DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION
Prerequisite: Communication Skills or Module 4 or exemption from CS/M4
NQF Level: 6
Duration Of The Course: One semester
Contact Hours Per Week: 3 hours
2 lab hours (independent study)
Professional Writing builds on the business writing skills introduced in Communication Skills. In
this course students develop the advanced language and writing skills necessary for concise and
effective business correspondence. Students practice letters, proposals, questionnaires, reports, e-
mails and other business related writing tasks. Emphasis is placed on correct format, style, register
and language usage.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Language is acquired through interaction; therefore, students are expected to participate actively in
each class session. Lecturers will use a variety of techniques and activities to develop students’
language and communication skills including, but not limited to, classroom interaction techniques,
group discussions, practice exercises, quizzes and cooperative learning activities. Students are also
expected to complete regular homework assignments.
Students use computers extensively to create professionally formatted documents and for language
development. Computer Labs will be used for developing these documents and for Computer Assisted
Language Learning (CALL) activities which reinforce material covered in class sessions.
By the end of the course, students should be able to
- Plan, write and revise different types of professional documents including business letters,
reports, questionnaires, proposals, leaflets, memos and e-mails
- Use the computer to create documents demonstrating professional design and layout
- Incorporate charts, graphs and other visuals into a professional document
- Use the correct style, register and language depending on the audience, message and type of
- Write persuasively, applying the AIDA principles
- Use politically correct and bias-free language when writing
Unit 1 Intercultural Communication
Review of the writing process
Diversity and intercultural communication
Barriers to intercultural communication
Bias free writing and politically correct language
Unit 2 Business Letter Writing
Types of business letters
Review of business letter format
The direct and indirect approaches to writing
Complaint and adjustment letters
Register, style and formality
Error correction and peer editing
Unit 3 Proposal Writing
Proposals and submissions
Evaluating and analysing proposals
Formality, concise language use and coherence
Incorporating visuals into a text
Unit 4 Persuasive Writing
Evaluating and analysing persuasive messages
Indirect language in persuasion
Leaflets and advertisements
Unit 5 Questionnaires
Designing a questionnaire
Closed and open questions
Unit 6 Report Writing
Designing, producing and interpreting graphs
Subjective vs objective writing
Clarity and conciseness
Unit 7 E-mail
Writing e-mail messages
Appropriate e-mail language and netiquette
Unit 8 Memo Writing
Review of memo format
Writing different types of memos for various situations and purposes
Full-time and Part-time Students:
Continuous Assessment/Evaluation: 60% of the Final Mark
Assessments as follows:
Tests: Intercultural communication
Assignment: Questionnaire and report writing
Final Examination: 40% of the Final Mark
One three-hour examination
A candidate will gain admission to the examination by obtaining a continuous assessment mark of at
least 50%. In order to pass the subject, a student needs a final mark of at least 50%.
30% Continuous Assessment
70% Examination (One paper, 3 hours)
A candidate will gain admission to the examination by obtaining a continuous assessment mark
of at least 50%. In order to pass the subject, a student needs a final mark of at least 50%.
Cielens, M. & M. Aquino. The Business of Communicating. Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2001.
Study Guide:Professional Writing. Department of Communication, Polytechnic of Namibia, Latest
Brieger, N. & J. Comfort. Language Reference for Business English (Grammar, Functions and
Communication Skills). Prentice Hall International, 1992.
Carter, R.. Exploring Grammar in Context: High Intermediate/Advanced, Cambridge University
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. The Modern Language Association
of America, Latest Edition.
Longman Business English Dictionary. Longman, Latest Edition.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman, Latest Edition.
Swan, M. Practical English Usage, Oxford University Press, Latest Edition.
Waite, M. Oxford Paperback Thesaurus. Oxford University Press, Latest Edition.
Nonstop English. <http://www.nonstopenglish.com>
Adey, A. & M. Andrew. Getting it Right: The Manager’s Guide to Business Communication. Juta &
Cleary, S., et al. The Communication Handbook. Juta & Co., 1999.
Evans, D. People, Communication & Organisations. Pitman, 1986.
Fielding, M. Effective Communication in Organisations. Juta & Co., 2006.
Gartside, L. Modern Business Correspondence. Pitman, 1986.
Stewart, G., et al. Communicating for the Professions. Juta & Co., 1996.
Van Schalkwyk, H. Language Communication-English, Lexicon Publishers, 1997.
Lecturers’ Resource Books
Bennie, M. How to Master Business English. Northcote House Publishers, 1991.
Bovee, C & J.V. Thill. Business Communication Today, Prentice Hall International, 2000.
Comfort, J., R. Revell, C. Scott. Business Reports in English. Cambridge University Press, 1984.
Erasmus-Kritzinger, Bowler & Goliath. Effective Communication: Getting the Message Across in
Business. Afritech, 1999.
Fantini, A. New Ways in Teaching Culture. TESOL Inc., 1997.
Gregg, J. Communication and Culture. A Reading-Writing Text. Wadsworth Publishing Company,
Guffey, M.E. Essentials of Business Communication. South-Western College Publishing, 1995.
Hall, B.J. Among Cultures: The Challenge of Communication. Harcourt College Publishers, 2002.
Horsfall, M. & S. Cairns. Office Skills: A Practical Approach. The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2001.
Jay, R. How to Write Proposals and Reports. Pitman, 1995.
Lesiskar, R & M.E. Flatley. Basic Business Communication (with CD ROM).McGraw-Hill Irvin,
Locker, K. & S. Kaczmarek. Business Communication: Building Critical Skills. McGraw-Hill, 2000.
Mavor, W. English for Business. Pitman, 1985.
Naterop, B.J., E. Weis, E. Haberfeller. Business Letters for All. Oxford University Press, 1977.
Parsons, C.J. & S.J. Hughes. Written Communication for Business Students. Edward Arnold, 1984.
Redmont, M. Communication: Theories and Applications. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
Rodgers, D. Business Communications: International Case Studies in English. St. Martin’s Press,
Samovar, L. & R. Porter. Communication Between Cultures. Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2001.
Stanton, N. Mastering Communication. Palgrave MacMillan, 2004.
Ting-Toomey, S. Communication Across Cultures. The Guilford Press, 1999.