BUS 290: Business Communication
Welcome to BUS 290! With your enthusiastic participation, this will be a fun and high-energy class. We will be learning
generally accepted business writing principles and honing our grammar skills, both of which are imperative to your
business success. Be prepared to work hard, stretch your limits, laugh at yourself, learn from your mistakes, and excel! I
look forward to getting to know you all. Again, welcome!
This course will cover written, oral, and electronic communication through carefully organized and designed memos,
letters, reports, and presentations.
Semester/Dates: Spring 2009 / January 20 – May 22
Sections/Units: Sections 1030 and 2862 / three units
Prerequisites: Engl 803 or ESL 803 or qualify through the English assessment (or approved equivalents)
Class Website: https://blackboard.miracosta.edu
Rooms: Class will meet in Room 4802. Advance notice will be given when we will meet in Room 4607.
Course Objectives & Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
At the end of the class, students will be able to successfully:
• Compose, prepare, and revise written documents using business writing principles and correct grammar, punctuation,
and business formats to achieve identified objectives.
• Structure and implement a job search strategy based on guidelines established in class.
• Prepare and deliver an oral presentation utilizing speaking techniques and technology based on guidelines
established in class.
Name: Linda Hickman
Background: Over 15 years’ experience teaching a variety of business subjects to diverse student populations and
20 years’ experience working in major corporations such as Mattel Toys, Motorola, and IDEC
Pharmaceuticals. Earned a Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology from National
University in San Diego, California, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration
from Nova-Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
E-mail/Homepage firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.miracosta.edu/home/lhickman
Phone/Message: (760) 757-2121 x 6808
Office Hours: I will be available immediately before and after class to meet with students. Official office hours and
the locations for meeting are in the process of being approved by the college. Please email me at
any time if you need to meet, and we will find a time to get together or talk by phone.
Required Textbook: Essentials of Business Communication, 7th edition, Mary Ellen Guffey ISBN: 0324313926
Text is available at the MCC Bookstore. You may purchase it online, however, you must assume the risks of the return
policy, delays in delivery, etc. Please note that the first chapter can be downloaded for free, and the text can be obtained
in eBook format from http://www.ichapters.com There is also a copy of the text on reserve the library.
Required Computer Access: You must be able to check your email and the Blackboard site regularly, whether at home
or on campus. All work must be completed using MS Word 2007 or earlier on a PC. We will not be using MACs in this
class. Students must also have printer access to be able to download and print handouts from the Blackboard site.
Additional Resource: If you choose to purchase a reference book, my favorite is The Gregg Reference Manual by
William A. Sabin, ISBN: 072936533
Weekly assignments will include (at the minimum): a reading assignment, two grammar assignments, two writing
assignments, and a quiz. Attendance is a required component of the class in order to receive immediate, meaningful
feedback. Students who have chosen not to attend all classes have not been able to successfully complete the class.
All students must complete and turn in all assignments. The projected grading criteria are as follows:
Grammar and Proofing Assignments 100
Written Assignments 1000
Computer Tips and Tricks – 3 @ 100 pts. each 300
Quizzes – 5 @ 10 pts. Each 50
Comprehensive Grammar Test 100
Informal Report 100
Formal Report 100
PowerPoint Presentation #1 100
Oral Presentation 100
Cover Letter 100
Total Possible Points 2500
The letter grading will be as follows:
A (Excellent) 90% + 2250 - 2500
B (Good) 80-89% 2000 - 2249
C (Average) 70-79% 1750 - 1999
D (Below Average) 60-69% 1500 - 1749
F (Failure) less than 60% Less than 1500
Course Rules & Expectations
• Be prepared. Attend regularly. Be on time for class. Pay attention in class. Participate and act interested in the
• Do not engage in any form of academic dishonesty. Respect fellow students and instructor.
• Don’t bring food or uncovered beverages into the classroom. Turn off all beepers and cell phones. Dress and act
appropriately for a good learning environment.
• Regular attendance for the full class period is important. Please inform the instructor if you will unavoidably miss two
consecutive class sessions. Also, be sure not to miss any classes during the first two weeks, and do not miss more
than four total classes for the semester (for a class that meets two times a week) or two total classes (for a class that
meets one times a week.
• Do not interrupt class by entering the classroom if you are more than 10 minutes late.
• Violations to these rules and expectations subject you to being dropped at instructor’s sole discretion.
Class Withdrawal Rules:
• Students are responsible to complete all necessary paperwork if they decide to withdraw from class. The Instructor
must take strong steps to ensure all students are attending and active. Therefore, the Instructor retains complete
discretion to process a Withdrawal (Drop) for students without additional notice for any of the following reasons
(unless discussed with Instructor and approved in advance):
o Failure to complete any assignment during the first two weeks of the semester
o Missing ANY class during the first two weeks
o Missing two consecutive classes or four total classes during the semester (two total for classes that meet
once a week)
o Failure to complete two consecutive or four total Assignments of any type
o Failure to complete ANY exam
In addition, students are expected to:
• Access their email and the Blackboard class site several times per week.
• Complete and submit all assignments. Late assignments may be accepted with proper notification.
• Email the instructor promptly about absences and late assignments. Please sign your full name when emailing the
instructor (this is mandatory for all classes, at all schools, at all times).
• Submit all written assignments using Microsoft Word version 2007 or earlier. We are not using MACs in this class.
• Complete and submit original work and act and behave ethically, honestly, and politely.
College Policies & Services
• January 31, 2009: Last day to ADD classes.
• January 31, 2009: Last day to DROP classes with no grade and no “W.”
• February 20, 2009: Last day to file Petition for Degree/Certificate and to file for Pass/No Pass.
Consider the Pass/No Pass option only if you do not need a letter grade.
• March 16 – March 21: Spring Break
• April 23, 2009: Last day to Drop class with “W” grade. Drops after that receive a letter grade. If you discover this
course is not for you or your class performance is not satisfactory, make sure you drop by the date.
FINAL EXAMS (May 16 – 22, 2009)
Tuesday/Thursday morning class final: Thursday, May 21, 8:00 a.m.
Thursday evening class final: Thursday, May 21, 7:00 p.m.
Students seeking an “Incomplete” grade must consult with the instructor in person no later than the week prior to finals.
Incompletes will only be considered for emergency or other unforeseeable justifiable reasons at the end of the term, and
only upon agreement of clear conditions for completing coursework. Incompletes are rarely granted and only if the
emergency or other unforeseeable justifiable reason occurs after the date for dropping the class. Work, vacation, family
concerns, class schedules, time management problems, and other normal issues all students deal with do not qualify.
PASS/NO PASS GRADING OPTION (for graded classes):
You have the option to choose Pass/No Pass grading for this class. If you choose this option, you must submit a Petition
for Pass/No Pass to Admissions & Records before 30% of the class has elapsed. This option for grading is nonreversible
once selected. The petition form is available online, or from Admissions & Records. Students planning to transfer should
consult with a counselor before opting for Pass/No Pass to ensure this option is accepted by their intended transfer
institutions. Check the MiraCosta College catalog or schedule for more detailed information.
Students with disabilities, whether physical, learning, or psychological, who believe that they may need accommodations
in this class, are encouraged to contact Disabled Students Programs & Services as soon as possible to ensure that such
accommodations are implemented in a timely manner. Their phone number is (760) 795-6658 and they are located on the
Oceanside campus in Building 3000-Student Services, Room 3009, adjacent to Parking lot 3C.
The MiraCosta College faculty librarians assist students with their research questions, whether academic or personal.
Students may obtain assistance from librarians either one-on-one at the reference desk, through class orientations, group
workshops, individual appointments, or online. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of library resources. More
information regarding the library may be found at their webpage: http://www.miracosta.edu/library .
COLLEGE SUPPORT SERVICES:
The Tutoring and Academic Support Center (TASC) and the Writing Center (WC) assist students by providing individual
and group tutoring, WC drop-ins, learning communities, self-help materials, and student success workshops. Services are
free and available to all students during day and evening hours at all MiraCosta College campuses. Please take
advantage of these academic support services. For more specific information, please call (760) 795-6682.
PLAGIARISM AND ETHICS POLICY:
Each student agrees to the following statements of student behavior:
• I agree that I, and only I, will be the one completing and submitting class materials (homework, quizzes, exams,
written projects, etc.) in my name.
• I agree that I will not directly copy or plagiarize material from books, publications, the Internet, other students’ work, or
any other source. I am familiar with, and I agree not to violate, copyright laws. If small amounts of material from other
sources are used as part of any class assignment, I agree to clearly indicate such and properly cite the source.
• I agree that any projects submitted for this class have been prepared for this class only and have not been, and never
will be, submitted for any other class at MiraCosta or any other school.
• I agree that, unless approved by the instructor, I will not share answers to homework assignments, quizzes, exams, or
any other course material with fellow classmates.
• I acknowledge that failure to comply with any of the above statements may result in failure of an assignment, removal
from the course, failure in the course, and discipline action deemed appropriate by the instructor in his sole discretion
and/or policies and procedures set forth by the Board of Trustees of the MiraCosta Community College District, fully
described in the College Catalog.
The following list of planned activities and homework may be changed at the discretion of the instructor. Please
check daily for my “recap and homework” emails. These will tell you exactly what we covered in class and what
will be due for the next class. Thanks!
In-Class Activities (Teacher/Student) Homework
Review Syllabus • Read Chapter 1 (Communication Skills) and
Chapter 2 (Creating Business Messages)
• Print Commas Cheat Sheet
Administer/Take Commas Pre-Test
• Print Myers Briggs handout
Lecture on Chapter 1 (Communication Skills) and Chapter • Print and Do Commas Practice
2 (Creating Business Messages)
• Print and Do Grammar Practice #1
Teach/Learn Commas from Cheat Sheet
• Print Numbers and Caps Cheat Sheet
Facilitate/Participate in Myers Briggs Survey – Discuss and bring to class
Importance of Knowing Your Audience’s Characteristics
Give/Take Chapters 1 and 2 Quiz • Read Chapter 3 (Improving Writing Techniques)
and Chapter 4 (Revising and Proofreading)
Review Commas Practice
• Print and Do Numbers and Caps Practice #1
Teach/Learn Numbers and Caps from Cheat Sheet
• Print Proofreader Marks handout
Lecture on Chapter 3 (Improving Writing Techniques)
Facilitate/Participate in Myers Briggs Activity #1
Lecture on Chapter 4 (Revising and Proofreading) • Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Students Chapter 1 (also found in textbook)
Review Numbers and Caps Practice #1
• Print and Do Grammar Practice #2
Review Grammar Practice #1
• Print Business Writing Cheat Sheet
Teach/Learn Proofreader Marks from handout
Administer/Take Knowing Message Qualities and
Entrepreneurial Association proofreading handouts
Facilitate/Participate in Myers Briggs Activity #2
Give/Take Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 Quiz • Read Chapter 5 (Emails)
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 1 • Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Students Chapter 2 (also found in textbook)
Review Grammar Practice #2
• Print and Do Grammar Practice #3
Lecture on Chapter 5 (Emails)
Show/View Email PowerPoint Presentation • Do Written Correspondence #1 (emails)
Facilitate/Participate in Myers Briggs Activity #3
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 2 • Read Chapter 6 (Good News Messages)
Review Grammar Practice #3 • Study Business Writing Cheat Sheet
Review Written Correspondence #1 • Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Students Chapter 3
Teach/Learn Business Letter Format from Business
Writing Cheat Sheet • Do Written Correspondence #2 and #3
Lecture on Chapter 6 (Good/Neutral News/Direct Pattern)
Give/Take Business Writing and Chapter 6 Quiz • Read Chapter 8 (Bad News Messages)
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 3 • Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Students Chapter 4
Review Written Correspondence #2 and #3
• Do Written Correspondence #4 and #5
Discuss Bulleted Lists and Parallel Structure (p. 66)
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 4 • Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Students Chapter 5
Review Written Correspondence #4 and #5
• Do Written Correspondence #6 and #7
Lecture on Chapter 8 (Bad News Messages)
Facilitate/Participate in Myers Briggs Activity #4 and
Wrap Up Myers Briggs
Give/Take Chapter 8 Quiz • Review Chapter 5 (Memos)
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 5 • Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Students Chapter 6
Review Written Correspondence #6 and #7
• Do Written Correspondence #8 and #9
Review and Compare Direct and Indirect Patterns
Show/View/Discuss Jeopardy Letter and Credibility
Teach/Learn Memo Format from Business Writing
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 6 • Do Computer Tips and Tricks - Ridge Top
Review Written Correspondence #8 and #9 • Do Written Correspondence #9 and #10
Demonstrate Mail Merge / Computer Tips and Tricks -
Give/Take Comprehensive Quiz, Chapters 1 through 8 • Read Chapter 7 (Persuasive Messages)
and all Handouts
• Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Review Written Correspondence #9 and #10 Students Chapter 7
Lecture on Chapter 7 (Persuasive Messages) • Do Written Correspondence #11 and 12
Show/View examples of Persuasive Messages – Seals
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 7 • Midterm
Review Written Correspondence #11 and #12
Show/View/Discuss San Diego Zoo Letter and Credibility
Collect/Submit Midterms • Read Chapter 11 (Communicating in Person, by
Phone, in Meetings, and Digitally)
Demonstrate Table of Contents command, Headers,
Footers, Page Numbers, Vertical Centering, etc. using • Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Computer Tips and Tricks – Trees Students Chapter 8
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 8 • Do Computer Tips and Tricks – Trees
Lecture on Chapter 11 • Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Students Chapter 9
Show/View Business Etiquette Film
Collect/Submit Computer Tips and Tricks – Trees • Read Chapters 9 (Informal Reports) and 10
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 9
• Print and Do Grammar and Proofing for
Lecture on Chapter 9 (Informal Reports)
Students Chapter 10
Discuss Graphics in Reports
• Do Computer Tips and Tricks - Excel
Demonstrate Excel Graphs and NOO Formula Using
Computer Tips and Tricks - Excel
Collect/Submit Tips and Tricks - Excel • Do an Informal Report from Scenarios Provided
Review Grammar and Proofing for Students Chapter 10 • Begin Research for Formal Report
Lecture on Chapter 10 (Formal Reports)
Compare Informal and Formal Reports
Review Computer Tips and Tricks – Trees – For Report
Collect/Submit Informal Reports • Read Chapter 12 (Oral Presentations)
Demonstrate PowerPoint commands using Cheat Sheet • Do PowerPoint Assignment #1
Review Presentation Guidelines and PP Assignment #1 • Continue working on Formal Report
Show/View Examples of Bad PowerPoint Presentations • Study for Comprehensive Grammar Test
Review PowerPoint Assignment #1 • Continue working on Formal Report and its Oral
Discuss Formal Reports and Making Oral Presentations
Give/Take Comprehensive Grammar Test
Review and Discuss Formal Reports and making Oral • Finalize Formal Reports and PowerPoint
Review Comprehensive Grammar Test
Collect/Submit Formal Reports • Each Student Must Be in Attendance or Risk a
Failing Grade for His or Her Report and
Students Give Oral Reports based on Formal Reports Presentation
(must use PowerPoint)
Oral Reports • Each Student Must Be in Attendance or Risk a
Failing Grade for His or Her Report and
Oral Reports • Each Student Must Be in Attendance or Risk a
Failing Grade for His or Her Report and
Lecture on Chapter 13 (Job Search) • Read Chapter 13 (Job Search)
Demonstrate use of Bureau of Labor Statistics • Print and Do BLS Handout
Review Myers Briggs in context of career choices • Review Career Search Folder
Identify College Resources / Introduce Career Center • Create Resume and Cheat Sheet First Draft
Lecture on Resume Preparation and Job Applications
Demonstrate How to Create a Winning Cover Letter • Finalize Resume and Cheat Sheet / Write a Cover
Letter and Edit Resume for a Specific Job Ad
Discuss Salary Ranges and Where to Find Info
Lecture on Interview Questions, Appearance, • Print and Prepare Answers to Interview Questions
Lecture on Salary Negotiations, Equal Pay Day, • Finalize Resume, Cover Letter, and Cheat Sheet,
Salary Ranges, etc. and Interview Questions
Collect/Submit Job Search Packets – Resume, Cover • Do Final
Letter, BLS Handout, Application, Cheat Sheet, Job Ad
Discuss Final Exam
Give Commas Post-Test
Movie – Triumph of the Nerds – The Invention of the PC • Do Final
and the Rise of Silicon Valley; Bill Gates, Steve Jobs,
“Woz” Wozniak, Steve Ballmer…impressive twenty-
Collect/Submit Final Exam – Memo, Formal Report, and • Submit Final
PowerPoint Presentation on the Scenario Provided