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In Government & Business Correspondence (ETWR 1373), focuses on business correspondence delivered through common media (business letters, memos, e-mail, and reports), across organizational hierarchies (work associates at lower, same, and higher organizational levels), and based in typical situations (good news, bad news, policy and schedule changes, information requests, reprimands, rationales, denials, and other tricky business-communication situations). Emphasizes clear, tactful, succinct, direct, well-structured writing that gets the job done.

See the Course Calendar for a calendar-style view of semester due dates.

Instructor David A. McMurrey
Class meetings Online-only class
Office Northridge 4225
Office hours Tues./Thurs. 2:00-4:00 pm, and by apptmt. (Always call before driving all the way out to Northridge Campus.)
Phone 512-223-4804
E-mail hcexres@prismnet.com

Week of August 28

Getting organized. In our first class meeting, we'll discuss the schedule, policies, objectives, and requirements for this course. Let's find out whether we want to cover reports, proposals, and oral presentations. It's your class, but my inclination is not. I'll ask you to fill out an online questionnaire and write a brief get-acquainted memo that will be posted on our course website so we can all get know each other!

Start-up Fill out the questionnaire
Write the get-acquainted memo
See the get-acquainted memos
Set up your open journal. To see what we all think on the issues
covered in this course, create and keep notes in an open journal.
Your open journal, like a blog, will be open to others in this
course—but only to those of us in this course.
due— Aug. 30

Introduction to business correspondence. Let's see what Guffey thinks about the importance of business communications skills in careers and in the workplace in general, about the new workplace, about the communication process and barriers to it, and about communicating in organizations.

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 1, "Understanding Business Communication"
Writing mechanics review 1
due— Aug. 30
Journal Take notes and discuss questions on the following in your open journal. As for the items on communication style and skills—be honest!
Introduction to business communications
due— Aug. 30
Chatroom We'll select and discuss as many of these as we can:
Introduction to business communications
due— Aug. 30

Week of September 4

Communicating in teams, workplace listening, and nonverbal communication. This week let's dig into Bovee/Thill's discussion of groups and teams and the nature of communication within them.

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 2, "Communicating in Teams: Collaboration, Listening, Nonverbal, and Meeting Skills"
Chapter 2 quiz
Writing mechanics review 2
due— Aug. 30
Journal Enter your thoughts about the following in your open journal; and tell us how you scored on the quiz (be honest!):
Teams and business communications
due— Aug. 30

Routine e-mail and memos. Practice using business correspondence to provide information, explain procedures, reply to requests, and confirm receipt of information. (We're jumping ahead in the book because, otherwise, we wouldn't do any real writing until midsemester!)

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 7, "Writing Routine, Good-News, and Goodwill Messages"
Chapter 7 quiz
Writing mechanics review 7
due— Aug. 30
Journal Enter your thoughts about the following in your open journal:
???
due— Aug. 30
Chatroom We'll select and discuss as many of these as we can:
Informational business communications
due— Aug. 30
Projects Choose the most interesting and challenging of these types: information e-mail/memo, procedure memo, request memo, reply memo/e-mail, and confirmation memo. You are welcome to use similar business-correspondence projects at your work. Informational business communications 5 memos or e-mails due— Aug. 30

Week of September 11

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.

Week of September 18

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.

Week of September 25

Planning business communications. In this unit, take a look at how Bovee/Thill thinks we should prepare to write business messages.

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 4, "Planning Business Messages"
Chapter 4 quiz
Writing mechanics review 4
due— Aug. 30
Journal Enter your thoughts about the following in your open journal:
5.2 Selecting Communication Channels
5.11 Instant Messaging: Valid Business Channel
due— Aug. 30
Chatroom We'll select and discuss as many of these as we can:
Preparing to write business communications
due— Aug. 30
Projects Revise the following business communications: Revising for cross-cultural, tone, and proofreading problems due— Aug. 30

Organizing and writing business messages. Now let's see if Bovee/Thill can help us with the drafting of business letters, memos, and e-mail.

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 5, "Writing Business Messages"
Chapter 5 quiz
Writing mechanics review 5
due— Aug. 30
Chatroom We'll select and discuss as many of these as we can:
Organizing and writing business communications
due— Aug. 30
Projects Revise the following business communications: Revising for cross-cultural, tone, and proofreading problems due— Aug. 30

Week of October 2

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.


Week of October 9

Finalizing business messages. Let's take a look at the third phase of developing business messages, as presented by Bovee/Thill.

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 6, "Completing Business Messages"
Chapter 6 quiz
Writing mechanics review 6
due— Aug. 30
Journal Take notes in your open journal on the following that really seemed useful or interesting to you (if any):
???
due— Aug. 30
Chatroom We'll select and discuss as many of these as we can:
Revising business communications
due— Aug. 30
Projects Revise the following business communications: Revising for cross-cultural, tone, and proofreading problems due— Aug. 30

Negative messages. Let's learn how to say "no"—specifically, refusing requests and claims and handling disappointed customers and employees.

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 8, "Writing Bad-News Messages"
Chapter 8 quiz
Writing mechanics review 8
due— Aug. 30
Chatroom We'll select and discuss as many of these as we can:
Negative business communications
due— Aug. 30
Projects Choose the most interesting and challenging of these types: request refusal, damage control (or problem with customer order), claim denial, credit refusal, employee bad news. You are welcome to use similar business-correspondence projects at your work: Negative business communications. 5 letters, memos or e-mails due— Aug. 30

Week of October 16

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.

Week of October 23

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.

Week of November 6

Cross-cultural communication. Stop being such creepy pushy North Americans and be nice to the peoples of the world!

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 3, "Communicating Interculturally"
Chapter 3 quiz
Writing mechanics review 3
due— Aug. 30
Chatroom We'll select and discuss as many of these as we can:
Cross-cultural business communications
due— Aug. 30
Projects Revise the following business communications: Revising for cross-cultural, tone, and proofreading problems due— Aug. 30

Persuasive and sales messages. Examine what Bovee/Thill has to say about business correspondence that is essentially persuasive. In class, let's decide whether we want to address sales letters—either in terms of concepts or projects.

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 9, "Writing Persuasive Messages"
Writing mechanics review 9
Chapter 9 quiz
due— Aug. 30
Chatroom We'll select and discuss as many of these as we can:
Persuasive business communications
due— Aug. 30
Projects Choose the most interesting and challenging of these types: persuasive favor/action request, persuasive internal memo (or persuasive internal request), claim request, news release. You are welcome to use similar business-correspondence projects at your work: Persuasive business communications. 4 letters, memos or e-mails due— Aug. 30

Week of November 13

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.

Week of November 20

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.

Week of November 27

Business reports and proposals. While your poor weary instructor reviews your final set of memos, e-mail and letters and then calculates your final grade, read Bovee/Thill's chapters on business reports and proposals. Don't want to waste good textbook, do you?

Readings and quizzes Bovee/Thill, Chapter 10, "Planning Business Reports and Proposals"
Chapter 10 quiz
Writing mechanics review 10
Bovee/Thill, Chapter 11, "Writing Business Reports and Proposals"
Chapter 11 quiz
Writing mechanics review 11
Bovee/Thill, Chapter 12, "Completing Formal Reports and Proposals"
Chapter 12 quiz
Writing mechanics review 12
Bovee/Thill, Chapter 13, "Giving Speeches and Oral Presentations"
Chapter 13 quiz
Writing mechanics review 13
Bovee/Thill, Chapter 14, "Writing Résumés and Application Letters"
Chapter 14 quiz
Writing mechanics review 14
due— Aug. 30
In-class No formal classroom sessions due— Aug. 30
Week of December 4

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.

Week of December 11

Continue. This week, let's continue what we started last week.