EN306B Prof Writing in the Disciplines:Business Communications

for U1T 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


EN 306 Prof Writing in the Disciplines:Business Communications


U1T 2012 DLD


Decker, Amy B.


Senior Adjunct Faculty


MA English, 2002, George Mason University
BA English, 1998, George Mason University

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

June 4, 2012- July 29,2012

Class Days


Class Time



EN105, EN106, passing the Writing Competency Test and 60 credit hours. 3:0:3

Credit Hours



Kitty O. Locker and Donna S. Kienzler. Business and Administrative Communication, 9th edition (customized). (Required).

William A. Sabin. The Gregg Reference Manual, 11th (Tribute) edition. (Required)

ISBN: 9780077910228  The ISBN contains the Locker custom book, Gregg Reference Manual and the website access.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Additional Resources:  Course webliography, online job aids; manuals and other documents in the Document Sharing area of the course.

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:

My educational philosophy is to guide adult learners in their engagement with texts so that they may make meaningful connections between texts and with their own lives. I aim to provide an environment in which students use those connections to enrich their ideas and understandings about the human condition. It is essential that adult learners develop confidence in their ability to form, support, and articulate their ideas, so my philosophy of education always focuses on both abstract principles and the very concrete ones involved in clear communication and idea exchange that will serve adult learners both academically and professionally.

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:

Performance will be assessed based on writing assignments, projects, research and document development assignments, discussions, a Journal, and a final exam. See the Grading Plan below for the specific assignment weights.

Grading Scale

A = 90-100% 900-1000
B = 80-89% 800-899
C = 70-79% 700-799
D = 60-69% 600-699
F = < 60% 599 and below


Assignment (Deliverable) Points % of Grade Week Due
Writing assignment #1:  Short Memo on doing business overseas with research (provide format and brief research instructions; require use of Park’s Online Library) 50 5% 2
Project #1: All-Weather Case (Audience Analysis Memo) 50 5% 2
Writing Assignment #2: Letter with research – cultural considerations 50 5% 3
Writing Assignment #3: Research Proposal 100 10% 4
Writing Assignment #4: Presentation 100 10% 5
Writing Assignment #5: Cover Letter and Resume 50 5% 6
Writing Assignment #6: Progress Report 50 5% 7
Journal 50 5% Weekly; Due 7
Paper #7: Business Report 200 20% FRIDAY, week 8
Final Exam 200 20% 8
Participation 100 10% Weekly
Total  1000 100%  

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Keep the instructor informed of any situations that might require the submission of late material. Generally, timely work in the classroom (participation in discussions, peer reviews, etc.) may not be 'made-up' if missed, regardless of the nature of the absence (excused or unexcused). Weekly assignments such as formal papers may be accepted late, at the instructor's discretion, with a penalty not to exceed one grade per day of lateness.

This course is a condensed, collegiate, 8-week term. It is essential to your success that you remain on top of things to avoid insurmountable workloads and stress levels, as the time will go fast.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1

Readings: Read the Guidelines thread in the Course Home section of our online classroom; read Lecture Week 1; read chapters 1 and 2 in our primary text for this course, Locker and Kienzler’s Business and Administrative Communication. Students should also look at the Table of Contents for the grammar text for this course, The Gregg Reference Manual, which is intended primarily as a practical reference work.

Discussions: What are the cost and the worth of communication in 21-century businesses and other organizations? Discuss strategies and techniques for preventing and detecting plagiarism.

Project #1: All-Weather Case: Students will develop an Audience Analysis Memo based on the case study provided.

Writing Assignment #1: Students will select a country that interests them and create a hypothetical company that will be doing business in the country they have chosen. Students will research and write a memo describing current business and economic conditions in the country that might affect the company’s operations.

Begin Journal.

Week 2

Readings:  Read Lecture Week 2; read Chapters 5 (Communicating Across Cultures) and 6 (Working and Writing in Teams) in Locker; read pages 417-419 in The Gregg Reference Manual (GRM).

Discussions: Create a Web page of international information for workers and managers who will be going to a specific foreign country to work, and explain how you developed the page. Discuss how you can measure whether your writing meets standards for readability.

Writing Assignment #2: Students will continue to develop the scenario of assuming they are part of a company that is considering operations in a specific foreign country. They will write a letter with documented research explaining how cultural factors in the chosen country may affect business operations, social contacts, shopping, and other considerations if the company you have created decides to move an operation to that country, and make appropriate recommendations.

Project #1 due

Writing Assignment #1 due

Week 3

Readings:  Read Lecture Week 3; Read Chapters 7 (Planning, Composing, and Revising) and 8 (Designing Documents), and the sections on proposals in Chapter 18 in Locker; Skim Section 12 (Editing and Proofreading) in The Gregg Reference Manual (GRM).

Discussion: Mosaic case-study: content of and standards for annual reports.

Writing Assignment #3: Research Proposal for the Business Research Report (Writing Assignment #7). Based on scenario for Assignments #1 and #2, students will prepare and submit a research proposal requesting approval to focus on specific areas for Writing Assignment #7 (Business Report with Recommendations), including a list of at least ten (10) references from their preliminary research.

Writing Assignment #7: Business Research Report (due Week 7 or 8, as required by instructor). See the details in Week #3 for this assignment, which is the Core Assessment for the course.

Writing Assignment #2 due

Week 4

Readings:   Read Lecture Week 4; read Chapters 9 (Creating Visuals and Data Displays) and 10 (Making Oral Presentations) in Locker; Skim Chapter 17 (Planning and Researching Reports).

Discussions: All-Weather case study: critique and revise visuals of quantitative data; evaluate PowerPoint slides for substance, organization, style, and correctness; critique a presentation.

Writing/Speaking Assignment #4: Students will prepare and deliver a presentation to hypothetical company employees at all company locations in the US who may be involved in starting an operation in the country you are investigating.

Writing Assignment #3 due

Week 5

Readings:  Read Lecture Week 5; read Chapters 11 (Building Résumés) and 12 (Writing Job Application Letters) in Locker.

Discussions: All-Weather Case study: Analyzing Job Applicants Based on Their Résumés; researching and comment on a job ad.

Writing Assignment #5: Students will submit a focused resume, with a cover letter next week.

Writing Assignment #4 due

Week 6

Readings:  Read Lecture Week 6; read Chapters 14 (Sharing Informative and Positive Messages); Chapter 15 (Delivering Negative Messages); and the sections on Progress Reports in Chapter 18 (Writing Proposals and Progress Reports) in Locker.

Discussions: All-Weather Case: Communicating the negative messages associated with layoffs; create and explain the rationale of a Human Resources Web page that promotes a benefit or resources employees

Writing Assignment #6: Students will submit a progress report for Writing Assignment #7.

Writing Assignment #5 due

Week 7

Readings:  Read Lecture Week 7; read Chapters 16 (Crafting Persuasive Messages), 18 (Planning and Researching Reports), and 19 (Analyzing Information and Writing Reports) in Locker; read sample exam.

Discussions: Evaluate five Web sites that are possible resources for your report; analyze and comment on a report and its press release(s); discuss strategies for taking the final exam.

Writing Assignment #6 due

Journal due: Specific date will be provided by your instructor

Week 8

Readings: Read Lecture Week 8; review all previous readings

Discussions: Coach a writer on revising and proofing techniques for e-mail messages; discuss your plan for proofreading your report.

Writing Assignment #7 due

Final Exam administered

Core Assessment

Business Research Report

Business Report with Research. 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 must be more fully developed than previous assignments. The report must provide research findings, conclusions, and recommendations sufficient for decision making in a business setting.

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

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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:5/18/2012 11:47:40 AM