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COURSE NAME: "Business Communications"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021

INSTRUCTOR: Michele Favorite
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 3:00 PM 4:15 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
Guide to Managerial CommunicationMary MunterPrentice Hall9780137130467  
Communicating in BusinessScot Ober and Amy NewmanCengage9781111971762   

Participation 15%
Short assignments  15%
Elevator Pitch 5%
Power Point group presentation 20%
Midterm 15%
Final Exam  25%
Resume, Cover Letter and 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.


Spring 2021

Business Communication (Bus 220-1 and 220-2) Schedule

Week 1, Jan 19 and 21: Course introduction and elements of strategy

Course and class introduction; Introduction to Environment, Social Responsibility and Governance (ESG);  Communication Strategy 

Munter, ch. 1 and selected readings on Moodle

Week 2, Jan 26 and 28: Micro and macro writing, Introduction to persuasion, Synthesis

Ober, ch. 5 and selected readings on Moodle

Week 3, Feb 2 and 4: Resumes and Linkedin

Ober ch 12 and selected readings/material on Moodle

Week 4, Feb 9 and 11: Routine communication and emails

Ober, ch. 4, 6 and selected readings on Moodle

First draft of resume is due

Week 5, Feb 16 and 18: Persuasive communication and discussion on ESG

Ober, ch. 7 and selected readings

Email assignment is due

Week 6, Feb 23 and 25:  Persuasive communication (cont’d)

Review of persuasive communication and Cover Letters

Forum discussion on ESG due on February 23 at 9:00 am

Week 7, March 2 and 4:  Public Speaking, Visual Aids

Reading material on Moodle

Second Resume draft is due

Persuasive Communication assignment is due

Week 8, Mach 9 and 11:   Spring Break

Week 9, March 16 and 18:  Public Speaking, Visual Aids, Midterm

Midterm review and Midterm

Elevator Pitch outline is due

Week 10,  March 23 and 25: Public Speaking, Discussion on ESG

Elevator Pitch:  March 22

Second Persuasive Communication assignment is due

First draft of cover letter is due

Week 11, March 30 and April 1:  Introduction to delivering bad news

Ober, ch. 8 and selected readings on Moodle

Week 12, April 6 and 8:  Class Presentations

Presentations on ESG are due this week

Third and final resume draft is due

Week 13, April 13 and 15: Delivering bad news 

Week 14, April 20 and 22: finishing up Bad news and cover letters

Bad News assignment is due

Final version of cover letter is due

Week 15, April 27 and 29: Final Week and Review

Final exam review