Viewing Hints

Updated for the 8th Edition

Site Features

Selecting Your Edition

You can choose to view resources for the 7th or 8th Edition—and switch between them if needed. Simply click on the book cover icons in the header to change editions. The 8th edition is the "default.". You will be able to access the 7th edition material at least through the 2011-12 school year. If you have cookies enabled in your browser, it will remember the last edition selection you made.

Read more about changes in the 8th Edition of the text as well as changes to the website for the 8th edition.

Finding Information about Theories and Section Introductions

The heart of the site is the Theory Resources section, which provides links to an array of material, some from the Instructors Manual and other designed specifically for the website. You can view resources by type or by theory (which includes section introductions) in alphabetical order. In View by Theory you can also navigate forward and backward in the order in which material appears in the book.

To find resources by book layout, you may find it quicker to use the Table of Contents page, with links to Theory Resources. We have added the Table of Contents as a tab on the main menu, along with the links already provided on other pages.

You can also use the Theory List page, which provides a list of all theories given full chapter treatment in the editions of the book up to the one selected, as well as those given brief coverage in the selected edition.. Theories given full chapter coverage in the selected edition are linked to Theory Resources. The Theory List can be sorted by theory name or theorist.

There is an Archive of theories no longer appearing as full chapters in the selected edition. These are PDF documents of the chapter from the last edition in which the theory appeared, linked from the Theory List or from the Archive button in Theory Resources.

The Text Compare button provides a listing of all theories covered by the major communication theory texts, including many not covered in A First Look. (Note: Other than the changes in coverage between editions 7 and 8 of A First Look, the rest of this table has not been updated. That is expected to be done during the 2011-12 school year).

Self-Help Quizzes have been updated for the 8th edition, with significant editing of the McGraw-Hill questions by Em Griffin (including some corrections or clarifications in answers). You can also choose to view 10, 15 or all 20 of the questions for the selected chapter. Questions are always shuffled each time you start a quiz, so you will always get a different order.

Interactive Features Moving to Social Media

In the 7th Edition, we introduced a "Question of the Moment" feature for students. This is still available in archive form as a Facebook page is being developed, which will become the location for feedback and interaction. We had also introduced a "Best Practices" feature for instructors. This has been dropped with the update to the 8th edition. Watch for information about availability of the Facebook connection.

Technical Notes

Browser Compatibility

When the site was updated for the 7th edition in 2008 there were still compatibility issues. Since then, improvements in the major browsers have finally brought much higher levels of compliance with web standards, though there are still issues that may cause misalignment of page elements for some users. We check the site on the latest versions of Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome and Safari, the four browsers most frequently used by visitors to the site.

Always use the latest browser version your computer will support.

A small number of users view the site on mobile devices. Since theTheory Resources section is designed for viewing on larger monitors, it is not well suited for smaller mobile devices, but it should work well on the increasingly popular iPad and other tablets.

Browser Resolution

This feature, which allowed you to select a "wide" or "narrow" view of the site, has been discontinued with the update to the 8th edition. It was implemented because there were still enough users in 2008 who did not have high resolution monitors. In the meantime, with newer widescreen laptops and high resolution LCD/LED monitors, the number of visitors using the feature has dropped significantly.

Text Size

Most of the text on the site can be adjusted in size. Use the Text Size buttons at the top right. Changing the text size also affects the size of text when you print pages. If you have cookies enabled, the setting will be retained when you return to the site. Otherwise, it will begin at the default setting.

On some pages, as the text size increases there may be some overlap or shifting of page elements, but it should still be quite viewable. As an alternate, most broswers now allow you to adjust text size within their options and may also allow you to zoom in or out.


When you see a printer icon on pages within the First Look site, it will print only the core content on that page, eliminating all of the navigation and other surrounding page elements, and printing the entire contents of a scrolling window.

updated August 11, 2011

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