COM 3110 Business and Professional Communication Page 1
Business and Professional Communication
Section U07 MWF 10-10:50 a.m. GL 139
Section U08 MWF 11-11:50 a.m. GL 139
Section U09 T/TH 8-9:15 a.m. GL 139
Section U10 T/TH 9:30-10:45 a.m. GL 139
Florida International University
College of Architrecture + The Arts
Department of Communication Arts
Professor Kathleen Watson
FAX: 305 348 6272
Office Hours: M 1-3 p.m. T 11-12 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. W 12-1 p.m. TH 11-12 p.m.
Office: VH 212
University Drop Date:
February 26, 2010 (Last day to drop a course with a DR grade)
Academic Calendar - Spring 2010
Business Communication Process and Product (5th edition)
Mary Ellen Guffey (Paperback edition)
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(You may obtain the book in paperback or hardcover, as long as it is the 5th edition)
Recommended: One book on Grammar (Your Choice)
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
Course Description: This course is designed to improve your verbal and
written communication skills in the business environment:
*Business Writing Skills
*Oral Presentation Skills
*English Language Skills
The course is designed to provide you with an opportunity to learn communication skills that can
be immediately transferred into a professional work environment. The course assignments and
exercises are designed to improve your practical business communication skills in the following
Business Writing: You will develop and/or improve your ability to use clear, concise language,
to select an appropriate format, and to write the following professional business documents:
memoranda, cover letters, thank you letters, resumes, bibliographies, and persuasive letters.
English Language Skills: You will develop and/or improve your ability to compose English
sentences using proper punctuation, grammar, and mechanics.
Oral Presentation Skills: You will develop and/or improve your ability to deliver information
effectively to an audience using an appropriate PowerPoint presentation and a group symposium.
INSTRUCTOR EXPECTATIONS AND POLICIES
Policies: Attendance - You are permitted TWO unexcused absences
during the term. More than TWO unexcused absences will result
in the loss of points from your final grade. (1 point per absence
above two.) If you miss more than 5 times, you cannot pass the course.
(For MWF classes: THREE absences/If you miss more than 7 times........
Tardiness - Tardiness will not be tolerated. As in the workplace,
you will be expected to arrive on time and be prepared. Two
"lates" will be equivalent to one absence. (Leaving class early
is counted the same as a tardy.)
All work must be completed and turned in on time. Speaking
assignments cannot be made up. Written assignments submitted
late will receive half credit. Do not send assignments by email.
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Please TURN OFF all cellular phones and beepers. No eating in class.
Absolutely NO text messaging or “web surfing” allowed in class.
Text: Business Communication Process and Product (5th edition)
Mary Ellen Guffey (Paperback edition)
Resume Booklet (Posted on my web page)
Grammar Book (Recommended - Your choice)
Web Page: You will be required to access my web page (www.fiu.edu/~watsonk)
to download information for assignments.
There will be zero tolerance for academic misconduct, cheating,
plagiarism etc. (See note at end of this syllabus)
Public Speaking: You will develop and/or improve your ability to select, organize, and
effectively deliver information in a business-like manner with appropriate language, articulation,
non-verbal communication, and visual supporting materials.
Interpersonal/Small Group Communication: You will develop and/or improve your ability to
recognize how well you communicate with others and specifically how you communicate with
others in a small group setting. You will develop essential critical listening, conflict
management, time management, and problem solving skills.
Written Communication: You will develop and/or improve your ability to use clear, concise
language, to select an appropriate format, and to write the following professional business
documents: memoranda, cover letters, resumes, speech outlines, and bibliographies.
Language Skills: You will develop and/or improve your ability to use English grammar and
mechanics to improve your written and public speaking skills.
English Language Skills Quiz 1 & Quiz 2 10%
English Language Skills Exam (Rubric)* 10%
Business Writing Skills In-class Exam (Rubric)* 10%
Memos (Memo #1, Memo #2) 10%
Persuasive Letter 10%
Resume Packet (Resume, Cover Letter,
Thank You Letter) 10%
PowerPoint Presentation (Rubric)*
(Speech to Inform) 20%
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(Speech to Persuade) 10%
Midterm Exam/Cumulative Final Exam 10%
*A Rubric will be used to evaluate these assignments.
See sample rubrics posted on web page.
Assignments: The following is a brief overview of the major assignments.
English Language Skills (Quiz l and 2) - Multiple choice tests which
cover the concepts in Appendix A: C.L.U.E. Guides 1-50.
English Language Skills Exam – Multiple choice test given at the
end of the semester to assess skill in basic C.L.U.E. Concepts.
Business Writing Skills In-class Exam – Writing exam given at the
end of the semester to assess writing competency.
Note: All major written assignments will be submitted first to
Turnitin.com (Complete instructions will be given in class.)
Business Memos and Letters
(All instructions will be given in class)
Resume Packet – Job Listing, Original Resume, Cover Letter, and
Thank You Letter
Group Symposium - You and your group members will function
as a consulting team to develop an original product to present to the
class. You will determine a “problem” that exists in the business world.
Your product will be the “solution” to that problem. Specific instructions
as to format and presentation will be given in class. This project will
require you to meet with your group members outside of class.
All members of the group will receive the same grade for the
PowerPoint Presentation - You will have 5 minutes to deliver
a Speech to Inform. (Topic to be determined.)
This will be a PowerPoint Presentation.
Due: Evaluation Sheet, Outline, Bibliography with 2 sources, Preview
Sheet, and Hard copy in black and white (not color) of PP Presentation.)
and Rubric.Please turn in these 6 items BEFORE presentation.
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Midterm Exam and Final Exam – Multiple choice questions on
lectures, readings, and handouts. The final is cumulative.
Course Grading Scale:
A (94-100) A- (93-90) B+ (89-87) B (86-84)
B- (83-80) C+ (79-77) C (76-74) C- (73-70)
D+ (69-67) D (66-64) D- (63-60) F (60-00)
Academic Integrity: You are expected to maintain a high level of academic integrity in this
course. Please read FIU‘s Code of Academic Integrity.
Every student must respect the right of all to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly
demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students must adhere to a standard of
academic conduct, demonstrating respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the
educational mission of the University.
"Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and
imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous
and respectful exchange of ideas, and community service. All students should
respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and
honestly to demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all
students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which
demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the
educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the
University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic
misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and
sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook."
All major writing assignments will be submitted first to Turnitin.com. The first week of
the course you will be required to register with Turnitin.com. The Class ID and Password
will be given in class. See my web page for a complete discussion of how to submit papers
Religious Holidays: I support the University's policy on religious holidays as stated in the
University catalog and the student handbook. Any student may request to be excused from a
scheduled exam to observe a religious holiday of their faith. The student must notify the
Instructor and arrange to take the exam in advance of the regularly scheduled exam date.
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Policy on Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities have the right to receive needed
accommodations if their disabilities make it difficult to perform academic tasks in the usual way
or in the allotted time frame. If you have a disability and need assistance, please contact the
Disability Resource Center (University Park : GC190; 305-348-3532) (North Campus: WUC139,
305-919-5345). Upon contact, the Disability Resource Center will review your request and
contact your professors or other personnel to make arrangements for appropriate modification
Florida International University Student Code of Conduct
A university is a learning community following a tradition more than 1,000 years old. Florida
International University is such a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge
through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas, and
community service. As a member of this community:
• I will respect the tradition of academic inquiry, the University’s rules of conduct,
and its mission.
• I will respect the opinions and differences of all members of the FIU community.
• I will practice civility and demonstrate conduct that reflects the values of the
• I will respect the rights and property of the University and its members.
• I will be diligent and honest in my personal and academic endeavors.
For further information about faculty rights and responsibilities visit.
For further information on students who feel victimized
READING LIST/Important Dates
Week 1 Chapters 1 and 15, Speech Notes Sheet and TIPS Sheet (from web page)
Week 2 Chapters 5, 6, 7
Week 3 Chapter 8 and Appendix pp. 27-38
Week 4 Chapter 9 (pp. 252-261)
Chapter 10 (pp. 298-309)
Week 5 Chapter 15 and Chapter 4
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Week 6 Review Chapter 15, Group Symposiums
Review Speech Notes/TIPS Sheet
Week 7 Read Resume Booklet (on web page)
Week 8 Review all chapters. Review C.L.U.E. exercises. MIDTERM EXAM
Last day to drop a course with a DR grade - February 26
Week 9 Chapter 16, Review Resume Booklet, Chapter 3
Week 10 Review Chapter 15, PowerPoint Presentations
Week 11 SPRING BREAK
Week 12 Review Chapter 15, PowerPoint Presentations
Week 13 Review Chapter 15, PowerPoint Presentations
Week 14 Review Writing and Grammar Skills for Assessment Exams
Week 15 Review all Chapters
Week 16 Review all Chapters
#1 This is a professional communication class. At no time will anyone make fun of
you in any way. This will enable you to do your best at all times.
#2 This is a professional communication class. All material presented must be in
good taste. If it's off color, it's off limits. This will enable you to do your best at all
Additional assignments and specific readings will be given in class. All assignments will
be explained thoroughly. Please do not fall behind. I am here to help you become a more
effective communicator. Enjoy the course!
Note: Instructor reserves the right to make changes to the above syllabus.