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3040 - Writing on Business & Society Course Descriptions

The following list is alphabetical, by instructor last name. The course offerings below are for the Fall 2017 semester. Check the current Course Schedule.

CROSS-CULTURAL WRITING FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, Sally Green
This combines WRTG 3020, 3030, and 3040 in a course that is intended for non-native speakers of English who wish to enroll in an upper-division writing course. The course includes analysis of and practice in the academic genres of English; a rigorous writing workshop using advanced readings and materials, emphasizing critical thinking, analysis, and argumentative writing; analysis of visual rhetoric; and a unit exploring the synergies between speaking and writing in an academic context. Assignments will be tailored to meet the needs and interests of individual students.
CROSS-CULTURAL WRITING FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, Dr. Andrea Feldman
Cross-cultural writing is a section of WRTG 3020, 3030, and 3040 that is intended for non-native speakers of English who wish to enroll in an upper-division writing course. The course is taught as a rigorous writing workshop using advanced readings and materials, emphasizing critical thinking, analysis, and argumentative writing. Examples of assignments include daily writing activities used in scientific and technical communication such as memos, emails, wiki entries, resumes and cover letters. Course readings focus on cross-cultural communication in the arts, business, and scientific fields. Future work in these fields will require you to write and speak clearly to an inter-disciplinary audience; accordingly, coursework will include a formal oral presentation. Assignments will be tailored to meet the needs and interests of individual students.
TRADITIONS IN BUSINESS WRITING, Dr. Peter Kratzke
This section of WRTG 3040 will emphasize what may be called practical rhetoric: what sort of decisions in business situations will be effective? Through a series of readings, we will consider larger issues about business procedure and, ultimately, citizenship. Meanwhile, after a series of shorter exercises, our three major writing assignments will involve both critical thinking and traditional genres of business writing (resumes and cover letters, memoranda, instructions, reports, and proposals). Group collaboration and oral presentation will inform our work throughout the semester. In the end, all students should leave WRTG 3040 with a thorough understanding of the writing process that they can use for any occasion in their pursuit of professional careers.
WRITING ON BUSINESS AND SOCIETY, Dr.Sarah Massey-Warren
Writing for business can be among the most creative and stimulating professional challenges you will encounter, all stereotypes to the contrary. Business writing can include writing blogs and editorials, developing branding concepts for new ventures, writing white papers on key issues, preparing a grant proposal for your own venture or for a nonprofit, pitching an elevator proposal, composing a business plan for your new business, concocting a killer cover letter to go with your shine-in-the-dark resume – you get the idea. The stakes are unusually high in business writing – either you write something really really good and land the contract/customer/audience/raise or whatever – or you don’t. And now, post the 2008 Recession, there is yet another high stake – contributing to a culture of Corporate Social Responsibility. This class recognizes and addresses all of these stakes. Designed for juniors and seniors majoring in business, economics, and international studies, the course will help you address your writing:
  • Hone your rhetorical analysis, critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills
  • Gain rhetorical tools to accelerate your ability to produce new genres in settings beyond this class
  • Apply your disciplinary expertise to issues in corporate and public policy, with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility, business ethics, and communication
  • Shape communication to the audiences, purposes, and issues found within a professional context
  • Practice working constructively within a community of communicators
Equally importantly, you will evaluate what Corporate Social Responsibility issues lie in the business world, what acts are really responsible and what is simply “greenwash,” and investigate through research and writing what the issues are and consider where you will fit, and how you will communicate your ideas within the working world. The course will be conducted as a workshop in which your own writing and speaking projects serve as core materials. Although there is no formal prerequisite, the work requires that you already have some facility in writing. We will focus on the communication strategies and forms as well as the analysis, argument, and crafting that drive professional writing—that is, on shaping your writing and speaking so that your point is focused, compelling, persuasive, and supported with evidence. We will also explore sources that are commonly used in conducting business research.
WRITING ON BUSINESS AND SOCIETY,Paula Wenger, MA
Designed for juniors and seniors majoring in business, economics, and international studies, the course gives you the communication tools to present yourself and your ideas persuasively in a professional setting. We will cover short forms of professional communication as well as a series of oral, written, and visual forms designed to reach multiple audiences with messages drawn from an extended research project. You will:
  • Apply your disciplinary expertise to addressing professional and public issues
  • Shape communication to the audiences and purposes found within professional and public contexts
  • Hone your rhetorical analysis, critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills
  • Identify your own communication strengths and challenges and learn to address them independently
  • Gain rhetorical tools to accelerate your ability to produce new genres in settings beyond the class
  • Practice working constructively within a community of communicators
The course will be conducted as a workshop in which your own writing and speaking projects serve as core materials.
WRITING ON BUSINESS AND SOCIETY, Dr. Sigman Byrd
This course aims to prepare you for thinking critically and responding effectively in writing to the challenges you will meet every day in the business world. The primary text will be your writing supplemented by background readings from the course textbook. Assignments will include a variety of professional documents through which you will practice critical thinking, reading, and writing skills and learn how to address the practical needs of different audiences in a variety of rhetorical situations as you plan, draft, and revise, and reflect. Assignments will also be practical in nature and based on real-world scenarios, addressing communication and business ethics issues, corporate social responsibility and sustainability issues, and public policy concerns. In addition, you will learn reader-cen-tered writing strategies and apply them to your own work and the work of your classmates in a collaborative work-shop setting. In essence, as you complete various writing tasks this semester, you will experience how business writing is fundamentally a cooperative effort between reader and writer, an ongoing negotiation between you and your colleagues, your employer and clients.
WRITING ON BUSINESS & SOCIETY, Tobin von der Nuell

In this course you will practice successful business writing strategies, and you will do so by focusing not only on genre theory (genre use) but also on three main rhetorical concerns: audience, purpose, voice. You will critically read and discuss a variety of business materials and case studies to arm you with “data” that you then will use to frame and defend various positions or arguments written to specific audiences. You will create a number of business documents, ranging from memos and letters to articles and reports. In each, you will need to define your purpose for writing, your audience’s expectations, and your method of argumentation to meet both. The course functions as a writing workshop, wherein you will help your classmates, as they will help you, to critically work through the writing process.

The purpose of this course is to help you develop your ability to critically read; critically think; and write clear, interesting, persuasive, logically organized, and thesis-driven business documents and articles. The intent of the course, in fact, is to sharpen your skills of communicating, in writing, a thought from your head into the heads of others. We will accomplish these tasks by focusing on the three modes of academic rhetoric: description, analysis, and argument. Developing these skills is not easy. It takes practice, often in the form of several revisions, revision being a key component to the writing process.