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Abstract

Despite the popularity of the both the basic course in communication and the Basic Communication Course Annual, questions still remain about the empirical support for the ways in which we teach the basic course. This essay categorizes and synthesizes 61 empirical studies published from 1989 to 2004 in the Basic Communication Course Annual. The studies are classified into five categories: teaching strategies, teacher and student characteristics, status of the basic course, analyses of texts for the basic course, and assessment of the basic course. Several salient themes are developed and suggestions for future research are advanced.