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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Communication has become understood to be a very complex discipline examined by cultural studies scholars, humanists, and social scientists. Aspects of communication studied include the influence of electronic media, social interaction, mass communication, and many more.  

As a complex study, communication has been defined in very many ways. In general, communication can be defined as a means of sharing information. For information to be shared, both the sharer and the recipient must understand the information. Plus, both the recipient and the sharer of the information must be involved in the communication process (University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, "Defining Communication").

There are three different types of communication: verbal, written, and nonverbal. In verbal communication, the recipient of information must listen to sharer speaking. In written communication, the recipient reads the words written by the sharer. In nonverbal communication, the recipient derives meaning by observing the sharer communicate through nonverbal cues.

Examples of verbal and written communication abound, and they are the easiest two concepts of communication to understand. Nonverbal communication can be trickier, though. Research demonstrates that "what you don't say can be even more important" than what you do say. In fact, studies show that recipients of a message interpret the meaning of the message based on 55% of what we "don't say," or nonverbal cues. Nonverbal cues include "facial expressions, body stance, and tone of voice" (New Charter University, "Communication and Decision Making").