MM 540 Essentials of Business Writing – Winter Term 2010 (4187)
Instructor: Hart Wilson, MM                               ...
in advance and make arrangements to meet with a learning partner to find out what you missed
in class. Given the collabora...
it is for your reference only.
   4. While a certain level of soul-searching will be inherent in the creation of your plan...
MM 540
                      Essentials of Business Writing
                            Course Schedule
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Business Writing - Winter 2008


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Business Writing - Winter 2008

  1. 1. MM 540 Essentials of Business Writing – Winter Term 2010 (4187) Instructor: Hart Wilson, MM Central 114 Phone: 552-8283 Office Hours: By Appointment Email: Course Overview Communication skills are critically important in today’s world. We receive and send many email messages daily and our writing skills are showcased in every message. With increasingly sophisticated technologies for communication, it is more and more important to know how to convey a professional image in everything we do. This course will provide opportunities to practice and perfect written language skills including grammar, punctuation, and word usage. You will use these skills to compose and produce a variety of business documents: email, letters, memos, reports, etc. You will learn the most effective way to write each type of document, focusing on style, format, and content. You will also enhance your ability to proofread business documents to ensure that they are clear, succinct, complete, accurate, consistent, and courteous. You will become a better communicator by enhancing your ability to analyze an audience to determine the language, tone, style, and format that will be most appropriate to express your message. Required Texts Leadership Communication by Deborah J. Barrett, 2007 (available in the SOU bookstore). The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus, 2007 (available online). Complete details for these books are available in the course Blackboard (Bb) site. Course Objectives The objectives for this course are simple and straightforward: participants will improve their writing and editing skills. Specifically, you will: Enhance your ability to communicate effectively and professionally in writing. Apply effective writing and formatting techniques to e-mail messages, memos, routine letters, persuasive messages, negative messages, informal reports, proposals, and formal reports. Compose messages that are readable, use appropriate language, apply parallelism, and use graphic highlighting to convey ideas clearly to readers. Course Methodology The course will focus on writing rather than just reading and hearing about how to be a better writer. Thus, there will be writing and/or editing assignments due each week. Part of the time, we will meet in a computer lab to allow opportunities to practice skills presented in class. Classroom sessions will be supplemented extensively by activities conducted on a course Blackboard site. Consistent, high-quality participation in class and online will be required throughout the term. Attendance There will be three face to face meetings for this course at the HEC on January 19, February 2, and February 23 from 6-9. Class attendance will be an important factor in your success in this course. Make-up work will only be accepted in the case where prior notice (if possible) is given of a legitimate absence. If a work commitment prevents your attendance, contact the instructor MM 540 Essentials of Business Writing • Winter 2010  Page 1
  2. 2. in advance and make arrangements to meet with a learning partner to find out what you missed in class. Given the collaborative nature of today’s workplace, the course will make use of peer review and peer editing. Your attendance will be critical to the success of your peer partnership, as well as to your individual success. Full credit will usually not be given for late work. Discussion Board The Discussion Board offers a valuable chance to read and critique writing. Each week, you are expected to post a substantive response to a topic related to leadership communication and writing. You are expected to read the Guidelines for Discussion Board posted on the course Bb site and maintain a professional tone in the weekly forums. Feedback will be provided on your postings. (Ongoing forums such as Q&A are not expected to maintain as high a tone – we can have some fun!) Quizzes You will take a series of quizzes in Bb from The Blue Book on grammar, punctuation, and challenging words throughout the term. You might wish to take the grammar quizzes initially without reviewing the text to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. In addition to these grammar quizzes, review quizzes on specific grammar points will be posted in some weekly assignments folders. You may take grammar quizzes up to three times each and review quizzes just once. The learning opportunity afforded by each quiz far outweighs its relative value towards a final grade, so treat each quiz as the chance to assess your skills and identify areas of strength and weakness. Writing Assignments You will produce a variety of writing assignments throughout the term. These will be graded according to criteria provided at the time they are assigned with points deducted for late work. Any assignment submitted more than one week late will have its maximum value reduced by one half, i.e., a 10 point assignment can earn a maximum of only 5 points if turned in more than a week late. Unless otherwise noted, all assignments submitted digitally must be turned in by 6 pm on the day they are due (usually Tuesdays). Term Project In lieu of a final exam, you will draft a Leadership Communication Development Plan based on a format provided in our text. The plan will consist of three parts. We will work on them incrementally throughout the term in order to keep this project manageable. The plan will consist of: Part 1: Self-Assessment Part 2: Goal Setting Part 3: Action Plan Although complete details will be provided in Bb and reviewed in class, please note: 1. You may not submit a leadership plan created for another course as your project for this course. While work you have completed previously may inform your approach to this assignment, the actual requirements differ from those of any other course and necessitate a fresh attempt. 2. The worksheet that you complete for each part of your plan will serve as a guideline for your final paper, but the plan you submit will consist of a narrative report without the guiding questions posed in the worksheets. 3. You will not turn in the leadership communication checklist itself as part of your project; MM 540 Essentials of Business Writing • Winter 2010  Page 2
  3. 3. it is for your reference only. 4. While a certain level of soul-searching will be inherent in the creation of your plan, I do not expect you to disclose matters which are deeply personal to you. I do expect that you will demonstrate some degree of self-awareness and self-reflection in your plan, but you should not feel obligated to reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings. All plans will remain confidential as a matter of academic policy. Grading % of Activity Grade Grade Scale Class/Bb Discussion 20 93-100% A 90-92 A- Grammar & Review Quizzes 15 87-89 B+ 83-86 B Writing Assignments 30 80-82 B- 77-79 C+ LCD Plan 35 73-76 C 70-72 C- Total 100 67-69 D+ 63-66 D 60-62 D- 59 & below F Academic Honesty With the exception of peer partnership activities, all assignments and quizzes are to be completed individually. Peer or colleague review and feedback are acceptable (and often desirable), but the work needs to remain your own. Everything from this class is yours to keep, but not to share with other students (current or future). Disability Assistance If you are in need of academic support because of a documented disability (whether it is psychiatric, learning, mobility, health related, or sensory), you may be eligible for academic accommodations through disability services for students. Contact Disability Services for Students at 552-6213, or schedule an appointment in person at the ACCESS Center, Stevenson Union. Course Adjustments The instructor reserves the right to adjust the course syllabus and schedule based on student progress. Any adjustments will be made in consultation with students and will be confirmed in writing to ensure shared understanding. MM 540 Essentials of Business Writing • Winter 2010  Page 3
  4. 4. MM 540 Essentials of Business Writing Course Schedule Winter 2010 Week Topic 1 Introduction to Leadership Communication Bb Grammar Self-Assessment 2 Assessing Your Skills Bb Introduction to Leadership Communication Development Plan 3 Developing Leadership Communication Strategy (Chapter 1) Class Establishing Purpose Meets Determining Strategy 1/19 Organizing Communication 4 Preparing to Write Bb Audience Analysis 5 Writing Strategies (Chapter 2) Class Writing in Teams Meets Indirect vs. Direct Approaches 2/2 Effective Lists 6 Setting Goals Bb Netiquette 7 Creating Leadership Documents Bb Email 8 Using Language to Achieve a Leadership Purpose (Chapter 3) Class Tone Meets Word Choice 2/23 Jargon Redundancies 9 Writing for a Positive Ethos Bb Tricky Grammar Bits 10 Leadership Communication in Action Bb Finalization of Leadership Communication Development Plan Finals Term Projects Due Week March 10 at 5 pm in CE 114 or at Medford Campus MM 540 Essentials of Business Writing • Winter 2010  Page 4