Oklahoma State University--Oklahoma City

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					                     Writing in the Work Place
                            CSAC 2053WB
                             Fall 2006

Dr. Teri Ferguson
Adjunct Professor, OCU
Humanities Dept. Head, OSU-Oklahoma City
OSU-Oklahoma City
900 N. Portland, LRC 306
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Telephone: (405) 945-3392

Required Texts:

Searles, George J. Workplace Communications: The Basics.    3rd ed. New
York: Pearson/Longman, 2006. (ISBN: 0-321-33068-4)

Recommended Texts:

Grammar handbook of students’ choice, dictionary, and thesaurus

Last revised: August 1, 2006

                     Academic Dishonesty or Misconduct

Academic dishonesty or misconduct is neither condoned nor tolerated at
institutions within the Oklahoma City University system.         Academic
dishonesty   is    behavior   in   which    a   deliberately   fraudulent
misrepresentation is employed in an attempt to gain undeserved
intellectual credit, either for oneself or for another.          Academic
misconduct is behavior that results in intellectual advantage obtained by
violating a specific standard, but without deliberate intent or use of
fraudulent means.   Academic dishonesty or misconduct cases are governed
by   the   Oklahoma   City   University   Campus   Student   Rights   and
Responsibilities Code (see Student Handbook).

                 American Disabilities Act (ADA) Statement

If any student has a documented disability and needs special
accommodations of any nature whatsoever, the instructor will work with
that student and the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities to
provide reasonable accommodations in order to ensure that the student has
a fair opportunity to perform in this class.           Please advise the
instructor of such disability and the desired accommodation at some point
before or immediately after the first scheduled class period.

                             Course Rationale

Writing in the Workplace will help you advance your ability to
communicate with others in a professional setting.    This is important
for your professional advancement as well as for the well-being of the
organizations for which you work. To further develop your communication
skills, you will study some theory, review the basic principles of good
writing, and practice writing itself.

                              Success Prerequisites

To have a reasonable opportunity to achieve grades of "C" or above on
Writing in the Workplace (CSAC 2053 WB) graded examinations, the
student's final grade in Freshman Composition I (ENGL 1113) should have
been a "C" or above. In addition, a student must to able to:

   write essays consisting of five or more paragraphs and 1000 or more

   create an opinionated    thesis   sentence   with   which   readers   could
    reasonably disagree;

   create opinionated topic sentences which support the thesis and with
    which readers could reasonably disagree;

   achieve both unity and coherence; and

   write properly constructed sentences that do not contain the following
    serious expression errors:

        fragmentary constructions (frag),

        run-on/fused sentences (ro/fs),

         comma splices (cs).

A student who does not meet these minimum success prerequisites will
probably have great difficulty achieving grades above a "D" in
Masterpieces of Literature.

                      Objectives for Writing in the Workplace

        identify purpose and audience workplace writing to achieve the
         appropriate tone
        write effective memos and letters
        effectively use visual elements such as tables, graphs, charts, and
         pictures in workplace communication
        write effective short a variety of reports
        write clear, accurate mechanism and process/procedure descriptions
        write clear, effective instructions
        ?????

                             EXPECTATIONS AND SPECIFICATIONS

Note: It is the students’ responsibility to understand these course
expectations and specifications. If the information is not clear,
students should ask their instructor to explain it.

1.       Textbooks:

         a.    Students must have the listed required text. Students should
         use this text as directed to enhance the learning process.

         b.    Students should also use a dictionary, spell check, and a
         thesaurus to create documents with professional quality.

2.       Participation. Self-discipline and maturity are necessary for
         success in college courses. Regular and timely online class
         participation is one reflection of the discipline and maturity of
         potentially successful students, and class participation is
         necessary for students to gain the full benefit of information
         presented in this course.

3.       Assignment Overview (Assignments gives detailed descriptions of
         all graded assignments).

         Components. All final work must be typed.

         Once you have completed an assignment, you will need to submit
         that assignment via email as an MSWord Attachment. Submitting the
         assignments as an attached word document will preserve the
         documents' formatting; likewise, it will allow me to
         "electronically mark" the assignments before returning them to

         It is important that you submit assignments in a timely fashion--
         doing so will allow you to receive my comments and suggestions,
         which you can apply to the next assignment.

     *I reserve the right to make changes to the following assignments,
     if necessary.

4.   Completion of Examinations:

     a.    To pass the course, a student must complete all graded
     examinations. A student who has not submitted all graded
     examinations by the end of the last week of the semester will
     receive an "F" for the course unless he/she requests and the
     instructor agrees to award the Grade of Incomplete, "I".

     b.    To pass the course, students need not complete the online
     discussion assignments; however, whether or not a student completes
     them, the instructor will include their cumulative value in the
     calculation of the student's final grade.

5.   Late Assignments.   Assignments submitted late will suffer grade

     a.    An assignment not received on the date and time specified by
     the instructor will automatically be penalized one letter grade.
     Also, for each 24-hour period beyond the date/time the assignment
     was due, the assignment will be penalized one additional letter
     grade. For example, an assignment due on Monday but submitted later
     that day will be penalized one letter grade; in addition, if that
     assignment is submitted after Tuesday, it will be penalized another
     letter grade. Under no circumstances will an assignment submitted
     more than two 24-hour periods late receive a passing grade. An
     examination submitted more than two 24-hour periods late will
     receive an "F."

     b.    If a student encounters circumstances beyond his/her
     reasonable control which will prevent the student from submitting
     assignment on time, he/she may contact the instructor for an
     extension. These circumstances would be the same kind of
     circumstances that would excuse an absence in a class conducted on
     campus. For example, serious illness, death in the family, family
     crisis, and unusual circumstances would qualify.

     c.    The final project cannot be submitted late        under    any
     circumstance but the most extreme emergencies as per
     Oklahoma City University policy.

6.   Grades:
     Here students will find the value of each assignment, a schedule of
     point values for each letter grade, and a system for calculating
     your average.

     a. Points. The total points possible for the course is 1000. The
     point values for the graded assignments are as follows:

     Assignment                                              Points
     Assignment 1: Mechanics and Style                       100.00
     Assignment 2: Improve your Style; Purpose and Tone       75.00
     Discussion Board activity                                25.00

     Assignment 3: Improve your Style, continued; Memos       75.00
     and Letters; Discussion Board                            25.00

        Assignment 4: Using Graphics; Discussion Board                    75.00
        Assignment 5: Mid-term assignment/ Short Report                  150.00
        (Incident, progress, recommendation); discussion                  50.00
        Assignment 6: Mechanism Descriptions and                          75.00
        Process/Procedures; Discussion Boards                             25.00
        Assignment 7: Writing Effective Instructions;                    150.00
        Discussion Board
        Assignment 8: Final Project                                      150.00

        Total Points                                                     1000.00

        b. Letter Grades: The point value of a letter grade is based on the
        total point value of the exam. The following table depicts this

Grade         25.00        50.00               75.00        100.00       150.00
A+            25.0-24.25   50.0-48.5           75-72.75     100.0-97.0   150-145.5
A             24.24-23.5   48-4-47.0           72.74-70     96.9-94.0    145-140
A-            23.4-22.5    46.9-45.0           69.9-67.5    93.9-90.0    139-135
B+            22.4-21.75   44.9-43.5           67.4-65      89.9-87.0    134.9-130
B             21.74-21.0   43.4-42.0           64.9-62.45   86.9-84.0    129.9-
B-            20.9-20.0    41.9-40.0           62.44-60     83.9-80.0    124.5-120
C+            19.9-19.25   39.9-38.5           61.9-57.5    79.9-77.0    119.9-115
C             19.24-18.5   38.4-37.0           57.4-54.95   76.9-74.0    114.9-
C-            18.4-17.5    36.9-35.0           54.94-52.5   73.9-70.0    109.35-105
D+            17.4-        34.9-33.95          52.4-50.45   69.9-67.9    104.9-
              16.975                                                     100.9
D             16.974-16    33.94-32.0          50.44-47.5   66.9-64.0    100.5-95
D-            15.9-15      31.9-30.0           47.4-45.0    63.9-60.0    94.9-90
F             14.9-0.0     29.9-0.0            44.9-0.0     59.9-0.0     89.5-0.0

        c. Cumulative Letter Grade

                                       A        900-1000
                                       B        900-899
                                       C        700-799
                                       D        600-699
                                       F        599-0.0

        d.    Appealing Grades.    To appeal grades, students must submit
        original graded assignments reflecting their instructor's original
        comments. It is the student's responsibility to retain graded as
        well as ungraded assignments not only for grade appeal but also for
        study and review.

        e.    Grade of "I" (Incomplete). The grade of "I" may be given to
        a student who, because of serious unforeseen circumstances beyond
        his/her reasonable control, is prevented from completing all graded
        examinations by the end of the semester.    To be eligible for the

     grade of "I," the student must have completed at least 70% of the
     graded examinations by the end of the last week of regular classes,
     and his/her cumulative letter grade must be passing.      For more
     information about grades, see the Oklahoma City University catalog
     and Student Handbook.

     f.    Essay Evaluation Criteria:

           1)    "A" work displays traits of excellence. The document
           thoroughly supports a thesis statement that clearly expresses
           the writer's ideas. The essay is highly organized, written
           clearly, and displays a superior interest level in the topic.
           By using vigorous language to express his or her ideas, the
           writer achieves clear and precise communication. There are
           virtually no errors in syntax, grammar, punctuation, or

           2)   The "B" document displays traits of above average work.
            The essay supports the thesis through well-developed
           paragraphs and contains a variety of sentence structures.
           The language is precise and vivid, and there are few usage
           errors.   The major problem with a “B” document is that the
           writer   either   lacks   knowledge   of   the   subject  or
           oversimplifies it, thereby failing to do it justice.

           3)   The "C" document displays traits of average work. It is
           technically correct but does little more than fulfill the
           assignment requirements. The subject is state clearly but
           somewhat generally, and the essay is organized logically but
           too mechanically.      Topic sentences are concrete, and
           supporting sentences are clear, but the paragraphs lack
           concrete development. Word choice is uninspiring.    Spelling
           is generally accurate with only occasional errors. The essay
           contains occasional punctuation errors, and there are some
           problems with advanced sentence structure.

           4)   "D" writing displays traits of a struggling writer. It
           contains an unfocused thesis statement.       The paragraphs
           display some understanding of unity and coherence, but the
           paragraphs are neither sufficiently developed nor logically
           organized.   There are frequent errors in grammar, spelling,
           usage, and punctuation.   Effort in communicating meaning is
           made with partial success. The “D” document is passable but
           reflects carelessness.

           5)    “F”   work  displays   traits   of  an   unprepared  or
           inexperienced writer. The subject is unfocused, the document
           is poorly organized, and the ideas are insufficiently
           developed. The writer fails to develop each thought, lumping
           several topics into one cumbersome paragraph or writing short
           paragraphs of but a sentence or two. The vocabulary does not
           communicate clearly, and there are serious problems with
           sentence   structure,   syntax,    grammar,   spelling,   and
           punctuation. The document fails to communicate a meaningful
           message and fails to meet the assignment requirements.

7.   Plagiarism.   Plagiarism is including in one's own writing the
     ideas, and sometimes even the words, of another person without
     giving credit to that person. Plagiarism is not tolerated at and
     may result in failure of the course or other dire consequences. If

     a student has any doubts about what constitutes plagiarism, he/she
     should consult with the instructor. For more information, see the
     Oklahoma City University catalog and Student Handbook.

8.   Conferences/Additional    Instruction.   It   is   the   student's
     responsibility to seek a conference or additional instruction and
     to schedule a date and time with the instructor or other qualified
     individual.   Instructors sometimes advise students to obtain such
     assistance.   At the beginning of the semester, instructors will
     provide a schedule of office hours. The Oklahoma City University
     Learning Center offers tutoring.

9.   Dropping the Course.    A student concerned about not passing the
     course, or about having an undesired grade on his/her transcript,
     should consult with the instructor before dropping. However, if a
     student does choose to drop, he/she must do so not later than the
     date established by the University.

                  Assignments for the Course
Assignment 1: Mechanics and Style (Appendices A and B): You will begin
your study of business communication by completing exercises in
mechanics (grammar, punctuation, spelling) and style. Some of you may
find these exercises "easy"; if so, think of them as refresher or
reinforcement exercises. Some of you may find these exercises more
difficult; if so, use these exercises to help you understand your
weaknesses and improve in those areas.

Assignment 2: Improve Your Style; Purpose, Audience, and Tone (Appendix
A; Chapter 1): Once you've reviewed issues of mechanics and style,
you'll study purpose and audience and learn how to develop the tone that
is appropriate to a particular writing situation.

Assignment 3: Improve Your Style, continued; Purpose, Audience, and Tone
(Appendix A; Chapter 2): You’ll continue to review issues of mechanics
and style. Assignment 3 will cover the correct formatting and
organization of various forms of business communication.

Assignment 4: Using Visuals (Chapter 3): This assignment covers the
benefits of using various visuals to enhance communication. The
exercises following this reading will give you the opportunity to use
the basics principles of design and graphics.

Mid-term writing project: Writing, Designing, Formatting a Short Report
(Chapter 4). This assignment will give you a chance to demonstrate that
you understand and can apply all the lessons completed up to this point.
You’ll write a short report in the form of either an incident, progress,
or recommendation report.

Assignment 5: Mechanism Descriptions (Chapter 6): The reading and
exercises in this chapter will introduce you to skills necessary to
write clear detailed descriptions, which are vital to workplace

Assignment 6: Writing Effective Instructions (Chapter 7): Writing
instructions is the final form of communication you'll study in this
course. The exercise due after reading this chapter requires all the
skills that you've studied and practiced up to this point.

Final Exam: After you've finished the instruction assignment, you will
be asked to write a comprehensive final exam; that is, in completing
this document, you will demonstrate that you not only understand the
concepts of workplace communication, but also that you can apply these
principles to a specific writing situation. The format of the final
exam is to be determined, but will be announced/posted on the first day
of class.

Discussion Board postings: In the grading grid on pages 4-5, you’ll
notice that most assignments have a Discussion Board component. This
takes the place of our classroom discussion. During these “class”
times, we will do any number of things including discuss examples of
professional and past student work. We will talk about the good points
and the things that need improvement. I will also ask you to post your
work to the discussion board, and we will discuss the good things and
the things that need improvement. This how you get valuable feedback
before your work is submitted for grading.

Instead of synchronous (real time) class discussions or live chats,
we'll have discussions online in the form of threaded discussions. This

means that we don't have to all be online at the same time. Instead,
I'll start discussions, or I'll ask specific students to get the
discussion rolling, and other students and I will respond within a time
frame (usually 2-3 days). You can post during the day, evening, or
middle of the night if you want to as long as you make at least three
substantive postings per week during the times listed in the schedule
when we have material due on the discussion board. Your participation
goal should be paragraph responses rather than just two or three
sentences or “ditto.”
A substantive posting can be defined as one that thoughtfully engages
the text and the focus for the unit and thoughtfully engages my or other
students' postings. You should offer constructive criticism and helpful
suggestions rather than “looks good” because that’s really not very
helpful, and everyone’s work, including mine, could use improvement.

                           Transitional Expressions

Transitional expressions signal relationships between ideas; they connect
one idea to the next; they help achieve coherence between sentences. The
following transitional words and phrases are listed according to the
relationships or connections they signal. They are listed alphabetically
as well to help identify easily those which signal more than one kind of
relationship or connection.

Addition:                                 Comparison:
  again                                     also
  also                                      at the same time
  and; and then                             by the same token
  another                                   in comparison
  besides                                   in like manner
  equally important                         in the same way
  finally                                   likewise
  first; second (etc)                       similarly
  further; furthermore
  in addition                             Concession:
  in the first place; second (etc)          admittedly
  last                                      after all
  likewise                                  although it is true that
  moreover                                  although one can say that
  next                                      certainly
  nor                                       granted
  one                                       naturally
  similarly                                 of course
  still                                     to be sure
  too                                   Conclusion:
  what's more                             accordingly
                                          all in all
Cause and Effect:                         as a result
  accordingly                             because of this
  as a result                             consequently
  because of this                         finally
  consequently                            for this purpose
  for this reason                         hence
  hence                                   in other words
  since                                   in summary
  so                                      it follows that
  then                                    so
  therefore                               that being so
  thus                                    then
                                          to this end
                                          with this in mind
Contrast:                            Example:
  after all                            as an illustration
  although                             for example; instance
  at the same time                     incidentally
  but                                  namely
  conversely                           specifically
  despite                              that is
  even though                          the following example
  for all that                         to illustrate

 in another sense                       Location:
 in contrast                              above; below
 in spite of                              adjacent to
 instead                                  at the side of; beside
 meanwhile                                before; behind
 nevertheless; nonetheless                beyond
 notwithstanding                          here; there
 on the contrary                          herein
 on the one hand; other hand              in back of; front of
 otherwise                                inside; outside
 rather                                   in the background; foreground
 still                                    in the distance
 though                                   just behind
 whereas                                  nearby
 yet                                      next to
                                          on the opposite side
Emphasis:                                 opposite
  above all                               over; under
  add to this                             to the front; rear
  after all                               to the left; right
  and also                                upon
  as has been noted; said
  even more                      Purpose:
  in any case; event               for this purpose; reason
  indeed; in fact                  to this end
  in other words; that is          with this object
  in particular; specifically
  obviously                      Summary:
  to repeat                        as has been noted; said
  to tell the truth                for this purpose; reason
  truly                            in brief; short
                                   in general
Ending:                            in other words
  after all                        in summary
  at length                        on the whole
  finally                          that is
  for this purpose; reason         to recapitulate
  in sum                           to summarize; sum up
  in the end
  to this end
  with this object

Time Sequence:                                    Time Sequence continued:
  after a time                                    last
  after this; afterwards                          lastly; of late
  as long as                                      later
  as soon as                                      meanwhile
  at first; last                                  next
  at length                                       now
  at once                                         shortly
  at present                                      since then
  at that time; the same time                     soon
  before; earlier; previously                     subsequently
  currently; presently                            temporarily
  during                                          then
  eventually                                      thereafter
  finally                                         thereupon; whereupon
  first; firstly/second; secondly (etc)           until
  from this time; point; position                 up to now
  immediately                                     when
  in the future                                   while
  in the meantime                                 in the past     just then


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