Bypassing Case Analysis

Module 3 Pages

Bypassing | Bypassing Case Analysis
Assignments, Discussions and Quizzes | References and Resources

Bypassing – Sample Case Analysis


We can use hypothetical cases to study characters who are unaware of their bypassing behaviors. The cases that follow were developed by students who were familiar with the contributing factors of bypassing, and they created characters with such faulty language habits.

After reading the Allness Sample Case below, Phonathon, explore how Jenny and Professor Burch were exhibiting bypassing behaviors. You can find the contributing factors defined and explained in the second column of Table 3.1 below. Similarly, you can see how each character can use a bypassing corrective.

Bypassing Sample Case:  Soon (with Jenny and Professor Burch)

Jenny worked hard. She studied weeks before a test to make sure that she was prepared. She stuck to a strict schedule to keep her assignments and classes in order; consequently, she liked to know how she was doing in a course, to see which class needed more time. Professor Burch, her literature instructor, changed his syllabus, switched due dates, and rarely returned assignments. These actions meant trouble for Jenny.

Professor Burch assigned long papers in all his classes; therefore, it often took him several days to return papers. This literature class was one of four courses that he taught during a semester. He had assigned a 10-page paper about Shakespeare in the class that Jenny was taking.

Jenny had stayed up for several nights to complete her work, so she was relieved to be turning in the paper during Tuesday’s class. Turning to Steve, she asked, “Where is your paper?”

“He said he’d accept them by the end of the business day, so I’ll finish mine and then run it to him later,” Steve said. “Professor Burch usually does not stick to due dates unless he specifically says that he will.”

Professor Burch told the class members that he would return their papers soon. Because he said that he would turn the papers back to them soon, Jenny was confident that she would receive her paper the following week. She waited patiently but soon realized that the professor was taking much longer than she anticipated.

[2 weeks later]

Full of nervous energy, Jenny walked into class and headed straight for the professor’s desk. Trying to sound as calm as possible, Jenny asked, “Professor, we still have not received our papers about Shakespeare. When are we going to get the papers back?”

Professor Burch replied, “I am just finishing up the last few grades, so you will be getting them back soon.”

Jenny found a seat next to Steve and grumbled, “I cannot believe that he has not given our papers back.”

Steve calmly replied, “I really do not think it is a big deal. He said that he will give them back soon, so I am sure that we will get them later this week.”

Later that class period, Professor Burch assigned another paper that was longer and worth more points. Not knowing what her grade was for the previous paper, Jenny was unsure how to begin the current one. She would have to go to Professor Burch’s office hours tomorrow. Perhaps he might even have her other paper graded by then.

Character Analysis

A character analysis helps you identify, define, and explain contributing factors for each character. It can be used to define and explain how to demonstrate correctives. The following table illustrates how you might analyze the behaviors of Jenny and Professor Burch in terms of correctives.

Character: Jenny

Contributing Factors

  • Definition: Word have meanings — The false assumption that meaning is in words, not people.
  • Explanation: Jenny assumes that she and Professor Burch have the same meaning of the word soon.


  • Definition: query and paraphrase — Summarize a speaker and then ask clarifying questions.
  • Explanation: Jenny realizes that the meaning of soon depends on the person, so she asks Professor Burch to estimate the date he hopes to return papers.

Professor Burch

Contributing Factors

  • Definition: Words have mono-usage —The false assumption that a word has only one meaning. 
  • Explanation: Professor Burch is unaware that students have different meanings for soon.


  • Definition: Be person-minded, not word-minded —Disagree with the dictionary and agree with the person’s background.
  • Explanation: Professor Burch recognizes that Jenny is a student who diligently completes assignments, so he gives her a specific date for when he will be done with the grades.

Bypassing – 3 Case Studies

Carefully read these three cases. After each case, consider the behaviors of the characters portrayed. For each character, analyze the contributing factors and correctives that you’ve studied in this module.

Your analysis should include:

  1. a contributing factor (words have mono-usage, words have meaning) to the character’s bypassing behavior;
  2. an explanation as to how the character exhibited the contributing factor;
  3. a corrective (be person-minded, not word-minded: query & paraphrase: be approachable; be sensitive to context ) specific to that character;
  4. an explanation regarding how the character could use the corrective when interacting with other characters in the case.

Bypassing Case 3.1: Hard Work (with Samantha and Coach)

Samantha, a junior volleyball player, headed to her weekly meeting with the head coach. Sometimes, these meetings went well; other times, she was scared of what might happen. This coach’s behaviors differed from what Samantha usually expected of a head coach, the coach only interacted with players at individual meetings.  Samantha assumed that this week’s meetings would focus on the team’s performance at the end of the season.

“Good morning, Samantha.  How do you feel about your performance in both games and practices this year?” the head coach asked.

“I think that I worked hard during practice, but I rarely had the opportunity to play in the games.”

“I thought that the amount of time you played during games matched your performances during practice,” answered the coach.  “Do you think that you are going to play next season?”

“I have a heavy course load, and I may need to look for a job or an internship. More important, I believe that I should be rewarded with more playing time for all my hard work.”

“Well, your hard work is appreciated,” explained the coach.  “Regardless of whether you play, I believe that the team could use a good teammate and hard worker like you. You really show the rest of the team how to be a good sport and have a good attitude. We would like to have you on the team, but either way, I wish you luck next year.”

Meanwhile, Kendra, also a junior volleyball player, met with the assistant coach.  Kendra did not care about these evaluation meetings.  Sometimes, she even skipped them simply because she knew that neither coach would punish her.  Because she was the best player on the team, she knew it did not matter whether she tried at practice, as the coaches always played her and she started every game.

The assistant coach inquired, “Kendra, how would you rate your effort in both games and practices?”

“Well, practices never seem important because I start every game. You have my statistics, so you know how hard I work during games.”

“Do you think you will play next year?” asked the assistant coach.

“Of course I’m going to play. I am not sure that the team could win without me. I work the hardest out there,” claimed Kendra.

“Well, those are all the questions I have for you.  Keep your grades up and we will see you next season,” the assistant coach concluded. She sighed deeply as she headed to the next round of player meetings. Someday when she was a head coach, she would definitely address players with bad attitudes.

In the hallway, Samantha and Kendra crossed paths outside of the coaches’ offices and discussed their individual meetings. Samantha rarely enjoyed these interactions, but she decided to ask Kendra about meeting with the assistant coach.

“They want me to play next year. Those silly meetings never mean anything to me.  I told the assistant coach that practice was not important and she did not even get mad.”

“Coach told me they appreciate my hard work at practice. See you next season,” Samantha finished, hoping she would not cross paths with Kendra anytime soon.

Bypassing Case 3.2: Volume (with Trey and Calvin)

Late one weeknight, Trey, a sophomore political science major, had music playing in his dorm room. The walls were thin, so the music bothered his neighbors. The bass sound started to shake the floor, which meant that the ceiling in the room below was vibrating. Trey’s resident assistant, a senior named Calvin, was studying for an important 400-level chemistry exam that he needed to complete successfully to get into graduate school. Another resident, Kyle, had an 8:00 am class the next day and wanted to get some sleep.

Kyle went to Calvin’s room and asked, “Can you have Trey turn his music down? I’m trying to sleep and I have class in the morning.”

Calvin agreed to talk to Trey. Because the loud music was happening during “quiet” hours, Calvin ran upstairs and asked Trey to turn his music down to respect the other residents.

“This is your only warning for the night, Trey. There are other people on this floor besides you,” Calvin reminded Trey. Trey begrudgingly agreed to turn down the music.

On his way back to his room to study, Calvin told Kyle that Trey agreed to turn the music down. Kyle thanked Calvin and went back to bed.

After a couple of minutes, Calvin realized that he could still hear the bass from Trey’s music. He trudged back to Trey’s room and firmly stated, “I thought I asked you to turn that music down. Now, I am going to have to write you up.”

“I did turn it down a notch,” Trey protested.

Calvin looked at the volume dial on Trey’s speakers.  Perhaps Trey had turned down the volume since the previous visit, but it was not enough.

“Considering that your bass still is shaking the floor, you need to turn it way down. I really do not want to write you up. At this hour, you should be the only one who can hear your music,” Calvin concluded.

Trey sighed after Calvin left the room. As far as Trey was concerned, the volume was turned down. He slammed his headphones over his ears. Within minutes, he was swaying to the music, forgetting the whole incident and focusing on political science theory.

Bypassing Case 3.3: Light Mayo (with Eliza and Todd)

On Sunday afternoon, Eliza, a 20-year-old university student, clocked in for her shift at a local restaurant.

Eliza’s manager, Olivia, approached Eliza when she arrived and asked, “Eliza, can you do inventory later tonight?”

Eliza nodded in agreement and started her normal shift as a waitress. She took orders, delivered food, refilled drinks, and bused tables. Eliza knew Olivia expected assigned tasks, such as inventory, to be done before a shift was over. Because it was a Sunday night, Eliza knew that there would be a lot of down time towards the end of her shift.

After the dinner crowd dwindled, Eliza started to head to the backroom to start inventory. Just then, Todd, a regular customer, walked in, and asked, “Hello, Eliza, may I have a chicken sandwich with light mayo?”

“Sure, chicken with light mayo?” She repeated to confirm Todd’s order as she typed it into the computer. Ten minutes later, Eliza served Todd his sandwich and headed for the back room.

Todd took a bite of his sandwich and called for Eliza to come back. “Eliza, I said light mayo, right?”

“Yes, a chicken sandwich with light mayo,” she replied.

“I wanted a chicken sandwich with just a little bit of mayo. I cannot eat a sandwich with all of this mayo,” Todd complained as he pushed the plate across the table.

“I am so sorry. I thought you wanted the brand of light mayonnaise that we use. I will have the cook make you another one.” She headed back to the kitchen to correct the mistake.

“I sure wish that this one would have been right. I have so much work to finish tonight,” Todd muttered. “Have the cook put it in a box for me to take home.” Todd pulled out his phone to check for e-mails and waited.

When Eliza returned with Todd’s sandwich, he snatched it from her and left the restaurant without tipping. Upset about the mistake, Eliza started scrubbing tables. Just then, Cindy, Eliza’s overdramatic friend, rushed into the restaurant. Eliza could only imagine what had happened now. Cindy always had gossip to share, especially when Eliza was at work.

“We need to talk!” Cindy said urgently.

“Can it wait until later? I am work, remember?” Eliza asked.

“But there is no one in here! What do you have to do?” Cindy questioned.

As Cindy was begging her friend to listen, Olivia came from the back of the restaurant and reminded, Eliza, “Make sure you get to that inventory soon.”

“See, Cindy, I have do work to do,” Eliza argued.

“But Olivia said to do that soon, not right now,” Cindy protested. Cindy then took a seat at the nearest booth, rambling on about her crisis “du jour,” unaware that Eliza had stopped listening and started taking inventory.

Module 3 Pages

Bypassing | Bypassing Case Analysis
Assignments, Discussions and Quizzes | References and Resources