Relationship Paper

 Purpose and Description:  

  • The purpose of this assignment is to reflect on a relationship you have with someone and apply course concepts to the relationship. This can be a romantic relationship, friendship, family relationship, or a close coworker as long as it is someone you communicate with regularly. You could also choose to examine an important relationship that ended for some reason.
  • You will choose a topic we have covered in Chapters Eight, Nine, or Ten from the list below and then analyze the relationship using that topic.
  • To support your success with this paper you can submit a rough draft and receive feedback before submitting the final draft
  • This assignment is worth 150 points See Canvas for details


Topics to choose from:

  • Influences on relationship formation – proximity, resources, similarity
  • Relationship stages – initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, bonding, differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, terminating
  • Relational dialectics – openness vs. protection, autonomy vs connection, novelty vs. predictability
  • Relational maintenance tool – positivity, assurances, self-disclosure
  • Conflict styles – competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding, accommodating



  • Introduction
    • Include a clear introduction with an overview of the paper
      • What topic are you writing about
      • What relationship are you writing about
    • Part One
      • Introduce the relationship you are writing about and why you chose this relationship.
      • What kind of relationship is it?
      • How long have you known each other?
      • How did you meet?
      • How close are you?
      • Why did you choose to write about this relationship?
      • You can answer each of these questions, but you do not need to answer each one, just include any relevant information
    • Part Two
      • Select a topic from the list above and dive into the topic. The topics are intentionally broad to allow you to focus on what you are most interested in and what is most relevant to the relationship you choose to write about.
      • Define and explain the topic including the related terms and concepts.
      • Give examples to help support your explanation.
      • You can and should use the textbook (and your class notes) for this part of the paper.
    • Part Three
      • Analyze how the topic and the related concepts play a part in your relationship and it influences and impacts your relationship.
      • Be specific
      • This is where you can really show your understanding of the topic
      • Include some ideas about how you can improve your relationship through an understanding of the topic
    • Conclusion
      • Include a clear conclusion that overviews the paper
        • Review the topic you discussed in the paper