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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 Spring 2015 semester. Check the current Course Schedule.

The intended purpose of this course is to prepare students for the technical writing that will be required of them once they enter the business world. Resume, Cover letters, memos, business proposals, and evaluating business web sites along with readings from current business texts, and of course, viewing Shark Tank will comprise our curriculum.
This course aims to ready you for the on-the-job writing required in the business world.  You will produce documents such as memos, proposals, reports, policy statements, letters and resumes; you will practice critical thinking, audience assessment and reading/writing skills in doing so.  Since effective business writers demonstrate a strong understanding of audience and professional context, you will study the workplace audience(s) in your intended profession and you will research a social or ethical issue in your field of interest.  Additionally, in this course we will study and practice effective collaboration, since much of the writing done in the business world is produced by teams rather than individuals.

This course aims to prepare you for thinking critically and responding effectively to the challenges you will meet in the business world. The primary text will be your writing supplemented with 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. Some assignments will be practical in nature and based on real-world scenarios, while other assignments will be academic and focus on public policy concerns. In addition, you will learn reader-centered writing strategies and apply them to your work and the work of your classmates in a collaborative workshop setting. 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.
The aim of professional communication is to convey or influence the decisions that drive business. Drawing on field-specific decision-making models as well as principles of corporate social responsibility, you will hone your skills in identifying the evidence and reasoning and selecting the communication strategies that will move a particular audience to a particular course of action. We will explore the critical thinking and rhetorical analysis involved in shaping effective communication strategies, in light of the moral as well as the profit-making challenges of a global marketplace. In addition to writing a cover letter and resume, you will select a research project to develop through a range of written and oral assignments that include a project proposal, annotated bibliography, proposal, and oral presentation. Writing workshops will test your writing with an audience and sharpen your skills in collaborating and giving feedback. We will also cover revising techniques and business writing style.