GBS 233 1
GBS 233 Section 8080: Business Communication
Thursday: 7:10 – 9:50 p.m.
August 23 – December 13
Office Hours: Before class (6:45 p.m.) and by appointment
Book: Essentials of Business Communication 7th ed., by Mary Ellen Guffy
Two scantrons from the bookstore (any color)
A writer's handbook
Internal and external business communications, including verbal and nonverbal techniques. Prerequisites:
ENG101 or ENG 107
Identify general characteristics of Plan and participate in an efficient and
language and meaning. effective business meeting.
Identify ways of processing messages Describe common uses of visual aids to
and evaluating their success. convert quantitative and qualitative data
Write coherent sentences and into meaningful summaries.
paragraphs, using fundamental writing Prepare a visual aid for a business
Describe the process of sending and Prepare and present an oral business
receiving professional quality electronic presentation using visual aids.
mail. Describe how to modify
Identify and write business letters for communication behavior in selected
favorable, unfavorable, and persuasive cases to overcome barriers arising from
situations. interpersonal, and organizational
Identify and write business memos for sources.
favorable, unfavorable, and persuasive Prepare a resume of employment
situations. credentials, and write an application
Identify and state the purpose of the letter to accompany the resume.
major parts of the inductive Describe how the technology
organization for reports. revolution - national and international -
Compose a report. affects the employee and the company.
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Attendance, Classroom Activities, and Homework: Students must be registered for the class in order to
attend. Students are expected to be present for all classes. Students who miss the first day of class may
be withdrawn from the course by the instructor. Attendance will be taken at the start of every class
You are expected to attend all lectures. If you will not be able to attend a lecture, please contact me
ahead of time so you may receive handouts and assignment instructions. If you miss three or more
lectures without notice, you will be withdrawn from the class.
Cell phones, PIDs, and portable music devices are prohibited during class time.
Exercises..........................................35 points *Note: In business, your
Assign 1: Persuasive letter...........30 points credibility depends on
Assign 2: Memo .............................20 points communication that is
Assign 3: Meeting summary.........25 points error-free. If your letters,
Assign 4: RFP .................................40 points resume, or memo
Assign 5: Resume/cover letter....30 points assignment contains
Oral presentation I........................15 points misspellings or sentence
Oral presentation II .....................30 points fragments, five points will
Visual aid..........................................5 points
be deducted for each error.
Visual aid..........................................20 points
Mid-term exam...............................45 points
Final exam........................................75 points
Total points available 370 plus any in-class points.
At the end of the semester, your score will be compared to the student with the most points in the
class. This will set the grading curve. Your grade will correlate to the percentage of that score as
F 59% and below
There are no make-up quizzes. For in-class exercises, you must attend class to get credit and
you cannot make up these activities. All assignments are expected on their due dates. Approved
extensions may be granted depending on the circumstance. Otherwise, assignments turned in after the
due date are considered late and a 5-point penalty will apply. If you send your assignment via e-
mail, it must be in a Word attachment.
Grammar, punctuation and writing style are taken into consideration for all grades, including quizzes.
Academic Honesty: Students may work in small teams during class at various times throughout
the semester at the beginning of most large projects. In addition, students are encouraged to work
with each other to develop solutions to the various assignments. However, every student must
develop their own documents and programs, and students should not share soft or hard copies of
their work with other students. If very similar assignments are turned in by two or more students, I
reserve the right to question whose original work was turned in. In some cases I may ask for the
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students' storage devices for verification of the softcopy. The first offense may result in a written
warning, with subsequent offenses leading to withdrawal from the course for all students involved. If
you find yourself in such a situation, and you are not sure how to handle it, please feel free to see
me. An instructor may remove a student from class meetings for disciplinary reasons resulting from
academic dishonesty or disrupted behavior (MCC Catalog, 2000).
Copyright infringement: is expressly prohibited by the US Copyright Act. Anyone who
infringes another's copyright in a creative work is subject to liability, and could be required to pay
large sums in damages. Violations of this law may result in disciplinary action up to and including
suspension or expulsion for students.
Copyright Policy: www.dist.maricopa.edu/legal/ip/
The General Standards Governing Use of Maricopa County Community College District Computing
Resources Handbook with regards to use of Maricopa's computing resources specifically prohibits:
"Transmitting, storing, or receiving data, or otherwise using computing resources in a manner that
would constitute a violation of state or federal law, including (but not limited to) obscenity,
defamation, threats, harassment, and theft." Violation of any provision of the Standards, which are
detailed in the Handbook, could result in immediate termination of a user's access to Maricopa's
computing resources, as well as appropriate disciplinary action.
Computing Resources Standards: www.dist.maricopa.edu/legal/it/
The policy of the Maricopa Community Colleges is to provide an educational, employment, and
business environment free of unwelcome sexual harassment as defined and otherwise prohibited by
local, state and federal law. Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and
including suspension or expulsion for students.
Sexual Harassment Policy: www.dist.maricopa.edu/legal/harassment/
I am willing to make any reasonable accommodations for limitations due to any disability, including
professionally diagnosed learning disabilities. Please see me after the first class of the semester to
address your concerns.
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Assignments: Refer to assignment sheet for instructions.
Class Period Assignments
Aug. 23 For next class read: 1, 2 and bring an example of something poorly written-
it should not be your own writing
Aug. 30 For next class read: 3, 4; prepare excerises1-15 on page 76 and 1-15 on
page 93. Only indicate if correct or incorrect. If incorrect, list the proper
Sept. 6 No class: Submit exercises by e-mail to
Exercises due firstname.lastname@example.org (deadline 9 p.m.)
For next class read: 6, 7; bring in your own writing sample for next class
Sept. 13 For next class read: 5, 8; prepare assignment 1
Sept. 20 For next class read: 11, 12; prepare assignment 2
Sept. 27 No class: Submit assignment 2 by e-mail to
Assign. 2 due email@example.com (deadline 9 p.m.)
For next class prepare assignment 3
Oct. 4 Student presentation drafts- Go to Room VCN2 in audio visual department
Oct. 11 Student presentation drafts- Go to Room VCN2 in audio visual department
Oct. 18 For next class read: 9, 10
Oct. 25 For next class read 13, 14 and prepare assignment 4
Assign. 4 due
Nov. 8 Student presentations- Go to Room VCN2 in audio visual department
For next class prepare assignment 5
Nov. 15 Student presentations- Go to Room VCN2 in audio visual department
Assign. 5 due
Nov. 22 No class – Thanksgiving break
Dec. 6 Prepare for final exam
Last day late assignments accepted
Dec. 13 Final Exam
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As a manager you must communicate with your employees on a regular basis. You are usually very
eager to communicate good news. Unfortunately, you must now communicate news you are certain
your employees will regard as negative.
The office is relocating 30 miles north of your current location. The company is hoping employees won’t
be so upset by commute that they decide to quit. The company is creating ways to compensate
employees for their extended drive (be creative with your ideas). The incentives may also act as a way
to keep employees happy overall.
It is your job to communicate the news and make it as positive and persuasive as possible.
Assignment 1: Write a persuasive letter, which will be sent to the employees' homes. Spouses will
read this as well. Use semi-block for your letter format.
Assignment 2: Write a memo to employees, which will be distributed at work. This is the second
communications about the move that employees will receive. Keep in mind, some employees may not
have read the first one (the letter). Consider the kind of details that should be included in an inter-office
Assignment 3: Write a one-page summary to your supervisor describing how you will handle your
weekly department meeting. Include the steps you would take to prepare for the meeting, facilitate the
meeting and follow up after the meeting (logistics). Make sure to describe the content and the order in
which you will present it.
Additional requirements for each assignment:
Typed (12 point font)
1 page in length
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Assignment 4: Request for Proposal
Retail Incorporated is looking to hire a training company to help teach its employees better customer
service skills. Currently, customers complain that paperwork is misplaced, employees ignore them when
they visit the stores and they receive different answers to the same question when they call. You
believe your company could provide the training necessary to help Retail Incorporated, so you eagerly
respond to the RFP.
Background of Retail Incorporated:
Retail Incorporated is sending out a RFP to outsource its services. In other words, they want to
contract with another company to help them. The service they need help with is teaching their
employees proper business etiquette and professional customer service when waiting on customers in
person and on the telephone.
Retail Incorporated must find a vendor within 30 days to begin training in 60 days.
There are 1200 employees. About 900 are part-time employees who work nights or on the
weekend. The remaining 300 are managers and full-time employees working the weekday shifts. All
employees speak English as their primary language.
Retail Incorporated has 50 stores in five states. Because Retail Incorporated also takes orders by
phone, they have a call center.
There have been 100 complaints in the last 30 days and sales are starting to decrease. Retail
Incorporated believes its competitor is picking up the extra business.
The company who wins the bid must ensure employees’ behavior will improve.
The contracted company cannot charge excessively for its services.
Background of "your" company:
You know your company can meet Retail Incorporated's requirements. Not only does your company
have skilled staff, you have successfully solved this problem for other companies in the past.
Minimum of six pages
Typed, 12-point font, single-spaced
The six pages should include the following:
Title (1 page)
Table of contents (1 page)
Body (4 pages)
(You may add any details necessary about your company or Retail Incorporated to complete the proposal.)
NOTE: Clearly stating your points and proper formatting are vital in a proposal. This will be taken
into consideration when determining your grade.
HINT: You are trying to sell your services. Persuasion is the essence of sales.
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Assignment 5: Resume and Cover Letter
Create a resume and write a cover letter for the job of your dreams. You desperately want to get an
interview! Hint: Remember to tailor your information to the industry and position.
Follow appropriate format
A one-page cover letter (you choose letter format style)
Resume one page
Typed, single spaced, 12 point font
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Assignment 6: Student Oral Presentations
You are required to give a seven-minute presentation. You will have the opportunity to use feedback
from your first presentation to adjust or enhance it before giving your second (final) presentation. In
essence, your first presentation is a verbal draft.
The topic must address an aspect of international business. The company, custom or business trading
practice must stretch beyond the U.S. border. Because this is a communication class, we need to think
about cultural differences and how they affect business. How do we adapt our products and
communication style to deal with other countries? Likewise, how have foreign countries adapted to our
A few examples include:
How does conducting business in Australia differ from Japan?
How has Disney adapted its theme parks for European visitors?
How does a city prepare for the Olympics? What kind of impact does it have on business?
The business of caviar…who are the customers? What is the business behind it?
Global housing market
North American Free Trade Agreement
When Kentucky Fried Chicken went global, what changes did they make to their food and
You must use create and present one visual aid during your presentation. It may be one of the
following: poster board, sign, poster, white board, transparencies, PowerPoint, other (discuss this with
*You may use no more than two visual aids within your presentation. If you use PowerPoint, you may
only use three slides.
Visual aid grading criteria include:
Illustration of main point or complex information
Size (Can the audience read or see what you are referring to?)
Presentation of visual aid during final presentation
You will be allowed to use notes. However use may not use more than four, 4 x 6 inch note cards.
Lastly, you will be expected to ask questions of the presenter. That means you must be prepared to
answer questions during a Q&A.
Effectiveness of introduction
Organization of material
Supporting materials (facts, stories, statistics)
Use of visual aid
Conclusion, Q & A period
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Stop! Before you turn in your paper, make sure you have proofread it. Consider the following items:
Assignment follows requirements
o Topic covered in detail (you don’t make assumptions the reader knows)
o Overall length is appropriate
o Name is on the paper
Proper formatting is used
It contains the information the reader/audience needs to know
Overall paper is organized logically
Spelling is correct
Sentences are short and concise
Paragraphs are broken up based on the specific points
Active verbs are used whenever possible
String of adjectives are avoided
Unnecessary phrases and “fluffy” descriptions are eliminated