Business Report Writing Syllabus
5:45-8:25 p.m. Thursday
Instructor: Roger Gorman
Phone: 896-9375 (o)
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (office)
Text: Mary Ellen Guffey. Essentials of Business Communication (7th Ed.), Thompson
This course will teach you effective written communication and give you the opportunity to
apply your knowledge by writing business documents on a variety of subjects that are taken from
business environments. You will learn the form, content and design of a variety of business
documents, including resumes, letters of application, long and short reports, proposals, and
executive summaries. You will apply your knowledge of effective communication in the
documents you write. The documents you write in your line of business reflect your knowledge
of the subject on which you are writing, your expertise, your attitude, and your professionalism.
This course will concentrate on helping students learn to organize business messages, use the
language correctly and write concisely. The course will also help you to sharpen your grammar
and punctuation skills.
In homework assignments, you will write those types of documents covered in class. You will
take three exams. The first exam will be an in-class writing assignment that responds to an issue
that arises between a customer and a business. The second exam is cumulative and will offer
five essay questions taken from any of the material covered from the beginning of the course
through October 31. The third exam is the final exam of five essay questions regarding materials
covered from November 7 through the end of the semester. Students will answer any four of the
five questions in the essay tests and will receive study guides during the last class meeting prior
to each exam. These study guides are designed to help direct students in their preparation for
During this course, students will learn to:
º Write good and bad news messages
º Write letters that request information and/or action
º Write responses to inquiries
º Write effective resumes and cover letters
º Write effective sales letters
º Write business proposals
º Write a report that requires research about a specific issue facing a specific
business or organization.
º Make an informative, well-planned oral presentation
º Write a concise and informative progress report
º Produce clear, concise, well-organized, informative, and diplomatic written
Jan. 18 Introduction and tailoring the message to meet the needs of your audience.
Jan. 25 Planning Business Documents and writing Good News messages and Direct
Read Chapters 1, 2 & 6.
Feb. 1 Writing Bad News and negative messages. Direct Request letter due and Long
Report topic due. Read Chapter 8.
Feb. 8 Writing Resumes and Cover Letters. Read Chapter 13. Bad News Letter due.
Feb. 15 Writing Sales Letters. Read Chapter 7. Resume and Cover Letter due.
Feb. 22 Exam 1.
Mar. 1 Writing Proposals. Read Chapter 10. Sales Letter due.
Mar. 8 Writing and revising Long Reports. Read Chapter 3. Proposal due.
Mar. 15 Using Visual Aids and writing the Introduction to a report. Reread Chapter 10.
Mar. 22 Spring Break
Mar. 29 Exam 2.
Apr. 5 Writing the Letter of Transmittal and the Executive Summary. Also
Documenting the Long Report. Read Chapter 9. Rough Draft of the Long Report
Apr. 12 Delivering Oral Reports. Read Chapters 11 & 12.
Apr. 19 Preparing Progress Reports. Reread Chapter 9. Oral Reports due (in-class).
Apr. 26 Oral Reports due (in-class). Long Report due.
May 10 Final Exam (5:45-8:45 pm)
If you need to discuss any aspect of this course, I will be happy to meet with you after class or
you may call me at my home or office. If you prefer, you may call me at my office at Children's
Hospital (200 Henry Clay Avenue) and arrange to meet with me there.
The following grading system will determine your final grade in this class:
Exam 1 10%
Exam 2 10%
Final Exam 20%
Long Report 20%
Oral Report 10%
Final grades will use a “+” and “-“ system and have the following numeric equivalents:
A = 94 and above C+ = 77-79 D- = 60-63
A- = 90-93 C = 74-76 F = 59 and below
B+ = 87-89 C- = 70-73
B = 84-86 D+ = 67-69
B- = 80-83 D = 64-66
Written assignments are graded on content, design, grammar, punctuation and appropriate style.
With the exception of the Long Report, all homework assignments are assigned and discussed in
class during the class period prior to when the assignment is due. If you are unable to attend
class to get the assignment, you may call me to request the assignment, and I will fax or e-mail
the assignment to you. If you have questions about the assignment or run into problems in
completing the assignment, I encourage you to call or e-mail me to discuss the matter. I also
encourage you to send me a draft of the assignment (at least two days in advance of the due
date). If you do so, I will be happy to review your paper and make suggestions for improving it.
The long Report will be discussed throughout the course, and I ask you to turn in your Rough
Draft—which is an ungraded assignment—in order that I may review your report and offer
suggestions for improving it. Please type all assignments. The Long Report must be typed.
All papers are to be turned in by the end of the class period on the date assigned. If you are
unable to attend class on the evening a paper is due, you may turn your paper in to me within 24
hours without penalty. To turn in the late paper, you must bring it to my office (Development
Office, Children's Hospital, 200 Henry Clay Avenue) or send it to me via fax or e-mail. A paper
more than 24 hours late will be penalized one full letter grade. No paper will be accepted more
than 72 hours late. Note: The Long Report must be turned in no later than 8:25 p.m. on
Thursday, April 26, 2007. Long Reports turned in after that time will receive an F. Failing
to turn in the Long Report will result in a failing grade for the course.
I will give make-up exams for absences that are excused in advance and for bona-fide reasons.
Advance excuse can be obtained by calling me at any of the phone numbers listed at the top of
this syllabus. If you are unable to speak with me, leave a message. Make-up exams must be
taken before the next class meeting.
This course relies heavily upon lecture presentation and lecture will frequently expand on
information in the text or offer an alternative way of looking at the topic covered. Students are
expected to attend every class meeting during the term. Missing more than two (2) class
meetings will make it difficult for you to complete this course successfully.
Students with Disabilities:
Any student with a disability in need of course or examination accommodations should request
accommodations through the University’s Office of Disability Services located in the
Mechanical Engineering Building. Please do this as soon as possible. Please provide a copy of
your approved accommodation form from ODS to each professor in whose course you wish to
receive accommodations. The course instructor is committed to working with the Office of
Disability Services to ensure that all approved accommodations are provided. If you do not
deliver the approved accommodation form to each professor, your professors will not know you
have been approved to receive accommodations and will have no basis for providing those
Honor Code Violations:
Any student behavior that indicates a lack of academic honesty and integrity is considered a
violation of the Tulane University Honor Code.
Tulane’s Blackboard System:
While all course materials will be handed out during class, you may also access materials
through the online Tulane Blackboard System. If you need to establish a Tulane e-mail account
or a Blackboard account, please contact the Computer Help Desk at (504) 862-8888 to set up
your account. A Student Handbook can be found in each Blackboard course site.
The instructor retains the right to modify this course syllabus.