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EN 306B Prof Wrtng in the Disciplines:Business Communications
McGee, Nancy J.


Mission Statement: 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.

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

Course

EN 306 Professional Writing in the Disciplines: Business Communications

Semester

S2T 2008 DLB

Faculty

McGee, Nancy J.

Title

Adjunct Faculty

Degrees/Certificates

Ph.D. English, Composition
M.A., English Literature
B.S.. Secondary Education, English

Office Location

Online

Office Hours

Online

Other Phone

(734) 461-1536

E-Mail

Nancy.McGee@park.edu

naency@comcast.net

Semester Dates

March 17-May 11, 2008

Class Days

TBA

Class Time

TBA

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
Business Communication Essentials. Bovee and Thill. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006.

Additional Resources:

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.
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Course Description:
This course is the third course in the required writing sequence at Park University.  It emphasizes professional writing skills and expectations in various disciplines while developing further basic writing skills.  Specific departmental courses may be deemed equivalent and will be used to satisfy this course.  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, and public lectures.  Pre-requisites: EN105, EN106, passing the Writing Competency Test, and 60 credit hours.

Educational Philosophy:
I believe that engaging the student's life outside of the course is the best way to make the material clear and memorable. The business communication course does this very well, as students can immediately use the information in their work and home life. The online format provides a great benefit in allowing me to be a facilitator rather than a lecturer. I can allow a question to wait for other student input, deliver a brief answer, provide links to other resources that will give helpful background, or ask questions that will lead the student to discover the answer. An onground class moves too fast for this type of reflective decision making. Partially because of this ability, I feel that students learn more deeply in the online format.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze and explain techniques and standards for effective and efficient written communication with audiences in today's high-tech, globally-oriented, and diverse business and government environment.
  2. Develop business documents applying systematic processes for the steps of planning; designing; researching; organizing; drafting; revising; and proofing.
  3. Integrate research findings into business documents, using effective techniques for evaluating, verifying, and documenting information.


  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. State and explain the requirements for communicating effectively and ethically in a globally-oriented, technological economy.
  2. Discuss and apply techniques of project management - through the development of an Information Plan and other activities - necessary for effective business writing tasks.
  3. Apply techniques of traditional and online research necessary for effective business writing.
  4. Apply techniques of analysis and decision-making necessary for effective organizing of written business documents.
Core Assessment:

Analytic (Problem-Solution) Business Report.  The core assessment requires a business report focused on a topic appropriate for a business or organizational setting. The report will incorporate sources from online and other research using standard business document design elements and documentation formats. The report be more fully developed than previous assignments.  The report must provide research findings, conclusions, and recommendations sufficient for decision making in a business or organizational setting.  

Weight: No less than 20% of the final course grade.
 

Learning Rubric

Competency

Exceeds Expectation (3)

Meets Expectation (2)

Does Not Meet Expectation (1)

No Evidence (0)

Intent/Purpose: clear? (Synthesis)  
Outcomes 1, 2
 

The document’s intent and purpose are both explicitly and clearly stated. 

Intent or purpose not explicitly stated, but understandable to the target audience. 

Intent and purpose not stated and not clear. 

Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Audience: targeted? (Analysis)  Outcomes 1,2
 

Audience’s needs and expectations are fully addressed. 

Audience’s needs or expectations are partly addressed. 

Audience’s needs and expectations not addressed. 

Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Focused on a single controlling idea? (Synthesis)  
Outcomes 1,2
 

A sharply-focused controlling idea is clearly stated at the beginning. The writer keeps the reader focused on the controlling idea throughout the document.  

Controlling idea is stated at the beginning; focus on the controlling idea may not be clear throughout the document, but is re-stated in the conclusion.  

Controlling idea not stated; reader does not know where the writer is headed.  

Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Scope is clearly delineated? (Analysis)  
Outcomes 1,2
 

Scope is clearly stated. 

Reader must infer the of the scope covered by the document. 

Scope is vague or not stated. 

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Perspective is appropriate?  
(Synthesis)

Outcomes 1,2
 

Writer’s perspective is clear, and accommodates the audience’s perspective. Document evidences understanding of cultural and organizational diversity. 

Writer’s perspective clearly implied; may not (or may only partially) address the reader’s perspective. 

Writer’s perspective is vague or does not take into account the audience’s needs and expectations. 

Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Controlling Idea: sufficiently developed?

(Synthesis) 
Outcomes
 1,2,3

Controlling idea fully developed with external documented evidence, concrete examples and illustrations, and both inductive and deductive analysis/explanation.  

Controlling idea developed with concrete examples as evidence and inductive or deductive analysis/explanation 

Controlling idea not fully developed. 

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Analysis: are facts and opinions explained?

(Synthesis)  
Outcomes

 1, 2, 3
 

All opinions and facts are explained or confirmed to meet the reader’s needs and expectations.  

Essential opinions or facts supporting the controlling idea are explained or confirmed. May have some minor lapses. 

Opinions and facts are not explained or confirmed.  

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Evidence: detailed and convincing?

(Synthesis)  
Outcomes

1, 2, 3
 

Evidence is convincing, clearly documented and verifiable. Writer has clearly evaluated sources.   

 Evidence is limited but generally convincing. May be somewhat outdated or lacking in depth.

Writer does not provide evidence to support assertions. Document is not credible.

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Critical Thinking  
(Synthesis) Outcomes
1, 2, 3 

Consistently applies effective critical thinking techniques. Considers other perspectives, including cultural, professional, and personal. Considers both pro and con. Applies deductive and inductive logic, as appropriate. 

Considers pros and cons to the degree that the document is credible.  

Document is one-sided and contains logical flaws and fallacies. 

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Main Supporting Parts: clearly defined and simple?  
(Synthesis)

Outcomes

1,2,3
 

All main supporting points stated early, and in appropriate sequence.

Main points are partially or incompletely stated, or may be inferred by the reader. 

Main supporting points are not stated, and the reader cannot tell what is to follow after the introduction.

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Introduction

(Synthesis)  
Outcomes
 1,2,3

Sets stage, fully gives reader sense of purpose, and what is to follow; states controlling idea and major parts, Provides transition to body. Addresses needs and expectations of the target audience. States intended goal and objectives of the document. Transitions effectively to the next section of the report.

States purpose or controlling idea clearly, but not major parts. Partially addresses the goals and objectives of the document. Partially addresses the needs and expectations of the target audience.

Does state the purpose or address the needs and expectations of the target audience. 

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Transitions

 (Synthesis) 
Outcomes
 2

Transitions provide continuity and emphasis, and move the reader smoothly towards the document’s conclusion.

Transitions are present at critical places, such as between paragraphs. 

No 

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Conclusion  
(Synthesis) Outcomes
 1,2,3

Memorable conclusion. Returns to controlling idea, reviews ideas, provides closure to enable effective decision making. 

Summarizes the document and re-states the controlling idea. 

Ends abruptly or ambiguously.  

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Document Design

(Application)

Outcome

2

Text design uses correct fonts, headers, white space, and other elements to 

Uses basic design elements that are conventional to a business report.

Document design causes reader fatigue.

Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Paragraphs  
(Synthesis)

Outcomes
 2

Suitably brief and focused. Clear topic sentences. Unified and coherent. Fully developed with a balance of facts and explanation. 

Each paragraph generally covers a separate topic.

Paragraphs lack consistent structure.

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Sentences

(Synthesis)  
Outcomes
2

Varied, and of a suitable style for the audience; not excessively long or short. Coordinated. Complex when appropriate. Appropriately short to fit the needs of a busy workplace reader. No fragments, fused sentences, or comma splices.

Generally coordinated. Minimal fragments, fused sentences, or comma splices.

Uncoordinated; coherence problems. 

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Readability and Economy of Style

(Synthesis))

 

 

Style is easily understandable in a single rapid reading. Minimizes passive voice, smothered verbs, and bureaucratic and academic language.

Style is understandable to a busy workplace reader, with a minimum of stylistic distractions.

Style is difficult to read

Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Tone  
Outcomes
 2

Suitable for audience; not ambiguous. Uses personal pronouns as appropriate.

Appropriate for setting.  May occasionally come across as impersonal or bureaucratic.  

Ambiguous, inappropriate, or offensive tone for situation and audience. 

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Vocabulary  
Outcomes
 1,2

Concise and appropriate for the needs and expectations of the target audience. No jargon or language to impress rather than express.  Complex terms are defined. Abbreviations and acronyms are spelled out the first time they are used. Fluent yet not pretentious. 

Generally understandable – reader may need to consult references.

Inappropriate, confusing. Usage is nonstandard.

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

Grammar and Mechanics  
Outcomes

1,2
 

No distracting errors in grammar, mechanics, usage, punctuation, or spelling. 

Only occasional errors; not distracting. 

Errors distract the reader and erode writer’s credibility. 

 Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 

 

Class Assessment:

Students will write memos, reports, letters, journal entries,resumes and cover letters, and discussion board posting. In addition, the students will take a final essay exam.
 
Each week you will see a "Discuss Px" area of the class in your class menu bar, a week or more before the related assignment is due. I have discussed the specific things that I focus on for each assignment in this area. Please be sure to read these over carefully to get some hints for how to approach each assignment.
 
The discussion board postings will be worth either 12 or 13 points, depending on the week, as they are worth 100 points total in our eight weeks. They will be evaluated using the following criteria:
 
  • One point per day that a substantial (one paragraph or more) and relevant reply to another student's posting is submitted, up to five points.
  • A three to four paragaph response to the discussion question that is on topic, up to 7 or 8 points, depending on week. Points will be taken off for major writing errors (fragment, comma splice, run-together sentence, verb formation error) or having several minor writing errors.
 
 

Grading:
Memo 1: 50 points
Memo 2: 100 points
Bad news and persuasion letters: 150 points (75 points each)
Proposal: 100 points
Cover letter and resume: 50 points
Long report: 200 points
Journal: 50 points
Discussion board participation: 100 points
Final exam: 200 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Students must request persmission at least one day before the deadline in order to submit work late without penalty. If the waiver of the due date is not given in writing, then the assignment will be penalized five points for each day it is late. (For example, turning in an assignment on Wednesday will result in a penalty of 15 points, as all assignments are due on Sundays.) No assignment will be accepted more than one week past its deadline. No work will be accepted after the last class date unless the student has arranged for an Incomplete.
 
I've requested that the response to the discussion question be posted by Wednesday each week, but there is no penalty if this is late. Journals are due at the ends of weeks three, six, and eight, but again these are not penalized if late. They must, however, be submitted no later than the last day of class.
 
The quizzes do not in any way affect your grade, so there are no set due dates for these.
 
 
 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

All discussion postings must be courteous. You are encouraged to challenge ideas, but classroom etiquette is that you always respect the person.
 
There is one extra credit opportunity in the class, offered via the discussion board in the second week. There are no other extra credit opportunities offered.
 
The due dates for all work are given on this syllabus, on a calendar in the announcements section on the course home page, and on the top of the "Discuss Px" units in the weekly units.  I will generally send e-mails with reminders, particularly at the beginning of the class, but you should copy these due dates on your own calendar and refer to that regularly. As the due dates are given in multiple places, please do not e-mail me asking when assignments are due.  

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1: Communication process and global nature of communication. Discussion board, journal.
Discussion: Post initial response by Wednesday if possible
Journal: Do five to seven postings
Assignment: No assignment is due this week, but the first memo may be submitted early, if you choose
Week 2: Planning, audience analysis, and research. Discussion board, journal, memo #1.
Discussion: Post initial response by Wednesday if possible
Journal: Do five to seven postings
Assignment: Memo #1 (P1) due by Sunday, March 30
Week 3: Brief business documents. Discussion board, journal, memo #2.
Discussion: Post initial response by Wednesday if possible
Journal: Do five to seven postings; send journal entries in to my e-mail address by end of week
Assignment: Memo #2 (P2) due by Sunday, April 6
Week 4: Bad news and persuasive documents. Discussion board, journal, letters.
Discussion: Post initial response by Wednesday if possible
Journal: Do five to seven postings
Assignment: Bad news and persuasive letters (P3) due by Sunday, April 13
Week 5: Report structure, visual aids, and job search materials. Discussion board postings, journal, proposal.
Discussion: Post initial response by Wednesday if possible
Journal: Do five to seven postings
Assignment: Proposal (P4) due by Sunday, April 20
Week 6: Editing; employment interviews. Discussion board postings, journal, cover letter and resume.
Discussion: Post initial response by Wednesday if possible
Journal: Do five to seven postings; send journal in to my e-mail address by end of week
Assignment: Cover letter and resume due by Sunday, April 27
Week 7: Revision in more depth; presentations. Discusson board postings, journal, long report.
Discussion: Post initial response by Wednesday if possible
Journal: Do five to seven postings
Assignment: Report (P6) due by Sunday, May 4
Week 8: Information plan, career growth. Discussion board postings, journal, final exam.
Discussion: Post initial response by Wednesday if possible
Journal: Do five to seven postings; send journal in to my e-mail address by end of week
Assignment: Final exam due by Sunday, May 11

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.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86
Definitions

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.
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.
Procedure

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.

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations 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 assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85
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.
Procedure

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.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: 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. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Copyright:

This material is copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:2/27/2008 3:56:52 PM