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COURSE NAME: "Business Communications "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Simran Sethi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 1:40-3:30 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above

This course deals with the definition and analysis of problems and the production of written and oral business reports. Use of appropriate computer software (e.g. word processing, spreadsheets, graphics) is an integral part of the course
This course will help students enhance their understanding of the strategic role that communication plays in the business world, and how effective communication can make or break a deal, an idea, a proposal, etc. The course will analyze how communication is used to inform, motivate and facilitate change and create value in today’s rapidly evolving organizations—and how the means of communication are changing constantly.

Students will learn how to develop, support and organize arguments and strengthen their research skills. They will develop their written, oral and interpersonal communication skills in business settings and across a range of tasks, including letters, memoranda, resumes, press releases, emails, reports and presentations. Students will learn how to communicate persuasively and ethically and effectively present themselves in the business world through resumes and cover letters and through the use of effective visual aids.

Students will learn:
• How to think strategically about communication
• What makes written and oral business communication effective
• How to achieve goals by communicating successfully through both writing and speaking

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Slide:ology – The Art and Science of Creating Great PresentationsNancy DuarteO’Reilly Media978-0-596-52234-6  
Excellence in Business Communication, 12th editionJohn V. Thill and Courtland L. BoveePearson978-0-13-431905-6  

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform AudiencesNancy Duarte Wiley978-0-470-63201-7  
Participation*There are no exams in this course.15%
Resume and cover letter 15%
Positive message  10%
Negative message 10%
Persuasive message 10%
Group presentation & short report (with visuals) 20%
Elevator pitch 20%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of comprehension beyond the required reading for the course and full participation in class.
BThis is a highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading and analysis of the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material: Important information is omitted and irrelevant points are included. In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised. Most of the material shared is irrelevant, uses fabricated supporting materials, deliberately distorts evidence and/or is plagiarized.

This is a highly interactive class. Absences will directly affect your participation grade. You cannot make up a major presentation without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major presentation must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Subject to change, as needed.

WEEK ONE: Understanding the foundations of business communication 
July 2 – Professional communication in a diverse, networked, social, mobile world 
July 3 – Collaboration, interpersonal communication, business etiquette & communication challenges 
July 4 – HOLIDAY 
July 5 – Writing a resume (bring current resume to update) and cover letter 
July 6 – Interviewing for a job: in-class mock interviews 

WEEK TWO: Applying the three-step writing process to print, digital and social media 
July 9 – Planning and writing business messages and crafting messages for digital channels 
July 10 – Writing routine and positive messages 
July 11 – Writing negative and persuasive messages 
July 12 – In-class writing day 

WEEK THREE: Creating reports and proposals 
July 16 – Planning reports and proposals 
July 17 – Writing reports and proposals 
July 18 – Completing reports and proposals 
July 19 – In-class group work 

WEEK FOUR: Giving presentations 
July 23 – Developing business presentations 
July 24 – Delivering business presentations 
July 25 – Instructor absent: Review reserve reading, conduct independent group work for final presentation and brainstorm elevator pitch 
July 26 – Instructor absent: Review reserve reading, conduct independent group work for final presentation and brainstorm elevator pitch 

WEEK FIVE: Synthesis 
July 30 – Course review, in-class work on elevator pitch 
July 31 – What makes a great presentation? 
August 2 – Elevator pitches
August 3 – Final group presentations