Nonverbal Communication Application Essay 2: Nonverbal Assignment: Breaking the Rules

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Your second essay is designed to heighten your awareness of the different expectations people have for

nonverbal communication. For this essay, you should make a list of the nonverbal behavior “rules” you

experience on a daily basis. Then, you should intentionally violate the nonverbal behavior rule and observe

other’s reactions. You must engage in the violation no less than five times with five different people.

To complete this assignment, you should write a 600 – 900 word essay addressing the questions below. You

will be evaluated on your understanding of course material, your reasoning and synthesis of ideas, and your

writing style including grammar and mechanics. All writing assignments should be double-spaced with 1”

margins and 12-point font.

Assignment Requirements: _____

Using your experience and the textbook, address the following prompts thoroughly and thoughtfully. Be sure to

refer to specific course content and give examples to demonstrate your understanding.


1. Identify and define the nonverbal behavior you chose to violate. Specifically, discuss the norms

associated with that particular behavior and (or category of behaviors) discussed in your textbook.

2. Describe in detail how you violated the nonverbal norm. Describe what you did, with whom, and where.

(Remember: the violation should’ve occurred at least five times with five different people.) Be specific

in explaining how your actions were in violation of society’s expectations.

3. Describe the specific nonverbal behaviors that were part of others’ responses and discuss whether the

reactions were what you expected. Reflect on why you think others reacted that way (consider factors

such as relationship status, age, gender, situation, etc.).

4. Broadly, explain how you felt violating these norms. Did it make you uncomfortable? Why or why not?

5. Overall, justify why nonverbal norms, such as the one you violated, exist in our culture.


1. Include an introduction and conclusion that preview and summarize your main points.

2. Develop cohesive paragraphs that each focus on one topic.

3. Proofread your essay for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

4. Format your essay using double spacing, 1” margins, and 12-point font.

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