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Professional Business Communication COMM 3880
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Professional Business Communication COMM 3880


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  • 1. Professional Business Communication COMM 3880 Paul Many, Fall, 2007 Office UH4740-B: Mon. & Wed. 3:45-5:30 Tues. & Thurs. 5:30-6:45 p.m. (419) 530-4673 Tues. & Thurs 4:30-5:15 BO 1053 Catalog Description: COMM - 3880 Professional Business Communication [3 hours] Developing oral and written business communication skills through practice in public speaking, interviewing, resume writing, and communication in various formats. Course Objectives: Students in Professional Business Communication will be presented with: 1) A definition of communication that will help guide in the formulation of messages. 2) The importance of the plain style. Writing and speaking to express not impress. 3) Using a short, simple, specific approach to speaking and writing. 4) The importance of a shared, transparent approach to problem solving. 5) The uses of operational definitions in defining problems. 6) Interviewing as a method of gathering information. 7) Basics of meetings. 8) Communicating via letters, memos and email. 9) Ethical factors in communication. Required Text: Communicating at Work (9th Edition) by Ronald Adler and Jeanne Elmhorst McGraw Hill (N.Y., 2008) Week /Topic: I Introduction/Nature of Communication Many’s rules for successful communication Communication as a sharing. The individual/collective paradox in business. Study: Chapter 1 II Business Writing/Speaking: The Plain Style Communicating to express, not impress The 3 S’s of business communication. Short, Simple, Specific Study: Chapter 4 and Appendix. pp. 501-505 III Communication in Organizations: Identifying Problems 3S’s continued Common communication problems in business. Developing a shared approach to problem solving. Discussion of final communication problem/solution presentation. Study: Chaps 5 & 14 pp. 470-472 (“Proposals”) pp. 485-488 (“Organizing”)
  • 2. Professional Business Communication/COMM3880 - 2 IV Communication in Organizations: Identifying Problems (Continued) Presentation/Critiques of ideas for final projects. Assignment: Informal statement of problems due. Tues., Sept. 11 Study: Chapter 2 V Defining the Problem The function of definitions: formal, expanded and operational, in framing problems. Identifying and framing problems so everyone can understand. (Transparency) VI Defining the Problem II Operational statements. Interviewing: A cooperative approach to gaining information. Study: Chapters 3, 6 VII Interviewing continued Letters/Memos/Email - shorter forms. Committed to paper and permanent digital files. Assignment: Operational statement of problems due. Tues. Oct. 2 Study: Chapter 7 (especially p. 205-209) VIII Letters/Memos/Email (continued) The “you” attitude. First the good news, then the bad news. Writing a persuasive report. Outlining your proposal to solve an organizational communication problem. IX Midterm: Thursday, Oct. 18 No classes on Mon., Oct. 15 & Tues., Oct. 16 - Fall Break Days X Meetings/Small Group Communication Working in a group. Organizations are often too complex for lone riders. Brainstorming Short “product” presentations. Assignment: Outline of organizational problem report due. Tues. Oct. 23 Study: Chapter 8 (especially pp. 266-286), Chapter 9 XI Individual Conferences/Research Present portfolios Executive reports of final presentations Study: Chapter 10 XII Individual Conferences/Research Present portfolios Executive reports of final presentations Study: Chapter 11 XIII Pointers for Presentations PowerPoint Poisoning and how to avoid it. Study: Chapter 12
  • 3. Professional Business Communication/COMM3880 - 3 XIV Presentation of Final Projects (Thanksgrabbing Holiday * Wed. Nov. 21 - Fri. Nov. 23) XV Presentation of Final Projects XVI Presentation of Final Projects XVII Final Exam: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5-7 p.m. BO 1053 __________________________________________________________ *Study Assignments All study assignments are due at class time on the class days indicated. All assignments and due dates are subject to change by announcement in class. Assignments & Projects: Note: Little class time is set aside for completing assignments in class. You will need to budget a generous amount of extra time for researching, interviewing and writing outside of class. All assignments must be typed or computer printed on laser or equivalent-quality printer. No handwritten or hand-printed assignments will be accepted. Detailed handouts explaining assignments and projects will be distributed in class. Final Project: The production AND presentation of a typed or printed 5 page paper along with (if you so choose) an audio tape, videotape/film, or web page. The paper must explore and attempt to solve a current communication problem in a business, organization or institution which you have researched using primary sources, and must show evidence of using these sources. (i.e. the sources must be quoted or specifically referred to in the presentation.) You must clearly indicate and support a solution to the problem. Description of the problem alone will result in a failing grade for this paper. Note: Part of the grade for this project is based on a presentation of your final project to the class. You must make all arrangements for the presentation including the ordering of audiovisual equipment. The presentation should run approximately 10 minutes. Portfolio: You will be required to keep a hard copy of all materials in a file folder for presentation at the time of your individual conference. This will include all materials you have produced for this class. Any materials you may have handwritten in the classroom and are using in your portfolio must be typed for portfolio presentation. You should also keep all assignments in digital form. Tests: You will be given a midterm and a final on the dates indicated on this syllabus or in the university exam schedule. No make-up exams are planned. If you miss the class, you miss the test. Tests will be over materials from lectures, presentation, videos, films, as well as from the text. You will not be tested on presentations given by other students, however. Attendance is mandatory since many in-class lectures and demonstrations do not follow the text; in-class
  • 4. Professional Business Communication/COMM3880 - 4 exercises are planned, and handouts will be given in class. You must attend all classes. More than five absences excused or not during the semester will result in a W or F. Save up absences. Note: If you have a cold or extended illness, or some other problem that prevents you from attending, you should drop the course. Electronics Please turn off or disable the sound of all things that may go “beep,” during class,. This includes cell phones, watches, beepers, GameBoys, electronic pets, brain implants, email, iPods, etc. Lateness: You are expected to be on time for class, and to stay the whole class period. More than five late arrivals or early departures will result in your final grade being lowered one grade. Late Assignments/Projects: All assignments and projects must be completed to qualify for a passing grade. Assignments are due at class time on the day indicated. Assignments received after that time will be considered at least one day late. Turn in late assignments in my mailbox across from UH4740. You are not required to turn in late assignments personally to me. Late assignments will be downgraded 1/2 grade per day including weekends and holidays. More than three late assignments will result in the lowering of your final grade by one grade. e.g. A = B. A grade of zero will be assigned for uncompleted assignments and missed tests. You will be given a sheet detailing what is expected of you for each assignment well in advance of its due date. This is not a distance learning class. Emailed or faxed assignments are not acceptable unless you receive prior approval from me. You have not submitted an emailed assignment until you receive an emailed acknowledgment. Save it for proof. Extremely late: projects or assignments or those completed on an "I" or other grade (see below) after the end of the semester will receive a "D" or an "F." In cases of exceptional work, a "C" may be granted. Incompletes: According to the catalog, the grade of "I" or incomplete "is assigned only in extraordinary cases where conditions prevent the student from completing the requirements of the course within the term of enrollment." By University regulations, the grade converts to an "F" if the work is not completed by the end of the following semester. Grading: Each project and assignment will be graded A-F on the basis of the professor’s judgment of the student’s demonstration of mastery of principles discussed in class and in the text. Other prime factors considered will be the extent to which directions were followed and conformity to form and format. Each test will be graded on a numerical basis and worth 100 points. Tests = 40% of final grade. Short Assignments/Attendance = 30% of final grade. Final Project = 30% of final grade. (10% presentation/20% content)
  • 5. Professional Business Communication/COMM3880 - 5 Grade Ranges: The score range for letter grade purposes is: Grade/Range As described by catalog: A = 100.0 - 94.0 Achievement of outstanding quality A- = 93.9 - 90.0 Achievement of slightly less than outstanding B+ = 89.9 - 87.5 Achievement of slightly more than high quality B = 87.4 - 85.0 Achievement of high quality B- = 84.9 - 80.0 Achievement of slightly less than high quality C+ = 79.9- 77.5 Work of slightly more than acceptable quality C = 77.4 - 75.0 Work of acceptable quality C- = 74.9 - 70.0 Work of slightly less than acceptable quality D+ = 69.9 - 67.5 Work slightly above passing but below quality expected D = 67.4 - 65.0 Passing but below quality expected D- = 64.9 - 60.0 Passing but barely above failing F = 59.9 - 00.0 Failure Withdrawal from Class: If you decide to stop coming to class, or have five or more absences, you must officially withdraw from class, or you will receive an F. The IW grade no longer exists. You must withdraw yourself from the course. Check your schedule of classes for the last date for withdrawal (usually about the 10th week of class) and for the total number of withdrawals you are allowed. Students With Disabilities: I will gladly make arrangements for students with certifiable disabilities who need special accommodations. Students must present a letter from the Office of Accessibility indicating their special needs no later than the end of the first week of classes. I will meet with the student, and discuss the proposed accommodations. I will then issue the student a memo outlining what I perceive to be the agreed-upon arrangements. It is the student’s obligation to inform me at that time of any other accommodations that the student can demonstrate are warranted. Honesty Statement: The Department of Communication endorses the following: "Proven and/or admitted student academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating and plagiarism, will result in loss of credit (a grade of F will be awarded) for the course in which the academic dishonesty took place." Remedial Work: If you have trouble with grammar, spelling and/or punctuation, you make take drafts of your assignments to the Writing Center (main floor of Carlson Library) and receive remedial help. More comprehensive help with study habits and other problems is also available. Remedial work is your responsibility. About Your Professor: I've taught for 26 years here at UT and served as editor of my college newspaper and as reporter and/or editor of newspapers in and around the New York City area (including financial publications. ) I have an MA/journalism from OSU, a PhD/mass comm from OU and an MFA/creative writing from BGSU. I’ve have been writing and editing since 1968 and maintain an active writing schedule. • • •