Keep It Short and Simple A Business Communications Project Purpose: To develop business letter writing and verbal/nonverbal communication skills including correct letter preparation and a review of grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and number usage. Brief Description: A fictional town is established and businesses are formed. Students become employees of these businesses in managment positions and communicate with each other through various channels. Time Frame: Thirty-five to forty hours (flexible) Duty Task List Applications: D.01 Produce and format common H.06 Demonstrate professional business documents such as letters, interpersonal skills memos, reports D.02 Edit a document H.07 Apply business and work ethics D.03 Enhance a document H.08 Apply stress management skills D.04 Utilize software reference/ H.09 Practice awareness and skills to be documentation an effective team member D.05 Enter data using touch method H.11 Practice appropriate ergonomic preventative health D.06 Introduce desktop publishing I.01 Compose and understand correspondence D.14 Demonstrate knowledge of graphics I.02 Demonstrate positive verbal and software (can be applied if desired) nonverbal communications D.15 Demonstrate knowledge of I.03 Define Acommunication style bias@ presentation software (can be and describe the principles related to applied if desired) understanding F.02 Describe and use connectivity J.02 Apply appropriate reading applications--E-Mail comprehension skills F.05 Print using a network printer J.03 Appropriate writing skills H.01 Project appropriate business image J.05 Apply appropriate communication skills H.02 Apply problem solving techniques K.03 Operate office equipment and/or critical thinking skills H.04 Practice time management and follow work schedule Objective: Students will be able to write correct good news, bad news, persuasive letters, and incident reports; send and receive E-Mail messages; and work productively in teams. Project Process: Students will be given a LAP with specific directions regarding the types and numbers of letters, memos, and E-mail messages to be prepared and sent. Resources: Slide shows prepared in PowerPoint; reference guides for punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and number usage review; textbooks for remediation, if necessary ( I got mine from SouthWestern); video for nonverbal communication, Acreative boxes@ for use in making store- front signs for the businesses; actual mailboxes (white plastic from Walmart work fine--$5) decorated by students. Assessment: Pre-Test, graded correspondence throughout the project; post-test Keep It Short and Simple A Business Communications Project Instructor Guidelines I. Development of the town A. Students decide on name of town. B. Students divide into companies (maximum of four or five per company-- you may have to intervene and assign companies. I had one of my classes draw numbers). C. Students determine the name of their company. D. Students decide each person=s job and title in the company (all management positions). E. Students design letterhead (complete with address, phone number, zip code, E-mail address), logo, and business cards for their company. F. Using Acreative boxes@ students create a store-front sign for their company. These will be displayed in the classroom during business hours. (I bought crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, paint, design and letter sponges, brushes, glitter glue, etc. and filled three boxes with identical supplies.) G. Instructor prepares a city directory listing all businesses and gives to the students. II. Presentation of Business Letter Writing Guidelines A. Use a PowerPoint slide show to present the ten basic guidelines for good letter writing. I used the K.I.S.S. formula (keep it short and simple) in the one I prepared. My information came from Basic Letter and Memo Writing, published by South-Western. B. Use short written exercises for each of the guidelines (included in Basic Letter and Memo Writing) to help students apply the principle discussed. I assigned them as we completed discussion of each guideline. C. Use handouts or whatever means you have to review punctuation, captialization, grammar, and number rules. My exercises were no more than 15 sentences in each category. If a student scored less than 80 percent, additional assignments were made as remediation. D. Discuss the mechanics of writing a AGood News@ letter. I prepared another PowerPoint show and talked as we went through the slides. Students could easily go through the slide show themselves. E. Everyone initially writes a letter to an employee of another company in town congratulating him/her on the new job. I used one of their free letters for this assignment. I critiqued it and gave it back to the student, but did not grade it. This is the only specific assignment I make. From this point on, the students themselves generate the correspondence that is written based on Areal-life@ experiences of living and working in their town. All letters must be written using appropriate business letter style and format. The Mayor (instructor) must be copied on all correspondence. F. Use the slide show format or whatever works best for you to present the mechanics of writing bad news and persuasive letters. I recommend slide shows because they can be used corporately or individually. G. If this project is done corporately, pick one day of the week for a ATown Meeting.@ Use this day to show the slide shows. Other days can be spent in the lab. I used Mondays for slide shows/discussions and Wednesdays and Fridays for lab time. III. General Information A. Hopefully, students will take Aownership@ of this project and become excited about what they are doing. As the instructor, plan to keep Ahands off@ as much as possible but intervene if necessary. I have already discovered that it is very necessary to approve all company names, letterheads, business cards, and display signs. B. The Lap for this project is included in this packet. The Lap includes specific directions regarding preparation of letters, what kind of letters will be written, and how many of each kind are required. The number of required letters and memos is up to each individual instructor. I also included E-Mail messages in the requirements. An incident report could be an additional assignment. C. Develop a checksheet that lists all letters, memos, and E-Mail, graded and free (one is included in this information). I suggest you make one for each student and use this to keep track of the correspondence as you receive your copy. Most students will not keep up with what they have done and will ask you on a daily basis. Keep It Short and Simple--Lap A Business Communications Project Text: Basic Letter and Memo Writing, 3d Edition, Susie H. VanHuss, SouthWestern Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. Compact Summary Guides for Punctuation, Capitalization, Word Usage, Numbers Description: Various types of business letters will be discussed with emphasis on the ten basic guidelines of good letter writing and the preparation of good news, bad news, and persuasive letters, as well as an incident report. Course Outline: CHAPTER ACTIVITY Ten Guides for Effective Writing PowerPoint Presentation Guide 3 Application #1-15, even Guide 5 Application #1-12, odd Guide 6 Application #1-10, all Guide 7 Application #1-10, even Guide 8 Application #1-12, even Grammar/Punctuation/Numbers/ Pg. 74-75--Grammar, Rules 1-10 & Sentences 1-15 Capitalization Reviews Pg. 110-111--Punctuation, Rules 1-10 & Sentences 1-15 Pg. 140-141--Capitalization, Rules 1-10 & Sentences 1- 15 Pg. 168-170--Numbers, Rules 1-10 & Sentences 1-14 Positive Messages Slide Show and Class Discussion Negative Messages Slide Show and Class Discussion Persuasive Messages Slide Show and Class Discussion Incident Report Class Discussion Non-verbal communication Video Course Requirements: A creative spirit A desire to have fun The willingness to work as a team A positive attitude Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence MEMORANDUM TO: Business Communications Students FROM: Mrs. Hughes, Instructor DATE: July 16, 2010 SUBJECT: Class Procedures In this class you will learn to write good business letters by following the ten basic guidelines of good letter writing and by tailoring your writing according to purpose, audience, and subject. Morning and afternoon classes will be divided into companies, all within the same town, with each student employed in a managment position within his or her company. Correspondence will result from Areal-life@ situations encountered as an employee in your specific business. Active participation of every student is essential to success. Each company will design its own, original letterhead and will use it on all of its business correspondence. A company sign will also be made and posted during regular business hours. Hours of operation for the morning will be 9:45-10:50; afternoon hours will be 2:15 p.m.-3:25 p.m. You will write a variety of letters, memos, and reports during this class. ALL papers must be done according to appropriate style and format. Town meetings will be held on Mondays; Wednesdays and Fridays will be devoted to preparing original correspondence and answering your incoming mail. Identify each letter and memo in the upper right-hand corner. A detailed listing of required memos, letters, and reports will be supplied to each student. MEMORANDUM TO: Business Communications Students FROM: Mrs. Hughes, Instructor DATE: July 16, 2010 SUBJECT: Letter and Memo Requirements Each student will write four memos, seven letters, two E-Mail messages, and one incident report for grading purposes. These letters and memos will be written as a result of the business being done by your company. You will also have a minimum offive free letters, three free memos, and one free E-Mail message that will not be Agraded@ but must be included with the graded correspondence in a portfolio. You may write more if you like. You can use the free memos and letters to answer correspondence that you receive and to have your initial attempt at writing a good news, bad news, and persuasive letter critiqued by the instructor. The portfolio will be worth 100 points. Each student will also prepare an incident report, which will be discussed in more detail later. A list of all required correspondence is attached. If you have any questions, please let me know. REQUIRED LETTERS/MEMOS Memo A (Good News) Some form of good news. Memo B (Neutral) A memo about a meeting, job performance. A request for materials, etc. Memo C (Writer=s Choice) This is your choice--just like the Afree@ memos you have but this one gets graded! Memo D (Bad News) If bad news, start with a buffer statement. Letters A & B (Good News) Remember K.I.S.S.; state the good news, give any details, close with positive statement. Letter C (Letter of Inquiry) Request for services or information. Letter D (Bad News--Negative Response) Letter that turns down someone=s request for something. You must avoid the word Ano@. Start with a buffer. Do not leave the opportunity to reopen discussion. Finish your letter by establishing good will. Letter E (Bad News--Complaint) Complaint letter from business or personal perspective. If personal, letter must NOT be on business letterhead. Be specific regarding your complaint and request what action you want taken. Letter F (Persuasive) Persuade someone to do something they may not want to do. Letter G (Writer=s Choice) This is your choice--just like the free letters, but this one is graded. E-Mail A (Request for Information) Use GroupWise--print a copy of the message to turn in. E-Mail B (Writer=s Choice) This is your choice, but it is graded. Print a copy to turn in. K.I.S.S.--A BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS PROJECT Business Correspondence Check Sheet Name _________________________ LETTER GRADE DATE Free Letter 1 (Good News) Free Letter 2 (Bad News) Free Letter 3 Free Memo 1 Free Memo 2 Free Memo 3 Letter A (GN) Letter B (GN) Letter C (Inquiry) Letter D (BN) Letter F (Complaint) Letter G (Persuasive) Letter H (Writer=s Choice) Memo A (GN) Memo B (Neutral) Memo C (Writer=s Choice) Memo D (BN) E-Mail A (Request for Info) E-Mail B (Writer=s Choice) K.I.S.S.--A Business Communications Project Pre/Post Test PART 1 - 50 points 1. Before actually writing a business letter, the author should prepare carefully. Describe the things the writer should do in this planning process. 2. Overuse of the pronoun I makes the writer appear to be self-centered. Write from the viewpoint of the reader, which is often referred to as writing with a attitude. 3. The basic objective of every business letter, whether it be good news, bad news, or persuasive, is to . 4. T or F Humor is appropriate is some situations and should be used with care when writing business letters. 5. List the three parts of the good news letter plan. A. B. C. 6. What is a buffer? 7. Where is the correct placement for a buffer in a business letter? 8. Explain the five steps for writing a bad news letter. 9. Explain AIDA with regard to writing a persuasive letter. 10. T or F A good technique to use when writing a bad news letter is to say what you can do rather than what you cannot do. Part 2 - 200 points Your assignment is to write two letters to me, Vicky Hughes, Mayor. Both letters are to be written on your company letterhead. Write using correct letter style and proper mechanics (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, number usage, etc). My address is 1997 Directors Lane, Ourtown, OK 90210. Letter 1 - Good New--grand opening of your second store Letter 2 - Bad News--your business is closing (you decide the reason).
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