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COURSE NAME: "Business Communications "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Michele Favorite
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 8:30 AM 9:45 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

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, facilitate change and create value in today’s rapidly evolving organizations, and how the means of communication are changing constantly.

Topical issues relating to the business world --both in the US and abroad-- will be analyzed and will be the focus of projects and discussion. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with what's happening in the world of business and make intelligent contributions in class. 


Students will learn what makes written and oral business communication effective, how to think strategically about communication and achieve their aims by communicating successfully. Routine, bad news and persuasive communication will be covered in depth, both in writing and speaking.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Communicating in BusinessScot Ober and Amy Newman Cengage Learning9781111971762  
Guide to Managerial CommunicationMary MunterPrentice Hall9780137130467  
Influence Robert B. CialdiniPearson0 321 01147 3  

Participation 15%
Short assignments  20%
Power Point group presentation 15%
Final Exam  20%
Elevator Pitch Competition 10%
Midterm  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 reading beyond that required fo
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 beyond 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 performance demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material. Important information is omitted and irrelevant points 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 key issues raised. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant or insufficient.


Because so much of the course material is discussed in class, absences are a serious setback for the students who are absent and for the rest of the group. After two absences, students may be asked to leave the class.  Absences directly affect the participation grade. 

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.


Schedule Fall 2018


Week 1:  Introduction to the course and to Business Communication; Fundamentals of communication strategy

General introduction to the course and of the class

Business Communication Strategy: Munter: chapter 1.

Week 2: Micro and macro writing: the basics of effective business communication

Class discussion: Munter: chapters 2, 4, Ober: chapter 5

Week 3:  How to write an effective Resume

Class discussion: Ober: chapter 12. Different resumes will be distributed and discussed this week.  A revised draft will be due every week until the end of the course.  Please staple all versions of your resume together, with the most recent on top. This project will be graded as part of Short Assignments.

Report and presentation topics will be assigned

September 21: Make-up day

Week 4:  Routine communication and emails

Class discussion: Munter: chapter 3; Ober: chapters 4 and 6  

Week 5:  Persuasive communication 

Class discussion:  Ober, chapter 7

Week 6: Persuasive communication (cont’d)

Review of  persuasive communication

Week 7:  Persuasive communication (cont’d) and Public speaking

Class discussion:  Munter: chapters 5-7; Ober, chapter 11

Week 8: Midterm Week

Review for Midterm

Midterm test: October 25

Week 9:  Public Speaking (cont’d) and Visual aids

Class Discussion: Munter: chapter 6; Ober: chapter 9 

Public Speaking exercises

November 1: Holiday

Week 10: Public Speaking (cont’d) and Delivering Bad News

Ober, chapter 8

Make-up day: November 9

Week 11: Bad news (cont’d) and Elevator Pitch

November 13 and 14: first round of Elevator Pitch

Week 12:  Bad News (cont’d)

November 19: Elevator Pitch Final

November 22: Holiday (Thanksgiving)

Week 13: Class presentations  

Week 14:  Wrap up

December 6: last day of class and review for final exam

Please note that class schedule often varies.