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COURSE NAME: "Business Communications"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020

INSTRUCTOR: Michele Favorite
EMAIL: mfavorite@johncabot.edu
HOURS: TTH 1:30-2:50 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

This course trains students in the best practices of effective Business Communication both in written and oral form. International real-business issues and cases serve as a backdrop for classwork and help sensitize students to the different needs of diverse audiences around the world.

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, Amy NewmanCengage Learning9781111971762  
Guide to Managerial CommunicationMary MunterPrentice Hall9780137130467  

Participation 15%
Short assignments  20%
Elevator Pitch 5%
Power Point group presentation 20%
Midterm 15%
Final Exam  20%
Resume, Cover Letter, Linkedin Profile 5%

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 f
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 2020

Week 1: Sep 21-25:  Introduction to the course and to Business Communication; Fundamentals of communication strategy.

September 24: Class discussion:  Munter: chapter 1.

Week 2: Sep 28-Oct 2: Micro and macro writing 

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

Week 3:  Oct 5-9: Micro Writing (cont’d) and Employment Communication: Linkedin, Cover Letters, Resumes

Ober chapter 12.

Different resumes will be distributed and discussed during class.   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  and will be part of your overall project that will present an employment communication packet composed of a resume, a Linkedin profile and a cover letter.

Week 4:  Oct 12-16: Routine communication and emails

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

Report and presentation topics will be assigned

Week 5:  Oct 19-23: Persuasive communication 

Class discussion:  Ober, chapter 7

Week 6: Oct 26-30: Persuasive communication (cont’d)

Review of  Persuasive communication

Week 7: Nov 2-6: Midterm and Public Speaking

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

Week 8: Nov 9-16: Public Speaking (cont’d) and Visual aids

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

Week 9: Nov 16-20 Public Speaking & Bad News

Ober, chapter 8

Week 10: Nov 23-27: Employment Communication & Bad News

Week 11: Nov 30-Dec 4: Presentations Due

Week 12: Dec 7-11:  Review for Final Exam
In-class exercises 

Week 13:  Dec 11-14:  Final Exams