EN306B Prof Writing in the Disciplines:Business Communications

for F1T 2009

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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 Prof Wrtng in the Disciplines:Business Communications


F1T 2009 DLC


Strong, Donna J.


Journalism Lab Instructor/English Adjunct, Del Mar College; English Adjunct Instructor, Park University Online


MA English, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
MPA Public Administration, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
BA English, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Office Location


Office Hours

I am available via Internet most of the time and by phone (at work, days, and home, evenings) usually from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Daytime Phone

361/698-1246 (office - I will be off for the summer beginning May 8)

Other Phone

361/851-0596 (home, after 7 p.m.)





Semester Dates

August 17 - October 11, 2009

Class Days

Continual - Asynchronous Online

Class Time

Continual - Asynchronous Online


EN 105, EN 106, passing the Writing Competency Test, and 60 credit hours

Credit Hours


Business Communication Essentials
Courtland Bovee & John Thill
2010, 4th ed.
ISBN-13: 978-0-13-608442-6
ISBN-10: 0-13-608442-7

easy Writer: A Pocket Reference

Andrea A. Lunsford

Bedford/St. Martin’s
2006, 3rd edition
ISBN: 0-312-43309-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-43309-3

(or a comparable writing handbook with APA and MLA style sections)

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Additional Resources

Useful links to resources on research, documentation, information on writing and other communications tasks, dictionaries and other resources are located in the Webliography and Doc Sharing tabs at the top of your Student Course Page.

Go to http://businesscommunicationblog.com/blog/ to see the many online resources that supplement the text.


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.
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.
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
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
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:
EN306B Professional Writing in the Disciplines-Business Communications:

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.

The course will have three sections. B. Business Communications: 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. Prerequisites: EN105, EN106, passing the Writing Competency Test and 60 credit hours. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

My philosophy is to provide you with numerous resources, interesting materials and readings and other items that will create an effective learning environment that is also fun, since I do not believe learning should be painful. I will make every effort to be available to you regularly and frequently. My job is to guide you though some practical learning experiences with scenarios similar to what you will find in professional settings and help you understand and master skills that will serve you in the workplace. All of you should emerge from this class with additional or enhanced skills that will serve you well at work and in other ParkU classes.

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. 1. Learn to write clearly and professionally in various forms of business documents
  2. 2. Refine professional oral communication skills and develop business vocabulary
  3. 4. Learn skills important to interviewing for positions and interviewing applicants
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


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?  

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?


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?


 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?


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?  



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. 



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

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


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

(Synthesis) Outcomes

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




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. 



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. 



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




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. 


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. 


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  


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:

Performance will be assessed based on documents/papers, discussions, and a Proctored Final Exam.


100-point Scale – Assignments

15 points – Memos 1 and 2 (Weeks 2 and 3, 5 points each)
10 points – Business Letters (Week 4, 7.5 points each)

20 points – Business Proposal (Week 5, 15 points) 

6 points – Resume and Cover Letter (Week 6, 5 points each) 

20 points – Researched Business Report (Week 7)
20 points – Final Exam (Week 8) 

24 points – Discussion (Weeks 1-8, 1.25 points per week) 

Final Course Grade Scale

A = 91-100     B = 81-90     C = 71-80     D = 61-70     F = 60 <

 Assignment Tracking Form





% of Grade

Week Due

(by midnight CST)

#1 - Memo  



Week 2

#2 - Memo w/research



Week 3

#3 - Business Letters          



Week 4

#4 – Business Proposal         



Week 5

#5 – Your Resume & Cover Letter          



Week 6

#6 – Researched Business Report



Week 7

#7 – Proctored Final Exam



Week 8

#8 - Class Participation            


(1.25 pts. per wk)


Continually – due Wednesdays by midnight CST





Late Submission of Course Materials:
It is essential that documents be delivered on time in finalized form. Generally, late submission of work will be subject to a 10% per day penalty. However, when emergencies arise, late submissions of assignments will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Assignments that are not submitted by the end of the term/class will receive no credit.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Online has its own rules of conduct called "Netiquette" that are very important to online effective communication in this environment. I am confident that most of you are familiar with these principles, but one can never have TOO much information, so following are some interesting readings that might expand your knowledge on the topic of Netiquette:

Netiquette PowerPoint Presentation


The Famous Netiquette Quiz, Level 2


The Ten Commandments of Netiquette


Special: Professional E-mail Tips


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Details and specific due dates of assignments are posted above in the "Grading Plan" section and in the Assignment Tracking form link under the Week 1 tab and in the links for each assignment located under the weekly tabs of the course site.

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 "F".
  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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
Grading of the Discussion Threads:

Your responses for Discussion Threads should be thoughtful and substantive to earn full credit. Examples of desirable and full-bodied responses or undesirable and partial responses will be provided during Week 1. In general, posts should be no shorter than four sentences. Posts can be spontaneous, suggesting when appropriate your tentative position on issues; nevertheless, you should thoroughly proof your posts should before making them final. Underdeveloped posts will receive partial credit. Set a goal to post your responses to the weekly topics AND reply to at least 2-4 messages from other students PER topic for the week.

If you have exceeded the number of required posts, entered and commented on multiple occasions, and given evidence of reading, you are likely to earn an A.

B-range work meets all minimum standards, but shows few signs of seeking to exceed those standards. It is still above average – grapples with the central issues of the week and raises questions and observations that connect with the reading.

C-range work meets the required number of entries for the week, but at least one of those entries might fall below the suggested length range for interchanges. C-range work shows some signs of being hastily done (typing errors or incomplete sentences – be sure you re-read all your work before). Also, it tends to do less to engage with the essays or to consider how the reading sets up or addresses the question(s) or observation(s) you raise in your entry.

D-range work (which I sincerely hope to see little of) might be missing entries. It might not make reference to the reading at all, and it falls below the minimum standards for length in more than one entry. It is also confusing or merely repeats a point already raised by a peer.

F's in the threaded discussions are rare unless work is missing, late or glaringly underdeveloped or sloppy.

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 .

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Last Updated:7/28/2009 5:43:42 PM