ETWR 1373 | Fall 2010 | Austin Community College


Sarah McNeely

Office Hours: By appointment in Connect (a web-based meeting application). If you would like to meet, please send me an email to set up a time. I will then send you a link you will access at the time of our meeting. It is very easy and works similarly to instant messenger programs/chat rooms. If you already use a messaging service such as AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Gmail chat, etc., we can .meet. in that format as well.


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). This course emphasizes clear, tactful, succinct, direct, well-structured, and effective writing.

The text we will use is Workplace Writing: Planning, Packaging, and Perfecting Communication (2010, ISBN 0-13-815859-2, Pearson/Prentice Hall). This book includes access to MyTechCommLab, an online resource that will be useful to you in your work this semester.

Other required materials:


Online Orientation:
Completing the online orientation requirement is mandatory for distance learning courses. To complete the orientation requirement, simply send me an email stating you have read, understand, and agree to the terms of the syllabus. If you do not complete the online orientation requirement, you may be dropped from the course.

I send all course correspondence through Blackboard, so it is imperative that you check your ACC email account regularly. If you prefer to receive your ACC correspondence at email address other than your ACC email address, it is your responsibility to change it with the college. Your email address can be changed via the Online Services portal or by contacting ACC's Tech Support. Please be aware that I cannot change your email address for you, nor can I send email to an email address not on file with ACC.

Due Dates:
All assignments must be typed in Microsoft Word (Times New Roman or comparably sized font, 10 or 12 pt) and submitted and sent through Blackboard's Digital Drop Box. All assignments are listed on the schedule and are due every Sunday by 12:00 AM (midnight). Please make sure to .Send. your document after you .Add. it.

Late Work:
For each day a written assignment is late I will dock five points from the final grade it earns (for example, if you earn a grade of 95 on an assignment that is three days late, your grade will be reduced to an 80). Late homework assignments are not accepted and will receive a grade of zero. In most cases I will return your graded assignment to you within the week following the due date, although I may take a few more days to grade written assignments. All assignments must be submitted via the Blackboard Digital Drop Box rather than as an attachment to an email.


Grade Breakdown:

Homework Assignments: 40%
Written Assignments:
Powerpoint Presentation
Professional Email
Application Letter and Resume
Process Documentation

Homework Assignments:
I will post weekly homework assignments to Blackboard and email an assignment instruction sheet every Monday. You will have until the following Sunday at midnight to submit your completed homework assignment. Each week there is a Blackboard discussion component to the homework assignment. To receive full credit on your homework, you must post an answer to the discussion thread and comment on at least one other student's posting. I envision this space as a place to discuss ethics in the workplace and hope you will all contribute substantively.

Please note—I will not accept late homework assignments. Any homework assignment submitted after midnight on Sunday will receive a grade of zero. Homework assignments are worth 40% of your final grade.

Written Assignments

Written assignments are worth 60% of your total grade. Detailed instructions for written assignments (there are 6) will be posted on Blackboard on Mondays and sent by email. You will have until the following Sunday evening at 12:00 PM (midnight) to submit them to me via the Blackboard Digital Drop Box. For each day a written assignment is late I will dock five points from the final grade it earns (for example, if you earn a grade of 95 on a written assignment that is three days late, your grade will be reduced to an 80). Written assignments submitted seven or more days late will not be accepted unless prior arrangements have been made. In most cases I will return your graded assignment to you in the week following the due date. All assignments, both written and homework, must be submitted via the Blackboard Digital Drop Box rather than as an attachment to an email unless otherwise specified.


It is important to remember that simply fulfilling the minimum requirements of the course warrants an average grade (as in C), not an A. Below is the overall grade breakdown for the course. I will also provide a specific grade breakdown for each assignment so expectations are clear.

90-100 A (excellent overall)
80-89 B (good with some excellent aspects)
70-79 C (adequate)
60-69 D (mostly adequate with some unacceptable aspects)
59 and below F (unacceptable overall)


Because this course is online, you must be able to work independently. That does not mean you are alone; I am available to help you any time you need it, but you must notify me early on if you are struggling. I also encourage you to correspond with your classmates if you find you need help.

By enrolling in this course, you agree to abide by the policies set forth by ACC and outlined in the Student Handbook: If you have any questions about these policies, please contact me as soon as possible.


To access Blackboard log-in: You must use your ACCeID and password to log in.

Instructions for using the Digital Dropbox: Please familiarize yourself with these procedures, as you must submit your assignments through the Digital Dropbox. Remember to send your file after adding it, and feel free to email me to ensure I have received it.

General instructions and help for using Blackboard:

ETWR 1373 Schedule: Fall 2010 (August 23 . December 12)

Subject to change if necessary

Weeks when a written assignment is due are marked with an asterisk*

WEEK 1: Getting Started

Monday, August 23 - Sunday, August 29

WEEK 2: Communicating and Collaborating in the Workplace

Monday, August 30 - Sunday, September 5

WEEK 3: Meeting the Needs of the Audience and Planning Workplace Communication

Monday, September 6 - Sunday, September 12

WEEK 4: Packaging and Perfecting Workplace Communication

Monday, September 13 - Sunday, September 19

WEEK 5: Oral Presentation and Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace*

Monday, September 20 - Sunday, September 26

WEEK 6: Visual Aids in Workplace Communication

Monday, September 27 - Sunday, October 3

WEEK 7: Electronic Communication*

Monday, October 4 - Sunday, October 10

WEEK 8: Traditional Correspondence*

Monday, October 11 - Sunday, October 17

WEEK 9: Employment Communication*

Monday, October 18 - Sunday, October 24

WEEK 10: Communicating Bad News in the Workplace

Monday, October 25 - Sunday, October 31

WEEK 11: Persuasive Workplace Communication

Monday, November 1 - Sunday, November 7

WEEK 12: Descriptions, Process Analyses, and Instructions*

Monday, November 8 - Sunday, November 14

WEEK 13: Research and Documentation

Monday, November 15 - Sunday, November 21

WEEK 14: Thanksgiving Break

Monday, November 22 - Sunday, November 28
Thanksgiving break - no assignment - Have a great week!

WEEK 15: Reports*

Monday, November 29 - Sunday, December 5

WEEK 16: Proposals*

Monday, December 6 - Sunday, December 12