Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 1
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Eng 309: Advanced Composition for Business
Section 006 TuTh 9:40 – 11:10 Polk 20
Instructor: Jennifer Donath Email: email@example.com
Office: Radford 303 Office Phone: 0299
Office Hours: MWF 11:30 – 12:30, MW 3:00 – 4:30, and by appointment
English Department Homepage: www.english.uwosh.edu
Writing Center Homepage: www.english.uwosh.edu/wcenter
Advanced Composition Goals
Advanced Composition will help students become effective, persuasive,
and ethical writers. Not only will they study the forms of discourse that
are used by writers to describe knowledge and theories in various
disciplines (including expressive, informational, scientific, literary, and
persuasive forms of written prose), they will be aware of the
consequences of using those forms for an audience (the ethics of
discourse). Process and revision are essential components of every
section; students will incorporate feedback from their instructors and
peers in order to produce final papers from earlier drafts. Essays should
achieve a level of sophistication, creativity, and audience awareness well
beyond that of first-year writers enrolled in WBIS.
An introduction to the components of effective writing and communication
for business purposes, including letters, memos, reports, and an oral
To improve student writing through practice and practical application.
Students will focus on writing style and grammar while learning the
important components of business communication.
The course will include some lectures but the majority of class time will
focus on practicing writing and improving grammar. You will be
responsible for writing various business correspondence (ungraded, in-
class assignments); summarizing a professional article; completing a
résumé and cover letter; finishing four exams; researching and writing a
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 2
formal report; and presenting this formal report to the class (using Power Evaluation of Student Work Point). Persuasive Letter 5% Cover Letter and Resume 5%
Letter to the Editor 5%
Complaint Letter 5%
Exams (4 at 10% each) 40%
Formal Report Proposal 5%
Formal Report 30%
Formal Report Power Point Presentation 5%
*You must complete all of the assignments in order to pass the class.
Even though most assignments are only worth 5%, to me they are still a
valuable part of your education. See the attendance and ungraded
assignments section for more information on semester grades.
Turning in Writing Assignments (Ungraded and Graded)
You must use the D2L dropbox to turn in all written work, including
rough drafts. You have until midnight of the due date to submit all
work. I use Turnitin for all graded assignments. Please let me know if
you have questions or need any help using the dropbox.
93 – 100 = A
90 – 92 = A-
87 – 89 = B+
83 – 86 = B
80 – 82 = B-
77 – 79 = C+
73 – 76 = C
70 – 72 = C-
67 – 69 = D+
63 – 66 = D
60 – 62 = D-
0 – 59 = F
Attendance and Ungraded Assignments
After missing three classes your semester grade may be lowered one
increment per absence (for example, an A to an A-). Failure to turn in
non-graded writing assignments will adversely affect your semester grade.
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 3
There will be many ungraded, in-class writing assignments to practice
grammar exercises and to gain writing experience (without the penalty of
a grade). Although these are not assigned a letter grade, missing or consistent low quality assignments will adversely affect your semester Texts grade. thLocker, Kitty O. Business and Administrative Communication 7 ed.
Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2006. ISBN 0073309702
ndA Writer’s Resource. 2. ed. Eds. Elaine P. Maimon, Janice H. Peritz,
and Kathleen Blake Yancey. McGraw-Hill, 2007. ISBN-10: 0-07-325938-
Course Outline (assignments are posted on the DUE DATE)
*Class meets in Radford Computer Lab Classroom, bring your textbook
Date Topic Reading / Assignment
2-2 Analyze Business Communication Chapter 1 pp. 23-28
Build Goodwill Chapter 2
2-5 Build Goodwill Cont. Exercise 1.5 due
2-9 Writing Exercises
Adapt Your Message to Your Audience Chapter 3
2-11 Making Your Writing Easy to Read Chapter 4
2-16 Introduction to Formal Report and Writing a Proposal
-Look over ch. 13 and ch. 14 pp. 400-401 (problem-solution
report), p. 407 (feasibility report)
-Designing Documents, Slides, and Screens Chapter 6
-Using Graphs and Other Visuals Chapter 15
Persuasive Messages Chapter 9
*2-18 Writing Exercises (in Radford Computer Lab)
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 4 Week Four
2-23 Promotional Messages Chapter 10
Review of Proposal and Library Databases
Peer Review of Persuasive Letter
draft of persuasive letter due
*2-25 Writing Exercises (in Radford Computer Lab)
persuasive letter due
3-2 Grammar and Exam Two Info Review
*3-4 Writing Exercises (in Radford Computer Lab)
Résumés and Cover Letters (Career Services) bring your résumé
3-9 Interview Questions (Career Services)
Peer Review of Cover Letter and Résumé
draft of cover letter and résumé due
3-11 Writing Exercises
*3-16 Writing Exercises (in Radford Computer Lab)
cover letter with résumé due
3-18 Exam Two
report proposal due
Spring Break—Have fun! Safe travels!
*3-30 Writing Exercises (in Radford Computer Lab)
4-1 Grammar and Exam Three Info Review
Formal Report Review & Presentation Info Chapter 16
*4-6 Writing Exercises (in Radford Computer Lab)
Informative and Positive Messages Chapter 7
4-8 Conferences for Formal Report
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 5 Week Ten
*4-13 Writing Exercises (in Radford Computer Lab)
Negative Messages Chapter 8
draft of letter to the editor due
4-15 Exam Three
letter to the editor due
*4-20 Writing Exercises (in Radford Computer Lab)
draft of complaint letter due
4-22 Writing Assignment
complaint letter due
*4-27 Peer Review of Formal Report / draft of formal report due
Workshop for Formal Report
4-29 Exam Four
5-4 Presentations Formal Report Due
Memo to Your Instructor (ungraded)
Please follow Exercise 1.5 on page 32 in your book and the memo template on
pp. 584-586 of your book. You may do a memo on plain paper or create a
company letterhead and follow the example on p. 585.
Use the topics on p. 32 (background, interests, achievements, and goals) as your
Due Thursday, February 5
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 6
Persuasive Letter (5% of Semester Grade)
Write a letter that persuades an audience of your choice to volunteer for or attend a non-profit organization, charity event, or campus event (again, of your choice). This assignment is open-ended so you can make it the most beneficial for your career goals and personal interests.
This assignment must be 1-2 pages long, in letter format (see Appendix A pp. 572-583 for templates).
Rough Draft Due Tuesday, February 23
Final Draft Due Thursday, February 25
Résumé (ungraded) and
Cover Letter (5% of Semester Grade)
A member of Career Services will come in to review résumés, cover letters, and interviews.
For this assignment, you will create a cover letter, with tailored résumé, for a position you would like to obtain. This can be a summer job, career position, internship, or application for a graduate school. Please turn in a copy of the position posting (or graduate school information) with your cover letter and résumé.
The cover letter will be graded on content, style, and grammar.
Although I will not grade the résumé, you are always encouraged to use the resources at Career Service for additional help with your résumé, interviewing skills, and job search.
Cover Letter Rough Draft Due Tuesday, March 9
Cover Letter With Job Description and Résumé Due Tuesday, March 16
Letter to the Editor (5% of Semester Grade)
Your opinion matters, but it must be presented in a respectful manner. For this assignment, you must address your opinions (or concerns) to a person of authority who is in a position to hear your concerns and make a difference.
Consider problems in your community (who is your alderman?) or voice your opinions to a political figure (senator, etc.). You may also voice your opinion regarding a campus concern, addressed to the appropriate faculty member, dean, etc.
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 7
This assignment should be 1-2 pages long (but consider if your audience is too busy to read the full letter) and written in proper letter format.
Rough Draft: Tuesday, April 13
Final Draft: Thursday, April 15 Complaint Letter (5% of Semester Grade)
Consider a time when you received bad service or paid for a defective item. Write a 1-2 page letter, in appropriate format, to the appropriate audience (customer service member, manager, etc. NOT ―to whom it may concern‖) that explains a complaint you have and your suggested solution to rectify the situation.
Rough Draft: Tuesday, April 20
Final Draft: Thursday, April 22
Exams (Four Exams, Each 10% of Semester Grade)
Exam One will cover Building Goodwill (ch. 2), Adapt Your Message to the
Audience (ch. 3), Persuasive Messages (ch. 9), Promotional Messages (ch. 10). (Chapter Four information will be tested in exam two.) Study guide is on D2L and more information will be given closer to the exam.
Thursday, February 25
Exam Two will cover Making Your Writing Easy to Read (ch. 4) and the Writing
Correctly information in Appendix B on pp. 591-597. This includes Using Grammar and Dangling Modifiers, Understanding Punctuation, and Punctuating Sentences. It will also cover Words That Are Often Confused #1-25 in Appendix B (pp. 603-606). Study guide is on D2L and more information will be given closer to the exam.
Thursday, March 18
Exam Three will cover the Appendix B information on pp. 597-603. This
includes Punctuation Within Sentences, Special Punctuation Marks, and Writing Numbers & Dates. It will also cover Words That Are Often Confused #26-50 in Appendix B (pp. 606-608). Study guide is on D2L and more information will be given closer to the exam.
Thursday, April 15
Exam Four will review information for the final presentation, including
Designing Documents, Slides, and Screens (ch. 6) and Using Graphs and Visuals (ch. 15). The exam will also include information from Informative and Positive Messages (ch. 7) and Negative Messages (ch. 8). You will be asked to write a short negative letter, which will be critiqued based on the elements of a negative
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 8
letter we’ve discussed. Study guide is on D2L and more information will be given
closer to the exam. Formal Report Proposal (5%), Formal Report (30%) and Thursday, April 29
Presentation (5% of Semester Grade)
1. minimum 14 pages (including cover, transmittal, table of contents, executive
summary, and references pages)
2. minimum five sources in Works Cited/References, at least two must be
from a scholarly source (journal article or book)
*Other sources for this project could include interviews, results from a
survey, company websites, or company publications/correspondence, etc.
3. you must include a visual
You will research and write a formal report. First, choose a company for which
you work (or hypothetically work). Your supervisor OR the CEO of the company
is your audience. Next, choose from these two types of reports:
1. Feasibility report – evaluate two or more alternatives and recommend
which alternative the company should choose (focus on solutions and
give YOUR recommended solution)
2. Problem-solving report – identify the causes of an organizational
problem and recommend a solution (focus on the problem, but give
YOUR recommended solution)
*Both reports require background information (of company and/or problem, and
both reports require a recommendations and conclusion section that presents
YOUR final solution.
The main difference is that the feasibility report focuses on the alternatives (and
give your solution that is the most feasible for the situation), but the problem-
solving report focuses on the problem—identifying the problem and what is
causing that problem. But you still give a solution to the problem at the end.
Please refer to chapter 14 for more information. An example of a long report
(APA format) is found on pp. 415-428. You may use APA or MLA documentation.
Most students find it easiest to make a recommendation for a company where
they currently work.
Proposal (5% of Semester Grade)
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 9 See pages 357-360 of your book for the elements of a proposal and an example.
A survey is optional; however, you MUST include a bibliography as part of your
methods section. The bibliography may be in MLA or APA format. See pp. 378-
382 for help with using sources in your paper.
Because this is a bibliography (not Works Cited), you may still add sources after
submitting the proposal, and you are not required to use all bibliography sources
in your final report.
Length: 2-3 pp.
Bibliography: minimum five sources, at least two from scholarly sources
Due: Thursday, March 18
Formal Report (30% of Semester Grade)
Minimum 14 pages (this number includes all elements of the report: title page,
memo of transmittal, table of contents, list of illustrations, executive summary,
report body, and notes, except the appendix). You must use at least one
graph in the report, and you must follow the format for a formal report.
Your report Works Cited page must include at least five sources. This may
include results from a survey (include survey and results in the appendix), your
visual (if copied from another source), interviews, memos, email correspondence,
journal articles, a company’s website, etc. At least two sources must be
scholarly, meaning they are taken from a peer reviewed journal or researched
book, using one of the library’s search engines.
Rough Draft Due: Tuesday, April 27
Final Draft Due: Tuesday, May 4
Formal Report Presentation (5% of Semester Grade)
Minimum five minutes – maximum eight minutes.
You must use Power Point and you must prepare a one-page handout
for the class that includes your name, the name of your company, date of
presentation, the title of your report, and the main points you will present.
Please give any necessary background information for your fellow classmates as
part of your presentation.
Presentation Dates: Tuesday, May 4 through Thursday, May 13
A sign- up sheet will be available later in the semester, so you may choose the
date you would like to present.
Business Composition / Donath / Spring 2010 / 10
You are encouraged, not required, to visit the writing center for additional help with your papers. Please call or email the writing center to schedule an appointment. It is also helpful to bring a copy of your assignment so the tutors can better help you!
Radford Hall, Lower Level
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is committed to a standard of academic integrity for all students. The system guidelines state: ―Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect of others’ academic endeavors‖ (UWS 14.01, Wisconsin Administrative Code).
Students are subject to disciplinary action for academic misconduct, which is defined in UWS 14.03, Wisconsin Administrative Code. Students on the UW Oshkosh campus have been suspended from the University for academic misconduct.
Students are encouraged to review the procedures related to violations of academic honesty as outlined in Chapter UWS 14, Wisconsin Administrative code. The system guidelines and local procedures are printed in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Student Discipline Code 2005-2006 and can be found on the
Dean of Students website at www.uwosh.edu/dean/conduct.htm.
Specific questions regarding the provisions in Chapter UWS 14 (and institutional procedures approved to implement Chapter UWS 14) should be directed to the Dean of Students Office.