BusCom 201 … Business Communication … Spring 2009


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BusCom 201 … Business Communication … Spring 2009

  1. 1. BusCom 201 – Business Communication – Spring 2009 Sec. 5550 – M 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. – Gowen Field, Bldg #500, Room 172 Instructor: Lisa Kleiman Office Hours: By appointment Phone: (208) 841-4434 (8-5 M-F) Dept. Office and Mailbox: B306 Email: lisakleiman@u.boisestate.edu Dept. Phone: (208) 426-3356 “The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” —Sydney J. Harris. American Journalist and Author Text and Support Materials 1. Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication 7th ed. (Thomson South-western). 2. The College of Business and Economics (COBE) Writing Styles Guide (http://cobe.boisestate.edu/COBEwritingGuide/index.htm) Welcome to Business Communication 201 or BUSCOM 201! BUSCOM 201 emphasizes communication skills and competencies vital for success in business. You will work on practical communication foundations for use in real world applications. Much of your work will focus on writing skills and writing and presenting business messages and reports. Course Procedure This class will involve reading, writing, thinking, and absorbing essential communication foundation skills needed for everyday business. You will be asked to participate in class discussions of completed homework, in-class handouts and workshop materials. To make the most of class, complete all the assignments and take an active role in class. Most of the session will focus on writing skills and preparing business messages. You will also work on job application, business reports and presentations. You will submit documents on business memos and E-mail correspondence, direct and persuasive business communication, “good news” and “bad news” letters and other business correspondence, and job applications. Your final research project includes a proposal or a progress report, a written report and an oral presentation. Course Objectives Students completing BUSCOM 201 should be able to demonstrate the ability to: 1. Appreciate the importance of effective business communication skills for career development and success. 2. Analyze a business communication situation and develop an appropriate communication strategy. 3. Employ one or more standard formats for writing each of the following: business letters, memos and reports. 4. Employ, regardless of format, principles relevant to the content, organization, and style of text for the following types of business communication: bad news (negative) messages, persuasive messages, and good news (positive) and/or routine messages. BusCom 201 – Sec. 5550 – Boise State University – Sp09 – Kleiman Page 1 of 8
  2. 2. 5. Determine, find, and properly incorporate secondary research using the APA style, including that available through electronic means such as library holdings, databases, CD-ROM, and the Internet. 6. Apply basic editing skills such as those expected of students who have completed freshman composition and who are taking a business communication course. 7. Design a page of text so that it is graphically easy to read and permits easy information access. Such skills include the use of standard formats, white space, appropriate paragraphing, and (where appropriate) headings and sub-headings. 8. Use a reader-friendly approach to balance the needs of the audience with the desires of the writer. 9. Produce ethical communications as a result of knowing and being able to apply certain ethical principles. 10. Develop abilities to sensitively work with diverse individuals and groups while building diverse relationships. 11. Develop and present an oral presentation using effective visual aids. General Policies Assignment Submissions • All assignments are due by midnight on the date indicated on the class schedule unless otherwise noted. • All assignments must include your name, date and course number to avoid a three-point reduction. • Late assignments will be subject to a (5) points-per-day penalty. Assignments will not be accepted after the last day of class - no exceptions. • You are responsible for completing and submitting assignments. Check the course syllabus for required assignments and check Blackboard for any updates. To access Blackboard go to https://blackboard.boisestate.edu/webapps/login/. • Unless otherwise noted, all assignments must be submitted in hard copy on the due date. Electronic submissions, when assigned and previously arranged, are accepted under these conditions: o E-mailed Assignment. E-mail assignments must be submitted as follows: Send e-mail assignments to: lisakleiman@u.boisestate.edu In the e-mail subject line type: Your Name/BUSCOM201/SEC#/assignment subject (i.e., Subject: Lisa Kleiman/BUSCOM201/SEC5550/Memo) Submit assignment as a MS Word (saved as a .doc, .txt or .rtf format) or PowerPoint attachment Watch for my e-mail reply indicating that I received the assignment. If you don’t receive a reply after 24 hours, don’t assume I received the assignment. You can re- submit. o Hard copy. Hard copy assignments are due in class on the due date. BusCom 201 – Sec. 5550 – Boise State University – Sp09 – Kleiman Page 2 of 8
  3. 3. o Blackboard Digital Drop Box. Log in to Blackboard at http://blackboard.boisestate.edu/ using your BSU username and password then click Tools and Digital Drop Box. Please notify me in person or by e-mail if you submit assignments in Blackboard. Saving Word Files To save a document in Word, open the document and click on File, then "Save As", and in the "Save as Type" strip box at the bottom of the box, choose "Word Document" or "Rich Text Format". Then choose Save. You can then attach the document to e-mail. Etiquette Students are expected to follow class etiquette guidelines. • Please plan to attend all classes, arrive on time and stay for the entire session. • Please turn off all cell phones and other noise-making devices. • Please do not bring food into the class. Attendance Attendance is strongly encouraged. Active participation and attendance counts 50 points toward your final grade. Many workshops and in-class handouts are given in class necessary for graded assignments. You will be encouraged to take an active role to develop your communication skills. Questions, observations, and opinions will be solicited often. Absences Regular attendance in classes is required. Excessive absences may be reflected in the grade assigned. Absences for University-approved functions are permitted when notified in advance and in writing by the sponsoring organization of the official absence. Students are responsible to make up any work missed during their absence. Format Unless otherwise noted, prepare all written assignments using these formats: General • Fonts. Use conventional fonts (i.e. Times New Roman for serif, Arial for sans serif), 12-point type • Line Spacing. Single space text and double space in between paragraphs with no paragraph indentation Letters • Use Block Letter Format • Provide letterhead format with the company name and contact information at the top of the message, followed by date and inside (recipient’s) address. • Salutation Use last or first name; not both. Use first name only for informal communications. Use a colon with the last name; and comma with the first name salutation. Memos • Use any conventional format that includes at the top “TO”, “FROM”, DATE”, and “SUBJECT” lines • Align lead-in information two spaces from the longest lead word (typically “SUBJECT”) • Signature lines are not generally used with memo formats. Report Follow the report and APA style citation and reference guidelines contained in the COBE Writing Styles Guide. The BSU COBE Writing Styles Guide lays out a basic writing standards used across BusCom 201 – Sec. 5550 – Boise State University – Sp09 – Kleiman Page 3 of 8
  4. 4. all courses in the College of Business and Economics. It can be found at http://cobe.boisestate.edu/COBEwritingGuide Extra Credit Students may earn up to 10 points of extra credit for the following assignment due by Monday of the last week classes are in session. Extra Credit Assignment: Collect an actual e-mail message, letter or memo illustrating the type of correspondence and techniques used in business communication. Mask names and other information that must be kept anonymous and include with the assignment. Write a memo that answers the following questions: 1. What type of letter or memo is this? 2. What is the main idea in the message? 3. What writing strategy does the document illustrate? Explain your answer. 4. How effective is the message in accomplishing its purpose? Use appropriate memo style and correct use of English. Late extra credit assignments are not accepted. Academic Honesty Cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty, as well as unacceptable behavior are not accepted in this course. Violations may result in penalties up to and including dismissal from the University. More details about the Boise State University Code of Conduct can be found at: http://www2.boisestate.edu/studentconduct BusCom 201 – Sec. 5550 – Boise State University – Sp09 – Kleiman Page 4 of 8
  5. 5. SPRING 2009 SCHEDULE (subject to change) WEEK DAY TOPICS READINGS Jan. 19 Monday Dr. Martin Luther King HOLIDAY: NO CLASS Jan 26 Monday 1) Orientation Chapter 1 2) Introductions 3) Communication fundamentals Feb 2 Monday 1) The writing process: Writing Chapter 2 and 3 Writing improvement exercises* techniques Feb. 9 Monday 1) The writing process: Writing Chapter 4 Writing improvement exercises* techniques 2) Introduce formal/final report project and research methods Feb. Monday President’s Day HOLIDAY: NO CLASS 16 Feb. 23 Monday 1) Emails and Memos Chapter 5 1)Writing improvement exercises* 2) Locate a document (email, memo, letter, etc.) and review for audience and “you-view” effectiveness. Bring to class for discussion. March Monday 1) Direct letters and goodwill Chapters 6 and 7 1) Graded: Write an EMAIL or MEMO using 2 messages one of the activities and cases on pages 2) Sales communications and ethics 124 – 129. 2) Analyze a sales or advertisement letter or email and bring to class March Monday 1) Negative messages Chapter 8 1) Writing improvement exercises* 9 2) Formal report introductions and 2) Graded: Write a DIRECT or conclusions PERSUASIVE LETTER using one of the 3) Final report status check activities and cases on page 190 ex. 7.4, page 194 ex. 7.14, page 193 ex. 7.11, page 162 ex. 6.11 or page 163 ex. 6.14. March Monday 1. Resumes and cover letter Chapters 13 and 1) Graded: Write a NEGATIVE LETTER 16 2. Employment interviewing 14 and page 29 using one of the activities and cases on page 231 ex. 8.12 or ex. 8.13 or page 230 ex. 8.10. 2) Complete page 446 ex. 14.13; prepare list of interview questions for class discussion BusCom 201 – Sec. 5550 – Boise State University – Sp09 – Kleiman Page 5 of 8
  6. 6. WEEK DAY TOPICS READINGS March Monday Spring Break VACATION NO CLASS 23 - 29 March Monday Informal Report Chapter 9 Graded: Complete these exercises on page 30 414: • Ex 13.17, print or copy and clip job ad. to job appl. materials • Ex. 13.9, write a RESUME targeting job found in ex. 13.17 (exclude references and sensitive information • Ex. 13.10, write a COVER LETTER targeting job found in ex. 13.17 April 6 Monday Proposals and formal reports Chapter 10 and COBE Writing Styles Guide “Communication guidelines” April 13 Monday 1) Speaking skills Chapter 11 1) Graded: PROPOSAL OR PROGRESS 2) Final report peer review REPORT 3) Oral presentation signup 2) Final report rough draft April 20 Monday Oral presentations and visual aids Chapter 12 April 27 Monday Individual 5-minute oral presentations 1) Graded: FINAL REPORT 2) Graded: SCHEDULED PRESENTATIONS and peer evaluations May 4 Monday 1) Individual 5-minute oral Graded: SCHEDULED PRESENTATIONS and presentations peer evaluations 2) Review and summary *Assigned in class. Graded assignments in bold text. BusCom 201 – Sec. 5550 – Boise State University – Sp09 – Kleiman Page 6 of 8
  7. 7. Grading Total % of Total Assignment Points Grade Class Attendance 25 5% Class Participation 25 5% Assignments: Memo or E-Mail 50 10% Direct or Persuasive Letter 50 10% Negative Letter 50 10% Resume 50 10% Application Letter 50 10% Research Project: Informal Proposal or Progress Report 50 10% Formal/Final Report 100 20% Oral Report 50 10% Total 500 100% Grading Scale Grades will be tabulated based on the following scales: A+ = 485-500 B+ = 435-449 C+ = 385-399 D+ = 335-349 F = <299 A = 470-484 B = 420-434 C = 370-384 D = 320-334 A- = 450-469 B- = 400-419 C- = 50-369 D- = 300-319 Please feel free to talk with me regarding any questions about the evaluation of your work. Grading Criteria For all assignments, evaluations will reflect how well you have met a project’s requirements, your use of appropriate style and tone and correct use of English. Papers that contain typing, spelling and grammatical errors seriously harm a message’s credibility and can lower an assignments grade by approximately one grade point for each error. Check your own work for errors. Be advised that many software packages have tools that check these errors but do not catch all and replace, careful proofreading. I have two graded assignments: Graded and Credit/No Credit. Many of the writing improvement and in- class exercises are Credit and No credit assignments that count toward your final grade. Written assignments will be evaluated based on these criteria: • Meets criteria. Meets reader’s expectation of genre and format. • Uses appropriate style, tone and clarity (text is clear, concise and easy to read). • Maintains appropriate coherence, consideration, credibility and reader benefits • Uses professional format and layout • Demonstrates mastery of grammar, spelling, punctuation and word usage Definitions Style/Tone: Appropriate tone/style used based upon the document's purpose and audience. BusCom 201 – Sec. 5550 – Boise State University – Sp09 – Kleiman Page 7 of 8
  8. 8. Clarity: The message is easy to read and understand Coherence: Sentences and paragraphs are fluently organized. Text is organized in a form compatible with the purpose and audience. Consideration: The message consistently addresses the reader’s benefit and attitude. Format/Layout: Document has a professional reader-friendly layout and format (page numbers, headings, and white space.) Correctness: Grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary are used correctly. Conciseness Document is easy to read and does not include unnecessary words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. Credibility: The message gives the reader clear evidence to believe the message. Additional Resources Many resources are available at the Boise State University Albertsons Library located at the main campus and on the internet. Online resources: http://library.boisestate.edu Boise State University Albertsons Library. Contains links to articles, databases, books, e-books, media, journal titles, resources by subject and more. http://www.bartleby.com/reference Contains links to dictionaries, encyclopedia, thesauri, quotations, and other general reference materials http://www.apastyle.org/stylehelper Contains tips for using the APA (American Psychological Association) style format for documentation and citation http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) http://cobe.boisestate.edu/COBEwritingGuide See hyperlinks contained on the COBE web site page containing the Styles Guide Special Needs If you have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and need assistance, please notify me as soon as possible. BusCom 201 – Sec. 5550 – Boise State University – Sp09 – Kleiman Page 8 of 8