Business Writing - DOC by 5G3SdE


									                       Business Writing
                            PRWR 621.102
                             Spring 2008
                             Linda Mahin
                              201D Linthicum
                               410 704 1597
                             FAX 410 704 3999

Dr. Linda Mahin (
201D Linthicum (Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-2:00; Tuesday 4:45-
5:00 and by appointment)
Phone: 401 704 5197


Readings (R) Mahin; Business Scenarios (BS) Schultz; Taking Sides (TS)
Newton/Ford; Strategies, 5th ed. (S) Hardy

   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
   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


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 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

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

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
   5. Discussion of Articles – 10 points
   6. Two exams on Readings – 10 points
   7. Class participation (attendance, punctuality, contributions to discussions)
          – 5 points


       “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

(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
        (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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