ENGL 3040: Business Writing (Online, Summer 2018)

PDF: Forsberg_ENGL3040_Summer2018


Clemson University

Summer II 2018

ENGL 3040: Business Writing

SECTION: #410 (54338), Online Instruction

DATES: June 27-August 1, 2018




INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Jennifer Forsberg




Business Writing is intended to be an introduction to the concerns of audience, context, and purpose for texts common in professional business settings. This course focuses on writing strategies for varied rhetorical situations in common business forms such as: memoranda, letters, reports, and proposals.



After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of clear, concise communication in business communications.
  • Gain familiarity and apply audience-based compositional strategies that are appropriate in form, tone and style to the business world.
  • Utilize varied writing strategies and revision practices for effective communication across business formats, especially in digital compositions.
  • Construct arguments and take positions that are supported with evidence and consider the complexity of business ethics within communication practices.
  • Develop and apply precise and purposeful written communication in the pre-employment stage and as required by potential employers.
  • Anticipate the needs of a business environment and attend to them through precise language and documentation in routine messages, customer service, staff management, proposals or reports, and employment messages.




Cardon, Peter W. Business Communication: Developing Leaders For A Networked World, 3rd edition (no code or disc required) ISBN: 978-1259694516.  Please consider renting this book for the most affordable option!





Course Pace and Design:

You may work at your own pace through each week’s assigned module, but each week must be completed by Sunday and contains some mid-week deadlines. You cannot move ahead to the next week’s modules until you have completed the previous module and we reach that module’s Monday 12AM start. These staggered deadlines are arranged for your success. In addition, they allow me time to provide feedback on your materials, which should allow you to apply that feedback in future work.



Each module has 4 components, as follows:

  • Module Content: The textbook material and selected resources that facilitate the content and strategies to meet the overall objectives of this course and in the MRs and LAs.
  • Module Activities (MA #): Short exercises that ask you to apply the Module Content. These exercises will help you meet the overall objectives of this course and be successful in the SPs & LPs.
  • Weekly Ethics Discussion Board (EDB #): Semi-formal discussion posts about business situations that ask you to take position and support it based on composition strategies from the Module Content. Responses to these positions help to facilitate potential conflicts in ideas or communication methods.
  • Short or Long Writing Projects (SP or LP #): Formal writing assignments that ask you to draw on the skills you have practiced throughout the modules to that point. These assignments serve as evidence of meeting course objectives as they ask you to produce writing that is rhetorically appropriate for the situation and that communicates effectively.


Course Disruptions

In the event that Canvas is down at the time of a submission deadline, you must email me your work in a .doc or .pdf attachment to avoid late penalties. This will act as a time stamp, but you must still submit your work on Canvas when it returns online. No Google Docs or any file format requiring authentication/sign in will be accepted.


Email and Office Hours

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the course. This includes clarification about assignments as well as confusion about the content. I check my email during business hours Monday through Thursday and you should not plan to hear from me outside of those hours. This means you need to plan ahead if you have questions about assignments or deadlines. Should you require more detailed discussion or feedback on your work/progress, I am also available for videoconference via Adobe Connect by request.


Technology Requirements

This is an online class and you should be equipped with the appropriate materials (internet access, word processing, computing capabilities) to ensure your access to the content and required tasks. Please utilize Clemson’s CCIT resources for troubleshooting your technology should errors or issues arise.


Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

The following is Clemson’s official statement on “Academic Integrity”: “As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of this institution as a ‘high seminary of learning.’ Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.”
The instructor will deal with plagiarism on a case-by-case basis. The most serious offense within this category occurs when a student copies text from the Internet or from a collective file. This type of academic dishonesty is a serious offense that will result in a failing grade for the course as well as the filing of a formal report to the university.


See the Clemson site below for information about Academic Integrity and procedures regarding the violation of Clemson policies on scholastic dishonesty: http://www.clemson.edu/academics/academic-integrity/




The Writing Center (307 Academic Success Center building)

The Writing Center is a free tutoring service available to the entire student body, regardless of major or academic standing. It provides students opportunities to discuss questions or problems related to academic writing—from generating a topic and thesis to organizing a draft and integrating appropriate citations. The Writing Center’s goal is to help Clemson students become confident and effective writers. You can make an appointment with a tutor by visiting the Writing Center’s website (http://www.clemson.edu/centers-institutes/writing/), by calling them at 864-656-3280, or by simply stopping in. While they have limited hours during the summer, the writing center still aims to be a resource for you on-demand and will do their best to schedule time for you as permits.


Students with Disabilities

It is university policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis, reasonable accommodations to students who have disabilities. Students are encouraged to contact Student Disability Services to discuss their individualized needs for accommodation. For more information visit http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/campus-services/sds/index.html


Title IX (Sexual Harassment) Statement

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity (e.g., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in any complaint process, etc.) in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This policy is located at http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/campus-services/access/title-ix/. Mr. Jerry Knighton is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator and is also the Director of Access and Equity. His office is located at 111 Holtzendorrf Hall, 864.656.3181 (voice) or 864.565.0899 (TDD).




Grading System:

Clemson University’s grading system is described in the 2017-2018 Undergraduate Announcements, p. 25-27.  Grades of A, B, C, D, F, I, P, NP and W may be given in accordance with academic regulations. For more information on this grading system, please see the Registrar’s web site at http://www.registrar.clemson.edu/html/finalGrades.htm.




Grading Policy

It is your responsibility to keep up with your grades and to contact me if you believe there is has been an error in your earnings. The time period for this is 3 days (72 hours) from the release of a score.


Due Dates and Late Work Policy

Late work can earn half credit within 24 hours, but earns no credit after 24 hours. Check the schedule often to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines.


Any extension needs to be documented in writing and established in advance of the missed deadline. Early and proactive communication with me about your situation can only help you do well in class.


Written Assignments

Each Short and Long Paper assignment has a grading rubric to ensure that you are meeting the course objectives and the learning objectives across the chapters we are covering. These rubrics should serve as a checklist before you submit assignments in addition to a detailed explanation of how your work will be assessed.


All assignment uploads should be formatted with 1” margins, be double-spaced, and have a heading that includes your FULL NAME, THE DATE, THE ASSIGNMENT and ENGL3040. Uploaded files should always be labeled with your LastNameFirstNameAssignmentName. Ex: SmithJoeMR4. No Google Docs will be accepted.




Ethics Discussion Board (EDB #)

These semi-formal writings and collaborations are important ways to stimulate discussion for class, and more importantly help you develop skills for business writing. For each prompt, you should establish your position by drawing on Chapter 1 as well as any content from the week’s module that applies. While there are no right or wrong answers, you should clearly and effectively indicate your position given the prompt and support your position with a rationale dedicated to a credible business environment. A post of roughly 150 words that answers the prompt is due each Thursday by 11:59PM, while a response of 75-100 words to a peer’s post are due Sunday at 11:59PM. Whether you agree or disagree with a peer’s response, you must explain and explore why in a professional way. This exercise is about envisioning various perspectives and attempting to communicate sometimes complex and difficult ideas through language that can be imprecise. Each post can earn up to 3 points, 2 for each post and 1 for each peer response. This results in a total of 10% of your final grade.


Module Activities: (MA #)

Goal: practice the content, get nuanced details of how it works, and work toward long assignments. This is ultimately your weekly participation. Submissions should be treated formally, though the tasks are less involved than long assignments and sometimes require less formal writing. Please double check the submission details to ensure you have formatted your work appropriately: some activities will be shorter and be uploaded collectively while others will receive their own dedicated submission. Your work should always be uploaded as a .doc or .pdf. Module responses are always due Sunday at 11:59PM (with the exception of the last week of class wherein they are due on 8/1 @ 11:59PM)

Module responses are collectively worth 40% of your final grade.


Short Writing Projects (SP #)

These assignment submissions help you further apply the skills and techniques from the week’s modules in formal pieces of writing. Often these short projects help ready you for the longer assignments and skill development.

  • Short Project 1: (SP 11: Job Ad/Announcement Analysis. Find an example of a poorly written job ad and a job ad you think is well written. Provide a 150-200 word critique of each Be sure to refer evidence from the ad to support your analysis.Please copy and paste the ads into your submission and/or combine your documents into a single PDF for ease of reference.
  • Short Project 2: (SP 2) Life in the Office. Watch the 2 videos in the module content. Construct (2) different short reports or memos that address your imagined workplace (from the job you posted last week) assuming that one of the video situations has occurred. Acknowledge the situation in a positive light and routinely remind the staff of whatever administrative concern you select. Format at least one of them for hard-copy delivery (with a header, address, date, etc). Be sure to cite any work you consult about the company, policy, etc.  Length: 150-200 words each.
  • Short Project 3: (SP 3) Cover Letter (Draft) that applies to a job listing. Include the text of the job posting on a separate page. In addition, part of this assignment includes peer review so you can revise your work for the Final Project submission the final week of class.

While each assignment has its own value and will be graded individually, SP 1-3 collectively make up 15% of your total grade.


Long Writing Projects (LP #)

These formal submissions are formal assessments in business communications, and indicate that you have met course objectives from both the textbook content as well as indicated in the syllabus.

  • Long Project 1: (LP 1) Mission Statement and Code of Conduct. Write your own mission statement including a code of conduct. See exercise 1.17 on p. 21 for additional resources in approaching this task. The mission statement and the Code of Conduct should be no longer than 350 words collectively. Be sure to cite any sources you consult.
  • Long Project 2: (LA 3): Trade Show Slide Report. This multi-part assignment should be designed for compelling and easy electronic presentation in a slide-show report format including the following elements: a) A cover page and table of contents (this should include your name in lieu of an official heading); b) a proposal indicating why the trade show is the right place for your product/ service and the potential gains; c) 3-5 slides that provide an analysis of data, statistics, and secondary research supporting proposal (use a minimum of 3 outside sources), d) a preliminary budget detailing the cost of the booth, products, travel, marketing staffing, etc., and e) a works cited/ consulted page.
  • Long Project 3 (LP 3): Digital Portfolio with Revised Cover Letter, Resume and Mission Statement. Create a digital portfolio that includes a revised cover letter, resume and mission statement along with at least 2 other content pages. You will be graded on not only your ability to construct professional communications in multimedia formats, but also your use of strategies indicated in the last two modules of this course.

While each assignment has its own value and will be graded individually, LP 1-3 collectively constitute 35% of your total grade.





Module Content


Read & Study

Module Activities (MA)

(after reviewing

Module Content)

Ethics Discussion Board


Short & Long Writing Projects

(SP & LPs)

(after completing

Module Activities)




Module One:





Your Personal Brand and

Professional Credibility





Runs from

Wednesday, 6/27

to Sunday, 7/1


Introduction to Course (Canvas)


Chapter 1: Establishing Credibility (pp. 2-25)


Chapter 6: Improving Readability with Style and Design (pp. 168-199)


Resources: Review the Appendices on Language (p. 542-560) and Business Formats (p. 561-564)


Quiz: Course Scavenger Hunt about Policies and Structure


MA 1: 1.16: Apply the FAIR Test to a Media Interview (parts A-D; p.21)


MA 2: 6.20: Revising a Message for Readability (parts A-D; p. 194)


Due by Sunday 7/1 @ 11:59p




EDB 1: Post a 150 word answer to the given ethical situation by Thursday 6/28 @ 11:59PM.


Post one response of 50 words to a peer’s answer by

Sunday 7/1 @ 11:59PM.


SP 1: Job Ad/Announcement Analysis


Find an example of a poorly written job ad and a job ad you think is well written.


Provide a 150-200 word critique of each ad. Be sure to refer evidence from the ad to support your analysis.


Please copy and paste the ads into your submission and/or combine your documents into a single PDF for ease of reference.


Due by Sunday 7/1 @ 11:59p






Module Two:






Your Mission

and Message




Runs from

Monday, 7/2

to Sunday, 7/8


Chapter 2: Interpersonal Communication and Emotional Intelligence (pp. 26-69)


Chapter 4: Communicating Across Cultures (pp. 100-137)


Chapter 5: Creating Effective Business Messages (pp. 138-167)



MA 3: 2.3: The Personal Part of Employees (parts A-D; p. 64).


MA 4: 4.8: Analyze the Etiquette of a Business Culture (parts A-D; p. 133).


MA 5: 5.8, 5.9 & 5.10: Displaying a Can-Do, Confident Tone (parts A-E; p. 165), Focusing on Positive Traits (parts A-G; p, 165) and Using Diplomatic, Constructive Terms (parts A-C; p. 165).


Due by Sunday 7/8 @ 11:59p




EDB 2: Post a 150 word answer to the given ethical situation by Thursday 7/5 @ 11:59PM.


Post one response of 50 words to a peer’s answer by

Sunday 7/8 @ 11:59PM.



LP 1: Mission Statement and Code of Conduct


Write your own mission statement including a code of conduct. See exercise 1.17 on p. 21 for additional resources in approaching this task.


The mission statement and the Code of Conduct should be no longer than 350 words collectively. Be sure to cite any sources you consult.


Clear, purposeful language is key, so revisit Chapter 6 and the Appendix on language as needed!






Module Three:





Composing Business Messages in a

Global and

Digital Age





Runs from

Monday, 7/9

to Sunday 7/15




Chapter 7: Email and Other Traditional Tools for Business Communication (pp. 200-229)


Chapter 8: Social Media for Business Communication (pp. 230-267)


Chapter 9: Routine Business Messages (pp. 268-295)


Chapter 10: Persuasive Messages (pp. 296-333)


Chapter 11: Bad-News Messages (pp. 334-367)


MA 6: 7.5: Evaluating Email Messages (parts A-C; p. 225).


MA 7: 8.11: Choosing the Right Type of Digital Message (choose any 5 from parts A-J; p. 262).


MA 8: 9.18: Changing the Vacation Policy at APECT Consulting (p. 293).


MA 9: 10.18: A Message-Do-Over for a Persuasive Message to a Colleague (parts A+B, p. 332).


Due by Sunday 6/4 @ 11:59p




EDB 3: Post a 150 word answer to the given ethical situation by Thursday 7/12 @ 11:59PM.


Post one response of 50 words to a peer’s answer by

Sunday 7/15 @ 11:59PM.




SP 2: Watch the 2 videos linked in the assignment description content. Construct (2) different bad-news messages of 150-200 words each, one that provides a negative performance review and the other as a memo to management about a consequential policy change/reminder of policy or reminder of the inclusivity/diversity mission. Format the memo for hard-copy delivery (with a header, address, date, etc) and the performance review for electronic delivery. Be sure to cite any work you consult about the company, policy, etc.










Module Four:





Creating and Delivering Business Information in Formal Reports




Runs from

Monday, 7/16

to Sunday,



Chapter 12: Research and Business Proposals and Planning for Business Reports (pp. 368-403)


Chapter 13: Completing Business Proposals and Reports (pp. 404-443)


Chapter 14: Planning Presentations (pp. 444-473)




MA 10: 12.6: Developing Research Objectives (should relate to company/industry selected for LP 3; p. 4010.


MA 11: 13.7: Writing A Survey Report about Mobile Phone Use in the Workplace (p. 441).


Due by Sunday 7/22 @ 11:59p


LP 2: Formal Analytical Report: SXSW Trade Show


Select a contemporary product or service from a company you are interested in and propose securing a booth for exhibition at the SXSW Trade Show.


This slide-show submission should be designed for compelling and easy electronic reading per Chapter 14. Please see assignment details for information about the Trade Show and the required elements.


Due Sunday, 7/22 at 11:59PM









Module Five:




Multimedia Employment Communications




Runs from

Monday, 7/23

to Sunday 7/29


Chapter 16: Employment Communications (496-541)



MA 12: 16.8: Evaluating your Key Selling Points (parts A-C; p. 539)


MA 13: 16.9: Analyzing a Job Announcement of Interest to You (this will be the job you use for SP3/LP3; parts A-C; p. 539)


Due by Sunday 7/29 @ 11:59p



for SP 3à



SP 3: Draft of Cover Letter and Resume directed toward Job Announcement selected for MR 13

Due Wednesday 7/25 at 11:59PM.


Complete 2 assigned peer reviews of SP 3 by Sunday 7/29 at 11:59PM. See workshop directions in Canvas Pages.








Module Six:




Marketing Your Brand and Leading a Team





Runs from Monday, 7/30





Chapter 3:

Team Communication and Difficult Conversations (70-99)



Complete Course Evaluations in Canvas!


MA 14: 3.13: Creating an Agenda (for a report presentation and meeting regarding LP3; p. 97).


Due by Wednesday 8/1 @ 11:59p



for LP 3 à


LP 3:

Create a digital portfolio that includes a revised cover letter, resume and mission statement along with at least 2 other content pages.


Due by Wednesday 8/1 @ 11:59p.