COMM 390 - Business Writing

COMM 390 provides an opportunity to study and practice the forms of writing you will need for a successful career in business. In this course you learn about the distinctive elements of business writing by reading, critiquing, developing, and designing a variety of documents for various audiences. The course is built around four assignments, all of which require planning, researching, and writing a short, professional-quality document. Given the importance of teamwork in business settings, one of the assignments is a group project involving the development of a business proposal. In addition, students complete several in-class activities that focus on realistic business communication situations. Techniques for honing your style and editing skills are also covered. We will use a variety of learning methodologies including lectures, visual aids, case studies, class discussions, self-assessments, feedback, and experiential activities. The most important element, however, is your active engagement and participation.

While the passing grade in undergraduate courses is generally 50%, academic regulations for the BCom program stipulate that in order to qualify for the BCom degree, students must complete the Business Writing course with a minimum grade of 60%.

Learning objectives

This course focuses on improving your skills in gathering, analyzing, and organizing information, and in communicating that information in effective and persuasive business documents. By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • communicate effectively to different audiences using appropriate tone and style.
  • collect, judge and synthesize information from a broad range of sources.
  • prepare a variety of business documents (including memos, letters, emails, and reports) using appropriate headings, layout, and format.
  • support your claims or arguments with logical and persuasive reasoning and evaluate the arguments of others.
  • collaborate productively with others to write and edit documents.

Prerequisite: One of ENGL 112, ASTU 150, WRDS 150, ENGL 100, ENGL 120, ENGL 121, ENGL 1st. Arts One, a minimum of 18 cr. of Coordinated Arts Program.

Special COMM 390 sections offered in 2017W

Flexible learning sections

In flexible learning sections (FLX), students attend class as usual 50% of the time, and complete 50% of their work online, or one-to-one with the instructor. In the 2017 Winter Session, five sections will be offered: five sections will be offered: sections 101, 102, and 215 taught by Elizabeth Bowker, and sections 119 and 120 taught by Marlisse Silver Sweeney. Flexible learning is only available in the designated sections.

These sections have the same objectives, format and workload as the traditional COMM 390 sections. Students usually attend class one day a week and complete an online lesson once a week, in addition to the major assignments which are mostly completed outside the class. The instructor is always available during “Flex Time,” providing a good opportunity for students to receive one-to-one support or mentoring.

These sections are suitable for students who prefer some flexibility, and have the discipline to work on their own with limited guidance. 

Aboriginal topics sections

In the 2017 Winter Session, two sections of COMM 390 (sections 208 and 209) will be offered with an exclusive focus on Aboriginal content. The course will have the same objectives, format and workload as the traditional COMM 390, however, all assignments and examples used in the course will be based on Aboriginal-owned businesses and businesses that collaborate with Aboriginal communities in a significant way. Students will learn to:

  • Communicate effectively with different Aboriginal audiences;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to collaborate with a variety of First Nations within a business context; and,
  • Demonstrate a preliminary understanding of the political, social and economic issues facing contemporary First Nations in BC.

These sections will be taught by Elizabeth Bowker with the intent to better prepare students for working in the British Columbia economy.

Course credits:
3

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