal reports.
The longer report is more structured and has more sections than the short report.
Headings and sub-headings are used to guide the reader through the sections and
sub-sections. Because it is informal or semi-formal, first person and active voice
are preferred.

• Title page

• Summary

• Introduction

• Body of the report - findings and discussion

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Figure 2.3: Layout of an Informal Report

• Conclusions and recommendations Appendices (if applicable)

Layout of an Informal Report

Formal reports are rarely less than ten pages long and can often run into hundreds
of pages. They are commonly written for a large audience who do not know the
writer, and are sent outside an organisation. Third person and passive voice should
be used (e.g. “It is considered that . . . ” rather than “I consider that . . . ”).

• Cover letter/memorandum

• Cover

• Title page

• Summary

• Table of contents

• Table of illustrations, figures, tables, etc. (if applicable)

• Introduction Body of the report – methodology, findings and discussion

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• Conclusions

• Recommendations

• Bibliography

• Appendices (if applicable)

• Glossary or list of abbreviations (if applicable)

• Index (optional)

Cover Letter/Memorandum

• Write a cover letter if the report is to be sent to a reader outside the organisa-

• Write a cover memo if the report is to be sent to a reader inside the organisa-

• The letter/memo should contain a salutation (“Dear . . . ” for a letter), state-

ment of purpose (“Here is the report on . . . that you requested”), a brief
overview or summary (“In this report you will find . . . ”), acknowledgements
(“Several people proved to be of great assistance to me. . . ”), and a courte-
ous close (“Thank you for the opportunity to investigate . . . If you have any
questions about the report, please contact me”).


• A report may be bound into a folder or professionally produced as a book.

• The cover should be attractive.

• The report title should be on the cover and spine.


• The title should be complete and comprehensive, without being so long that
it is difficult to grasp. E.g. “Report on the Proposed Realignment of CSU
Division of Human Resources 2008”

Title Page

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• Title of the report.

• Name and position of the person who wrote the report.

• Name of the person (or organisation) for whom the report was written.

• An alternative to having a separate title page is to set out this information at

the top of the first page.


• The summary is a quick overview of the aim, conclusions and most important
aspects of the report.

• The summary is designed to be read by people who are too busy to read the
whole report. It is therefore essential that it be brief, comprehensive and

• The summary is usually written last.

Table of Contents

• The table of contents is a systematic list, in page order, of all the parts of a

• Page numbers are listed next to each heading and sub-heading.

• If desired, a numbering system may be used for organising the table of con-
tents and report:

Table of Illustrations, Figures, Tables, etc. (if applicable)

Include separate tables of illustrations, figures (i.e. graphs and diagrams) and/or
tables if the report is four or more pages long and contains a number of graphics,
figures or tables.

• The introduction is the beginning of the major part of the report. Its aim is
to provide all the necessary information so that the reader can understand the
main discussion and the body of the report.

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• It is the place for a broad, general view of your material. Avoid details that
belong properly to the body of the report or the appendices.

• Authorisation or terms of reference: What is the problem or issue being re-

ported on? Who asked for the report?

• Purpose: Why is the report being written?

• Background information: What was the sequence of past events leading to

the present problem or issue?

• Scope: What aspects of the topic will be dealt with? What will be excluded?
What kind of information will be presented?

• Definitions of technical terms and words that you intend to use in a special


• Outline the method of investigation or research: When and how was the in-
formation obtained?

• Outline the sources of information: Where was the information obtained?


• Present the facts and results that were obtained through the investigation or

• Restrict the content of this section to factual information of high credibility.

Opinions should be located in the discussion section of the report.

• Divide the section into sub-topics and use sub-headings.

• Arrange the sub-topics in accordance with a basic plan or logical progression.

For example:

– Order of time
– Order of location
– Order of importance

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– Order of process Parallel order.

– Discussion

• Analyse and evaluate the facts already presented.

• Present your expert opinions. Avoid emotional statements or opinions ex-

pressed in a “parent” tone.

• Based on the results of your research, argue the case for and against vari-
ous courses of action, estimate the possible effects, and then recommend a
suitable course of action.

• If you wish, briefly include some additional material to support your argu-
ment, e.g. graph, diagram, table, picture.

• Throughout the discussion, refer to any appendices you have attached to sup-
plement the information in the body of the report.


• Summarise the discussion.

• Summarise your findings and inferences.

• Emphasise the significance of your subject matter.

• Refer briefly to any wider consideration, outside your terms of reference, on

which your report may have a bearing.


• Make recommendations based on your findings and inferences.

• Be as specific as you possibly can.

• State clearly what action should be taken as a result of your recommenda-

tions, and by whom.

• Use subjunctive mood, e.g. “That . . . be [past tense of verb]”

• Set your recommendations out step by step and in a logical sequence.

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• Do not put more than one step in each recommendation.

• Always number your recommendations.

• Keep your explanations out of the recommendations. If it needs explaining,

do so in the discussion section of the report.

• If you expect a “knockback” on some of your recommendations, include

some alternatives in the recommendations.

• Don’t be afraid to recommend further investigation if you feel you still don’t
have the answer when it is time to write the report.


• Signature.

• Printed name.

• Position.

• Name of organisation or committee.

• Date that the report was completed or signed.

Bibliography (if applicable)

• Record the bibliographic details (i.e. author, title, edition, publisher, place of
publication, and year of publication) for the sources of information used.

• List the sources of information alphabetically by author.

Appendices (if applicable)

• The appendices contain data (such as charts, tables, photographs, maps and
statistics) that support the body of the report. These are located in a separate
section to avoid disrupting and cluttering the flow of the discussion.

Glossary or List of Abbreviations (if applicable)

• If the report is particularly complex and involves terminology that the reader
may not be familiar with, include a glossary (mini-dictionary) to explain the
meaning of words and terms.

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• If there are a number of abbreviations (acronyms, initials or shortened words),

create a list of abbreviations and what they stand for.

Index (if applicable)

• If the report is over 20 pages long, an index will help the reader find specific
information contained within the report more easily than is possible with the
table of contents.

• Minutes
• Curriculum Vitae
Application for a job consists of two parts:

• Your bio data( curriculum vitae or resume)

• A covering letter

The application including the bio-data creates an impression of the cabdidate in the
selectors mind. There are things you must follow when writing an application:

1. Compile accurate information about your life. Include details like age, aca-
demic qualifications, co-curricular activities, work experience„ publications,
seminars attended to and membership held.

2. Package and present the information properly to give the employer a clear
picture of your personality. All the information you provide must be chrono-
logically arranged in reverse order and there must be sub headings wherever

3. Trhe bio-data should be formulated impressively with margins on both the

left and right hand sides of the paper.

4. First write a draft, then make the necessary corrections. After this you can
make the final draft as perfectly as possible. Here is an example of a resume:

Main points to remember in writing resume

• Use bulleted sentences, so that the employer takes just five or si messages
from your resume

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Figure 2.4: Layout of Formal Report

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Figure 2.5: Resume

• A resume must be short on words but long on facts

• It must focus on your strengths and abilities

• It must make a factual and sincere representation of your skills

• It must reflect your worth as a potential employee

Exercise. Following an advertisment on the paper for a secetarial job vacancy in

Kimo Limited, write an application letter.

E XERCISE 6.  Define what is meant by Oral communication

Example . what are some of the disadvantages of oral communication

Oral communication lacks tangible record hence cannot be used for future reference
in a legal context.
It can be difficult to control discussions where so many people are involved due to
the spontaneity of their reactions.

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Figure 2.6: Cover letter

It may take a long time to make decisions when different participants hold different
Spontaneous reactions may result in inferior or ill-considered decisions which re-
duce the quality of communication done.

2.6. Non-verbal Communication

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this topic you should be able to:

• Describe non-verbal communication

• Highlight the forms of non-verbal communication

• Describe the various forms of body language

• Explain the role of non-verbal communication

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Figure 2.7: Curriculum Vitae

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2.7. Introduction
The statement ’...Words mean nothing without emotion...’ is a widely asserted quote
that bares a lot of truth. Interesting to note, these feelings that give meaning to
words are largely conveyed by non-verbal means which , as research has proven,
comprise of more than 75% of communication between persons; so ,in essence,
more than half of all communication is non-verbal. Unfortunately, the common
human instinct to ignore this category of communication has led to distortion in
information and at times a complete breakdown in communication. As a scholar,
it is our hope that at the end of this topic you will be able to identify with ease the
different non-verbal forms of communication and as such instinctively take them
into account as you interpret any information that is conveyed to you from another
person to foster effective communication.
Culture and Non-Verbal Messages
Nonverbal communication has been said to have a greater universality than lan-
guage, in that ‘we can often make ourselves known in a rudimentary way through
signs and gestures when communicating with people from differing cultural back-
grounds who do not share a common language’ (Hargie et al, 2004, p.38). However,
a word of warning- non-verbal cues can also differ dramatically from culture to cul-
An American hand gesture meaning ’AOK’ for example, would be viewed as ob-
scene in some South American countries. It can be vital for those in contact with
people from different cultures to do their research and discover what it means to
make eye-contact, use hand gestures, to touch another person etc in the other cul-
ture; and especially to find out what is taboo (Goman, 2002). Be careful!

2.8. Audio
Involves the use of sound and engages hearing senses e.g. music (horns, trumpets,
drums, alarms etc.)

2.9. Visual
Communication that involves sight i.e. symbols and signs

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2.10. Audio-visual
Uses both the sense of sight and hearing

2.11. Body language

Has a lot to do with the visual aspect since observation of body signs is used. It can
be traced back to 1872 (Charles Darwin) in the book “ Expression of emotions in
Man and Animals” It may be divided into the following categories:

1. Kinesics

2. Occulesics

3. Paralanguage/Paralinguistics

4. Proxemics

5. Artifactics; objects that people carry, wear or own e.g. dressing style, colour
of clothes, perfume, personal objects such as briefcases, cars and pens. These
describe someone’s personality and character.

6. Chronemics; this is the study of time and its impact on people. High-culture
people are very time conscious while low-culture people are not time con-
scious at all

7. Tactilics/Haptics; Refers to the language of touch e.g. greetings, bodily touch.

There are two types of touch language;

• body contact : Body contact is unconscious and accidental. Any part of the
body can be involved

• touching with hands: Touching implies actions are deliberate, conscious

and made primarily by hand. Touching is therapeutic. It fulfills physiological
and sociological needs; these may be sexual or psychological

2.12. Non-verbal Communication Skills

As well as using active listening skills to develop awareness and monitor the non-
verbal cues of others, it is important to develop awareness of your own non-verbal

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cues and their likely impact through close self-monitoring. Some training courses
offer videotaping of simulated work situations, and these can be invaluable in devel-
oping awareness of characteristic habits or patterns of non-verbal behaviours that
you tend to show as well as the possible impact of these (eg, overly sharp tone
of voice mistakenly conveying displeasure; smiling when conveying criticism thus
watering down the impact of the verbal message; lack of comfortable eye contact
suggesting aloofness or dishonesty).
However through close self-monitoring and reflecting on your own behaviour as
well as by seeking feedback from others who are prepared to give you an honest
response, awareness of your own NVC and its likely impact can be gained. In
conversations, ask yourself ‘Are my non-verbal behaviours reflecting my words?
Are they reflecting the message that I want to convey?’
E XERCISE 7.  Research and discuss the following:
Paralanguage/ vocalics
Example . Explain the role of non-verbal communication

Express emotions
Express interpersonal attitudes
To accompany speech in managing the cues of interaction between speakers and
Self-presentation of one’s personality Rituals (greetings) 

E XERCISE 8.  Citing examples, explain the advantages and diadvantages of audio-

visual communinication.

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Patterns and Techniques in Communication

3.1. Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this topic you should be able to:

• State and explain the patterns of communication.

• Outline the merits and demerits of each pattern of communication.

• State the significance of each pattern of communication.

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3.2. Introduction
The flow of information in an organisation is governed by its structure. In sim-
ple terms, organisational structure refers to the manner in which staff are arranged
into departments and/or sections that handle different yet correlated tasks in the
organisation.Often, the structure is hierarchical in nature. Such arrangement leads
to flow of information linearly or diagonally along the hierachical structure of the
organisation.This may happen between people in the same rank (horizontal commu-
nication), between staff members holding different ranks in the same department or
section(vertical communication), between people in different sections or depart-
ments on a formal basis (diagonal communication ) or between people in similar or
different ranks on an informal basis (grapevine communication). In order to be an
effective human resource at your workplace, it is important to master these ways
in which information is transmitted ;this will make it possible for you to interact
effectively with other members of staff and distinguish the nature of the message .

3.3. Definition
Patterns of communication are paths or ways through which information flows
within and organization. These may be classified according to the nature of the
information or the direction of communication.
According to the nature of information passed, we have the following:

• Formal Communication

• Informal Communication

According to the direction of flow of information, we have the following:

1. Vertical communication

2. Horizontal communication

3. Diagonal communication

4. Grapevine communication

3.4. Formal communication

This refers to communication which is passed on an official basis.

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3.5. Vertical Communication

Involves downward communication which begins from top management to other
members of staff who are junior in rank. This may involve:

• Memos

• Letters

• Notices

• Newsletters

• Training and induction documents

• Company handbooks

• Disciplinary interviews

• Appraisal interviews

Also involves upward communication which begins from the junior staff to top
management. May be in form of;

1. Suggestion schemes - workers may suggest improvement in work force and


2. Polls and ballots - employees may be asked to vote for or against a proposal
that is used to decide whether or not to implement proposed changes.

3. Grievance procedure - an employee makes known his or her grievances.

3.5.1. Advantages of vertical communication

1. Everyone in different levels of the organization is well informed therefore

2. Possible screening of information to ensure that it is credible.

3. Problems can be solved before they get out of hand and solutions will be more
quality unlike when protocol is ignored.

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3.5.2. Disadvantages of vertical communication

1. Time- consuming as it has to pass through various levels especially when
information is not being worked on promptly.

2. Malicious people will deter flow of information to cover up wrongs.

3. Information may be distorted through modification or deletion .

3.6. Horizontal / Lateral Communication

Communication between people at the same level of authority or same job position.
May be in the following forms:

• Coordinated committees- representatives of different departments come to-

gether to discuss new developments so that people of each department know
what is going on.

• Group Conferences or departmental head meetings.

• Informal communication within the organization.

3.7. Diagonal Communication

Does not have a distinct point of starting or ending. It can start at any level of the
organization and end at any level so long as the problem is solved.

3.8. Grapevine
Referred to as rumors or gossip. Usually put into motion/ engineered by an informal
leader. Thrives in organizations where formal channels provide inadequate infor-
mation or no information at all. The informal leader is somebody whose official
position is not depicted in the organization structure but may have information on
the subject of interest.
E XERCISE 9.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of the other 3
patterns of communication described above. The first one is done for you. (30 mks)
E XERCISE 10.  what are the advantages of vertical communication

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Example . what are the advantages of vertical communication

Everyone in different levels of the organization is well informed therefore inclusive.
Possible screening of information to ensure that it is credible.
Problems can be solved before they get out of hand and solutions will be more
quality unlike when protocol is ignored. 

3.9. Techniques in Communication

3.9.1. Presentation
Stages/ steps one should follow for making a good presentation:

1. Pre-presentation Jitters.

2. Development of a presentation

3. Delivering a presentation.

4. Concluding with a conviction.

5. Managing questions, comments and objectives

Skills of a presenter

• Verbal

• Non-verbal

• Knowledge of making power-point slides:

1. Should be made with the audience in mind i.e. choice of font.

2. Should not be too many; just enough for explanation

3. Headings and sub-headings should be clear and distinct.

4. Consistency in design

• Interpersonal skills

1. How well do you integrate with your audience

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2. Be courteous and display a pleasant personality

Presentations bring out the following aspects about people:

1. Personality.

2. Level of confidence.

3. Level of knowledge.

4. Ability to think logically i.e. progression of ideas.

5. Depth range of somebody’s ideas to the subject matter e.g. narrow.

6. Ability to apply your ideas to practical problems

Pre-presentation Jitters
Refers to misconceptions to presentation due to some thoughts, attitudes and ideas

• Good speakers are born and not made.

• I am an introvert, I cannot face an audience.

• I must make a perfect presentation whenever I present.

To overcome these fears and get ready for presentation

Develop the presentation

• What is my topic?

• What is my subject matter?

• What purpose will it serve?

Know your audience

• Are they internal or external?

• How big is the audience?

• Level of expertise

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• Status in society

• Gender

Deliver the presentation

• A good presentation must be conceptualized.

• Breakdown the presentation to distinctive parts:-

1. Introduction

2. Development/ body 3

3. Decisive conclusion: should be convincing Characteristics of a good presen-


• Must be conceptualized

• Broken down into separate parts

• Researched extensively

• Concluded convincingly

Styles of Oral presentation

1) Coolzone presenter

• Structured and organized

• Logical and sequential

• Self-control; voice, tone ,

• Thoughtful and factual;

• does not generalize

• Recommended for professional and academic presentation.

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2) Hotzone presenter

• Loud-voiced

• Rhetorical in nature

• Dramatic movement

• Shifting body postures and darting eyes

• Passionate

• Voice inflections Not recommended in business or academic presentations but

suitable in political set up.

3) Dullzone presenter

• Lacks pitch variation (monotony)

• Unpromising body language (clumsiness)

• Incompatibility with the audience

• Poor eye contact

• Boring

• Nervous

Styles/ Ways of presenting ideas/ Presentation structures


• Main point stated first then give reasoning


• State reasoning then conclude with the main point

Can also be:-

• Chronological/ historical order
• Sequential order

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Points to take into account to improve on presentation(before the actual pre-

1. Rehearse for confidence, spontaneity, synchrony of speech and visual aids,
interaction with audience and preparation for questions and answers.

2. Take care of your personal look; make a good first impression. Physical
appearance should be appealing. Avoid jeans & T-shirts for serious presenta-

3. Beware of body language such as postures, use the appropriate gestures.

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Example . Qualities of a Skilful Presenter

Being aware of people, time and place.
Be tactful.
Be decisive; not swayed by other people’s opinion but at the same time sensitive to
their thoughts and feelings.
Be persuasive; use attractive language.
Enthusiasm; be passionate about what you are doing.
Self-control; emotions should not go out of hand.
Honestly; if you don’t know something’ be open about the positive and negative
aspects of the concept you are explaining.
Flexibility; accommodate other peoples’ ideas without being too rigid or offended.
Capture and maintain the audience’s attention throughout the presentation.
Bring the presentation to a conclusion.
Encourage questions from the audience.
Thank the audience for their time and patience.
Poise; ability to have a good command of body language. 

E XERCISE 11.  what are Skills of a presenter

Exercise. Prepare a powerpoint presentation about the role of technology in com-


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Techniques in Communication

4.1. Listening skills

• Hearing- reception of sound. Sound strikes the eardrum causing vibrations.
Passive activity.

• Listening- Hearing and interpreting sounds with an aim to understand the

meaning behind the sounds. Active activity.

Stages of listening
1. Sensing/ Hearing/Selective Hearing

2. Interpretation

3. Evaluate; which of the things I have sensed is important i.e. attach value thus
either store or discard.

4. Memory stage- put whatever we think is important into our memory.

Types of Listening/ Modes of listening

Selective /Marginal Listening
• Listener chooses what to listen to and what not to listen to.

• Listener may miss out on important parts of speech.

• Highlight things of interest especially in a social or recreational situation e.g.

chat with friends, listening to radios or TV.

Passive Listening
• Hear only a portion of the speaker’s words and absorb part of the speakers’

• Does not matter whether you grasp or remember all that is said e.g. listening
to radio or TV.

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Active/ Empathic Listening

• Generally alert to get all possible details concerning items towards a particu-
lar subject.

• Is both physically and mentally involving.

• Take points and come up with questions and find gaps in presentation, display
involving body language.

• Active listeners are good at asking questions and making comments i.e. veri-
fication of feedback.

Evaluative Listening
• Listener assesses the value of the message or compares it with what is usually
considered the best.

• It involves deciding whether to continue listening or turn away based on the


• Leads to either positive or negative outcome depending on open- mindedness

and intellect of the listener.

Fake/Pseudo Listening
• Pretence to be listening.

• Aims to please the speaker or other observers

• Similar to passive listening but different since it is a result of dishonesty

Informative listening
• Takes full concentration. Helps one understand the message.

• It is the ideal kind of listening and the best way to learn.

• It is important when taking instructions from superiors or when surbodinate

is explaining problems-faced

Appreciative Listening
• Primarily done to enjoy/ appreciate the message and not to take benefit of
content or meaning of the message e.g. when listening to music.

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Good Listening Habits

1. Face the speaker.

2. Maintain eye contact.

3. Keep an open mind

4. Listen to ideas and concepts; not just words.

5. Do not interrupt the speaker.

6. Wait for a pause for questions.

7. Ask questions and seek clarification.

8. Empathise with the speaker.

9. Give feedback.

10. Pay attention to what is not said; observe non-verbal communication.

Poor listening Habits

1. Declaring a subject uninteresting.

2. Criticising the content of the speech.

3. Criticising the speaker speech mannerisms.

4. Pretending to be attentive.

5. Taking down excessive notes.

6. Urge to spur, disagree or deny.

7. Jumping to conclusions.

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How to Enhance Listening

1. Talk less.

2. Get rid of distractions; do anything you can to get rid of internal and external
noise that interferes with careful listening.

3. Do not judge prematurely; do not make snap judgment and evaluate others
before hearing them out especially when the speakers’ ideas conflicts with

4. Look for key ideas; extract central idea to focus attention rather than drift off
in boredom. Take note of all key points.

5. Ask sincere questions instead of criticism in disguise. Sincere questions are

requests for new information that clarifies a speakers’ thoughts or feelings.

6. Paraphrase the speakers’ words to ensure your interpretation as a listener is


7. Suspend your own agenda; while you are listening. Concentrate on what the
speaker is saying not what you think.

8. Empathic listening; put yourself in the shoes of the speaker; you do not nec-
essarily have to agree but show understanding.

9. Can be summarized in the acronym below:

• C – concentrate, focus attention on what the speaker is saying.

• A – acknowledge, use appreciative body language.

• R – research, practice self-talk to understand what the speaker is saying.

• E – exercise control, i.e. emotional control by restraining impatience.

• S – sense non-verbal messages by observing the speakers body language.

• S – Structure; put messages in an order

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• Different stages in listening

Sensing/ selecting stage
• Listener selects from a multitude of stimuli; only the one that seems important
at the time is converted into a message.

Interpreting stage
• Listener decodes the message

• At the stage, the listener is faced with multiple barriers i.e. semantic, linguis-
tic, psychological, emotional, environmental

Evaluating stage
• Listener assigns meaning to the message, draws interfaces, takes an overview
of the message and seeks accuracy of information and evidence.

Responding stage
• Listener is ready to respond/ feedback stage.

Memory stage
• Helps the listener retain chunks of what they have listened to, about 10-25%
speech of the presentation.

Benefits of effective listening

1. Improvement in work environment because one tries to understand the speak-
ers beliefs, values, sense of commitment, expectations and goals.

2. Reduces tension and hostilities as it paves way for healthy exchange of views
and opinions, reducing psychological tension and bad blood. It mutually
solves problems and misunderstanding.

3. Saves time as one actively seeks application of information.

4. Improves management employee relations in a work place as the employees

enjoy freedom of expression of grievances.

5. Early problem- solving since parties collaborate in understanding a problem

jointly and finding a solution to the problem.

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6. Builds trust as it produces a climate of togetherness and healthy interaction.

7. Increases sales and profits.

Overcoming listening barriers

1. Be a willing listener by controlling all barriers and build a proactive interest
to think or act congenially for better understanding.

2. Ensure all environmental distractions/ noises do not occur.

3. Ensure you have taken proper rest or food especially when attending long
seminars/ lectures or conferences.

4. Discipline yourself as a listener by controlling all psychological barriers e.g.

daydreaming, dislike for the speaker e.t.c.

5. Carry a notebook/ writing pad to take short notes and key points in order to
force effective listening on yourself.

6. Practice good body language, sitting correctly and establishing eye contact
with the speaker.

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Example . Describe some of the Poor listening Habits

Pretending to be attentive.
Taking down excessive notes.
Urge to spur, disagree or deny.
Jumping to conclusions. 

E XERCISE 12.  Stages of listening

4.2. Reading skills

Preparing for reading
1. Psychological preparation

2. Emotional preparation

3. Physiological preparation

Psychological preparation
Get rid ouf anything that can hinder understanding i.e. conflicting ideas

Emotional preparation
Overexcitement, anger, remorsefulness or stress should be put under control i.e.
emotions should be at equilibrium to maintain sobriety.

Physiological preparation
• Be well fed.

• Comfort should be a priority i.e. space aeration, lighting of surroundings.

• Free from unnecessary interruptions

1. Know your topic

2. Gather all the necessary information about the topic

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• Reading skill whereby the reader runs through a given written material look-
ing for keywords, phrases, sentences or paragraphs with an aim to come up
with an overview of the content.

• It is very fast; one wants a rough idea about the content.

• There is a high probability of leaving out important information.

• Key words can either be at the beginning or end of the paragraph depending
on the style of writing adopted i.e. inductive or deductive.

• Useful for making a summary.

• A reader runs quickly through an entire document looking for some specific
information and stops as soon as they find it.

• It saves time.

Study Reading
• Examine or try to diagnose the idea or subject to gain deeper understanding
of the concept.

• The recommended method of study reading is the SQ3R method;

1. Survey- what aspects/ approach is used in the material to help one know the
depth or scope of coverage and relevance to one’ s study.

2. Questions- what am I reading about e.g. What is communication? What are

the different types ? Make brief notes of main ideas.

3. Read.

4. Recite/ Recall- ask yourself what you have understood.

5. Revise/ Review- how accurate were you in your understanding.

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4.3. Writing skills

Preparing to Write
Styles of writing include:

• Inductive

• Deductive


• Narrative

• Descriptive

• Rational esp. scientific writing

• Argumentative

1. Identify the topic.

2. Get the relevant information i.e. research.

3. Organise the material in some logical order or preferred manner.

4. Determine the scope of the write up i.e depth (how much to cover), width and
length(how many pages).

5. Who is the audience?

Characteristics of a good writer

1. Clear

2. Concise

3. Correct

4. Courteous

5. Concrete; factual and not presumptuous.

6. Interesting

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Sources of Information & use of Technology in

5.1. Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this topic you should be able to:

• Outline the types of interviews

• Discuss the interview process - preparation and execution by both the inter-
viewer and interviewee.

• Prepare and use questionnaires to collect data.

• Apply observation and experimentation techniques in collecting information

for purposes of research.

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As stated earlier, this is one of the survey methods of research. They can be done
face to face or by telephone. They are used to make decisions about someone or
something. There are two interview schedules:

1. unstructured interviews: They are general and discussion is wide ranging

individual questions are developed as the interview progresses.(questions are
developed spontaneously)

2. structured interviews: Questions are written down before the interview ses-
sion and are asked in order which they are written down for all respondents.
It has a specific objective and one can tell the respondents what the objectives

• It is very instructions to the respondents. a. Giving instructions from one

topic to the next.

• One can also probe the respondent if you don’t get the answers that you ex-

• At the end of the interview, the interviewer states closing remarks.

Advantages of face to face interviewing

1. The response rate is high.(there is less bias in the data or results that one gets

2. The interviewer can clarify questions.

3. Interviews work well with respondents whose reading and writing skills are

4. Because the questions are standardized for all respondents, the data obtained
tends to be reliable.

5. The interviewer can observe non-verbal vi. An interviewer can use visual
aids in certain cases

Disadvantages of face to face interviews

The cost of interviewing can be high

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5.2.1. face to face interviews

Definition 1. a face to face question and answer session whose purpose is to solicit
answers to questions; for the purpose of:

• Gaining knowledge about someone or something so that a decision can be

made about that person/thing.

• It is also a tool of communication from which both the interviewer and inter-
viewee gain much information.

• It is a session when two parties meet to satisfy pre-determined objectives by

mutual interrogation.

• It is characterized by asking and answering questions.

• During the interview, both the interviewer and interviewee have aims which
they want to achieve.

Preparations by the interviewee

1. Learn about the company/org before going for the interview i.e products, ser-
vice provided, personnel, current activities.

2. Prepare our testimonials i.e certificates, transcript, letters of recommendation

and put them together in a folder.

3. Take proper care of your appearance(clothing, grooming etc) If the people

who can determine have fixed views of how you can be dressed or groomed,
then you have no choice but to respect them.

4. Anticipate/think of certain questions you are likely to be asked and try to

come up with possible answers to them i.e work experience, career, interests,
hobbies etc.

5. Learn to put your-self at ease i.e going to an employment bureau for them to
conduct an interview with you.

At the interview

1. Arrive early before the time scheduled

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2. During the interview, pay attention to what is going on listen well and ask
politely for a question in case you did not get the interviewer i.e please re-
peat,will you kindly.

3. Be courteous during an interview.

4. Speak audibly and clearly.

5. Answer questions fully.

6. Look at the faces of the people who are interviewing you.(maintain eye con-

7. Control your emotions.

The interviewer’s preparations

1. Determines the kinds of questions to be asked and puts together the members
of the pernel, assigning each one of them their specific positions at the venue.

2. Prepares the venue of the interview i.e making sure the sitting arrangement is

The interviewer at the interview

• Starts by putting the interviewee at ease in that at the beginning the intervie-
wee may be nervous hence this may hinder the interview session.

• Start with a friendly talk.

• Greet the interviewee and and show them where to sit.

• Make the purpose of the interview clear to the interviewee.

• Allow the interviewee to talk more.

• He/she should guide the interviewee but do not put words in their mouth.

• Avoid leading questions.

• Keeps a record by making notes during the interview.

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• After all the questions have been asked, end the session by asking whether the
interviewee has any questions.if not,thank them for applying and attending
the interview.let them know when they will hear from you.

For the interviewee.

• Be prepared for the interview.

• Make a good appearance.

• Show that you are interested in what is going on Answer questions cor-
rectly,completely and honestly.

• Be courteous.

For the interviewer

• Prepare the venue.

• Prepare the questions.

• Putting the interviewee at ease.

Type of questions

1. Open ended questions: they do not require a specific answer and all the
interviewee to talk at length on what asked. One taks more and takes control
of the session(advantage).

2. Closed questions: they require binary/specific answers i.e yes or no It can

make a session turn into an interrogation session(disadvantage).

3. Mirror questions: they reflect an answer that you have given previously.it is
tricky and meant to catch you.

4. Probing questions: they arise from an answer given earlier or and require
you to explain that answer further.

5. Leading questions: they are asked in such a way that the interview gets the
answer that he/she wants.(usually in such a way that you agree with his/her
opinion.)they are unfair to the interview and should be avoided.

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Ways of finding a job that you are looking for

1. In national daily newspapers: in the advertisement section where certain jobs

and sectors are advertised on certain days.

2. Professional journals: these are journals written by professional in different


3. Television and radio.

4. Job centres: on windows or display boards.

5. Private employment bureaus they act agents(brokers)between the employer

and the job seekers

6. By the word of mouth: someone might tell ou about the existence of a va-
cancy because they want you to use their name(this is known as name-dropping).

7. Self advertisement: when on your own inintiative write a letter of application

without seeing any advert.

5.2.2. Stages of an interview.

1. Pre-interview stage: an interview fills in an application form or writes an
application letter. You do a job analysis noting job description, requirements
and qualifications for the job. The interview determines the style of the in-
terview i.e whether it is a one-day interview or whether they have stages i.e
1,2,3,4....... The interviewer formulates question to be asked he/she makes a
short list of candidates to be interviewed.

2. Opening interview: an interviewer tries/attempts to create a friendly atmo-

sphere by greeting interviewee’s by name and introducing the members of
the panel by their names and designation. He/she states the purpose of the
interview and what to achieve at the end meanwhile the interviewee is paying

3. Body interview: the interviewer starts by asking simple questions to put

interviewee at ease and eliminate nervousness. also to build confidence in
the interviewee. The interviewer ask questions about the work experience,
personal, education etc.

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4. Closing interview: the interviewer asks questions while writing the points
down and asks the last question. The interviewer thanks interviewer for send-
ing application and attending the session. States what is to happen after the

5. Post interview: the panel evaluates the interviewees’ responses qualifica-

tions, experience Panel makes comparisons on the interviewees’ details and
the needs of the company. The marks given by each member of the panel
are added up. This helps to make comparisons. NB:confidentiality of the
outcome of the interview is observed during this stage.

5.3. Questionnaires.
Definition 2. A Collection of structured questions which are answered in the field.

It is self-administered.(the researcher comes up with questions and give them to

the respondents who respond them). It may have open-ended questions. It falls
under the survey method of doing research like the interview. Many times when a
researcher uses the questionnaire, he/she does not go to the field. They are used to
research on:

1. Behavior patterns

2. Opinions

3. Social attitude

4. Personal preference

• It is used in order to reach many people at the same time.

• It is used when the respondents reads and answers the questions separately
from the interviewer.

• Each one of the question on a questionnaire should have some variance,relationship

to one of the variable(a concept that can be measured)being studied.the vari-
able can be measured e.g age,education,status.

• One should let the respondents know what he/she wants to know.

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• Ask questions related to the study.

• Make the questions simple in order to receive simple answers from.

• It works very well when one pre-test (give the questionnaire to some people
who are not in your actual/final study).

Reason for Pretesting

1. To identify whether the questions are clear.

2. Give it to the people in the same population as to that you are going to study;
this helps one to generalize about the answers one is likely to receive.

3. They help one to know whether the objectives that he/she has have been cov-
ered in the questionnaire.

dvantages of a questionnaire

• It is a relatively cheap method of collecting data.(it is said to be).

• The questions are standardized (the same) for all respondents The results are
likely to be reliable due to this.


• It is an impersonal way of getting information.(one can not get the body lan-
guage of respondent).

• If one does not get back all the questionnaires or maybe there are blank
spaces,the results are not reliable or valid.

5.4. Observation
• It is a primary method in filed research.it starts with field observation and
is not the casual look/ordinary seeing and watching in the context of doing

• It is planned and is methodical(done in a certain way).

• It is intendeted to get meaningful information about the social world.

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• It involves direct observation and takes place in a natural setting and not in
some man made/laboratory situation.

• It is less structured than what is done in a lab.the researcher actively partici-

pates in the social setting that is being studied/observed.

It has two extremes/ends:

1. Non-participant observation:the observer is passive and intentionally unob-

strusive(do not interfere)

2. Participant observation:the participant is active and intentionally involved

in what is being observed.

• The non-participant observer is an eavesdropper(some one who attempts

to observe some people without interacting with them and the people being
observed do not know that they are being observed.

• It is used in early stages of field research when a researcher is examining/inspecting

an area before he/she goes in to a detailed/intensive study.

• It is like a stage of preparing oneself before starting his/her detailed study.

• An example of the non-participant observation is the army which does a re-


• Psychologies also use it a lot.

• Non-participant observation involves selection and recording of behavior that

the researcher has.

• After writing down what the researcher has,he/she encodes(simplifying the

records that you have put down)i.e using frequency(the no of times that be-
havior has been done).

• It is used in conjunction with participant observation.

• In participant observation,the observer participates actively in the social set-

ting for an extending period of time.

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One should be in area for at least one year(recommended)

• The participant participates in the people’s daily lives and the situations being

• He/she should live and work among them.

• He/she should try to become part/accepted member of the people being stud-
ied,should be able to speak their language,learn their slang,jokes,empathize
with them and develop a report.

• He/she should share the situation of the people i.e funeral,weddings etc.

A thin line between non-particpant and participant observation The two of them can
be regarded as poles/extremes/ends on a continuum. continuum (Non participant
(participant observation) Observation) (one can mark the intensity and decrease at
which something is being done)

• At one extreme is the participant observer who becomes completely observed

in the group under observation and at the other end is the non-participant, who
tries to remain a loof to the group under observation.

• Participant is therefore is a question of how much participation one is doing.

• An observer participates in an alien setting a desire to become accepted, but

at the same time there is a separation from those being observed.

• Observers have ended up being native to the areas that they have been ob-
serving. Participant observation is used to obtain qualitative data.

• It also provide a holistic perspective and in-depth perspective of the people

being observed/studied.

A committed classic participant should be committed to the following

1. A long term study for at least a year.

2. Personal involvement and immersion into the affairs of the community being

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3. A holistic study which tries to explore the following features of a community


• Economic

• Social

• linguistic

• political

• cultural

5.5. Experiementation
• The researcher does not depend on respondent to get information.

• He/she conducts experiments in order to get information.

• There are several designs based on the the principle of causation for experi-

• A researcher conducts experiments to determine either the cause of a problem

or the effect of the treatment.

• Either, he/she selects a group of persons or an area of study.this group is know

as the experimental group and the area,the experimental area.

• The research examines the experimental group before a treatment is adminis-

tered and records what is observed.

• The researcher then administers the treatment to the experimental group after
the treatment and records what is observed/examines the experimental group
after the treatment and records what is observed.

• The difference before and after the treatment is regarding as the effect of the

• Or, the researcher can take two groups/areas of study; examine both groups
before administering a treatment and records what is observed. the researcher
then administers the treatment to only one group or area and leaves the other
group/area without treatment.

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• The group without the treatment is known as the control group.

• Both groups are then left under identical conditions during the entire period
of the experiment. they are supposed to be left under identical conditions for
the success of the experiement.

• After the treatment, the researcher examines both groups or areas and ob-
serves what has happened. he/she then calculates the results.

• There are two difference in the pre-treatment and post-treatment results. the
difference of the experimental group and that of the control group are sub-
tracted i.e (dii-diff control)and one gets the result (effect) of the treatment.

Exercise. Discuss the following as sources of information and list their advantages
and disadvantages:

• the library

• the internet

1. The library

2. Internet

E XERCISE 13.  Describe the type of questions to be used in an interview

Example . Advantages of questionnaires
They permit respondents time to consider their responses carefully without inter-
ference from, for example, an interviewer.
Cost - It is possible to provide questionnaires to large numbers of people simulta-
Uniformity. Each respondent receives the identical set of questions. With closed-
form questions, responses are standardised, which can assist in interpreting from
large numbers of respondents.
They permit anonymity. It is usually argued that anonymity increases the rate of re-
sponse and may increase the likelihood that responses reflect genuinely held opin-

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5.6. Technology in Communication

5.7. Introduction
Communication is as old as mankind. Over the years man has always had some
method of communicating his intentions, feelings and ideas.
In the early days man did not only use words to communicate but also signals like
smoke, light (from fire), sounds like drums, trumpets etc. Over long distances mes-
sages had to be relayed by word of mouth from one individual to another moving
in the direction to which the message was intended. This was slow and very cum-
Through the decades man has invented better methods of communication. Tech-
nological inventions and advances have seen communication undergo a series of
evolutionary phases- simple telephone technology to the modern highly computer-
ized communication. These developments include such things as :

1. The telephone- fixed landlines, pages, radios, public address systems to mo-
bile phones commonly used today.

2. Telegraphic written messages- telegraphs, facsimile (fax) to e-mails, face-

book & twitter.

Objects like phones, fax machine computers, satellites dishes, just to mention a
few, have greatly facilitated exchanges and sharing ideas through what is commonly
known as Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The

Role of Technology in Communication

Technology therefore has played a significant role in communication. It has enabled
people from different parts of the world share info easily and quickly. It has pro-
duced both highly positive and negative effects on communication in the process.

Positive Effects
1. Increased accessibility to information.

2. Increased speed of sending and receiving information.

3. Information has become of better quality.

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4. Large volumes of information can be condensed and stored in electronic

forms thus occupying very little space.

5. Improved the quality of knowledge and capacity of information users.

6. Easier sharing of information by different people at different locations at the

same time eg several people can connect to the same website at the same time.

7. Access to information has led to shorter and quicker decision making process
thus leading to higher productivity by business.

8. Increased competition among business organization has led to better quality


9. Use of facilities like televisions and videos enhance quicker understanding

and learning as one can easily combine both verbal and non-verbal aspects of

10. It has led to faster social and economic development as new knowledge can
be easily transferred to different parts of the world Negative Effects

Despite the many good roles technology plays in communication, there are nonethe-
less some adverse effects:

1. Electronic fraud e.g. in the case of banks where financial fraud occurs.

2. Moral decadence like in the addiction to pornographic materials in the inter-


3. Plagiarism- people use other people’s knowledge as though it is theirs (in


4. Computer hacking – where people illegally access information not meant for

5. Unemployment especially among the youth – one computer can replace sev-
eral people at the work place.

6. Laziness among the youth – they would prefer watching tvs, chatting with
friends on facebook or twitter to working.

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Exercise. Explain how the negative effects of technolgy in communication can be


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Information literacy skills

6.1. Introduction and course overview

We are all living in a knowledge Society with proliferating information resources
and drastic changes in our environments. In our everyday life, we confront dra-
matic challenges coming from the rapidly changing social, political and economic
environments of our society. These are so much information available today. We
see an exponential increase information, thanks to the ease of adding information
to the internet and publishing, both print and electronic materials via the web. With
so much information, it becomes easy to find something, but it is increasingly more
difficult to find exactly the right piece of information.
Proliferation of new technologies has greatly increased the amount, type and qual-
ity of information readily available to our students and community members. More
and more success in higher education and in the workplace depends on information
literacy and competency skills and the ability to use information resources indepen-
dently and effectively.
University and other institutions of higher education have an obligation to help stu-
dents develop curiosity, desire to explore, as well as problem solving and critical
thinking skills by learning how to effectively, efficiently search for, access and re-
trieve information, as well as how to critically evaluate, analyze and synthesize
Information literacy means many things to many people, but most agree that it is
an essential skill in today’s knowledge-based society. To be information literate,
students must be able to;-

• Determine the extent of information needed

• Access the needed information effectively and efficiently

• Evaluate information and its sources critically

• Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base

• Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose

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• Understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of in-
formation ethically and legally.

This module is therefore designed with the aim of equipping our students with
the ability to identify, search, evaluate, use and present information effectively and
ethically. It is intended to help students pursue life-long learning; take advantage of
the opportunities offered by the global information society and ultimately become
informed and responsible citizens.
Module Content: Understanding information literacy, Information needs and infor-
mation sources: defining a topic, types of information sources. Access of informa-
tion: how to find books, journal articles and database search techniques. Evalua-
tion and use of information; determining credibility and reliability of information
sources. Economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information: pla-
giarism and how to avoid it, documenting sources of information: citation styles and
referencing techniques. The impact of information and technology on the economy
and society.

6.2. Understanding Information Literacy

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module, students will be able to; - Understand and reflect on the
value of information literacy - Find their way around the Library in order to find
information they need - Use the library website to find information - Understand
and apply the basics of the research process.

6.2.1. What is information Literacy?

Education requires the ability to adopt problem solve and think critically about
challenges that arise in your daily activities. An educated person can recognize
an opportunity to learn and make the most of it. An important skill to acquire is
the ability to acknowledge when you don’t know something and decide what to do
about it. In other words, it is valuable to approach an assignment by asking yourself
the following;

• What do I really know about this?

• What do I want to know?

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• How do I find the information indeed?

Beyond that, you should be able to ask;

• Where will I find the best information to fit my needs?

• How will I know it when I see it?

• What do I do with it once I have it?

All these questions are part of the concept referred to as "Information Literacy"
which you learn about, practice, and apply as you work through the course modules.
Understanding these concepts will prepare you to approach subsequent modules
with a clear sense of purpose.
According to the America Library Association, information literacy is the ability
to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate,
and use effectively the needed information "(ACRL, 2000, p.1). In other words,
students who are information literate will know what they want (information) and
how to get it (through research).
The definition of an information literate person extends beyond school and applica-
tion to academic problems such as writing assignments and term papers and reaches
into the workplace. Information literacy is also important to effective and enlight-
ened citizenry, and has implications that can impact the lives of many people around
the world. The ability to use information technologies effectively to find and man-
age information, and the ability to critically evaluate and ethically apply that in-
formation to solve a problem are some of the hallmarks of an information literate
We live in the information age, and ‘information” is increasing at a rapid pace. We
have the internet, television, radio and other information resources available to us
24/7. However, just because so much information is so easily and quickly available
does not mean that all of it is worthwhile or even true.
Hardware and software technologies have been advancing and this expected to con-
tinue. New technologies are being invented. All times, we are faced with new
challenges like usage of new hardware, new version of software, new operating
systems, and new applications with synergy of hardware and software etc. Today’s
employers are looking for people who understand and can adapt to the characteris-
tics of the information age If a student has "learned how to learn" upon graduation,

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they are much more attractive to the job market. An information literate individual
– with their strong analytical, critical thinking and problem solving skills, can be
expected to be adaptable, capable and valuable employee, with much to contribute.

6.3. Information Needs and Information Sources

Whenever you are required to write an academic paper for assignment, you start
your information research process. In the first stage you will need to define the
topic and then determine the information needs (i.e. requirements) for your specific
You will then move to the second stage of developing you search strategy. How-
ever, before actually defining your search strategies, you will need to know that
there are wide ranges and different types of information source available for you’re

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this session, students should be able to:

• Determine the information needs (requirements) for their selected topic/problem

or assignment

• Define information sources

• Identify different types of information sources

• Identify the differences between primary sources and secondary sources

• Understand what each source type covers arid when to use a particular source.

6.3.1. Defining a Topic

Defining a topic for your academic assignment involves the following two important
processes: - selecting a topic and refining your topic.

• Selecting a topic
Selecting a topic is the first step you have to do in your information research process.
With information provided by your lecturers, you may get some idea of the topic

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to work with, or you may not have any idea at all, either way, you may find the
following helpful for selecting a topic for your assignment;

• Select a topic that genuinely interests you

• Look up the syllabus to see what topics are covered in the course

• Look up the teaching materials reserved for the course in the library

• Brainstorm all possible ideas with your fellow classmates or group members

• Browse scholarly journals or books in the common areas on interest. You may
also find it helpful to look up other sources such as newspapers, magazines
or web resources etc.

• Check-up possible topics in a general encyclopedia or in subject encyclopedia

such as Britannica.

• Refining your topic:

Refining your topic is a continuing process, with a workable topic resulted as its
by-product. The process requires some critical thinking and analysis, and involves
the following activities.

• State your topic as a question

At this point, you may have some general idea of your stated problem. Now you
can further clarify your thoughts and focus by stating your topic as a question. Once
you have stated your topic as a question, you need to identify the main concepts in
the question making a list of important keywords that describe your topic. (These
should include synonyms or other related terms). The list of keywords will be very
useful as it provides you added terms to use when you require more information,
they also guide you in the ways to narrow or broaden your topic.

• Narrow or broaden your topic if needed

When you find that you have too much information in the list, you may need to
narrow your topic by adding specific terms to your question(s). in contrast, you
may need to broaden you topic by including more general terms to your question(s).
In other words, to strike a happy medium between broad and narrow, try picking a

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specific angle, section, or aspect of a broad topic or looking at how a narrow topic
is influences by other factors, or how it influences other factors in your field.

• Determining information needs

Once a topic is defined, you have to determine the information requirements (i.e In-
formation needs) for your specific problem or assignment. The types of information
required are dependent on the topic selected. The following points are important to
consider when determining the information needs of your topic\:

• Type of assignment: Assignments can differ from a short presentation to a

major project (e.g. masters thesis) with many varieties in between including
short essays, critiques summaries, term papers etc.

• The quantity of information required to meet your needs: Depending on the

specific requirements of your problem (topic), you may note that some as-
signments can be done by consulting brief summaries or overviews, whereas
other assignments may require more detailed and wide ranging information.

• Currency of information: you will need to now whether your assignments

require the most updated information or historical information or informa-
tion over a period of time. - The types of publication of your information
need; - You need to know whether the assignment needs information from
books, scholarly or professional journals, current information from popular
magazines, newspapers, trade magazines, or government publications etc.

• Kinds of information sources (primary sources or secondary sources for your

need: - In most cases, you will use secondary sources (e.g. books and jour-
nal articles, reference materials, magazines, newspapers encyclopedia etc)
for your assignments. However, in some other cases, your assignments may
require you to use primary sources such as interviews diaries, letters, discus-
sions debates or raw data collected from surveys etc.

• Formats of information sources for your need:- In addition to using printed

sources, you may need to use other kinds of sources (non-print sources) such
as audio, audio-visual, multimedia, microform and electronic books, journal,
images; text/records form the internet etc).

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Information Sources Information is processed data and is an essential ingredient in

decision-making. An information source is where you got you information from;
this can be a book or a website. Information sources are various means by which
information is recorded for use by an individual or an organization. It is the means
by which a person is informed about something or knowledge is availed to someone,
a group of people or an organization. Information sources can be observations,
people, speeches, documents, pictures, organizations. They come in many types of
formats such as in print, in electronic (digital) format or in person (an interview).

6.4. Types of information sources

Information can come from virtually everywhere: personal experiences, books, arti-
cles, expert opinions, encyclopedias, and the web. The type of information needed
will change depending on its application. Individuals generate information on a
daily basis as they go about their business. In academic institutions, staff and stu-
dent consult various sources of information. The choice of the source to be con-
sulted is usually determined by the type of information being sought. Information
sources are categorized into three types;

• Primary sources

• Secondary sources

• Tertiary sources

6.4.1. Primary Sources:

Primary sources are original materials on which other research studies are based.
They report a discovery or share new information; they present first-hand accounts
and information relevant to an event. They present information it its original form,
not interpreted or condensed or evaluated by other writers. They are usually evi-
dence or accounts of the events, practices or conditions being researched and cre-
ated y a person who directly experienced that event. Primary sources are the first
formal appearance of results in print or electronic formats. Examples of primary
sources are:-

• Eyewitness accounts

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• Journalistic reports

• Financial reports

• Government documents

• Archeological and Biological evidence

• Court records

• Literary manuscripts

• Minutes of meetings

• Research data, statistics, or findings from experiments or surveys etc.

The definition of a primary source may also vary depending upon the discipline or
context. A diary would be a primary source because it is written directly by the in-
dividual writing in the diary. Interviews are primary sources because the individual
talks about the topic directly from what he/she knows about it.

6.4.2. Secondary Sources:

A secondary source of information is one that was created by someone who did not
have the first-hand experience or did not participate in the event or conditions being
researched. They are generally accounts written after the fact with the benefit of
hind sight. Secondary sources describe, analyze, interpret, evaluate, comment on
arid discuss the evidence. For secondary sources, often the best are those that have
been published most recently. If you use a secondary source that was published
decades ago, it is important to know what subsequent scholars have written on the
topic and what criticism they have made about the earlier work or its approach to
the topic. The definition of a secondary source may also vary depending upon the
discipline or context. Most often how a source is used determines whether it is a
primary or secondary source. For historical research projects, secondary sources
are generally scholarly nooks and articles. Other examples of secondary sources

• Bibliographies (also considered tertiary)

• Biographical works

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• Commentaries

• Criticisms

• Dictionaries

• Histories

• Journal articles (depending on the discipline these can be primary).

• Magazine newspaper articles (varies by discipline)

• Monographs (Other than fiction and autobiography)

• Textbooks (also considered tertiary)

• Websites (also considered primary)

It should be noted that the nature of your research and you information need will
determine which types of sources are more appropriate. In some cases you may
need to consult both primary and secondary sources for a sound argument.

6.4.3. Tertiary Sources:

Tertiary sources consist of Information which is a distillation and collection of pri-
mary and secondary sources. Generally, they are not considered to be acceptable
material on which to base academic research. They are intended only to provide
an overview of what the topic includes its basic terminology and often references
for further reading. Tertiary sources are usually not credited to a particular author.
Some reference materials and textbooks are considered tertiary sources when their
main purpose is to list summaries or simply repackage ideas or other information.
In other words, tertiary sources are;

• Works which list primary and secondary resources in a specific subject area

• Works which index, organize and compile citations to, and show how sec-
ondary sources can be used

• Materials in which the information from secondary sources has been "di-
gested" reformatted and condensed, to put it into a convenient, easy-to0read

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• Sources which are once removed in time from secondary sources.

• Some examples include dictionaries and encyclopedias, Wikipedia and other

similar user contributed online reference materials as well as various digests.

6.4.4. Popular Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals

It is important to learn to distinguish between popular magazines and scholarly
journals. Not only will your professors often ask you to use only scholarly journals,
but you will also gain a greater understanding of the purpose and intended audience
of the resources you use to develop your research topic.
Note that popular magazines and scholarly journals are types of periodicals. A
periodical is any publication produced periodically, that is, in regularly recurring
intervals. Examples include journals, magazines, and newspapers. Periodicals are
often also referred to as serials.
When people hear the word periodical, they often think of articles. The articles in
periodicals can run from a single paragraph story in a newspaper to a 40 page study
in a scholarly journal. Though there are exceptions, most periodical articles tend to
be no more than fifty pages.
Periodical articles are organized into issues. When you pick up a copy of Time
magazine, you are holding an issue of the periodical entitled Time. Often, especially
in more scholarly periodicals, the articles in an issue of a periodical will all have
a common theme. For example, an issue of English Journal frequently devotes an
entire issue to a topic, such as student assessment

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Notice the terminology used. Popular magazines are usually called magazines.
Scholarly journals are usually called scholarly journals. Scholarly journals are
also sometimes called academic journals.
There is a subset of scholarly journals called peer-reviewed journals. In order to be
published in peer-reviewed journals, the articles must be approved by recognized
experts in the field that the article discusses.

6.4.5. Formats of information sources

Information is published in a range of formats and it is important to select and use,
these appropriate to your needs. What you use will depend on your circumstances,
including the time and technology available. There are three main formats namely,
print, electronic and audio-visual.

• Print materials

– Print is simply paper (hand copy) form of information. Books, serials

periodicals, official publications and some specialized sources are usu-
ally published print form.

• Electronic

– Electronic information resources refer to anything that is recorded, stored

and retrieved using computer technology; Examples of electronic infor-
mation sources include CDs, DVDs and all online sources including
searchable databases.

• Audio-visual

– Audio-visual (AV) resources consist of sound and visual images. These

include item such as television programmes, motion pictures, music
recordings and slides. It is however important to note that the informa-
tion you seek may exist in any one or more of these formats. While more
and more information exist in electronic and audio-visual formats, sig-
nificant amounts of information are readily (and sometimes only) avail-
able in print format.

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We have greater access to a wider array of information sources than ever before,
below is a list of the main types of sources which may be available in print, audio-
visual, and/or electronic formats;

• Books -One of the most commonly used information sources, books can be
either fiction (i.e. a work of imagination) or non-fiction (i.e. fact-based).
Non-fiction books provide in-depth detail on a subject or a general overview;
therefore it is important to think about how much information you want be-
fore choosing a book. Most books will have content pages, indexes and chap-
ter headings which will help you quickly evaluate whether or not it meets your
needs. It is also important to remember that, for printed books at least, the
publication process can be lengthy, so you need to check that the information
contained is current enough for your needs.

• Reference works- These include dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, bib-

liographies and directories. Many of these reference works are now available
online as well as in hard copy and are excellent for finding introductory in-
formation, topic overviews, definitions, statistics, facts and signposts to other
information sources quickly.

• Serials -Also known as periodicals include newspapers, magazine and jour-

nals –any material that is published at regular intervals. They are excellent
sources of current information presenting the latest thinking in easily di-
gestible chunks. However, the short length of most articles often prevents
the author from exploring the subject in great depth. Newspapers and maga-
zines are aimed at a more general readership, while some serials cover a wide
subject area, and other (such as trade publications) focuses on a particular
subject or industry. As with books, many serials are also published electron-
ically (online). Some are free to access while others require a subscription.

• Websites -A website is a collectio0n of web pages which reside on the “World

Wide Web". Thousands of new websites are created every day, offering a vast
quantity of information of varying value. On the one hand this great, as it
means most of the information you need is at your fingertips. However, if
your search terms are vague, the quantity and quality of information returned

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can be either overwhelming or disappointing. Well-defined search strategies

and excellent evaluation skill are required to use the internet effectively.

• Official/Government publications -These include parliamentary publications

such as legislation bills, Acts of parliament and statutes, debates, gazette no-
tices and reports, and non-parliamentary publications which are produced by
government departments, Ministries and other official bodies – these may in-
clude books, articles, press releases, newsletters, reports and statistical infor-
mation. Most of these official publications are published by the Government
Printer. They can also be found online in official websites.

• Specialized Sources -Specialized sources provide unique, scholarly or his-

torical valuable information. Examples include conference papers, theses,
dissertations, private papers, diaries, manuscripts, letters, photos, maps, pam-
phlets etc.

• People -People, especially those with unique experience or expertise are a

valuable, but frequently overlooked source of information. If you know the
right people to talk to, they can often provide you with the information you
need quickly and easily, thus saving valuable research time and effort.

• Where to Find Information Sources:

The starting points for looking for information are:

1. Human sources

2. Archives

3. Libraries

4. Internet

• Human sources (Colleagues/Peers)

Communication with colleagues and peers are a good way of obtaining information.
For example doctors have been found to rely on their colleagues for information in
order to solve a patient’s problem. The value of informal sources of information
especially colleagues and peers cannot be overstressed. The good side of it is that

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colleagues and peers are readily available to provide needed information at the right
time. If the right person is contacted, quality and up-to-date information will be
obtained. The problem of using human sources is that there may be some element
of bias in the information provided or some people will say things from their own
point of view or exaggerate it.

• Archives

Archives are places where records of all types and formats are kept and made ac-
cessible for research and other purposes. They are a good place to find primary
sources, both unpublished materials and those that have been published for their
parent institution’s members or domain. Personal and institutional records of all
types can be found in archives, as well as media, oral histories and even artifacts.
The term ‘archives’ can also refer to the records themselves. The materials housed
in the archives are unique. Archives store, preserve and make accessible records of
enduring value that have not been produced in great quantities for the general public
for research and understanding. Archival materials are rare and irreplaceable and
therefore are not loaned out to users.

• Libraries

When you think about libraries, the first things that come into mind are probably
printed materials such as books, journals and magazines. Libraries also provide
access to electronic resources such as full-text journal articles, periodical indexes
and encyclopedia and other online reference sources. Libraries collect quality in-
formation in a wide variety of formats. Academic libraries purchase these sources
for their “community” of students and staff. Unlike archives, libraries have mass
produced items such as books, journals, magazines, government reports, multime-
dia and audio-visual materials, manuscripts and other special collections such as
maps and rare books. These resources are different from most of the information
that is freely available to you over the internet because they have been reviewed
and recommended by the library with input from the faculty members. The main
purpose of libraries, particularly university libraries, is to collect a large quantity
of scholarly materials from different time periods and on diverse topics to make
research and teaching easier for the university community. Library materials unlike
those found on the internet, go through a review process. Librarians select books,

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magazines, journal databases and even Websites for use by their patrons. This se-
lection process enables the library to collect resources considered to be reliable,
relevant and valuable. In addition, library resources are organized by subjects thus
making them easy to find. For easy access, each item of library material has a call
number that indicates where it is located on the library shelf. With the advent of the
electronic age, some of these are now accessible through digital libraries collection
on the Web. Libraries also have trained staff – Librarians who serve as a bridge
between the users and information sources. They assist users in sorting through the
maze of information in their library collections. Librarians answer reference ques-
tions and also help the library users to learn how to use new information tools. If
you need help with accessing information, contact your librarian.
The Internet and the World Wide Web The internet is a global system of networked
computers that allow user-to-user communication and transfer of data files from
one computer to another on the network. It is a worldwide system of computer
networks – a network of networks in which users of one computer can, if they have
permission, get information from any other computer( and sometimes talk directly
to users at other computers) on the network. On the other hand, the World Wide
Web (WWW) provides the technology needed to navigate the internet is vast sea
of resources. The WWW is a pathway of accessing information over the internet
via Universal Resource Locator (URL) or web address. Almost all information ob-
tained from the internet is free. For example, you can access general information
such as local and national news, weather, sports etc from popular portals. You can
access government information and notices from various governmental websites
and even you can obtain specific information like statistical data and financial re-
ports of business corporations. Furthermore, there are some websites that provide
free application programs for your download. However, some websites require your
subscription and fee if you want to access a particular type of information (can you
think of some examples). On the other hand, all library resources are not free. The
University library has purchased a wide variety of printed resources, reference tools
and has subscribed a variety of electronic databases for the JKUAT community.

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Study Questions

Example . What is the definition of “information literacy”? How would you

define “information” in a college context? What do you know about the term “lit-
eracy”? How do you think these two words work together to form one concept?
Solution: nhfdhfh 

E XERCISE 14.  Differentiate between primary sources, secondary sources and

tertiary sources of information?
E XERCISE 15.  What are the two characteristics of primary sources? Give two
examples of primary sources.
E XERCISE 16.  What are four characteristics of secondary sources? Give at least
two examples.
E XERCISE 17.  What are two characteristics of tertiary sources? Give two ex-
E XERCISE 18.  What are the characteristics of a scholarly journal?

1. Rieding, A.M. (2006). Learning to learn. A guide to becoming information
literate. New York: Neal-Schuman. ISBN: 978-15557055 5

2. Diana, Hacker (2006). Research and documentation in electronic age. Boston,

MA: St. Martins. ISBN: 978-031265572 2

3. Hart, Chris. (2006).Doing a literature search: a comprehensive guide for the

social sciences. London: Sage. ISBN 978-076196809-2

4. Turabian, Kate L. (2013) A Manual for writers of term papers, theses and Dis-
sertations, 8th ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press. ISBN: 978-022681637

5. O’Leary, Zina. (2010) The essential guide to doing your research project.
Los Angeles, CA: Sage, ISBN: 978-1-84860-010-2

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6. American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the Amer-

ican Psychological Association, 6th Edition. Washington, DC: Author. ISBN:
978-143380559 2

7. Sen, L., (2006) Communication Skills. New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India.
ISBN: 978-8120333017

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Access to Information

7.1. Searching for information

Once we have identified the information needs of our research, it is time to ac-
tually look for information. There is a plenty of information sources nowadays.
Books, Journals, Magazines, Newspapers and Library catalogues are some tradi-
tional sources of information that we may use. These are often presented in print
format or electronic format. Other formats of materials may also be useful the
audio-visuals, online databases, verbal (talking to people) and most importantly, the
internet. In the age of information overload and technology advancements, learning
how to effectively search for information and knowing what to do with information
is a crucial skill to master, Applying search strategies will not only help in finding
the best information, but also saving valuable time.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module students should be able to: - Conduct basic search strate-
gies - Conduct online searching techniques - Apply best practices in the use of
full-text electronic journals - Do general database searching

7.2. What is a database?

A research database is an organized collection of records for citations. Depending
on the specific database, the citations come from newspapers, magazines, scholarly
journals, technical reports, conference proceedings, book chapters and much more.
Each record in a database is composed of information for a particular item (a book,
an article).
Each record is composed of a set of fields, such as title, author, source, and subject

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7.2.1. Types of Databases

Types of databases used for research include:

1. Library catalogue - an inventory of what is owned by a particular library. It

is a catalog of books, videos, and other materials owned by a library.

2. Article databases – a database used for finding citations to articles in period-

icals (journals, magazines, newspapers).

(a) Many databases provide abstracts, or summaries, for each article.

(b) Some databases provide the full-text of periodical articles.

3. Reference sources– the full-text of a reference book

7.2.2. Selecting a Database

Selecting the best research database for your topic is an important step. You need
to choose a database that covers your topic, as well as the dates you need.
To choose a research database on JKUAT Library Home Page:

• Go to the Find Books, Articles & More link on the library’s home page.

• Select an appropriate subject area related to your research topic.

• Skim the list of databases, reading about each one to learn:

– Subjects covered
– Types of publications covered: journal articles, books, etc.
– Dates covered

7.2.3. Searching strategies

Searching strategies are ways of using search terms in finding required information
from search tools, such as search engines (Google), the library catalogue and online
database To achieve good search results, it is necessary to use search strategies.
The following are some of the most common search strategies that are applicable to
various searching tools.

• Boolean logic

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• Parenthesis

• Phrase searching

• Truncation

• Field searching

7.2.4. Identifying search terms

• Identifying search terms is a search strategy that will help you to refine the
searching process.

• Before you start searching for information on the internet or in a database, it is

always a good idea to identify the most important keywords in your research
topic. It is those words that describe your topic the best. You can then use
these keywords or search terms to start searching for information.

• When identifying search terms, you must pay particular attention to the fol-
lowing aspects to ensure that all likely relevant terms are included in the
search strategy.

• Synonyms to broaden or narrow your search: car, cars, autos, automobiles,


• Plural/singular/,Broader term/Narrower terms

• Abbreviations

• - Acronyms

• Spelling variations

Using the proper search term or phrase(s) is a crucial component of the research pro-
cess. These are the keys which can unlock much of the information needed. Select-
ing the right terms or phrases can be challenging and even confusing. Some terms
are very specific, medical and engineering terms are often precise in the meaning
and in some cases, live depend on using these words correctly. You might need to
consult various reference sources, such as;

• Dictionaries- (for definition)

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• Subject encyclopedia – (for general backgrounds information)

• Thesaurus – (for word variations)

Now that you have a keyword list, and depending on what your topic is, it might be
necessary to consult a range of resources. Periodical indexes or databases regularly
indexes articles published in thousands of journals, they help you locate articles on
a specific topics, thus saving you the needs to search each journal individually.

7.2.5. Boolean operators

To get the best results, it is important to search your topic in a way that the database
will understand. While database search interfaces can look very different, most of
them use the same commands to state the relationship between search terms. These
common commands are known as Boolean operators.
The Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT tell the database how to group your
search terms and in what order to search for each term. They can be used individu-
ally to join two terms, or they can be used in combination, to create more complex
search statements. When searching electronic databases, Boolean operators can be
used to either narrow or broaden your record sets. It is also important to keep in
mind that most search engines require that Boolean operators be typed in Capital
Each Boolean operator works differently:

• AND combines search terms so that each search results contains all the terms.
For example dogs AND cats would result in articles that contain both terms.
Use AND if you want to narrow a search so that all words appear in your

• OR combines search terms so that each search results contain at least one of
the terms. For example a search looking for articles about "dogs or cats"
would contain articles about either dogs or cats. Use OR if you want to
expand a search so that anyone of your words appear in you search results.

• NOT narrows your search by telling the database to exclude all terms that
follow it from your search results. This can be useful when: • you are inter-
ested in a very specific aspect of a topic (letting you weed out the issues that

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you’re not planning to write about) • when you want to exclude a certain type
of article (book reviews, for instance, aren’t typically helpful when writing a
college-level paper) Use NOT with caution as good items can be eliminated
from the results retrieved. For example "Dogs NOT cats" would find results
that contain dogs but not cats.

7.2.6. Truncation
Truncation means ’ to make shorter’ after identifying all the possible relevant search
terms, you must decide whether you are going to use truncation. The truncation
symbol is often a question mark? or an asterisk*.
The use of truncation retrieves all variations of a root word in a single search, by
using a special symbol to replace the word endings. This broadens the search.
For example, searching for Politi* will find information on politics, politicians,
political, politically. Do not truncate too early in the word as Poli* will also find
information on police, polite, policy.

• Wom?n – will retrieve information on both woman and women. Middle trun-
cation is especially useful to provide for spelling variations.

The Boolean operators and the use of the symbols such as the asterisk (*) for trun-
cation and the question mark (?) for a wildcard can be used in combination to create
search strings. Using search strings will result in more sophisticated searches from
the library databases, as well as help in searching search engineers more effectively.
A search string allows the search concepts to be manipulated for more precise re-
trieval results.

• Parenthesis

Parenthesis are symbols (-) or "-" put around words to show what is inside should
be kept together. For example: "Conceptual art" will get different results from
conceptual art. Using inverted commas to indicate a phrase will get fewer and
better results use parenthesis to group words. This forces the database to group the
terms the way you want, not the way the database wants.
The search below would find either articles about asthma and children or articles
just about infant. To make it logical you would need to include brackets. Asthma
AND (Children OR Infants)

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• Phrase searching

"Phrase searching" means searching for two or more words as an exact phrase.
This allows you to find documents contain a particular phrase e.g. "air pollution"
or "bio-fuel energy"
Nesting (or ’Grouping’) is a keyword search technique that keeps alike concepts
together, and tells a search engine or database to search those terms placed in
parenthesis first. Using nesting in a search requires that the items in parenthesis
be searched first. Generally the items in parenthesis are linked by the Boolean op-
erator "OR".
You can use nesting when you are trying to link two more concepts that may have
many synonyms, or me be represented by a number of different terms to obtain
more comprehensive search results.
Example: Using (Eastern Africa OR Africa) AND HIV? AIDS will search Eastern
Africa or Africa first.

• Field-Specific Searching

A good technique for focusing a database search is to limit your search to a specific
field. Do a field-specific search when you are looking for:

• articles in a particular journal

• items published in a particular year or years

• particular keywords in the title

• items written in English only

7.2.7. Searching the library catalogue

A database is an organized collection of online records in a standardized format that
can be stored and accessed in a variety of ways. The library catalogue (OPAC) is
one example of a database.

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Each record in the OPAC is composed of important elements of information that

describe a specific item. For example, the elements of information for a specific
book title would be contained in a single catalog record.
Each record is composed of a set of fields which contain the individual elements of
information. For example, each record in a library catalogue includes fields such
as: title, author, and subject headings.

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7.2.8. Keyword Search

A keyword search retrieves words or phrases from the important fields of the
database records. In most databases a keyword search finds words in fields that have
descriptive content, such as author, article title, source title (book, journal, mag-
azine, or newspaper, subject/descriptor terms, and abstract. In some databases,
additional fields may be included in the keyword search. And in other databases,
a keyword search will search everything in every record. Some keyword search
engines allow you to specify which fields are to be searched.
A keyword search usually retrieves more items than a subject search, but they may
not all be relevant. The computer looks for the exact word you type, not for the
meaning or context of the word.
For example, a search on AIDS will retrieve items on...

• aids for the hearing impaired

• school aids

• AIDS (the disease)

A keyword search is the best method to use when:

• You are beginning your research

• You are searching for a new trend or concept

• You are not sure of the correct subject heading

• The database does not have subject headings

• You are looking for specific factual information

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Use only significant words, not common words, such as the, of, an, and that. Avoid
using phrases such as "people with diabetes", or whole sentences, such as "How do
people buy cigarettes if they are under 18?"

• Subject Heading Search

A subject search involves searching the subject headings used in a database. Most
databases include subject headings that are assigned to each record.
A list of subject headings, called a database thesaurus, ensures that all items about
the same topic have uniform headings. Users can then retrieve all of the items on
the same topic using one word or term, even when there may be several other ways
to state the concept. By using the subject heading, you will retrieve every relevant
item for your topic. Searching with a subject heading retrieves items ABOUT that
particular topic, and it is a more precise search than a keyword search.
For example, you may want to research the topic death penalty.
Possible ways (synonyms) to state this topic include:

• Death Penalty

• Electrocution

• Capital Punishment

• Hanging

• Cruel and Unusual Punishment

• Death Row

• Lethal Injection

The thesaurus for the library catalogue (OPAC) is called Library of Congress Sub-
ject Headings. If you would like to consult this resource, or if you are unsure
whether a particular database has a thesaurus, ask the librarian.
Keyword vs. Subject Heading Search

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Search Tips
Use the OPAC to search for items at JKUAT libraries including:

• books (online, & print)

• journal articles (online)

Try a basic keyword search when:

• You have a narrow or complex topic. In many cases this means entering two
or more search terms to describe your topic.

• You have only partial information about the author or title.

• There is no appropriate subject heading or your topic or you are unsure of the
correct subject heading

• Try an author, subject, or title search when you know the exact author,
subject, or title

• If you retrieve too many results for your topic, try a subject search.

• If your topic is too specific, you may retrieve few or no results. Try to think of
a broader subject area or broader search terms to use for your topic (e.g., Spe-
cific topic: the impact of divorce on the academic performance of children.
Try a broader search: children and divorce).

General search strategy tips:

• Use the Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT in ALL CAPS to refine your

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• “ ” use quotation marks to find an exact phrase – e.g., “world war z”

• ? enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For

example, type wom?n to search for records that contain at least one of these
words - woman, women.

• * enter an asterisk at the end of a root word to pick up all forms of the root
word including the plural or singular of a word. For example, type the root
word teen* to search for records that contain at least one of these words –
teen, teens, teenage, teenager, teenagers.

How to Access the OPAC

1. To access and begin a search in OPAC go to the JKUAT Library home page
at: http://jkuat.ac.ke/departments/library/

2. When the JKUAT Library home page appears, type your keywords in the
OPAC search box located near the top of the screen. Click on the Go button
or press the <Enter> key to execute the search.

3. These search results will appear in a new tab/window.

4. To perform another search while still in the OPAC, enter your search terms in
the search window near the top of the screen.

How to locate print books by call number

Library of Congress Classification & Call Numbers
Libraries use classification systems to organize the books on the shelves. Most
public libraries use the Dewey decimal classification System (DDC) and most aca-
demic libraries (including JKUAT) use the Library of Congress Classification Sys-
tem (LC). You may be more familiar with the Dewey Decimal system which uses
only numbers to arrange materials on the shelves. The LC system uses a combina-
tion of letters and numbers to arrange materials on the shelves.
These classification systems allow each book and other materials in the library to
be assigned a unique call number. A call number is like an address; it indicates
where the book is located on the library shelves.
Anatomy of a Call Number

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A call number label is attached to each book spine or front cover. Every item record
in the library catalogue also includes a call number. When searching the library
catalogue, you want to be sure to jot down the complete LC call number in order to
locate the item on the shelf.

If you haven’t narrowed down your topic for a research assignment but have a gen-
eral subject in mind, you can also browse the shelves if you know the beginning
Library of Congress classification letters for that subject (e.g., BF – Psychology
books; L - Education; PS – American Literature; R – Medicine)

Finding and using e-books

Although JKUAT library’s e- book collection continues to grow, you will find most
of the books the library owns in our print collection. Depending on your research
topic, you may find appropriate information in:

• only print books

• only online books

• both print and online books

The library provides access to thousands of online books through databases such as
Ebrary- Academic Complete, Taylor and Francis e-books, ScienceDirect e-books
and SpringerLink e-books. Besides searching these databases directly for online
books, you can also search the library catalogue for these books.

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• Searching the library databases

A database is an organized collection of online records in a standardized format
that can be stored and accessed in a variety of ways. EBSCO HOST and Academic
Search Complete are such examples of databases.
Each record in a database is composed of important elements of information that
describe a specific item. For example, the elements of information for a specific
article title in Academic Search Complete would be contained in a single database
Each record is composed of a set of fields which contain the individual elements of
information. For example, each record in an article database includes fields such
as: article title, authors, journal title (Source), subject terms, and abstract.

Example of a Record from the Academic Search Complete Database:

• Library Databases vs. Google

The library databases are services to which university pay to have access. Most
of the articles contained in the library databases cannot be found through a search
Library databases are organized collection of electronic information that allows a
user to search for a particular topic, article, or book in a variety of ways (e.g., key-

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word, subject, author, title). They contain thousands to millions of records or arti-
cles. The library purchases subscriptions to these databases (similar to purchasing
a subscription to a magazine or newspaper).
The types of resources indexed in library databases include: scholarly journal, pop-
ular magazine, and newspaper articles reference materials (e.g., entries from dictio-
naries, encyclopedias, etc.) books, pamphlets, government documents, etc.
All databases provide citation information about the items they index. A citation
typically consists of: author’s name, title of article, title of the book, journal, mag-
azine, and newspaper, publisher, date of publication. Many library databases also
provide abstracts of the items they index. An abstract is a brief summary of the
Many library databases also provide the full text (the entire article or book) for
items they index. Library databases also differ in their subject coverage. Some
library databases are general - meaning that they index items from many subject
areas or academic disciplines.
If you’re not sure which database to choose, you may want to start your research
with our most comprehensive and general database, EBSCO HOST - Academic
Search Complete. Most library databases index items from a specific subject area
or academic discipline (e.g., business, health, history, psychology). To browse
databases by subject, use the Filter by Subject/Discipline menu option.
Accessing library databases: The library databases can be accessed from the li-
brary’s home page (http://jkuat.ac.ke/departments/library/). If you are accessing
the databases from off-campus, you will be prompted to login with your username
and password. The databases are accessible 24/7. If you need further help in using
the databases, schedule a consultation with a librarian.

• Library databases Vs Web Resources

Most of the information retrieved from the open web by using Internet search en-
gines, such as Google, is free. Library databases contain copyrighted, licensed,
proprietary information that is not free. The University Library pays yearly sub-
scription fees for its databases just like it pays yearly subscription fees for its print
journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Note that there is nothing wrong with using Google or another search engine to
find information on the web. But, just keep in mind that most of the information

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retrieved from the open web hasn’t been evaluated. It could be inaccurate, biased,
or it might not be current. Also, the authors of web sites might not have the same
credentials as the authors of articles found in the library databases. You will need
to more carefully evaluate information retrieved on the open web. All of the arti-
cles found in the library databases have already been evaluated for accuracy and
credibility by discipline-specific experts and publishers.

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Study Questions

Example . Name the 3 Boolean operators we have discussed?

Solution: .... 

E XERCISE 19.  Go to http://www.google.com/ and plug in the following search

terms. Give the results that you come up with in the result column.
Search terms Results
Example of AND operator.
poverty AND crime

E XERCISE 20.  Go to www.google.com and plug in the following search terms.

Give the results that you come up with in the result column.
Example of OR operator
Search terms Results
college OR university
college OR university OR campus

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Evaluating Information Sources

8.1. Introduction:
In the course of a search, you will encounter numerous information resources, both
print and digital. You will need to consider how to tell whether those sources are
reputable and of quality. Evaluating your sources and the information they provide
is very important. Some sources can be outdated, biased, or just plain wrong; and
using that information makes it a lot more difficult for you to present a convincing
argument. Web resources, in particular, rarely go through any reviewing or ref-
ereeing process. Anyone with internet connection can publish information on the
WWW. There is no guarantee for accuracy or the absence of biases. Evaluating in-
formation is when students determine the usefulness of individual resources – their
relevance to the topic being reached; whether they are scholarly or popular; and
where they are situated within the discourse of the topic at hand.

Module learning outcomes:

Upon completion of this module, students will be able to:
• Identify the criteria for evaluating information sources

• Evaluate resources based on evaluation criteria checklist

• Identify a credible information resource using the criteria checklist

• Identify a Website type based on the URL domain suffix.

8.2. Evaluating sources for credibility:

In choosing information sources for your research topic, you want to trust that the
sources will be authoritative, accurate, objective, current and reliable in order to
help you write a well-informed research report or assignment. Below is the evalua-
tion criteria checklist:
• Authority: You wouldn’t ask a carpenter for advice about your teeth or a
dentist for advice about your kitchen cabinets. The same concept applies to
research. Seek out sources written by experts in their field, and keep in mind
that many sources are specialized for certain subjects or fields.

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• Accuracy: It’s important to be definite (not hesitant) about the points you
make in your research assignment. That’s why the information in your sources
should be explained clearly and supported with evidence.

• Objectivity: An objective source states only the facts and does not try to
persuade its readers, push an agenda, or advocate a cause. A non-objective
(or biased) source has an opinion or agenda. It may include good information,
and it may be a good source of current opinions about a topic, but you should
be careful not to cite its assertions as facts.

• Currency: Look at your research paper as an addition to the ongoing con-

versation about your topic. Would it make sense to jump into the discussion
with old news? May be not. That’s why it’s important to choose only the
most recent sources, particularly if you’re researching a topic about which
new developments are made every day. Although currency is important, you
shouldn’t rule out older sources entirely; using older sources is fine for get-
ting a background understanding of your topic or a historical perspective on
its development.

• Coverage: How comprehensive is the coverage of the topic? What is the

breadth of the information? What is its intended subject scope? Is the time pe-
riod or geographical scope relevant to your research needs? What is the depth
of the information? Does it provide a brief overview, or does it concentrate
on a specific aspect? How comprehensive is the information provided? Does
the site contribute something unique on the subject? When you’re searching
for a source using an online catalog or a database, you’ll encounter some im-
portant information about your source long before you have the book in your
hand or the journal article on your screen. This description usually includes
the documentation information for the source and often includes a summary
of the work. As you’re browsing your sources, there are a few elements you’ll
want to keep an eye out for:

• Author: Who wrote the source? Is it clear what the author’s credentials are?
Can you search the author’s name on the internet to find out anything more
about his or her credibility, reputation, experience, and expertise with your

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• Date: When was this source published? Since most research assignments
will have you adding something new to the greater conversation about your
topic, it’s important to find the most current research. We’re living in an
information age, so there’s no reason to go with stale research. (Note: This is
not to say that all aged works are to be ignored. Depending on your research
topic, a historical perspective may be useful.)

• Publication: Which company published the book you’re considering, and

what type and quality of work is it known for publishing? Which journal
printed the article you’re eyeing, and what is its reputation in the field? Was
your work put out by a university, a government office, or another respected

• Summary: Reading a summary of your source may have less to do with

quality and more to do with whether or not the source is a good fit for the
answers you’re seeking through research. In this way, it helps you to evaluate
the usefulness of the source. As you can see, you can tell a lot about the
quality of your source before you even read it. Take the time to consider the
publication information and summary of your sources before you commit to
downloading, locating, printing, or reading them. It will save you time in the
long run!

• Once a source has passed your first test (a scanning of its documentation
information and summary), it’s time to decide whether the information it
provides will indeed be useful to you. There are a few elements to consider:

– Focus and Scope: Scan the major headings of the work. Does it appear
that the source addresses the topic(s) you’re seeking to learn more about,
or does it develop in a direction that won’t be useful to you? Does the
source address your topic in sufficient detail, or does it gloss over the
concepts you were hoping to read more about?
– Purpose: What is the aim of the source? Does it seek to entertain, in-
form, or persuade? Would using information from this source be helpful
to your research or would it confuse it? For example, for some assign-
ments, it might be appropriate to begin a speech or an essay by citing a
story that lightly introduces your audience to your topic, while in other

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assignments it wouldn’t work; in addition, while it might be useful to

compare the opinions of experts in the field, stating opinions as facts
would lead to biased and possibly inaccurate information. That’s why
it’s important to consider the source’s purpose as well as your purpose
in using it.
– Audience and Readability: Who do you think is the intended audience
for this source? On one hand, a source may be too simple and elemen-
tary (perhaps aimed at younger school children). On the other, it may
assume considerable previous knowledge from its readers and be full of
jargon (perhaps intended for experts in the field). It’s important to find
a source that will be useful to you and your audience.
– Evaluating a Website: While a wealth of high-quality information can
be found through the library catalog (OPAC) and electronic databases,
The Web also contains a wealth of information published by govern-
ments, educational institutions, professional organizations, non-profit
groups, commercial enterprises, and private individuals all over the world.
Since there are no standards for information quality on the Web, not
everything you find will be accurate or appropriate to use as research.
There are a lot of ridiculous websites out there, but there are a lot of
reputable sites, too. All it takes to find the sources that are right for your
research project is knowing what to look for. Just like you can tell a lot
about a print source by looking at its documentation information, you
can get a good feel for a website at a glance.
– The URL (Uniform Resource Locator): WebPages are created by dif-
ferent people or organizations with different objectives. When evaluat-
ing internet resources, the web address (URL) provides useful clues.
– Domain: The domain (the abbreviation that comes after the “dot”) can
tell you whether the website is a government site (.gov), a site supported
by an educational institution (.edu, .ac), a nonprofit site (.org), a com-
mercial site (.com), or a personal site (.net). Be careful evaluating a
website based on its domain. After all, there’s no such thing as a good
or a bad domain; instead, domains simply help us to understand the pur-
pose of the site (like a .com site selling a product) or whether it’s biased

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(like a .org site supporting a cause).

– Personal names: If you notice a person’s name or the fact that the site
is hosted by a provider like geocities.com, keep in mind that the website
is likely a personal site that is not supported by a reputable institution.
– First Impressions: What does the page look like? Is it overly deco-
rated, silly-looking, and choked with ads, or does it appear to be pro-
fessionally developed and maintained? While not all polished pages are
guaranteed to be reputable sources of information, the first impression
is at least a way to weed out a definite “No.”
– Behind the Curtain: Just as it’s helpful to look at the documentation
information for a print source, considering who and what are behind
the information on a website is important, too. The difference here is
that most websites do not hand you a neat package of documentation
information. Instead, you’ll need to do a little investigation.
– Purpose: Can you find a link titled “About Us” or “Our Mission”?
These pages are good places to start when deciding whether the website
contains the kind of information you’re looking for and whether it’s
– Author: A website may name its author outright and even provide the
author’s credentials. If all you find is a name, do a new search to see if
you can learn anything about the author’s expertise. If you can’t find an
author name, don’t despair. Websites presented by organizations often
take a united front; the information on the website is that of the organi-
zation, not of any one particular member or writer. If, on the other hand,
the missing author name is just one glitch among many, you may want
to reconsider this source.
– Date: Publication dates on websites are just as if not more important
than publication dates on print sources. One of the beauties of the In-
ternet is that it’s an efficient means of providing up-to-date information,
so try to find sources that haven’t been neglected.

Evaluating the information provided by a website is a lot like evaluating the in-
formation provided by a print source. You’ll want to consider the source’s focus,

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scope, purpose, audience and readability. In addition, however, you’ll want to ask
yourself these questions:

• “Is this website as good as if not better than my print sources?”

• “Does it provide something important that I can’t get from any of my print

• “Do I trust it?” (Authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, content)

Think about information resources as “evidence”: Viewing information as a tool
to prove a point or support an argument is a useful starting point for evaluation.
Don’t assume that one format of information is better than others: All kinds of
information should be evaluated carefully, including books, articles and websites.
Evaluation is an art, not a science: There is no “one size fits all” set of guidelines
for this important activity.

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Study Questions.

Example . What types of sources would you consider good sources for your
current project? Which sources do you think you will want to keep away from, and
Solution: nhfdhfh 

E XERCISE 21.  Using the search strategies you learned earlier, find two websites,
one that you would feel completely confident using in your assignment and another
that might leave you questioning its quality and usefulness. Explain what it is that
makes you trust the first source and doubt the second. Create a chart contrasting the
two sources according to the criteria listed above.

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Ethical, Legal and Social Issues for Use of Information

9.1. Introduction
There are a number of ethical, legal and socio-economic issues that surround the
access and use of information for your research. This module introduces you to
some of the main issues and considerations you should be aware of in order to
ensure appropriate use of information.
By the end of this module, students should be able to:

• Understand what constitutes plagiarism;

• Understand why it is important to cite sources;

• Identify ways of avoiding plagiarism;

• Identify parts of a citation for various types of resources;

• Properly document information sources using APA or MLA formats;

• Reflect on the ethical use of information, to present the information collected

in an appropriate, honest and respectable manner.

9.2. What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using another person’s ideas or words without clearly acknowledging
or citing the source of that information. According to the Webster’s New Collegiate
Dictionary, the definition of plagiarize is "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words
of another) as one’s own without clearly crediting /or acknowledging the source."
Many people plagiarize for four major reasons:

• Lack of knowledge regarding plagiarism;

• Lack of knowledge regarding information on the internet;

• Lack of confidence in one’s ability to write a research paper/ assignment;

• Lack of knowledge regarding citation of sources;

• Procrastination.

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You must always give credit whenever you use:

• Another person’s idea, opinion, or theory.

• Direct quotes from another person’s actual spoken or written words.

• Paraphrasing of another person’s spoken or written words.

• Any piece of information this is not common knowledge (e.g., fact, figure,
statistic, chart)

• Multimedia created by another person (e.g., photo, drawing, film clip, music,

The primary reason for citing /acknowledging the sources of information is to avoid
plagiarism and give proper credit to the original author or creator. Other reasons for
citing sources are:

• Enables a reader to locate the sources you cited.

• Demonstrates the accuracy and reliability of your information.

• Shows the amount of research you’ve done.

• Strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas.

9.3. Common forms of plagiarism

• Turning in someone else’s paper as one’s own.

• Turning in a paper that was bought from a service on the Internet.

• Reusing a paper previously turned in for one class and then submitting the
same paper or portions of it for subsequent classes without permission of the
instructor (self-plagiarism).

• Cutting and pasting entire sections from other authors’ works into one’s own

• Using another author’s exact words but not putting quotation marks around
the quote and citing the work.

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• Failing to differentiate between common knowledge and something that needs

to be cited.

• Failing to include complete and correct citations.

• Sticking too closely to another author’s words by only changing a few words
around when paraphrasing.

9.3.1. How to Avoid Plagiarism

1. Make sure to place direct quotes from another person in quotation marks.
This is especially important to remember when you are taking notes from any
source you use. Make sure to copy the words exactly as they appear in the

2. When you paraphrase, be sure you are not just changing or rearranging a
few words. Carefully read over the text you want to paraphrase. Write out
the idea in your own words. Check your paraphrase against the original text
to make sure you have not accidentally used the same phrases or words.

3. Make sure to include complete and correct citations in your works cited

4. Make sure to follow the guidelines and rules for the specified citation style
(e.g., APA, MLA, etc).

5. In the beginning of the first sentence containing a quote or paraphrase of

another’s work, make it clear that it is someone else’s idea (e.g., According
to Smith . . .).

6. Make sure to include in-text citations within your paper for any information
taken from another person’s work. A typical in-text citation includes the
author’s last name and the page number of the source. The in-text citation
is inserted at the end of the last sentence containing a quote or paraphrase of
another’s work – e.g.: (Jones, 127).

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9.4. Citing and Documenting Sources:

When you have summarized, paraphrased, or quoted other people’s material, it is
important that the source of that information be given. Using other peoples’ words
and ideas is a normal practice in advanced writing: it helps lend authority to your
arguments; it helps show that you are familiar with the discussion which surrounds
your subject; it gives depth and variety to your paper.
Therefore, it’s good to use sources, but if you don’t follow the conventions for using
them, you can end up in a lot of trouble, the worst being accused of plagiarism.
It is considered intellectual dishonesty. Being caught in plagiarism can ruin a pro-
fessional’s career or can result in a student’s failure of a class or even in dismissal
from the college or university in some places. Any source of intellectual property
that contributes to, informs, or inspires your own work needs to be acknowledged.
The objectives of documenting are:

1. To distinguish between your own words and ideas and the words and ideas
you are borrowing from someone else,

2. To make clear where the other person’s material begins and ends,

3. To indicate whether the words in your paper that express this borrowed ma-
terial are your own words (as in a summary or paraphrase) or are the original
words of the person you are borrowing from (as in a direct quotation),

4. To provide a clear pathway back to the original material so that the reader can
find it in order to verify it or to use it for her own purposes

There are many different citation/documentation styles adopted by academics. The

most common ones are Modern Language Association (MLA) Style, American
Psychological Association (APA) Style, Chicago Style, and Harvard Style. You
will need to find out what format you are expected to use for your references. If
you are unsure, you should consult the course tutor. In this module, a brief introduc-
tion on two frequently used citation standards – the APA style and the MLA style
will be provided to help you get started on the exciting but sometimes exasperating
path of academic writing.

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9.4.1. APA Referencing/Citation style

Whenever you use a quotation from an author or summarize or paraphrase another
person’s ideas or research, you must identify (reference/cite) the source. In this
in-text citation APA style incorporates the author’s name, the year of publication,
and sometimes the page number, separated by a comma.
For example: (Lazar, 2006, p. 52).
When you incorporate a direct quotation into a sentence, use quotation marks and
include page numbers, for example:
Lee and Porter (2010) stated “the ability to think critically is needed in this era of
technological change” (p.77) or
“the ability to think critically is needed in this era of technological change” (Lee &
Porter, p.77).
A long quotation of 40 or more words should be formatted as a freestanding
indented block of text without quotation marks. The quotation is introduced with a
complete sentence and a colon. For example: Weston (2006) points out that:
There are many changes in acute care services occurring almost daily, and due
to the increasing use of outpatient surgery, surgical services have experienced
major changes. Hospitals are increasing the size of their outpatient or ambu-
latory surgery departments and adjusting to the need of moving patients into
and out of the surgical service in 1 day or even a few hours. (p. 184).
If you quote from online materials (electronic sources) such as websites and there
are no page numbers, you can include the paragraph number(s), preceded by the
abbreviation “para” in the citation parenthesis. You could also use the heading
(with capitals and no quotation marks) of the section you are taking information
from and then give the number of paragraph under it that contains the information
you are incorporating in your essay. For example:
According to the World Health Organization (2010), “one of the greatest threats
to international health security arises from outbreaks of emerging and epidemic-
prone diseases” (Fostering Health Security, para.1).
Indirect quotation/paraphrasing or citing summaries: - whenever you put in-
formation in your own words by summarizing or paraphrasing, you must cite the
original author and the year. Page or paragraph numbers are optional although au-
thors are encouraged to include them, especially when it assists the reader to locate
the reference in long pieces of text (APA Publication Manual, p. 171).

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A citation from a secondary source: - When you find a quote within a work that
you have read and you wish to refer to the original quote, this is called citing from
a secondary source. Secondary sources are acceptable within academic writing as
long as they are kept to a minimum. You should use secondary sources only if
you are unable to find or retrieve the original source of information. For example,
imagine that you found a quotation from Davidson that you wish to use in your text;
however, you found this information in Jones and were unable to locate the original
source by Davidson. For this reference, Davidson would be the primary source, and
Jones would be the secondary source. You will name the primary source in your
text, but the reference and in-text citations will credit the secondary source. Use the
phrase ’as cited in’ to signify the secondary source.

In text citation
According to Davidson (as cited in Jones, 2009), learning APA "can be tough, but
like any skill, it just takes practice" (p. 23). In addition, the mastery of APA in-
creases an author’s chance of scoring well on an assignment (Davidson, as cited in
Jones, 2009).

In reference list
List Jones in your reference list, not Davidson.
Jones, J. (2009). Scholarly writing tips. Minneapolis, MN: Publishing House.

• Secondary source citations are not just for direct quotations.

• When citing primary material, the original publication date is usually not

• Following the primary author’s name with the year in parentheses, like David-
son (2006), indicates that you are directly citing the original source.

• To avoid confusion, just include the year of the secondary source in your text,
like Davidson (as cited in Jones, 2009).

Citations from edited books

Edited books are put together by editors and usually have chapters written by differ-
ent authors. The authors of these chapters may quote or paraphrase other authors.
If you quote or paraphrase these other authors, you must acknowledge everyone -

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the author(s) of the quote, the author(s) of the chapter in the edited book and the
editor(s) of the edited book.

In text citation
As Lee and O’ Connors (2004) state, "schooling plays a critical part in shaping a
student’s sense of ’self’ responsibility and skill in initiating and completing actions
and tasks" (as cited in Glynn & Berryman, 2005, p. 298).

In reference list
Glynn, T. & Berryman, M. (2005). Understanding and responding to students’
behaviour difficulties. In D. Fraser, & R. Moltzen (Eds.), Learners with special
needs in New Zealand (3rd ed., pp.294-315). Palmerston North, New Zealand:
Dunmore Press.

• Use this format if you are using 1 chapter out of a book that has many chap-
ters, and each chapter is written by a different author. If each chapter is
written by the same author, just cite the entire book.

• Write the word In to let us know that your chapter was found In the book’s
information that follows.

• Always italicize the title of the book. Capitalize the first letter of the first
word of the title and subtitle (if you have one). Do not capitalize any other
words, unless they are proper nouns.

Reference list
At the end of your assignment or research paper you are required to provide full
bibliographic information for each source cited in the text. It provides the informa-
tion necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body
of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list;
likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text. Your references
should always begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay; and is nor-
mally labeled “References”. References are always listed in alphabetical order by
author, and then chronologically.
Each reference type (e.g. Book, Journal article, electronic resource, etc) has a stan-
dardized format. Examples of APA style:

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Book and book chapter:

Each reference entry has four basic elements:

1. Author/Editor/Producer

2. Date

3. Title of the work and

4. Publication Information

Author, A. (Year). Title of the work. Place of publication: Name of the Publisher.
The surname (family name) of an author comes first, followed by the first initials.
If there are several authors, each is separated from the others with a comma, and
there is an ‘&’ before the final author:

• Gore, A. (2006). An inconvenient truth: The planetary emergency of global

warming and what we can do about it. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.

• Michaels, P. J., & Balling, R. C., Jr. (2000). The satanic gases: Clearing the
air about global warming. Washington, DC: Cato Institute.

A chapter in an edited book

When a book consists of many chapters written by different authors, reference each
chapter you used.
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Chapter title. In A. Editor (Ed.), Title of the book
(pp.xx-xx). Place of Publication: Name of the Publisher.

• Markusen, A. R. (1996). The economics of postwar regional disparity. In S.

S. Fainstein & S. Campbell (Eds.), Readings in urban theory (pp. 102–131).
Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Electronic books
If the item is available online, a retrieval statement or DOI is required after Title.(
in italics) Publication Information is normally omitted. Author, A., & Author, B.
(Year). Title of the work. https://doi.org/xx-xxxxxxx . Example:

• Maclean, H. (1932). Nursing in New Zealand: History and reminiscences.

Retrieved from http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-MacNurs.html

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Organization as Author:
American Psychological Association. (2003).
Unknown Author:
Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (10th ed.).(1993). Springfield, MA: Merriam-

9.5. Periodicals
Items published on a regular basis such as journals, magazines and newspapers also
known as serials or periodicals include the same basic elements as for books, but
exclude the publication information and add the volume, issue and page number(s)
instead. Each reference should include the following elements:

1. Author

2. Date

3. Title of article

4. Title of Periodical ( in italics)

5. Volume (in italics), Issue and Page numbers.


• Berndt, T. J. (2002). Friendship quality and social development. Current

Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 7-10.

• Wegener, D. T., & Petty, R. E. (1994). Mood management across affective

states: The hedonic contingency hypothesis. Journal of Personality and So-
cial Psychology, 66, 1034-1048.

Online journal article: should include same elements as above: Author(s), year of
publication, article title (not in italics), journal name (in italics), volume number (in
italics), issue number, page number range of the article (if available), in addition to
DOI, URL or journal home page.

• Hsing, Y., Baraya, A., & Budden, M. (2005). Macroeconomic policies and
economic growth: The case of Costa Rica. Journal of Applied Business Re-
search, 21(2), 105–112. Retrieved from http://journals.cluteonline.com/index.php/JABR/

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• Baxter, S. (2009). Learning through experience: The impact of direct experi-

ence on children’s brand awareness. Marketing Bulletin, 20. Retrieved from

Magazine or newspaper article: follow the same format as journal articles, with
a few alterations.
Examples (unsigned and signed):

• University officials agree to Cost cutting measures. (2010, June 13). Daily
Nation, p. 24.

• Landler, M. (2016, June 2). Trump’s Nuclear Disarmament Plan Throws the
East Off Guard. The Guardian, p. A7.

• Begley, S., & Murr, A. (2016, July 2). Which of these is not causing global
warming? A. Sport utility vehicles; B. Rice fields; C. Increased solar output.
Newsweek, 150(2), 48-50.

9.6. MLA Citation Style

In the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, the reference list is called “Works
Cited”, however other titles may also be acceptable. Each item in the Works Cited
list must have been cited in your paper. All sources appearing in the reference list
must be ordered alphabetically by surname or by title if there is no author. Au-
thors’ names should be provided as they appear on the source, therefore include
first names and initials when available. Proper citation:

• Enable you to acknowledge other authors ideas (avoid plagiarism)

• Enable a reader to quickly locate the source of the materials you refer to so
they can consult it if they wish.

• Indicate to the reader the scope and depth of your research.

Below is a list of some common citation types with examples of how they are laid
out within the MLA style guidelines:
Works Cited List: Book with on author: Format: Last Name, First Name. Title of
Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year. Example: Valenti, Francine. More
Than a Movie. Dublin: Westview Press. 2000. In-Text citation:

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• (Author Last name page)

• (Page no)


• In another study (Valenti 77). . . .

• Valenti has discussed (77). . . .

9.6.1. Book with two or three authors:

In the reference list:

• List the names in the order they appear on the title page.

• Only the first author’s name should be reversed: Last Name, First Name.

• Use a comma between the authors’ names. Place a period after the last au-
thor’s name.

• If there are more than three authors, name only the first and add et al., or give
all the names.


• Tinstone, William J., Kathleen A. Savage, and Leigh A. Clark. Forensic Sci-
ence: An Encyclopedia of History, Methods, and Techniques. Santa Barbara:
ABC Publishing, 2006.

• McGeady,Thomas et al. Veterinary Embryology. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006

In-text citation:

• (First author Last name and last author Last name Page no)

• (Page no)


• Others highlight a different factor (Tinstone, Savage, and Clark 133). . . .

• McGeady et al. (22) highlights. . . .

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9.6.2. Book with an editor

Reference list: First editor’s Last name, First name and next editor(s) First name
Last name, ed(s). Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of publication. Ex-
ample: Booth, David, Ed. Rethinking Social Development: Theory, Research and
Practice. Essex: Longman, 1994.

• (Editor(s) Last name Page no)

• (Page no)


• Another approach (Booth 55) shows. . . .

• Booth (55) argues. . . .

9.6.3. Chapter in an edited book:

Reference list:
Author Last, First. "Title of Chapter." Title of Book. Ed. Editors First Last. Place
of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. page range.
Wells, Ida B. "Lynch Law in All Its Phases." With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthol-
ogy of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women. Ed. Shirley Wilson Logan.
Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1995. 80-99. In-text citation:

• ( Author Last name page no)

• (page no)


• Another approach (Wells 233). . . ..

• Wells (233) writes. . . .

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9.7. Print Journal article

Include the issue number, whenever available, along with the volume number.
Author Last Name, First. "Title of the article." Title of the Journal Volume Number.
Issue Number (Year of Pub): pages.
Mann, Susan. "Myths of African Womanhood." Journal of African Studies 59.1
(2000): 835-62.

9.7.1. E-journal article:

Author Last Name, First. "Title of the Article." Journal Title Volume Number.Issue
Number (Year of Publication): Page numbers. Database. Web. Day Month Year
Ferrell, Robert H. "Truman’s Place in History." Reviews in American History 18.1
(1990): 1-9. EBSCOhost. Web. 3 February 2010.

9.7.2. Websites
Format: Author Last name, First name.( if available) Name of site. Publisher or
sponsor of site, date of publication (if available), URL

• Felluga, Dino. Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. Purdue University, 31

Jan. 2011, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/.

• "Literary Analysis: Using Elements of Literature." Roanne State University

College, www.roanestate.edu/owl/elementslit.html. Accessed 28 Oct. 2016.

• Education: Human Development Network, The World Bank, 2016, go.worldbank.org/8TJ7JTJWJ0

Including the date of access is optional. MLA strongly recommends that the date of
access be included if the source provides no date specifying when it was produced
or published.
Note that the second example above shows a website that does not have a publica-
tion date, so the date of access is used instead. Also note that the placement of the

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two dates is different. If the author is not known, or is the same as the publisher,
then list it only once (see the second example). The publisher’s name can often
be found in a copyright notice at the bottom of the homepage or on a page that
gives information about the site. If a "permalink" or DOI is available, it is normally
included instead as it is a more stable link to the resource.

9.7.3. Conference Proceedings:

Format: Author of Paper, and Author of Paper. "Title of Paper." Title of Published
Proceedings: Proceedings of the Title of Conference, Location, Date. Edited by
Editors Names, Publisher, Year, pp. page numbers.
• Harris, Robertson. "Law and Landscape.” Land Use and Natural Resources
Management: Proceedings of a Conference on Informal Settlement, Johan-
nesburg, July 2001. Eds. John Hines, Alan Lane and Mark Redknap. Preto-
ria: Blackwell Publishers, 2004. 433-422.
Format: Author, Given Names. "Title of thesis: Subtitle." Degree statement. Uni-
versity (or Degree –awarding body), Year.
Example: Kamau, John Ng’ang’a. “Effects of Urban Agriculture on Food Security
in Kenya”. PhD Thesis. University College Nairobi, 2001.

9.8. Some Common Referencing Terms

• Bibliography: is a list of documents consulted but not necessarily referred
to in a term paper or assignment. A bibliography can also be a comprehen-
sive list of works on a specific subject, for example, The Bibliography of
Bioethics. When researching a topic it is a good idea to prepare a bibliogra-
phy for your own use, even if in your research paper you need to cite only
some of these items in a Works cited or References list.

• Citation or referencing style: is the method used to format your citations.

Some commonly used formats are MLA and APA,

• Descriptive elements: are the necessary parts of a reference. A few exam-

ples of these elements are: author, title, edition, date of publication, internet
address, etc.

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• Electronic: is a generic term used to describe documents available from the

internet or from databases or published in a digitized format.

• In-text citations: are a method of signaling to the reader of your work that
the words or ideas quoted or referred to at that point are not your own. The
method for acknowledging the source document will vary according to the
citation style you are using. Enough information is given to locate the full
reference in the Works cited or References list.

• Reference: An accurate and complete description of a document. A doc-

ument may be a book, a journal article, a video recording, an email, or an
internet site, to name a few. The reference should include sufficient descrip-
tive elements to identify and locate the document.

• Works cited or References list: is a list of all the documents you have re-
ferred to in your assignment or research project. It is usually included at
the end of your work. It may be arranged alphabetically or numerically and
formatted according to any one of the citation styles you have chosen to use.

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Study Questions

E XERCISE 22.  What is plagiarism?

Example . Explain some of the ways to avoid plagiarism?
Solution: nhfdhfh 

E XERCISE 23.  Give three reasons why we should document sources of infor-
mation in academic writing?
E XERCISE 24.  What is a citation?
E XERCISE 25.  What is a bibliography?
E XERCISE 26.  What information should be included in a correct citation for a
E XERCISE 27.  What information should be included in a correct citation for a
journal article?
E XERCISE 28.  What is an in-text citation?
E XERCISE 29.  What information should be included in correct in-text citation
E XERCISE 30.  If the author’s name is in the signal tag, what is at the end of an
in-text citation?

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The impact of information and communication technologies in

10.1. Introduction
We are now living in an information age and the focus on information and technol-
ogy has profoundly affected the nature of society and the world of work. More in-
formation is accessible to all people in our society, and more businesses are seeking
employees who are proficient in information retrieval, analysis, and communica-
tion in conjunction with highly developed technological skills. Increased flows of
information between parties, individuals as well as organizations, have made inter-
actions information-intensive. As more and more people are employed in service
sector jobs, there is a higher intensity of information in economic activities. These
developments are partly due to the structural changes that have been taking place
in the economy and the society, and partly due to technological progress. The un-
precedented advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) have
transformed societies in ways that were unimaginable not so long ago. The way
we conduct our personal lives, the way we build and maintain interpersonal re-
lationships, and the way we engage in production and distribution activities have
undergone changes that have long-run implications for the society in general and
for the economy in particular. That we can connect to each other almost anywhere
in the world instantaneously, can do shopping, banking, our jobs from the comforts
of the four walls of our homes, and can have access to the best of entertainment,
education, medical care has definitely enhanced the quality of life.
The objective of this module is to give students an overview of the important role of
information towards economy and society, the availability of various resources and
capabilities to achieve and consolidate that role, and the potential impacts on both
economy and society, so that students can understand and appreciate the contribu-
tion of information systems, and therefore, be better prepared and involved in these
information processes and new media.
New media are information and communication technologies & their associated
social contexts, incorporating:

• Devices that enable and extend our abilities to communicate with particular

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focus on new interactive, multimedia communication systems & convergence

of advanced telecommunications, computer & broadcasting networks

• Communication activities or practices we use to develop those devices

• Social arrangements or organizations that form around the devices and prac-

10.1.1. Factors contributing to the important role of information

Information is one of the most valuable resources available to business organiza-
tions as well as individual in a society. The increasing complexity of the business
environment in the global economy has made the role of information even more
important. Obtaining the right information at the right time and at the right place
has been an essential requirement for a business to be successful in an increasingly
vibrant world economy.
Business organizations are subject to economic influences that can originate any-
where in the world. The economical systems in the world are no longer isolated, but
closely related in terms of imports and exports. For example, a strong US economy
will have a positive impact on economical situations elsewhere in Europe, Africa
and Asia. Such influences can also be seen in the relative values of the currencies
of each nation. For example, buyers make purchases in those countries where their
currencies have the greatest value.
Businesses no longer compete in only their own geographic area. Rather, com-
petition exists on a worldwide scale. The effects of this competition can be seen
in the imports from foreign countries. For example, in the areas of automobiles,
home electronics, and computers, the competition is fierce among manufacturers
from different countries in Africa. All phases of business operations are performed
more rapidly than ever before. Sales representatives engage in telemarketing to
contact their customers within seconds by telephone, emails or other means, sales
orders are transmitted electronically from one computer to another, and manufac-
turers schedule raw material deliveries to arrive “just in time.” Business decisions
must be based on economic factors, but social costs and payoffs must be considered
as well. For example, plant expansion, new products, new sales outlets, and similar
actions must all be weighed in terms of their social and environmental impact.
Improved computer, data and telecommunication capabilities

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Specifically, computers have been reduced significantly in size, and the speed has
increased tremendously. Their prices have also dropped substantially, which make
them more affordable to most business organizations. Nowadays, most of the com-
panies are using computer systems to process their business transactions.
The data communication capabilities have also improved a lot in recent years. Par-
ticularly, the wide spread and accessibility of the Internet have attracted not only
individuals but also organizations to utilize its capabilities to serve their various
needs in a very effective and efficient way. Additionally, the development in wire-
less technologies such as 3G and 4G mobile telecommunication and wireless LAN
technologies have made communications and data transmissions much faster, more
flexible and convenient. Their compatibility with the Internet further makes them
more easily integrated in a wider environment. Additionally, the proliferation of
broadband communications, has greatly promoted the use of the internet by com-
panies as well as individuals in a faster way and at comparatively lower prices.
Today’s users are more computer literate, and no longer regard computer as some-
thing special but a necessary piece of office equipment, just like a desk, a tele-
phone, or a copying machine. Today many offices are automated and most of the
users have keyboard terminals or PCs in their offices, which are connected to a net-
work or beyond to the Internet. All these have facilitated the transition to a more
computer-based environment.
It is also important to note that nowadays, internet-linked computers and WIFI can
be accessed in various convenient locations, public library, cafeterias, shopping
malls and others. The information flow can of course be further enhanced.

• Positive impacts of ICT on people

Access to information: Possibly the greatest effect of ICT on individuals is the huge
increase in access to information and services that has accompanied the growth of
the Internet. Some of the positive aspects of this increased access are better, and
often cheaper, communications, such as VoIP phone and Instant Messaging.
In addition, the use of ICT to access information has brought new opportunities for
leisure and entertainment, the facility to make contacts and form relationships with
people around the world, and the ability to obtain goods and services from a wider
range of suppliers. Improved access to education, e.g. distance learning and on-line
tutorials. There are new ways of learning, e.g. interactive multi-media and virtual

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reality. There are new job opportunities, e.g. flexible and mobile working, virtual
offices and jobs in the communications industry.
New tools, new opportunities: The second big effect of ICT is that it gives access
to new tools that did not previously exist. A lot of these are tied into the access
to information mentioned above, but there are many examples of stand-alone ICT
systems as well: ICT can be used for processes that had previously been out of the
reach of most individuals, e.g. photography, where digital cameras, photo-editing
software and high quality printers have enabled people to produce results that would
have previously required a photographic studio.
ICT can be used to help people overcome disabilities e.g. screen magnification
or screen reading software enabling partially sighted or blind people to work with
ordinary text rather than Braille.

• Some negative impacts of ICT on people:

• Job loss: One of the largest negative effects of ICT can be the loss of a per-
son’s job. This has both economic consequences, loss of income, and social
consequences, loss of status and self-esteem. Job losses may occur for sev-
eral reasons, including: manual operations being replaced by automation e.g.
robots replacing people on an assembly line. Job export - e.g. data processing
works being sent to other countries where operating costs are lower. Multiple
workers are being replaced by a smaller number who are able to do the same
amount of work e.g. a worker on a supermarket checkout can serve more cus-
tomers per hour if a bar-code scanner linked to a computer is used to detect
goods instead of the worker having to enter the item and price manually.

• Reduced personal interaction: Being able to work from home is usually

regarded as being a positive effect of using ICT, but there can be negative
aspects as well. Most people need some form of social interaction in their
daily lives and if they do not get the chance to meet and talk to other people
they feel isolated and unhappy.

• Reduced physical activity: A third negative effect of ICT is that user may
adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. This can lead to health problems such as
obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Many countries have workplace regula-
tions to prevent problems such as repetitive strain injury or eyestrain, but lack

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of physical exercise is rarely addressed as a specific health hazard.

• ICT has also brought a number of benefits to organizations, such as:

Cost savings by using e.g. VoIP instead of normal telephone, email / mes-
saging instead of post, video conferencing instead of traveling to meetings,
e-commerce web sites instead of sales catalogues. This could allow access to
larger, even worldwide, markets.

10.1.2. Impacts on society:

Multimedia technology and internet networks have revolutionized the whole phi-
losophy of learning and distance learning and provided us with the opportunity for
close interaction between teachers and learners with improved standard of learning
materials compared to what used to exist earlier with the printed media only. It
has also gone to such an extent to create a virtual class room where teachers and
students are scattered all over the world – distance education.
We could also be able to work on jobs being thousands of miles away through
electromagnetic wave. That way the problem of skills shortage in some countries
could be reduced and efficient people would be available to do the job.
Quick dispatch of information globally has facilitated the commercial expansion to
an extremely high level with a small firm being able to sell its products to another
part of the world very easily as they can communicate to each other in no time and
fix up the deal. Development of electronic commerce has made it very convenient
for individual buyer to select the product online and make payment immediately.
A virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific
social media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to
pursue mutual interests or goals. These days one can attend business meetings with-
out having to be there physically. The business partners in such a virtual meeting
are able to see and hear each other as if they are real.
Mobility may be very important these days, however, in the new century, the need to
travel physically is decreasing significantly, instead of flying to a meeting in New
York one can just attend the meeting virtually and save a lot of time and money.
Contact with other people will only happen if desired by a person, everything else
will be done by technology Social networks offer the opportunity for people to re-
connect with their old friends and acquaintances, make new friends, trade ideas,
share content and pictures, and many other activities.

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Users can stay abreast of the latest global and local developments, and participate
in campaigns and activities of their choice. Professionals use social media sites like
LinkedIn to enhance their career and business prospects. Students can collaborate
with their peers to improve their academic proficiency and communication skills.
You can learn about different cultures and societies by connecting with people in
other countries. Unfortunately, there are a few downsides too to social networking.
If you are not careful, unscrupulous people can target you for cyber bullying and
harassment on social sites. School children, young girls, and women can fall prey
to online attacks which can create tension and distress.

10.1.3. Developments of Electronic Commerce:

Electronic commerce may have large economic effects in the future. Internet com-
merce will change the face of business forever. One way of defining it, is that, it is
a way of doing business transactions via the internet.
E-commerce or e-business is based on the electronic processing and transmission of
data, including text, sound, and video. E-commerce can occur within and between
three basic participant groups – business, government, and individuals - B2B, B2C
and C2C based on the nature of transactions.

• Business to Business (B2B)

Business to Business or B2B refers to e-commerce activities between businesses.
These transactions are usually carried out through Electronic Data Interchange or
EDI. This allows more transparency among business involved; therefore business
can run more efficiently. These include inquires on products, customer, supplier,
production, and transportation, as well as billing, invoicing and payment, and are
conducted between and among organizations.

• Business to Customer (B2C)

Business to Customer or B2C refers to e-commerce activities that are focused on
consumers rather than on businesses. Examples include retail transactions with
individual shoppers.

• Customer to Business (C2B)

Customer to Business or C2B refers to e-commerce activities, which uses reverse
pricing models where the customer determines the prices of the product or services.

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There is increased emphasis on customer empowerment.

• Customer to Customer (C2C)

Customer to Customer or C2C refers to e-commerce activities, which uses an auc-
tion style model. This model consists of person-to-person a transaction that com-
pletely excludes businesses from the equation. Consumers sell directly to other
consumers. Examples include individuals selling residential property, cars, and so
on in classified ads.

10.2. E- Government
One of the major developments in ecommerce is e-Government. It is the use of
IT in general, and e-commerce in particular, to provide citizens and organizations
with more convenient access to government information and services; and to pro-
vide delivery of public services to citizens, business partners and suppliers, and
those working in the public sector. E-Citizen is one such example of e-government
services (www.ecitizen.go.ke). There are three main domains of e-government as

1. Improving Government Processes: eAdministration

2. Connecting Citizens: eCitizens and eServices

3. Building External Interactions: eSociety

10.2.1. Improving Government Processes: eAdministration

eGovernment initiatives within this domain deal particularly with improving the
internal workings of the public sector. They include:

• Cutting process costs

• Managing process performance

• Making strategic connections in government

• Creating empowerment

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10.2.2. Building External Interactions:

eSociety Such initiatives deal particularly with the relationship between public
agencies and other institutions - other public agencies, private sector companies,
non-profit and community organizations. These include:

• Working better with business

• Developing communities

• Building partnerships

• Some other popular applications:

There are many popular e-commerce applications in Kenya and elsewhere. Specifi-
cally, online banking is a widely used application. Most bank in Kenya, are offering
a very comprehensive range of online banking services. Examples: Mpesa, MSh-
wari, MAkiba. Credit cards, Debit Cards and other electronic payment methods.
Today, bank customers can process most of the banking transactions online without
physically going to the bank.
Online shopping is another very popular application, in which customers can make
purchase of goods anytime and anywhere – Jumia, Kilimall, and OLX etc. are some
examples of online shopping sites.

10.3. The digital divide

The digital divide has been defined by the OECD as the gap between different indi-
viduals, households, businesses and geographical areas at different social-economic
levels with regard to their opportunities to access IT and their use of the Internet
(OECD, 2001). It can be seen as connection and knowledge gap between commu-
nities or countries. While those “information-haves” harness the technology to gain
better jobs, further educational advancement, and a higher level of community par-
ticipation, “information have-nots” are at a growing disadvantage in enjoying the
gains and the new opportunities brought by an emerging information-based society.
According to Michel (2001), the digital gap can generally be defined as an inequal-
ity in relation to the possibilities of reaching and of contributing to information,
knowledge and the networks, such as profiting from the major capacities of devel-
opment offered by ICTs. These elements are some of the most visible in the digital

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gap, which actually results in a combination of vast socio-economic factors, in par-

ticular the insufficiencies of the infrastructures, the high cost of the access, the lack
of local creation of contents and the unequal capacity to benefit, on economic and
social levels, of activities with strong intensity of information.
As new ICTs become a firm component of everyday life, they enable many people
to lead more productive and rewarding lives. But while they can help societies to
solve long-standing economic and social problems, they also bring new challenges.
Those who have no access to IT skills and knowledge gradually become less and
less capable of participating in the new information society.
Today, many countries acknowledge the digital divide as a real social problem re-
sulting from a clash between cultural and social systems and newly emerging com-
munications technologies. Such disparities are created by factors such as limited
understanding and mastery of these technologies, or by limited opportunities to
learn about and use new media. While many countries are trying to bridge the gap
between the information-rich and the information-poor, there are still great differ-
ences in access and usage, as well as social behavior between developed and less
developed countries, and within these countries themselves .

10.3.1. Key indicators of the digital divide

Digital divide is generally associated with basic socio-economic or demographic
variables, such as income, age, gender, education attainment, etc. matter in the ICT
use. According to Gartner report (2000) on digital divide, socioeconomic status
(SES) is a good parameter to evaluate one’s likelihood to gain access to the Inter-
net and the associated benefits. These socio-economic variables associated with the
digital divide include: income, education, gender, age, and disability. Among the
many other known potential barriers contributing to the digital divide are: physi-
cal access to ICTs, ICT skills and support, cultural and behavioral attitudes, and

10.3.2. Bridging the digital divide – narrowing the gap

The pervasive use of ICT will change all aspects of our society including culture
and welfare services. It can exert a powerful influence on the lifelong learning pro-
cess, as well as to help overcome various inequalities. Ready access to IT enables
people to increase their potential income, and therefore enables them to afford still

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newer technologies. The already well educated, in general, have access to better
services. There is thus a risk that the educated and information-rich may become
richer while the less educated and the information-poor become poorer, thus widen-
ing the “digital divide”.
The Government of Kenya is putting more and more services online:

• Kenya Revenue Authority started electronic filing of tax return (i-tax).

• More and more public services have been launched through e Citizen - official
digital payments platform that enables Kenyan citizens, residents and visitors
access and pay for government services online, etc.

Information technology significantly impacts individuals, organizations, and soci-
eties. Any given technology is likely to affect multiple entities in ways that may be
both positive and negative.
Globalization and telecommuting are transforming the ways in which people work
and organizations operate. Now, work can be performed at any time, in any part
of the globe, which tends to make organizations more efficient. Organizational
structure, job content, and the nature of management and supervision are altered
significantly by this trend.
Vast amounts of data and information made available in the Information Age are
exceeding the capacity of people to absorb and process them. Spam and other forms
of electronic noise only exacerbate the problem. As the quantity of information
rises, the issue of information quality takes center stage.
Uneven diffusion of information technology results in a digital divide. The digi-
tal divide generally follows the income distribution, educational levels, and several
other characteristics of people both within and across countries. People and coun-
tries with limited access to information technology are unable to benefit from this
valuable resource.
Machines and information systems can displace humans from their jobs, both blue-
and white-collar. Such changes can be extremely disruptive for an individual em-
ployee or an organization. However, on the macroeconomic level, increased effi-
ciency of IT-enabled machines promotes lower prices and greater consumption, and

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ultimately results in a higher aggregate level of employment for the economy as a

Robotics, decision support systems, and other manifestations of information tech-
nology are improving the quality of human lives by relieving people from tedious
and hazardous tasks. At the same time, increased interaction with computers re-
places the conventional forms of face-to-face interaction among people. This trend
may adversely impact interpersonal relationships and other aspects of the quality of
Information technology challenges traditional value systems by emphasizing the
significance of issues such as security and privacy, freedom of speech and protection
against inappropriate content, as well as respect for intellectual property and fair

1. The Impact of Information Technology on Work and Society. Available from:
< http://www.benmeadowcroft.com/reports/impact/>.

2. Impact of IT on society. Available from: <http://ciaranimpactofitonsociety.blogspot.com.au/>.

3. Impact of IT on society in the new century. Available from: http://www.zurich.ibm.com/pdf/news/M

4. Positive and Negative impacts of ICT. Available from: <http://ajahana.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/


5. OECD (2001), Understanding the Digital Divide, Paris

6. Gartner (2000), Report on the Digital Divide and American Society

7. Digital Divide Network. “What do we mean when we say "Digital Divide"?”


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Study Questions

E XERCISE 31.  Identify the advantages or benefits of information technology for

individuals, organizations, and societies.
Example . List two positive and two negative effects of globalization on individ-
uals, organizations, or nations.
Solution: .... 

E XERCISE 32.  What are four causes of information overload, and what can be
done to reduce this problem?
E XERCISE 33.  Define digital divide at the local level and global level. Does the
divide seem to be increasing or decreasing at each of these levels?
E XERCISE 34.  IT can lead to the creation of new jobs as it eliminates existing
ones. List five jobs that did not exist ten or more years ago. List five jobs that have
been practically eliminated within the past ten years.
E XERCISE 35.  Discuss whether information overload is a problem in your work
or education. Based on your experience, what personal and organizational solutions
can you recommend for this problem?
E XERCISE 36.  Visit the digitaldivide.org website. What are the biggest chal-
lenges of the current century? How can the digital divide be narrowed?
E XERCISE 37.  In small groups, arbitrarily select an information system or infor-
mation technology (e.g., e-mail, the Internet, robotics, artificial intelligence, etc.).
Working individually, each group member should consider all possible implications
of this technology for people, organizations, and society. Taking the previous con-
siderations into account, each group member should decide whether the net effect
of the technology is positive or negative. Then, discuss the issue as a group and see
if the group can come to a consensus about the impact of the technology.

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Solutions to Exercises
Exercise 1. a) Communication is referred to as a process because it involves stages
through which information must pass from the sender to receiver, through consec-
utively linked elements.
b)Communication process begins with the sender conceiving some idea in his/her
mind. He or she then transforms this idea into a language that the receiver can
understand , a process known as encoding. The encoding process results in a mes-
sage.(information) The sender then looks for a means to transfer the message to
a receiver(medium). The receiver upon getting the message transforms it into a
mental picture (decoding ) . He then creates meaning out of the mental picture
(interprets) and finally transforms the mental picture back to a language that the
original sender can understand (encodes and creates) another message to be sent to
the sender (feedback). At this point the receiver becomes the sender and the sender
becomes the receiver (There is a change of roles)and the process repeats itself until
a mutual agreement or solution is reached. Exercise 1
Exercise 6.

It is that communication in which the spoken word is used.In this case, the voice is
the channel of communication and the sense of hearing is vital for the reception of
the message Exercise 6
Exercise 7.
Kinesics is the study of body language, or more formally, non-verbal behaviour re-
lated to movement, either of any part of the body or of the body as a whole.Kinesics
are an important part of non-verbal communication behavior. the movement of the
body, or separate parts, conveys many specific meanings and the interpretations
may be culture-bound. As many movements are carried out at a sub-conscious or
at- least low awareness levels, kinesic movements carry a signfificant risk of being
misinterepreted in an intercultural communication situation.
Proxemics refers to the interrelated observations and theories of man’s use of space
as a specialised elaboration of culture.We all have an area of space around us that
we consider as ours and tend to feel uncomfortable when this space is breached.
The extent to which people will keep out of or encroach upon our personal space,
depends on a multitude of factors including culture, personality, age, sex, status and

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dominance (Hargie et al, 2004). For example, women typically adopt closer dis-
tances than men, particularly with other women. Similarly, extroverts adopt closer
distances than introverts, as do the very young and old. North European and North
American cultures tend to prefer larger interpersonal distances than do people from
Southern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East (Hargie et al, 2004). The
distance that people put between themselves and others can also be instrumental in
reflecting attitudes, creating feelings and indicating the balance of power. Thus, we
may stand away from someone we regard as unfriendly, or whom we think is going
to tell us something we do not want to hear (Knapp & Hall, 1992). Likewise, those
who create a large interpersonal distance when communicating with us, we tend to
view as less friendly and understanding (Adler & Elmhorst, 1999). The person with
the higher status in an interaction generally controls the level of distance and degree
of approach.
Occulesics, a sub-category of kinesics, is the study of eye movement, eye- be-
haviour, gaze and eye-related non-verbal communication. It has four dimensions:
Eye- contact
Pupil Dilation
Gaze Direction
It has long since been recognised that the eyes communicate a great deal with ex-
pressions such as ‘the eyes are the windows of the soul’ in common parlance. Think
about how it can be difficult to deal with someone wearing sunglasses, for example.
Eye contact can indicate engagement or involvement with the speaker and complete
lack of eye contact can suggest detachment, nervousness or that the person is hid-
ing something. Use of eye contact can serve a number of purposes – for example, a
sequence of breaks and contact in eye gaze is used to regulate the flow in conversa-
tion, with the speaker typically engaging in eye contact as they come to the end of
their speech turn.Eye contact of the listener needs to be at a comfortable level – a
constant or fixed eye gaze can be unnerving. In addition, the rules for what amounts
to appropriate or comfortable eye contact varies from culture to culture.
Vocalics is how people express themselves through voice. The voice has different
properties. These are rate, inflection and variety in the voice, volume, being loud
or soft, and articulation and pronunciation, or how correctly and clearly the person
speaks. the voice will also develop physiological properties termed as voice quali-

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ties such as breathiness, raspiness or hoarseness, and nasality(having a really whiny

voice). A great deal of information can be communicated this way. It is easy to
tell for example that twopeople are arguing when you can hear the sound of their
voices but not their words. To illustrate this further, think about how paralinguistics
can change the meaning of the following statement, spoken by a student: ‘I‘ll not
have that report finished by Friday. Would Monday do?’ Depending on how this
is said, the meaning may be heard as ‘I don’t think it’s important’ or ‘I don’t care
about it’ or ‘I’m becoming overwhelmed with the work’ or ‘I’m very sorry’ etc.
In a very general sense, varying the tone, pitch, rate and other vocal features can
communicate enthusiasm and can create a sense of interest in the listener. This can
be of importance when giving a presentation ). However, sometimes paralinguistic
cues are difficult to decode and are ambiguous. For example, is the student who
talks very quickly nervous, eager to get away, under pressure or is this simply their
characteristic way of speaking? Exercise 7
Exercise 10.

Everyone in different levels of the organization is well informed therefore inclusive.

Possible screening of information to ensure that it is credible.
Problems can be solved before they get out of hand and solutions will be more
quality unlike when protocol is ignored. Exercise 10
Exercise 11.

Knowledge of making power-point slides Exercise 11
Exercise 12.

Sensing/ Hearing/Selective Hearing

Evaluate; which of the things I have sensed is important i.e. attach value thus either
store or discard.

CILS 2101

Memory stage - put whatever we think is important into our memory.

Exercise 12
Exercise 13.

Open ended questions: they do not require a specific answer and all the inter-
viewee to talk at length on what asked. One taks more and takes control of the
Closed questions: they require binary/specific answers i.e yes or no It can make a
session turn into an interrogation session(disadvantage).
Mirror questions: they reflect an answer that you have given previously.it is tricky
and meant to catch you.
Probing questions: they arise from an answer given earlier or and require you to
explain that answer further.
Leading questions: they are asked in such a way that the interview gets the answer
that he/she wants.(usually in such a way that you agree with his/her opinion.)they
are unfair to the interview and should be avoided. Exercise 13