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effective_business_writing

Effective Business Writing

Course length

This course is two-weeks long.

Marks overview

  • Homework 30%
  • In-class exercises 30%
  • Daily assessments 10%
  • Final exam 30%

Textbook

Day 1

Chapter 1

  • Define communication and explain the importance of effective business communication.
  • Explain what it means to communicate as a professional in a business context
  • Describe the communication process model and the ways that social media are changing the nature of business communication
  • Outline the challenges and opportunities of mobile communication in business
  • Define ethics, explain the difference between an ethical dilemma and an ethical lapse, and list six guidelines for making ethical communication choices
  • Explain how cultural diversity affects business communication and describe the steps you can take to communicate more effectively across cultural boundaries
  • List four general guidelines for using communication technology effectively
  • Identify six related skills that you will have the opportunity to develop as you work on your communication skills

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 1 Assignment
  • Read chapters 2 and 3

Note:

  • In LMS, Grammar Reviews are under Student ResourcesMyLab Business Communication Study Plan
  • In LMS, Assignments are under AssignmentsChapter # Activities

Day 2

Chapter 2

  • List the advantages and disadvantages of working in teams and describe the characteristics of effective teams.
  • Offer guidelines for collaborative communication, identify major collaboration technologies, and explain how to give constructive feedback
  • List the key steps needed to ensure productive team meetings and identify the most common meeting technologies
  • Identify the major types of listening, describe the listening process and explain how good listeners overcome barriers at each stage of the process
  • Explain the importance of non-verbal communication and identify six major categories of non-verbal expression
  • Explain the importance of business etiquette and identify three key areas in which good etiquette is essential

Chapter 3

  • Describe the three-step writing process and explain why it will help you create better messages in less time
  • Explain what it means to analyse the situation when planning a message
  • Describe the techniques for gathering information for simple messages and identify three attributes of quality information
  • Identify the six basic combinations of media and channels and highlight the unique challenges of communication on mobile devices
  • Explain why good organization is important to both you and your audience and explain how to organize any business message

In-class exercise

2-14. Negotiation and Conflict Resolution: Resolving Conflicts; Communication Ethics: Providing Ethical Leadership [LO-1], Chapter 2

During team meetings, one member constantly calls for votes or decisions before all the members have voiced their views. As the leader, you asked this member privately about his behaviour. He replied that he is trying to move the team toward its goals but you are concerned that he is really trying to take control. How can you deal with this situation without removing the member from the group?

(Bovee, 20190101, p. 54)
3-8. A day after sending an email to all 1800 employees in your company regarding income tax implications of the company’s retirement plan, you discover that one of the sources you relied on for your information plagiarized from other sources. You quickly double-check all the information in your message and confirm that it is accurate. However, you are concerned about using plagiarized information, even though you did nothing wrong. How would you handle this situation? [LO-3], Chapter 3

(Bovee, 20190101, p. 81)

Bovee, C. L., Thill, J. V., Scribner, J. A. (20190101). Business Communication Essentials, Fifth Canadian Edition, 5th Edition. VitalSource Bookshelf version. Retrieved from vbk:9780135262412

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 2 Assignment
  • Chapter 3 Assignment
  • Read chapters 4 and 5

Day 3

Chapter 4

  • Identify the four aspects of being sensitive to audience needs when writing business messages
  • Identify seven characteristics that build and maintain a communicator’s credibility
  • Explain how to achieve a tone that is conversational but businesslike, explain the value of using plain language, and define active and passive voice
  • Describe how to select words that are not only correct but also effective
  • Define the four types of sentences and explain how sentence style affects emphasis within a message
  • Define the three key elements of a paragraph and list five ways to develop coherent paragraphs
  • List five techniques for writing effective messages for mobile readers

Chapter 5

  • Discuss the value of careful revision and describe the tasks involved in evaluating your first drafts and the work of other writers
  • List four techniques you can use to improve the readability of your messages
  • Describe the steps you can take to improve the clarity of your writing and give four tips for making your writing more concise
  • List four principles of effective design and explain the role of major design elements in document readability
  • Explain the importance of proofreading and give six tips for successful proofreading
  • Discuss the most important issues to consider when distributing your messages

In-class exercise

4-67. Writing: Crafting Unified, Coherent Paragraphs; Media Skills: Email [LO-5]

Suppose that end-of-term frustrations have produced this email message to Professor Anne Brewer from a student who believes he should have received a B in his accounting class. If this message were recast into three or four clear sentences, the teacher might be more receptive to the student’s argument. Rewrite the message to show how you would improve it.

I think that I was unfairly awarded a C in your accounting class this term, and I am asking you to change the grade to a B. It was a difficult term. I don’t get any money from home, and I have to work mornings at the Pancake House (as a cook), so I had to rush to make your class, and those two times that I missed class were because they wouldn’t let me off work because of special events at the Pancake House (unlike some other students who just take off when they choose). On the midterm examination, I originally got a 75 percent, but you said in class that there were two different ways to answer the third question and that you would change the grades of students who used the “optimal cost” method and had been counted off 6 points for doing this. I don’t think that you took this into account because I got 80 percent on the final, which is clearly a B. Anyway, whatever you decide, I just want to tell you that I really enjoyed this class and I thank you for making accounting so interesting.

(Bovee, 20190101, p. 107)

Bovee, C. L., Thill, J. V., Scribner, J. A. (20190101). Business Communication Essentials, Fifth Canadian Edition, 5th Edition. VitalSource Bookshelf version. Retrieved from vbk:9780135262412

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 4 Assignment
  • Chapter 5 Assignment
  • Read chapter 6

Day 4

Chapter 6

  • Identify the major digital channels used for brief business messages and describe the nine compositional modes needed for digital media
  • Describe the use of social networks in business communication
  • Explain how companies and business professionals can use content-sharing websites
  • Describe the evolving role of email in business communication and explain how to adapt the three-step writing process to email messages
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of business messaging and identify guidelines to effective messaging in the workplace
  • Describe the use of blogging and micro-blogging in business communication and briefly explain how to adapt the three-step process to blogging
  • Explain how to adapt the three-step writing process to podcasts

In-class exercise

6-31. Media Skills: Blogging [LO-6] From what you’ve learned about planning and writing business messages, you should be able to identify numerous errors made by the writer of the following blog post.

[headline]
Get Ready!

[post]
We are hoping to be back at work soon, with everything running smoothly, same production schedule, and no late projects or missed deadlines. So you need to clean out your desk, put your stuff in boxes, and clean off the walls. You can put the items you had up on your walls in boxes, also.

We have provided boxes. The move will happen this weekend. We’ll be in our new offices when you arrive on Monday.

We will not be responsible for personal belongings during the move.

First, describe the flaws you discover in this blog post. Next, develop a plan for rewriting the post. Use the following steps to organize your efforts before you begin writing:

  • Determine the purpose
  • Identify and analyse your audience
  • Define the main idea
  • Outline the major supporting points
  • Choose between the direct and indirect approaches

Now rewrite the post. Don’t forget to leave ample time for revision of your own work before you turn it in.

(Bovee, 20190101, p. 160)

Bovee, C. L., Thill, J. V., Scribner, J. A. (20190101). Business Communication Essentials, Fifth Canadian Edition, 5th Edition. VitalSource Bookshelf version. Retrieved from vbk:9780135262412

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 6 Assignment
  • Read chapters 7 and 8

Day 5

Articles to read

Chapter 7

  • Outline an effective strategy for writing routine business requests
  • Describe three common types of routine requests
  • Outline an effective strategy for writing routine replies, routine messages and positive messages
  • Describe seven common types of routine replies, routine messages and positive messages

Chapter 8

  • Apply the three-step writing process to negative messages
  • Explain how to use the direct approach effectively when conveying negative news
  • Explain how to use the indirect approach effectively when conveying negative news and explain how to avoid ethical problems when using this approach
  • Describe successful strategies for sending negative messages on routine business matters
  • Describe successful strategies for sending negative employment-related messages
  • List the important points to consider when conveying negative organizational news
  • Describe an effective strategy for responding to negative information in a social media environment

In-class exercise

7-25. Message Strategies: Making Routine Requests; Completing: Evaluating Content, Organization, and Tone [LO-2], Chapter 7

Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of this message and then revise it so that it follows this chapter’s guidelines for routine requests for information:

I’m fed up with the mistakes that our current accounting firm makes. I run a small construction company, and I don’t have time to double-check every bookkeeping entry and call the accountants a dozen times when they won’t return my messages. Please explain how your firm would do a better job than my current accountants. You have a good reputation among homebuilders, but before I consider hiring you to take over my accounting, I need to know that you care about quality work and good customer service.

(Bovee, 20190101, p. 182)

Bovee, C. L., Thill, J. V., Scribner, J. A. (20190101). Business Communication Essentials, Fifth Canadian Edition, 5th Edition. VitalSource Bookshelf version. Retrieved from vbk:9780135262412

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 7 Assignment
  • Chapter 8 Assignment
  • Read Chapter 9

Day 6

Chapter 9

  • Apply the three-step writing process to persuasive messages
  • Describe an effective strategy for developing persuasive business messages
  • Identify the three most common categories of persuasive business messages
  • Describe an effective strategy for developing marketing and sales messages
  • Explain how to modify your approach when writing promotional messages for social media
  • Identify steps you can take to avoid ethical lapses in marketing and sales messages

In-class exercise

9-27. Message Strategies: Persuasive Business Messages [LO-3] Read the following message then (a) analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each sentence and (b) revise the document so that it follows this chapter’s guidelines.

Dear TechStar Computing:

I’m writing to you because of my disappointment with my new multimedia PC display. The display part works all right, but the audio volume is also set too high and the volume knob doesn’t turn it down. It’s driving us crazy. The volume knob doesn’t seem to be connected to anything but simply spins around. I can’t believe you would put out a product like this without testing it first.

I depend on my computer to run my small business and want to know what you are going to do about it. This reminds me of every time I buy ­electronic equipment from what seems like any company. Something is always wrong. I thought quality was supposed to be important, but I guess not.

Anyway, I need this fixed right away. Please tell me what you want me to do.

(Bovee, 20190101, p. 234)

Bovee, C. L., Thill, J. V., Scribner, J. A. (20190101). Business Communication Essentials, Fifth Canadian Edition, 5th Edition. VitalSource Bookshelf version. Retrieved from vbk:9780135262412

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 9 Assignment
  • Read Chapter 10

Day 7

Chapter 10

  • Adapt the three-step writing process to reports and proposals
  • Describe an effective process for conducting business research, explain how to evaluate the credibility of an information source, and identify the five ways to use research results
  • Explain the role of secondary research and describe the two major categories of online research tools
  • Explain the role of primary research and identify the two most common forms of primary research for business communication purposes
  • Explain how to plan informational reports and website content
  • Identify the three most common ways to organize analytical reports
  • Explain how to plan proposals

In-class exercise

10-14. Research: Documenting Sources [LO-2]

Select five business articles from reputable online sources. Develop a bibliography (resource list), using Zotero. I will specify which documentation style to use. (Bovee, 20190101, p. 271)

Bovee, C. L., Thill, J. V., Scribner, J. A. (20190101). Business Communication Essentials, Fifth Canadian Edition, 5th Edition. VitalSource Bookshelf version. Retrieved from vbk:9780135262412

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 10 Assignment
  • Read Chapter 11

Day 8

Chapter 11

  • List the topics commonly covered in the introduction, body, and close of informational reports, analytical reports, and proposals
  • Identify six guidelines for drafting effective website content and offer guidelines for becoming a valuable wiki contributor
  • Discuss six principles of graphic design that can improve the quality of your visuals and identify the major types of business visuals
  • Summarize the four tasks involved in completing business reports and proposals

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 11 Assignment
  • Read Chapter 12

Day 9

“While presentation technology has evolved over the years, the presentations themselves have not necessarily evolved. Today, millions of presentations are given every day with the aid of such applications as PowerPoint, Keynote (from Apple Inc.), or one of the host of good cloud-based applications. Yet, most presentations remain mind-numbingly dull, something to be endured by both presenter and audience alike, or heavily decorated and animated affairs with excessive motion that distracts from even well-researched content. Presentations are still generally ineffective, not because presenters lack intelligence or creativity, but because they have learned bad habits and they lack awareness and knowledge about what makes for a great presentation.”[1]

[1] G. Reynolds, ‘Presentations Today’, in Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, 3rd Edition, New Riders, 2019 [Online]. Available: https://learning-oreilly-com.ezproxy.torontopubliclibrary.ca/library/view/presentation-zen-simple/9780135897751/. [Accessed: 03-Sep-2020]

If you have a Toronto Public Library card, then you can access that book via this URL: https://learning-oreilly-com.ezproxy.torontopubliclibrary.ca/library/view/presentation-zen-simple/9780135897751/

Chapter 12

  • Highlight the importance of presentations in your business career and explain how to adapt the planning step of the three-step process to presentations
  • Describe the tasks involved in developing a presentation
  • Describe the six major writing and design tasks required to enhance your presentation with effective visuals
  • Outline four key tasks involved in completing a presentation
  • Describe four important aspects of delivering a presentation in today’s social media environment

In-class exercise

12-16. Presentations: Designing Presentation Visuals [LO-4]

Look through recent issues (print or online) of Maclean’s, The Globe & Mail Report on Business, or other business publications for articles discussing challenges that a specific company, industry, or country is facing. Using the articles and the guidelines discussed in this chapter, create three to five slides summarizing these issues. Include citations and sources for any material you quote directly.

(Bovee, 20190101, p. 351)

Bovee, C. L., Thill, J. V., Scribner, J. A. (20190101). Business Communication Essentials, Fifth Canadian Edition, 5th Edition. VitalSource Bookshelf version. Retrieved from vbk:9780135262412

Homework

  • Grammar Review
  • Chapter 12 Assignment
  • Study for final exam

Day 10

  • Final exam
effective_business_writing.txt · Last modified: 2021/05/21 16:15 by Eric Bright