WELCOME TO ENGLISH 302,
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS

Summer Session 2007/ Section 15

Instructor: A. Clarke

Office: 336 Carver• 294-1287• email: alclarke@iastate.edu


Office Hours: My office hours for this course will be (note change) Daily after class, 9:45 until 11:45. Or by appointment.

I would like to assure you that I enjoy and appreciate visits from my students, and that one-on-one conferences are encouraged, for any academically-appropriate reason of the student's choosing. If the above office hours are inconvenient or conflict, I will be glad to arrange a special time for us to meet.


Class Overview:
Most Iowa State students plan to enter what is broadly called "the business world." It's also safe to say that they would also would like to succeed in this endeavor to the greatest extent possible. My goal, both as your instructor and as a person with some years' experience in business and management, is to teach business communication in a way that is applicable to that goal. It is my hope and teaching strategy that this course will be useful to you, not only in future workplace endeavors, but also to you as an individual, lifelong professional.
Generally speaking, we will pursue written, visual, and oral communication methods which will produce skills appropriate to the contemporary world, with an emphasis on: 1. Established critical communications strategies; 2. Collaborative ("teamwork") strategies.

English 302 Objectives
• to understand and apply sound rhetorical principles to business communication ("situation and purpose," i.e.)
• to understand and implement principles of effective document design in preparing business documents
• to understand the influences of organizational settings in the composition of business communication
• to appreciate, and learn to participate in, collaborate/team environments and projects
• to understand the deeper ethical, social, and contextual issues of contemporary business practices

 


Class Schedule:

The sequence of this course, including all major assignment prompts, readings, and daily assignments, will be posted on my own "Daily Assignment" (http://www.public.iastate.edu/~alclarke/homepage.html)

A caution is appropriate, however: This Daily Assignment sequence is subject to change at the instructor's discretion. Do not use The Daily Assignment page as a substitute for daily attendance.


Overall Class Policy (PLEASE SEE SEPARATE POLICY SHEET LINK) :
Point of emphasis: Realize that in-class/daily activities are not only a part of your overall grade, but also a way for both you and your instructor to monitor you overall progress and performance.

Students must complete, turn in, and pass all major assignments for this course. In essence, this means an emphasis on both daily work and longer process working, not merely "major assignments." There may also be revision assignments which are equally necessary.
Class attendance, it should almost go without saying, is a vital, necessary, required consideration in Engl.302.

Please read carefully (and sign printout) to the homepage link to "Policies." This is not a contract, but merely an assurance, for both instructor and student, that these policies are clear and unambiguous to all concerned.


 

Texts Required :
Courtland L. Bovee, John V. Thill, Barbara E. Schatzman, Business Communication Today, 8th Edition, Prentice Hall.
Recommended: A college (or similar) Stylebook. The St. Martins is listed in course description, but any good 'style book" is acceptable. (You likely already possess one of these from Engl.comp. If not, I strongly suggest you buy an academic or business 'style' book, for grammar, proper academic citations, and correctness.)


Major Assignments and Evaluation Criteria:

1. Assessing your participation, I will be looking not only at your contributions to our in-class
and ongoing discussions, as well as group participation; I will also consider your team/community spirit, your flexibility, attitude, and conscious effort to build/maintain goodwill in our class community.

2. You will be assigned to a BusCom Team at the beginning of the semester. Since teams are an increasingly prevailing tool in the modern workplace, you will practice a variety of skills in this manner. Within this team context, you will be evaluated through (roughly) a "60-40" formula. That is, 400 points of your major team project grade will come from your team's success,600 points will be calculated from your individual major projects, and daily accumulated performance, including daily exercises and reflections. I will discuss the evaluation criteria of both portions (see also "rubrics").

3. This course will be built around so-called business"case studies," which are practical exercises in understanding, addressing, and solving relevant workplace/professional communications problems. These case studies will parallel our readings from Bovee/Thill, but may be culled from a variety of sources or typical communications situations.

4. Assignments will vary in emphasis of skills, it goes without saying. Various grading "rubrics" may apply, as appropriate to the task at hand and the specific problems inherent in the case scenario.

 

Major Case Assignments and emphases.
Communications Project (Team) -- 100 points
Informative Training Memo (Team): 100 points
Negative/Bad News Project: 200 points

Company Profile Assignment (Individual-- 250 points
Planned Business Proposal:( Individual) 250 points

Daily Exercise and Reflections (Individual) -- 100 points.

Total: 1000 points for semester.

 

Evaluation Methods:

Your instructor grades by applying the general notions of the University's guide --

A Near perfection of task; exemplary skills in fulfillment of task and professionalism (NOTE: "'A' for effort' is not a guarantee of 'A' in professional communication. Rather, excellence of performance is.)
B Consistently above the mean in organization, expression; thinking skills. Only the most minor problems in these areas.
C Satisfactory performance and completion of task, according to instructions. Perhaps some slight omissions or room for improvement.
D Presence of a glaring defect in material, organization, or expression; inadequate
treatment of the assignment. Mostly unacceptable or glaringly deficient work.
F Useless or unacceptable.work

 

Students with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the instructor early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Resources (DR) office, located on the main floor of the Student Services Building, Room 1076, 515-294-6624.

If you have any other special needs or circumstances, please inform me early in the course.