EN306B Prof Wrtng in the Disciplines: Business Communications

for U1T 2007

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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.


EN 306 Professional Writing in the Disciplines: Business Communications


U1T 2007 DLG


Whitesel, Cynthia


Assoc. Professor English/Adjunct Faculty


ABD in Education Policy Studies and Curriculum Theory
MA in Comparative Literature
BA English & Comparative Literature

Office Location

Nottingham PA

Office Hours

Online daily

Daytime Phone


Other Phone

610.613.5653 (cell)




Web Page


Semester Dates

6/04/2007 - 7/29/2007

Class Days


Class Time



EN105, EN106, WCT, 60 hours

Credit Hours



Business Communication Essentials, by Courtland Bovee and John Thill (Third Edition), Prentice Hall (ISBN:   ISBN: 0-199536-7)

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
View the Webliography of sources for APA citation style.

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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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
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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.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
This course is the third course in the required writing sequence at Park University. 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. 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. PREREQUISITES: EN 105, EN 106, passing the Writing Competency Test, and 60 credit hours. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's constructivist educational philosophy is one of encouraging students' interaction with lectures, readings, dialogues, examinations, websites, journals, research papers, and other students. The instructor will engage students in socratic thinking and learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues, and contradictions. The instructor expects that students learn independence in the online classroom and take responsibility for his/her learning. This course enables the students to bridge the gap between rhetorical theory and practical application related to business communication. Therefore, this class gives students opportunities to apply learning immediately in the workplace as well as in other organizations. Additionally, students can connect what they already know with the new material, thus improving learning.

  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.
  5. Apply techniques necessary for efficient drafting of business documents.
  6. Apply techniques necessary for revising to achieve a clear, vivid and readable style.
  7. Apply techniques necessary for proofing for correctness of business documents.
  8. 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.
  9. Given a workplace scenario and a writing task/assessment checklist, coach a colleague or subordinate in effective techniques to complete a writing task.
Class Assessment:
Course Assessments: letters, memos, listening journals, proposals, reports, workplace documents.  See attachment for Criteria for Assessing Assignments.



Each student is responsible for:

  • Completing weekly reading assignments.
  • Completing weekly discussion qestions and a listening journal; submitting the journal to the instructor weekly.  
  • Completing six substantial writing assignments, referred to as Papers.  
  • Completing a Final Examination.



% of Grade

Week Due

Paper #1 (Letter) 



Week 1, Sunday noon

Paper #2 (Memo w/research)  



Week 2, Sunday noon

Paper #3 (Letters) 



Week 3, Sunday noon

Paper #4 (Proposal) 



Week 4, Sunday noon

Paper #5 (Resume) 



Week 5, See Guidelines

Paper #6 (Report) 



Tuesday midnight, Week 7




Saturday noon/Weekly

Class Participation  




Final Examination 



Week 8






A 90%-100% 360-400 pts
B 80%-89% 320-359 pts
C 70%-79% 280-319 pts
D 60%-69% 240-279 pts
F less than 60% less than 240 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late submissions of work/missing assignments: Students must contact professor prior to the assignment due date if they know they will be turning in an assignment late. Late submissions will be penalized one letter grade for each three days late. Assignments turned in more than one week late will receive a failing grade, unless the student has made other arrangements with the instructor IN ADVANCE. As in the workplace, it is essential that documents be delivered on time, in final formAssignments which are still missing at the end of the term will receive no credit.
Conference/Discussion Work: According to Park's policies, students are expected to check into class at least four (4) times per week. I expect students to check in on Monday or Tuesday each week into the "Checking in" topic. Students should post to the primary topic(s) at least by Thursday each week. Students are expected to respond to three classmates minimally and preferably more. Extraordinary participation may earn extra points. 
In keeping with Park Policy, students who are absent from class more than twice will not be given consideration to turn in assignments late or make up work. As in the workplace, stay in contact with the professor and keep the professor informed of unusual circumstances.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
All students are expected to observe rules of civility and respect with one another and the instructor in the classroom and in all email correspondence. Please be sure to address students by name and sign your own name when posting or emailing.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Please note that I try to adhere to the Syllabus readings as listed here.

Week 1: The Requirements for Good Business Communication
  • Readings: Read Chapters 1, 2, and 3; cover the chapter summaries in the lectures.
  • Class Activities:
    • Introduce yourself.
    • Introduction and discussion of course objectives, syllabus, and assignment schedule.
    • Course overview: the need for good business communications; economic and ethical requirements of business communications.
    • Discussion
  • Writing Assignments
    • Paper #1 (Letter) due in Dropbox by Sunday, noon.
    • Listening Journal #1 due in Journal Dropbox by Saturday, noon.

Week 2: Communicating in Organizations

  • Readings: Read Chapters 4, 5, and 8. Cover the chapter summaries in the Content Menu lessons; view Lecture/Virtual Tour #2: "Using Style and Grammar Checking Software," in the Course Home "Lectures" area. Read the Lectures for the week.
  • Class Activities:
    • Assessing your communications capabilities and needs: complete the self-assessment test provided in our conference.
    • Communicating with technology, especially e-mail, in organizations. The difference between business and other professional communications. Effective memos.
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Paper #2 (Memo w/research) due in Dropbox by Sunday, noon.
    • Listening Journal #2 due in Journal Dropbox by Saturday, noon.

Week 3: Letters, Memos, and E-mail; Audience Analysis; Routine, Good-News, and Goodwill Messages

  • Readings: Chapters 6, 7, and 9. Review Lectures.
  • Class Activities: How to write clearly. Effective and persuasive letters.
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Paper #3 (Two Letters) due in Dropbox by Sunday, noon.
    • Listening Journal #3 due in Journal Dropbox by Saturday, noon.

Week 4: Persuasion in Business Documents; Planning and Organizing Writing Projects

  • Readings: Chapters 10 and 11; cover the chapter summaries in the Content Menu lessons.
  • Class Activities: Planning, organizing, and drafting effectively. Writing for decision-making. Short reports.
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Paper #4 (Short Proposal) due in Dropbox by Sunday, noon.
    • Listening Journal #4 due in Journal Dropbox by Saturday, noon.

Week 5: Writing and Completing Business Documents; Employment Strategies

  • Readings: Review Chapter 2; Read Chapters 13 and 14; review lectures 6 and 7.
  • Class Activities: Writing and completing business documents.
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Paper #5 (Resume and Cover Letter) due in Dropbox by Sunday, noon.
    • Listening Journal #5 due in Journal Dropbox by Saturday, noon.

Week 6: Oral Presentations; Revising

  • Readings: Chapter 12; Appendix B (Documentation of Report Sources).
  • Class Activities: Consideration of interviewing strategies; discussions of resume and report writing.
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Draft of Problem-Solution Report (see guidelines in discussion) due in Dropbox by Friday, noon.
    • Listening Journal #6 due in Journal Dropbox by Saturday, noon.

Week 7: Revising Report, Presenting Reports, and Other Information

  • Readings: Review Chapters 10 and 11.
  • Class Activities: Review for final exam. Questions and Answers about Case Studies.
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Paper #6 (Problem-Solution Report) due in Dropbox by Tuesday, midnight your time.
    • Listening Journal #7 due in Journal Dropbox by Saturday, noon.

Week 8: Review and Final Exam

  • Readings: Review previously covered materials.
  • Class Activities: Review for final exam.
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Final Exam to be taken with your Proctor as scheduled.
    • Listening Journal #8 due in Journal Dropbox by Saturday, noon.

*** Final Examinations will be administered during the eighth week of class. The instructor will provide you with further guidance.***

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 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

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 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Students will receive a failing grade on any plagiarized or "dishonest" assignment. The second offense will result in receiving a failing grade for the class. In addition, the instructor will place a letter of cause in your student file.

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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 "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

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 .

Maintaining an A for Conference Participation

Rubric for Journal Assignments

Getting Started Guidelines

Analyzing Case Studies

Grading Rubric for Assignments

Analyzing Case Studies


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Last Updated:5/27/2007 8:26:05 AM