EN306B Prof Wrtng in the Disciplines: Business Communications

for F2T 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


F2T 2007 DLE


Decker, Amy B.


Senior Adjunct Faculty


M.A. English, 2002
B.A. English, 1999

Daytime Phone

540-288-4685 ( this is a Vonage #; I'm on Okinawa time, approx. 13+ EST)




Semester Dates

Oct 22- Dec 16 2007

Class Days


Class Time



PREREQUISITES: EN 105, EN 106, passing the Writing Competency Test, and 60 credit hours. 3:0:3

Credit Hours


Business Communication Essentials, by Courtland Bovee and John Thill (**THIRD EDITION**), Prentice Hall 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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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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>EN 105, >EN 106, passing the Writing Competency Test, and 60 credit hours. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The facilitator's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on shared experiences, lectures, readings, and collaborative discussions.  The facilitator will engage each learner in progressively challenging activities to encourage intellectual growth and exploration.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain how business communication in a high-tech, globally-oriented, and diverse economy differs from other types of writing.
  2. Analyze audiences and project management techniques for different communications purposes, using audience analysis checklists and planning techniques.
  3. Compile research findings, including bibliographies, journals, and notes.
  4. Compose information plans and outlines during the process of organizing a business document.
  5. Draft a working version of a business report and other workplace documents.
  6. Revise and proof documents using a writing review checklist.
  7. Write and submit memos suggesting improvements; memos with research recommending a course of action; bad-news and decision-making letters; proposals; recommendations; business reports; and other workplace correspondence, including resumes.
  8. Collaborate with others on writing tasks, at a distance, using appropriate technology.
  9. Coach subordinates and colleagues to write business documents, applying specific standards and techniques.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Discuss and apply techniques of project management - through the development of an Information Plan and other activities - necessary for effective business writing tasks.
  2. State and explain the requirements for communicating effectively and ethically in a globally-oriented, technological economy.
  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. 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.
  8. Given a workplace scenario and a writing task/assessment checklist, coach a colleague or subordinate in effective techniques to complete a writing task.
Core Assessment:

Course: EN 306B: Business Communication 

Assignment: Analytic Business Report; Weight: 20%

    FINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT: Short Report with Research from Both Online and Traditional Sources

 For Paper #6, write an analytic report focused on a topic appropriate for a business or organizational setting. The report will incorporate sources from your online and other research, and will be more fully developed than your previous assignments.

You should follow the process below –which covers most of the objectives for this course –in writing your report. Use the Writing Review Checklist for this class to ensure you cover all of the areas evaluated for this assignment.

·                    Analyze your audience and purpose, using the audience analysis checklist and techniques we have discussed.

·                    Compile your research findings, including bibliographies, journals, and notes.

·                    Compose an information plan and/or an outline during the process of organizing your report.

·                    Draft a working version of the report, and have a classmate give you a critique of it, using the Writing Review Checklist.

·                    Revise and proof your report, based on that feedback.


The report should contain the following format features: cover/title page, letter of transmittal, table of contents, table of figures and tables (optional),  informative abstract, body with these sectional headings: Introduction, Analysis of Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations and subheadings, glossary, appendixes and attachments as appropriate, and bibliography. Length: 5-7 double-spaced pages; the report may be longer, if you have appropriate information.

My intent is to show you how you can quickly and easily conduct research, organize, draft, and submit an excellent report without excessive stress and unnecessary work using the online environment and your own extensive workplace experience.

I recommend you use resources from search engines like Altavista, multi-search engines like Dogpile, full-text sources like The Electric Library and libraries like The Library of Congress, in addition to many of the other items in our References area for this course.

Let me be a bit more specific. Here's the process I want you to follow:

So as not to waste time in picking a topic, I want you to either:

1. Expand your Memo #2; if you choose to do this, it must be a significant expansion, not just a rehash of Memo #2. It should refer to the original memo (Memo #2), and build on your original recommendation. It must of course use the headings I require or

2. Cover a problem and recommended solution in your workplace (for example, you can expand Memo #1 or the recommendation letter of Assignment #3 by adding more research findings - again, I am expecting the same kind of expansion as with Memo #2);

These two approaches have worked very well in the past; if you'd like to take another approach, just let me know! What I do not want is an academic paper, such as an essay, or a psychology, education, or computer science paper.

Get a topic with 4-5 current references (listed any way you like) to me. I recommend that most of your references come from online sources: I do not intend for this class to require you to drive to the library. The outline will not be graded.

Use Chapters 10 and 11 to guide you in the process.   Reminder: The internal sections you must have are the Introduction, Analysis of Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations.    See pp. 330-346 in our text for components of a formal report, and Figure 11.11 for a sample report.

I do not expect you to provide appendices, but I do expect a bibliography and footnotes/endnotes, or parenthetical documentation for your individual facts. See page 345 for a "Works Cited" format, and especially Appendix B in our text, "Documentation of Report Sources;"  There are other resources available online (especially through our Webliography area) for the MLA, APA, Chicago and other standard formats. Feel free to provide graphs or other visuals; be creative!

I will help you with footnoting and bibliography documentation or any other area of this assignment. All you need to do is ask. For individual request for guidance or assistance, it's usually best to send me an e-mail message, but I'm always pleased to talk via phone, also.

·         TOPICS:

Your topic should have a business or organizational focus.  If you have any problem picking a topic, expand your Memo #2; note, however, that I will expect a significant expansion, using the headings I require. If you have any problems finding information online, get in touch with me immediately, and I'll help!

NOTE: You may not submit a paper you have written for another class or for a workplace requirement. Without specific permission from me, this is the same thing as plagiarism. However, you may certainly quote from or otherwise use as references previous papers you've written for other classes or workplace requirements.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

  • A. General. You will be able to track your average exactly throughout the course. The grading scale is as follows: A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69; F = 0-59. You will know in advance the standards, points, and percentage for each assignment. My goal is to give you prompt, clear, and useful feedback to help you become a better writer and thinker. Each student is responsible for:

    • Completing weekly reading assignments.

    • Completing Weekly Discussion Questions and an Online Journal and submitting the journal to the instructor on dates specified by the instructor. 
    • Completing six substantial writing assignments, referred to as Papers. 
    • Completing a Final Examination. 

    Course Grading Scale –See next section.

    Proctored final examination - An examination will be taken 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. 

  • Other Information on proctored exams:

    • It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, who is accepted and approved by the course instructor. 
    • Approval of proctors is the discretion of the Online 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. 
    • Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade. 
    • Some Graduate Online courses may not require a proctored Final Examination.




% 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




Week 7

Class Participation  




Final Examination 



Week 8





Late Submission of Course Materials:

  • Late submissions of work/missing assignments: Late submissions of assignments will be handled on a case-by-case basis, though as in the workplace, it is essential that documents be delivered on time, in final form. There is a one-grade- per- day lateness policy for all papers in this course. Individual situations may influence the grade penalty range, but not the penalty itself. For example, if you turn in an assignment 7 days late, it will receive an "F", but whether you receive a "O'"or a "59" may reflect individual circumstances. Be resourceful and responsible about turning work in on time!


  • THERE IS NO POSTING LATE TO DISCUSSION THREADS, regardless of type of absence (excused or unexcused).

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
The material posted in the online classroom in uneditable and enduring. Be sure that your contributions are of appropriate tone and decorum.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


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

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

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 .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
INTENT/PURPOSE: clear? (Synthesis)                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Intent and Purpose both explicitly stated Intent or purpose stated Intent and purpose not stated  
AUDIENCE: targeted? (Analysis)                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Audience needs and expectations addressed Audience needs or expectations addressed Audience needs and expectations  not addressed  
FOCUSED on a single controlling idea? (Synthesis)                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Bottom Line Stated Up Front (BLUF) Controlling idea clearly implied Controlling idea not stated  
SCOPE is clearly delineated? (Analysis)                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Scope is stated Scope is clearly implied Scope is vague or not stated  
PERSPECTIVE is appropriate?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Writer's perspective clear, matches audience's needs and expectations Writer's perspective clearly implied Writer's perspective vague or differs from audience's needs or expectations  
CONTROLLING IDEA: sufficiently developed?                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Controlling idea fully developed with external documented evidence 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.  
Analysis: are facts and opinions explained?                                                                                                                                                                                                                
All opinions and facts are explained or confirmed Significant opinions or facts supporting the controlling idea are explained or confirmed Opinions and facts are not explained or confirmed  
EVIDENCE: detailed and convincing?                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Yes Mostly No  
CRITICAL THINKING                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Considers other perspectives. Considers both pro and con. Implies pros and con have been considered No  
MAIN SUPPORTING PARTS: clearly defined and simple?                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Yes May be easily  inferred by the reader No  
Sets stage, fully gives reader sense of purpose, and what is to follow; states controlling idea and major parts, Provides transition to body. States purpose or controlling idea clearly, but not major parts. No  
Provide continuity and emphasis Present at critical places, such a between paragraphs. No  
Returns to controlling idea, reviews ideas. Summarizes. No  
Unified and coherent. Clear topic sentences. Efficient. Clear topic. No  
Varied, and of a suitable style for the audience; not excessively long or short. Coordinated. Complex when appropriate. Generally coordinated. Uncoordinated; coherence problems.  
Suitable for audience; not ambiguous. Appropriate. Ambiguous or inappropriate for situation and audience.  
Concise and appropriate, but no excessive jargon or language to impress rather than express Appropriate Inappropriate and confusing.  
Grammar and Mechanics                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
No distracting errors in grammar, mechanics, usage, punctuation, or spelling Only occasional errors; not distracting. Errors which distract the reader and erode writer's credibility.  


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Last Updated:9/28/2007 9:46:24 PM