Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Communication in Our Lives, 8th Edition

  • Julia T. Wood
  • ISBN-10: 1305949544
  • ISBN-13: 9781305949546
  • 480 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2015, 2012, 2009
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

COMMUNICATION IN OUR LIVES, 8th Edition, provides everything students need to strengthen their interpersonal, group, public speaking, and media literacy skills -- as well as demonstrates the value of communication in their personal and professional lives. Award-winning scholar Julia T. Wood combines skills development with the latest research and theory by prominent communication scholars. Praised by instructors and students alike, the text features an engaging, personal tone, highly readable style, and frequent Student Voice sections that explore how past students have experienced key communication concepts. The eighth edition integrates social and cultural diversity throughout, provides an early emphasis on public speaking, expands coverage of mass and social media, and includes a new focus on health communication. In addition, interactive, online study tools allow you to customize the text to your course and help your students become more confident and effective communicators.


  • After reading the latest about communication theories, research, and skills, students apply what they've learned to their own lives through Communication Highlight boxes, which provide examples of communication in personal and work contexts, and Sharpen Your Skills boxes, which include self-tests and brief activities.

  • A signature feature of the text, thorough coverage of social and cultural diversity is woven into every chapter -- which not only reflects contemporary society but also helps students appreciate social diversity and its profound implications for how we communicate with others.

  • Extensive public speaking coverage begins early in the text with examples, exercises, and sample speeches with annotated commentary, all designed to support speaking as a key course component. Enriched attention to effective reasoning --including the Toulmin model -- and discussion of fallacies in reasoning also help students master public speaking skills.

  • Case studies in every chapter expand the conversation by enabling students to see how the theories and principles explored in the text play very real, important roles in everyday life. The scenarios and speeches featured in the case studies are also available as multimedia presentations.

  • Featured at the end of chapters in Parts I and II, "Beyond the Classroom" offers suggestions for expanding on chapter material in three ways: considering the chapter's relevance in the workplace, probing ethical issues raised in the chapter, and connecting chapter material to civic and social engagement with the broader world.


"This textbook is well-written, engaging, and easy to read. It is a great fit for your introduction to human communication class."
— Jennifer Fairchild

About the Author

Julia T. Wood

Julia Wood joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she was 24. During her 37 years on the faculty, she taught classes and conducted research on personal relationships as well as gender, communication, and culture. She was named the Lineberger Distinguished Professor of Humanities and the Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Distinguished Professor of Graduate Education. In addition to publishing 25 books and 100 articles and book chapters, she has presented more than 100 papers at professional conferences and campuses around the country. Her accolades include 14 awards honoring her teaching and 16 awards recognizing her scholarship. She received her B.A. from North Carolina State University, her M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University.

Table of Contents

About the Author.
1. The World of Communication.
2. Perception and Communication.
3. Communication and Personal Identity.
4. Listening Effectively.
5. The Verbal Dimension of Communication.
6. The Nonverbal Dimension of Communication.
7. Communication in Personal Relationships.
8. Communication in Groups and Teams.
9. Communication in Organizations.
10. Communication and Culture.
11. Media and Media Literacy.
12. Planning Public Speaking.
13. Researching and Developing Support for Public Speeches.
14. Organizing and Presenting Public Speeches.
15. Informative Speaking.
16. Persuasive Speaking.
Closing: Pulling Ideas Together.
Appendix A: Annotated Sample Speeches.
Appendix B: Interviewing.

New to this edition

  • Thoroughly revised and updated with the latest developments from the field, Wood's COMMUNICATION IN OUR LIVES, 8e, includes more than 150 new references -- ensuring that the text is informed by the most current research.
  • Enhanced digital media coverage is integrated throughout the eighth edition. Every chapter includes a major new section devoted entirely to social media, while chapter 11, Media and Media Literacy, focuses on both mass media and social media.
  • Features in every chapter emphasize the importance of effective communication to today's careers, helping students see the relevance of text concepts in real-world practice.
  • A new focus on health communication is incorporated throughout the text. Every chapter includes all-new boxed feature Health Communication, which highlights connections between communication and issues relevant to health. In-text examples and key discussions of this topic are also included where appropriate.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Web Site  (ISBN-10: 1305949595 | ISBN-13: 9781305949591)

Everything you need for your course in one place! This collection of product-specific lecture and class tools is available online via the instructor resource center at You'll be able to access and download materials such as PowerPoint® presentations, instructor's resource manual, Cengage Learning testing, powered by Cognero®, and more.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305949617 | ISBN-13: 9781305949614)

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap Communication, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Wood's Communication in Our Lives  (ISBN-10: 1305949579 | ISBN-13: 9781305949577)

Build your students’ foundational communication skills with MindTap Communication for Wood's COMMUNICATION IN OUR LIVES, 8th Edition! Easy-to-use and easy-to-customize, MindTap promotes mastery of course concepts with skills-based assignments that guide to students analyze, apply and improve in key areas including public speaking, small group and interpersonal communication. Focused tools, engaging activities and contextualized assignments in MindTap are designed to elevate thinking and foundational communication skills for classroom and career success. As an instructor using MindTap, you have at your fingertips the right content and unique set of tools curated specifically for your course, all in an interface designed to improve workflow and save time when planning lessons and course structure. The control to build and personalize your course is all yours, focusing on the most relevant material while also lowering costs for your students. Stay connected and informed in your course through real-time student tracking that provides the opportunity to adjust the course as needed based on analytics of interactivity in the course.

Student Supplements

MindTap Communication, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Wood's Communication in Our Lives  (ISBN-10: 1305949579 | ISBN-13: 9781305949577)

It's 1 a.m., there are 20 tabs open on your computer, you lost your flashcards for the test, and you're so tired you can't even read. It'd be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap Communication for Wood's COMMUNICATION IN OUR LIVES, 8th Edition, you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including eBook and apps all in one place! Manage your time and workload without the hassle of heavy books! The MindTap Reader keeps all your notes together, lets you print the material, and will even read text out loud. Need extra practice? Find pre-populated flashcards and the entire eBook in the MindTap Mobile App, as well as quizzes and important course alerts. Want to know where you stand? Use the Progress app to track your performance in relation to other students.