EN306B Prof Wrtng in the Disciplines: Business Communications

for F1T 2005

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Maryellen Mills
Office: Cibolo, Texas
Phone: 210-566-8085
Fax: 210-566-8085

Park University Vision

Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Park University Mission

The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

This course will emphasize knowing and preparing various kinds of communications in business and related fields: business letters, reports, proposals, surveys, field studies, visual aids, group presentations, public lectures.

Welcome to Business Communications (English 306B), on line! This course focuses on the special communication needs of today's global, diverse, and high-technology workplace. It is designed to produce students who can demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for substantive, clear, and correct business communications, with emphasis on writing skills. Because it is a writing course, Business Communications focuses on helping you develop effective written communication skills for the workplace.

In the course, you will analyze, discuss, and perform writing tasks familiar to most businesses, such as memos, letters, reports, and proposals, and you'll learn how to perform research for these writing tasks using the extraordinary resources of the World Wide Web.

We also cover documents that are important for individual career progression, such as resumes. Finally, we'll present topics and resources to help you understand more about the overall communication process within organizations.

Each week we'll focus on different writing situations, issues, or problems encountered in the workplace through our online conferencing discussions; these are reinforced and expanded in readings in our text, Business Communication Essentials, 2nd Edition, by Bovee, Thill, and Schatzman.

After you have completed this course, you should be able to:  

  • State and explain the requirements for communicating effectively and ethically in a globally-oriented, technological economy.
  • Discuss and apply techniques of project management - through the development of an Information Plan and other activities - necessary for effective business writing tasks.
  • Apply techniques of traditional and online research necessary for effective business writing.
  • Apply techniques of analysis and decision-making necessary for effective organizing of written business documents.
  • Apply techniques necessary for efficient drafting of business documents.
  • Apply techniques necessary for revising to achieve a clear, vivid and readable style.
  • Apply techniques necessary for proofing for correctness of business documents.
  • Develop (plan, conduct research for, organize, draft, revise, and proof) business memos, letters, proposals, reports, and resumes which meet the criteria stated in an Assessment Checklist used for evaluating writing.
  • Given a workplace scenario and a writing task/assessment checklist, coach a colleague or subordinate in effective techniques to complete a writing task.

Business Communication Essentials, by Courtland Bovee and John Thill (Second Edition - With Software), Prentice Hall (ISBN: 0-13167981 3)

Click Here For Park University Online Bookstore

Students are responsible for clicking on the link below and thoroughly reading each Online course policy.  If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact your instructor for clarification.

Online Course Policies

General grade policy:  You will know in advance the standards, points, and percentage for each graded assignment. The course Gradebook will allow you to track your average as we progress through the course. The grading scale is as follows:

  • A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69; F = 0-59.

My goal is to give you prompt, clear, and useful feedback to help you finish this course as a more effective and confident writer and thinker.

Each student is responsible for completing:

  • weekly reading assignments
  • weekly discussion questions
  • an online journal which I will check two times during the semester on dates I will specify. 
  • special learning activities as assigned (ex: grammar skills assessment—ungraded, but very helpful in refining correctness in your writing)  
  • six substantial writing assignments, referred to as Papers. 
  • a final examination

Course Grading Scale – See next section.

Late submissions of work/missing assignments:  As in the workplace, it is essential that documents be delivered on time, in final form. Due dates for all assignments will be posted on the assignment instructions and repeated in the weekly assignment summaries.  You are expected to meet those deadlines. Late submissions of assignments will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Papers submitted after the due date are subject to a grade penalty, and go to the bottom of the grading priority pile. Assignments which are still missing at the end of the term will receive a grade of 0.

Proctored final examination: You must take an exam in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location.  For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test.  Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website. 

Approval of proctors is the discretion of the instructor.  A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval. It will be your responsibility to make arrangements by the beginning of the 6th week of the term for a proctor who is approved by the instructor.   Remember:  If you live within one hour of a Park site, University policy dictates that you must take your exam at that site.  

Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade. 




% of Grade

Week Due

Paper #1 (Memo) 



Week 2

Paper #2 (Memo w/research)  



Week 3

Paper #3 (Letters) 



Week 4

Paper #4 (Proposal) 



Week 5

Paper #5 (Resume) 



Week 6

Paper #6 (Report) 



Week 7




Weeks 3 & 7

Class Participation  




Final Examination 



Week 8





Academic Honesty

Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community.  Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. 


Academic dishonesty includes committing or the attempt to commit cheating, plagiarism, falsifying academic records, and other acts intentionally designed to provide unfair advantage to the students.

  • Cheating includes, but is not limited to, intentionally giving or receiving unauthorized aid or notes on examinations, papers, laboratory reports, exercises, projects, or class assignments which are intended to be individually completed.  Cheating also includes the unauthorized copying of tests or any other deceit or fraud related to the student's academic conduct.
  • Plagiarism involves the use of quotation without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignments (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing.
  • Falsifying academic records includes, but is not limited to, altering grades or other academic records.
  • Other acts that constitute academic dishonesty include:
    • Stealing, manipulating, or interfering with an academic work of another student or faculty member.
    • Collusion with other students on work to be completed by one student.
    • Lying to or deceiving a faculty member.


In the event of alleged academic dishonesty, an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report will be submitted to an Online Academic Director who will then investigate the charge.  Students who engage in academic dishonesty are subject to a range of disciplinary actions, from a failing grade on the assignment or activity in question to expulsion from Park University.  Park University's academic honesty policy and related procedures can be found in full in the 2004-2005 Park University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.

Professors are required to keep attendance records and report absences throughout the term. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands including temporary duty. The student is responsible for completing all missed work.  Any student failing to attend class for two consecutive weeks, without an approved excuse from their instructor, will be administratively withdrawn and notified via email that you have been withdrawn and a grade of "WH" will be recorded.

An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term.  PLEASE NOTE:  Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation.  Participation grades will be assigned by each individual instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

For more details on Park University on page 100 of the Park University Undergraduate Catalog or page 14 of the Park University Graduate Catalog.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.

Park University Online Bookstore - Select "Distance Learning - Graduate," or "Distance Learning Internet," and then click on the appropriate course code (ex. AC 201, PA 501) to see the list of required and optional texts for each course that you are enrolled in. 

Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Your Campus Center Administrator can provide advising to you, please contact them for assistance.  If you need contact information for your Campus Center, click here.

Online Tutoring Services - Park University has arranged for Online students to receive five hours of free access to Online tutoring and academic support through Smarthinking. If you would like Online tutoring, please contact me to receive their recommendation and information on how to access the Online tutoring.

Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.

Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275).  To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.

Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024.

Maryellen Temple Mills, MAE, MA

My professional history includes an intellectually eclectic accumulation of academics, employment, travel and general life adventures spanning more than two decades and two dozen zip codes. I hold a BA in English from Campbell University and an MAE in Counseling from East Carolina University, both in my home state of North Carolina, and an MA in English from George Mason University in Virginia. As for the education of experience, I think I could make a good case for claiming additional credentials: Post graduate studies in Air Force Family Management, with special field experience in Australia and Europe.

In addition to my Park classes, I teach writing classes at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. My previous working life has included interdisciplinary teaching and administrative work in various colleges and universities including George Mason, McMurry University, and New Mexico State. I also keep a hand in editing and writing projects, and was most recently published in Wings of Their Own, a collections of essays, memoirs and poems by and about Air Force spouses.

When people ask me what my dream job would be, I tell them I have it.  To me, higher education is the heart of what makes the American culture unique, and the tool by which individuals can make their own American dreams of opportunity into realities. Teaching motivated adults thinking and writing strategies that can make their dreams happen--what job could be better than that?

I’m married to a very recently retired Air Force officer who is currently making good use of my notes on resumes and cover letters!  Our son works here in San Antonio, and we have a daughter who will be a freshman at the University of Texas in Austin this fall.

Maryellen Mills (MM)