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Business Writing PRWR 621.102 Spring 2008 Linda Mahin 201D Linthicum 410 704 1597 firstname.lastname@example.org FAX 410 704 3999 Dr. Linda Mahin (email@example.com) 201D Linthicum (Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-2:00; Tuesday 4:45- 5:00 and by appointment) Phone: 401 704 5197 Textbooks: Readings (R) Mahin; Business Scenarios (BS) Schultz; Taking Sides (TS) Newton/Ford; Strategies, 5th ed. (S) Hardy Objectives: To develop critical thinking skills, especially with regard to problem solving, audience analysis, and business communication heuristics To develop skills in grammar and style through lecture, peer editing, and revision To assess a problem in the work place (business, nonprofit organization or association, university department, PRWR program) and write a recommendation report and/or create a service learning project To refine presentation skills through a PowerPoint presentation on research/service learning project Policies: Attendance and Peer Edits Attendance is required since we conduct peer edits during the second portion of each class period. If you must miss a class, you are responsible for having another student peer edit your document before you revise it and turn it in for a grade. Students who miss two peer edits will have their grade lowered on this portion of the grade. On the day of a peer edit, students must hand in a police copy of the peer-edited draft. These police copies are kept only for the records and are not graded. After a document is peer edited, it should be revised and turned in for a grade the week after the peer edit. Plagiarism Plagiarism consists of using another’s work as one’s own. As all documents assigned in this course are original with the writer, be sure to acknowledge any sources used for research or models. An instance of plagiarism will result in a “F.” Students with Special Needs Students with special needs will be accommodated. If you need accommodation due to a disability, please make an appointment to see me, and bring a statement from Disability Support Services (4-2638) authorizing your accommodation. Course Requirements: 1. Eight peer-edited documents (letters, reports, memos) – 40 points 2. Origami manual (dyad) – 5 points 3. Recommendation Report/Service Learning Project – 15 points 4. PowerPoint Presentation on Recommendation/Service Learning – 15 points 5. Discussion of Articles – 10 points 6. Two exams on Readings – 10 points 7. Class participation (attendance, punctuality, contributions to discussions) – 5 points Grading “A” – creativity, professionalism and style in use of language, correctness (free from grammatical and punctuation errors), completeness and depth of content, timeliness (all assignments turned in and revised in a timely fashion). “B” – creativity, correctness (mostly free of grammatical and punctuation errors), requirements of assignments fulfilled, adequate timeliness. “C” – Lack of timeliness or poor attendance, grammatical and punctuation errors, requirements of assignments barely or inadequately met, lack of professionalism. In addition the course includes Blackboard announcements and examples of course documents This course can be repeated only once without permission of the Academic Standards Committee. Email Policy: (1) No grade discussions; (2) E-mails regarding absences are appreciated -- but are not necessarily "excused" absences; (3) Absolutely NO e-mails asking "What did I miss? ;(4) No e-mailed submissions unless special permission has been granted; and (5) E-Mails must be clear, brief and professional in tone. (Developed by Amy Fink) Subjects/Organization for original peer edit documents: Peer #1 – direct message; peer #2 – indirect message; peer #3 – persuasive message; peer #4 –policy/procedures; peer #5 – proposal for recommendation or service learning project; peer #6 - news releases; peer #7 - resume; peer #8 – letter of application. These documents can be revised once and resubmitted for an averaged grade (due two weeks from first return). Weekly Assignments January 31 (1) Introduction to class (2) Sign up for Blackboard (3) Discussion of Recommendation Report/Service Learning Project (4) Origami Manual February 7 (1) Continue work on Origami Manual (2) (S) “Building Blocks,” pp. 1-30, “Communication Strategy,” pp. 45-52, “Document Design,” pp. 53-60 February 14 (1) (S) “Tone,” pp. 61-66 and Good News, pp. 67-76. Bring in a sample of a direct message for class discussion, especially the industry, audience, and purpose Be able to discuss how the exigency of your example makes it different from other examples (2) Read “Nonacademic Writing: The Social Perspective,” R, pp. 69- 77. I will lead this discussion. Class members will lead the remaining discussions. See Article Summaries in R for examples of summaries and discussion questions. Pick a partner and date for your discussion. (3) Origami Manual due. February 21 (1 We will brainstorm ideas for recommendations/service learning projects. For sites, consider your work place, associations/organizations you belong to, non profit organizations that could use your assistance. Be prepared to choose a date for your PowerPoint presentation. We will sign up on March 6. (2) (S) Bad News, pp. 77-82. Bring in an example of an indirect message Be able to discuss how the exigency of your example makes it different from other examples (3) Read TS, Issue 3 – Should Corporations Adopt Policies of Corporate Social Responsibility?” pp. 54-71. Discussion Leaders _____________________________________________________________ (4) Peer Edit #1, Direct Messages. Bring in five copies of an original business document (memo, letter, report) for peer review. I will collect a police copy that will NOT be graded but kept for the record. After the group edits each document, the author will use peer suggestions to revise the document andhand it in for a grade the next week, in this case, September. Please cover each assignment to be graded with a Record of Documents Sheet, R, p. 145. February 28 (1) Read “Collaborative Learning and the Conversation of Mankind,” R, pp. 96-104. Discussion Leaders: ____________________ (2 (S), Persuasive Messages, pp. 833-94. (3) Peer Edit #2 – Indirect Messages. March 6 (1) Read H “Evaluating and Testing as You Revise,” pp. 26-38. Discussion Leaders: _____________________ (2) S “Reports,” pp. 95-102; H “Proposals,” pp. 245-262. Discussion of proposals for research/service learning projects (3) Peer Edit #3 – Persuasive Messages. March 13 (1) Read, H, “Gobbledygook,” pp. 56-63 and “The World of Doublespeak,” pp. 72 Discussion Leaders: ___________________________ (2) See Samples of Mission/Policy/Procedure in R. Bring an example of a policy/procedure Be prepared to discuss how the exigency of the document differentiates it from other policy/procedure documents (3) Peer Edit #4 – Proposals (4) Take Home Midterm – Due March 27 March 27 (1) Read, TS Issue 13, “Are Marketing and Advertising Fundamentally Exploitative?” pp. 264-278. Discussion Leaders: ___________________________ (2) S “Crisis Communication,” pp. 115-135. (3) Peer Edit #5 – Policies/Procedures April 3 (1) S, “Oral Communication,” pp. 103-114 (2) TS Issue 19, “Do Environmental Restrictions Violate Basic Economic Freedoms?’ pp. 366-386 Discussion Leaders: _____________________ (3) Peer Edit #6 – Crisis Document (press release, crisis plan) (4) H, “Writing Resumes…,” pp. 265-293, “Functional Resume,” pp. 309- 225 and “Your E-Resume,” pp. 326-323 April 10 (1) Read “University Preparation for Workplace Writing, R., 176 Discussion Leader:________________________________ (2) PowerPoint Presentation #1: _____________________ PowerPoint Presentation #2:_______________________ PowerPoint Presentation #3:_______________________ (3) Peer Edit #7 – Resumes April 17 (1) Read “Business E-mail: Guidelines for Users,” R. pp. 177-191 Discussion Leader:__________________________________ (2) PowerPoint Presentation #4: _________________________ PowerPoint Presentation #5: ________________________ PowerPoint Presentation #6: _________________________ (3) Resume Transparencies (Bring in a Transparency of your Resume for class discussion). April 24 (1) Read “Helping Applicants Tell Their Stories in Employment Interviews” (pp.193-199). Discussion Leaders:________________________ (2) PowerPoint Presentation #7: ________________________ PowerPoint Presentation #8: ________________________ PowerPoint Presentation #9:_________________________ Peer Edit# 8 – Letters of Application May 1 (1) PowerPoint Presentation #10:_________________________ PowerPoint Presentation #11:_________________________ PowerPoint Presentation #12:_________________________ (2) Take-Home Final May 8 (1) Recommendation/Experiential Learning Reports due. (2) Take-Home Final due May 15 Folder with all graded papers due. Recommendation Report/SLP Towson University’s Strategic Plan clearly specifies that civic engagement of student and faculty is an important part of the Mission Statement. In order to encourage students to become involved in the community, the major assignment for Business Writing PRWR621 asks each student to find a problem in the community that they are eager and qualified to research and solve. The two options for the assignments are as follows: A Service Learning Project in which the student assesses a need in the community and engages in a project which will meet that need. A Recommendation Report in which the student researches a problem in the community and writes a recommendation report to someone who can solve the problem. SLP Proposal – Letter of Agreement The purpose of the SLP Proposal is to provide a letter of agreement with the participant of the project that the proposer understands the participants problem and will come up with a project to solve that problem within a 20 hour time frame throughout the semester. This document tells what the author proposes to do. The Letter of Agreement is addressed to the participant, and it contains the following: The nature of the participant’ organization The needs of the participant that will be addressed by the project A description of the project A time frame for the project The qualifications of the proposal writer Assessment of the project SLP – Final Report The purpose of the Final Report is to tell what has been done. The Final Report contains the following: A copy of the letter of agreement A description of the project (what was done) The project itself (web page, business plan, newsletter, etc.) A log of the hours spent on the project An acknowledgement from the participant in the project A reflection on the experience of the project (what was learned) Proposal for the Recommendation Report The purpose of the proposal for the recommendation report is to tell the instructor what research will be needed to final a solution to a problem uncovered in the community. The audience for the proposal is thus the instructor, who is giving the writer permission to undertake the research. The proposal should contain the following: The problem (background, including agent/agency, history, context The research that the writer will undertake to find a solution to the problem: primary (interviews, questionnaires, observations) and secondary (articles, web sources, books, etc.) The time frame for the research The Recommendation Report The purpose of the recommendation report is to recommend a solution to the problem as defined in the proposal. The primary audience for the report is someone who can do carry out the recommendation. The instructor is a secondary audience, part of the research team. The recommendation report should contain the following: Transmittal document briefly giving the problem, the methodology, and the solution Executive Summary briefly stating the problem and the solutions Report, containing the following An introduction, giving the background and a brief discussion of the problem The methodology undertaken by the researcher The recommendations for a solution to the problem o Cost o Time frame o Agents A conclusion specifying what action is to be taken next.
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