EN306B Prof Writing in the Disciplines:Business Communications

for F1T 2010

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


EN 306 Prof Writing in the Disciplines:Business Communications


F1T 2010 DLF


Carr, Melissa S.


Adjunct Faculty


B.A. - English
M.A. - English
M.S. - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Professional and Technical Communication

Office Hours

At minimum, I will check our course's Virtual Office once every weekday and once each weekend. I will respond to students emails within 24 hours during the week and within 48 hours over the weekend.

Daytime Phone

615-448-8238, by appointment only




Semester Dates


Class Days

Park University students should log into class at least four days per week.


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

Credit Hours


Business Communication Essentials by Courtland Bovee and John Thill (4th Edition), Prentice Hall, 2010. (ISBN-13: 978-0-13-608441-9)

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Please see the Webliography section of our course for supplemental business writing 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:
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:

The instructor's philosophy of teaching writing is based on the rhetorical approach to composition (as discussed in Fulkerson's "Four Philosophies in Composition"), which promulgates the notion that "good writing is writing adapted to achieve the desired effect on the desired audience." By helping students learn to adapt their writing to different audiences, she gives them the power to maximize the number of people who will understand their messages. Therefore, helping writing students to unravel the "mysteries" of the writing process and of texts enables them to participate more fully and effectively within their communities, one of which is that of academia. Her responsibility as a writing instructor is to guide and aid students as they work to attain this goal.

The instructor's teaching procedures involve using authentic materials and real audiences in the writing classroom whenever possible. In addition, central to her teaching philosophy are the following principles:
·         The connection between reading and writing should be exploited as much as possible in the writing classroom. In writing classes, students need to become betterreaders of their own texts, and the only way they can do that is to practice reading. Only by reading many models of writing produced in and by a society's culture may one fulfill that society's expectations ofwriting and learn to use that society's rhetorical standards. Also, because people naturally learn andappropriate the rhythm of a language the more they read, their reading helps to improve their writing.
·         By teaching other students in collaborative activities, students teach themselves.  Collaborative activities allow for a student-centered classroom, and, as such, students take responsibility for their work and for the work of their peers. They learn to compromise, to debate, and to work as teams, rather than as isolated individuals.
·         A writing instructor should consider all types of learning strategies that students may use when she plans classroom activities and assignments.   Only by employing a variety of teaching techniques and strategies may a teacher feel confident that she is reaching as many students as possible.
·         Individual student-teacher conferences provide an invaluable opportunity for direct student-teacher interaction in writing classes.   Conferences allow a student and her instructor to discuss the student's learning of the writing process in a unique way--the student-teacher contact is open and dynamic and allows the instructor to address directly any problems the student may have.

·         Explicit grammar instruction is appropriate when specific grammar points are brought up incidentally by students, but grammar instruction is most effective when included within meaningful contexts. Although class time devoted entirely to explicit grammar instruction can be effective and useful for some writing students, grammar instruction is most constructive for them when they see grammar at work in larger pieces of discourse.



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.

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:



% of Grade

Week Due

Week 1 Assignment: Memo #1



Week 1

Week 2 Assignment: Memo #2



Week 2

Week 3 Assignment: Letters



Week 3

Week 4 Assignmenet: Proposal



Week 4

Week 5  Assignment: Resume



Week 5

Week 7 Assignment: Report



Week 7

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 assignments will be penalized with a 20% grade deduction for the first week late and 30% for the second week late, unless you have made prior arrangements with the instructor.  No late work will be accepted after two weeks. Deadlines will be defined as 11:59 p.m. CT. If you know you will be offline the day an assignment is due, please make sure to post it early. Any time you feel that you might be falling behind in the course, it is best to contact me to discuss your situation. No assignments will be accepted after the final day of class.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Participation is very important online. Students will be expected to log in to class a minimum of four days per week. Students are also to post a minimum of three posts to each week’s discussion board--one initial response and two replies to classmates.

Please note that both quantity and quality are important considerations when it comes to participation. For example, a message which says simply, "I agree" does not constitute participation because it does not add anything of substance to the discussion. In order to earn full participation points, you must add something of substance to the discussion—this would consist of new ideas, your perspectives, pointed follow-up questions, etc. You will find it is much easier to keep up with an online class when you are logging in and participating regularly.

Expectations for Discussion Question Responses
Initial discussion question responses should be at least 200 words in length. Responses to classmates should be at least 100 words in length. Unlike your formal written assignments, your discussion question responses do not have to adhere to specific formatting requirements. However, please make sure to proofread carefully. Grammar and spelling errors may impact the grading.  Your discussion question responses should also reflect critical thought. Whenever possible, please try to relate the course content to real-world applications from your work or personal experience.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Please explore the assignment and participation descriptions and requirements under each week in our online classroom.

Week 1: The Requirements for Good Business Communication

  • Readings: Read Chapters 1, 2, and 3; Appendix A for business formats; Week 1 lectures 
  • Deliverables:
    • Autobiography - Introductions Discussion Board
    • Participation - Week 1 Discussion Board
    • Week 1 Assignment: Memo #1
Week 2: Communicating in Organizations  
  • Readings: Read Chapters 4, 5; review Appendices A and B for citations; Week 2 lectures
  • Deliverables:  
    • Participation - Week 2 Discussion Board
    • Week 2 Assignment: Memo #2
Week 3: Letters, Memos, and E-mail; Audience Analysis; Routine, Good-News, and Goodwill Messages  
  • Readings: Read Chapters 6, 7, 8; Week 3 lectures
  • Deliverables:  
    • Participation - Week 3 Discussion Board
    • Week 3 Assignment: Letters

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

  • Readings: Read Chapters 9 and 10; Week 4 lectures
  • Deliverables:  
    • Participation - Week 4 Discussion Board
    • Week 4 Assignment: Proposal
Week 5: Writing and Completing Business Documents; Employment Strategies; Reporting  
  • Readings: Review Chapter 2; read Chapter 13; review Appendix A; Week 5 lectures
  • Deliverables:  
    • Participation - Week 5 Discussion Board
    • Week 5 Assignment: Resume and Cover Letter
Week 6: Reports (con't); Employment Strategies (con't)
  • Readings: Chapter 14; Appendix B (Documentation of Report Sources); Week 6 lectures
  • Deliverables:  
    • Participation - Week 2 Discussion Board

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

  • Readings: Review Chapter 12; review Appendices A and B; Week 7 lectures
  • Deliverables:  
    • Participation - Week 7 Discussion Board
    • Week 7 Assignment: Report

Week 8: Review and Final Exam  

  • Readings: Review previously covered materials. 
  • Deliverables:  
    • Proctored final exam

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93
Any assignment that has been plagiarized will receive a grade of zero, and all incidents of plagiarism will be reported to the University.  Also, you may not submit papers for this course that you have written for other courses. Any student who does so will receive zero credit for the assignment.

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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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:7/30/2010 12:37:03 PM