This text introduces the field of communication to students who may have little or no background in communication theory. Its three overriding goals are to help students understand the pervasiveness of theory in their lives, to demystify the theoretical process, and to help students become more systematic and critical in their thinking about theory.25 theories are covered in discrete chapters. Each chapter begins with an extended example (the vignette) that demonstrates how communication theory plays out in everyday life. Each theory is presented in a consistent format--vignette, followed by introduction, assumptions, core concepts, and critique--allowing for a balanced presentation of the material. Part I, "Setting the Stage," defines communication, gives students an understanding of the history of the discipline, covers the basics of what makes theory, and outlines the role that research plays in the development of theories. Effective pedagogy includes "Theory Application in Groups (TAG)" boxes, journal topics for student writing assignments, research notes that present relevant abstracts from research articles and essays, discussion starters, lists of terms for review, and a glossary. "Theory at a Glance" boxes in the theory-specific chapters summarize each theory in 3 or 4 sentences, to aid basic understanding. Expanded references sections at the end of each chapter provide annotated references of key works related to the chapter discussion. "Theory Into Practice (TIP)" boxes in each chapter, which previously highlighted practical cases for each theory, now highlight students' ideas and practical uses for each theory, in the students' own words. "The Theory Connection" boxes from the second edition now appear exclusively on the book's companion website. Revised "Critique and Closing" sections at the end of each chapter have incorporated the authors' 7 criteria for assessment, set forth in Chapter 3.