Week 1

Aug 22

Classes start @ 4pm

Aug 23

Aug 24

-Introduction to class, peers, syllabi

-Assign Intro Memo (show ex)

Aug 25

Aug 26


-Begin Project 1: Fake Company


Week 2

Aug 29

-Chapter 1 Exercises

Aug 30

Aug 31

-Document Design

-Fake Company: name, logo, motto, & letterhead

Sept 1

Sept 2

-More Fake Company: ad, etc…

-Bring in resume info on Wed

-Read Chpt 8 for Wed

Week 3

Sept 5

No Class

Sept 6

Sept 7

-Assign Project 2: Job Packet

Sept 8

Sept 9

-Work on Project 2: Job Packet

Week 4

Sept 12

-Work on Project 2: Job Packet

Sept 13

Sept 14

-Project 2: Job Packet due by end of class time today

Sept 15

Sept 16

-Intro to Interviewing (Chpt 9)

-Sign up for Fake Interviews

Week 5

Sept 19

-Project 3: “Fake” Interviews on the 2nd Floor of the Library

-Read Chpt 2 for Mon, Sept 26

Sept 20


Sept 21

-“Fake” Interviews on the 2nd Floor of the Library

-Read Chpt 2 for Mon, Sept 26

Sept 22


Sept 23

-“Fake” Interviews on the 2nd Floor of the Library

-Read Chpt 2 for Mon, Sept 26

Week 6


Sept 26

-Analysis of Interviews/Summary due Sept 30 & Read Chpt 4 for W

-Fake Company Situation (Memo)

Sept 27


Sept 28

-Introduce Project 4: Short Report (Chpt 4) [Options: Progress or Recommendation] –Quiz ?

Sept 29

Sept 30

-Summary of Interview due

-Work on Project 4

Week 7



Oct 3

-Work on Project 4: Short Report


Oct 4


Oct 5

-Work on Project 4: Short Report

-Peer Review of Short Report


Oct 6

Oct 7

-Fake Company Situation (Business Letter)

-Conferences during class time

Week 8


Oct 10

-Hand in Short Report today

-Intro to Interview someone in your field

Oct 11


Oct 12

-Work on Mid-Term Present in/out of class!

-Interviewing Questions

Oct 13

Oct 14

No Class

Prof Day

Week 9

Oct 17

-Mid-Term Presentation/Letter

-Read Chpt 6/7 for Wednesday


Oct 18


Oct 19

-Project 5:  Instructions & Description of Mechanisms w/Demonstration

-Workshts on Chpt 6/7

Oct 20

Oct 21

-Work on Project 5

Week 10

Oct 24

-Work on Project 5

Oct 25

Oct 26

-Hand in Practice Instructions/Description

Oct 27

Oct 28

-Work on Project 5: Final Instructions & Description

Week 11

Oct 31

-Work on Project 5: Final Instructions & Description

-Sign up for Demonstrations

Nov 1


Nov 2

-Project 5: Final Instructions & Descriptions due at end of class time

Nov 3

Nov 4

-Project 5 Demonstrations

Week 12

Nov 7

-Project 5 Demonstrations


Nov 8

Nov 9

-Project 5 Demonstrations

Nov 10

Nov 11

No Class

Veteran’s Day

Week 13

Nov 14

-Project 6: Proposal

Nov 15

Nov 16

-Work on Project 6: Proposal

Nov 17

Nov 18

-Work on Project 6: Proposal

Week 14

Nov 21

-Interview someone in your field

-Hand in Project 6 by end of class

Nov 22


Nov 23

-Interview Summary due by 4pm today

Nov 24


Nov 25

No Class


Week 15

Nov 28

-Portfolio Work: Needs to be nice new copies with revisions!

Nov 29

Nov 30

-Portfolio Work

Dec 1

Dec 2

-In-class Activity: Singles Ads?


Week 16

Dec 5

-Group Work (create Power Point presentations of Fake Company)

Dec 6


Dec 7

-Group Work (create Power Point presentations of Fake Company)

Dec 8


Dec 9

-Presentations of Fake Companies

Week 17

Finals Week

Dec 12

-Presentation of Fake Companies

Dec 13

Grade everything

Dec 14

8am-4pm: Hand back everything

*Final grades go in tomorrow

Dec 15


Dec 16

Week 18

Dec 19

Dec 20

Dec 21

Grades due by 9am

Dec 22

Dec 23

*The above daily schedule is not set in stone. Updates will be in given in class, through email, on the instructor’s teaching weblog, and/or on the instructor’s website. Attending class regularly will keep you up-to-date on assignment changes, due date changes, and other announcements.






Contact Information:

            Instructor’s Name- Sybil Priebe        

Instructor’s Email-

Instructor’s Website-           

Instructor’s Weblog-

Office- Haverty 223             

Office Phone- (701) 671-2346       

            Office Hours- 9-11am MWF and by appointment


Course Description:

This course concentrates on business correspondence, informal report writing, technical communication, job preparation, and oral presentation.


Course Focus:

This course is designed to strengthen a student’s background in writing business and technical communication. Students will also gain the knowledge to present oral information to audiences with varying levels of technical expertise.


Text and Materials:

            >Book- Searles, George J. Workplace Communications. New York: Longman, 2003.

            >Two 3.5” computer disks or a USB storage device


Class Rules:

          1.When you miss class, you will be “missing something important.”

            2.Respect each others’ writing, opinions, responses, and property. Harassment of any kind

will not be tolerated.

            3.Packing up your things before class time is over is disrespectful. Please wait until I dismiss the class.

            4.No food or drink in class.

            5.Respect goes both ways. If you are talking, I will listen (as will the rest of the class).

If I am talking, I’d like all of you to listen.

6.Turn off cell phones.

7.Be on time.



>Attendance is crucial to understanding all of the course materials and to earning a passing grade.

>Students with excused absences (illness with a doctor’s note, school-sponsored activities, military duty, or family emergencies) have two weeks to make up missed assignments.

>If a student misses 5 class periods due to unexcused absences, 10 points will be deducted from his/her final points. If a student misses 7 class periods, 20 points will be deducted from his/her total points. If a student were to miss 9 or more class periods, he/she would receive an F for the course.


Late Work:

            Late work will not be accepted. If you are going to be gone on a due date, arrange to hand in

the assignment earlier or talk to me about other arrangements. [Employers will not accept

late reports, so this is why the rule is in place.]


Students with Disabilities:

            Any student with disabilities or special needs, who requires special accommodations in this

course, is invited to share concerns or requests with me as soon as possible.





If any amount of plagiarism is found in a student’s paper (copying from the internet without quotations or parenthetical citations, copying parts or whole pages from another student, or any other sign of plagiarism), that student will be subject to disciplinary action which could result in no credit for the paper or a complete revision of the paper with a large reduction in points. If a student repeatedly plagiarizes, more severe actions will take place.


Assignments and Point Breakdown:

[*Total Amount of Points Possible in this class = 1000.] *Assignments are listed from largest amount of points to least amount.


250 Points = The Individual Professional Portfolio will include final drafts of the following documents:

Resume, Application/Cover Letter, Memo, Business Letter, Proposal, Short Report, Instructions & Description of Mechanism. These items will be placed in a professional folder and will be accompanied by a Reflection Letter to the Instructor regarding what the student learned from particular assignments. 25 Points are allotted to each document, the folder, and the Reflection Letter. The Individual Professional Portfolio is due December 2 at 4pm.

200 Points = Divided between daily discussions of readings, class participation, and10-20 point daily

assignments [Usually daily assignments will be due during class time.]

100 Points = Project 3: Interviews. Interview #1 will be conducted between Sept 19 & 23 with the

Analysis/Summary due Sept 30. Interview #2 will be due November 23 by 4pm.

100 Points = Project 1: Fake Company documents and Final Presentation of Fake Company. Presentations will

take place December 5-9 and the Fake Company documents will be due at the time of the presentation.

100 Points = Project 5: Instructions & Description of a Mechanism. All documents are due with the

demonstrations which will take place November 4-9.

50 Points = Business Letter. Final draft due October 12.

50 Points = Project 6: Proposal. Due November 21 by end of class time.

50 Points = Project 4: Short Report. Due October 12.

25 Points = Project 2: Job Packet: Resume, Application Letter, Follow-Up Letter, & Job Description. Due

September 14 at the end of class time.

25 Points = Memo. Final draft due with Individual Professional Portfolio.

25 Points = Mid-Term Presentation and Letter. Due October 17.

25 Points =TBA.


Details of Assignments:

>Project 1: Fake Company documents and Final Presentation- The connecting theme throughout the

entire semester will be the fake company. In groups of no more than three students, a fake company will be created along with documents that a company must possess such as a logo, motto, job descriptions, organizational charts, etc. These documents will be created by students and revised by students throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, a Final Presentation will be given by the group of students “showing off” their company and all of its documents (ads, charts, business cards, logo, motto, letterhead, etc). The presentation must be accompanied by a Power Point Presentation, at least 5 slides worth. A list of what documents need to be shown off during the presentation will be given out after Thanksgiving.

>Project 2: Job Packet- Students will create two resumes, application/cover letter, follow-up letter,

and job description.

>Project 3: Interviews- After completion of this course, students will have tested their

interviewing skills through one “fake” interview. The interview will be videotaped, and students will get to view themselves afterwards and critically analyze what they did well in the interview as well as what they could have done better. The second interview will consist of students interviewing someone in their field either face-to-face or via email. In order to prove students have conducted the interview, either the student needs to print off the email or have the person sign the interviewing notes. Both interviews must be accompanied by summaries in order to receive full credit.


>Project 4: Short Report- Students will have the option of creating a short progress (109) report or a

short recommendation (114) report for their Fake Companies. Either report should be done in booklet format (as seen on page 111-113 for the progress report). Students, however, will not have to create a transmittal memo for this short report. Possible Topics for these reports include (but are not limited to): new store location, going online with the company, creating a catalog, expansion of new shop/store, expansion of services and/or products, changing of services and/or products, new employees to hire, updating shop or store with replacement of fixtures, etc… Students should use the Checklists for either report found on page 123. An outline of what is expected on this Project will be handed out on Sept  28th in class.

            >Mid-Term Presentation- This Presentation will be a laid-back presentation of students’ work

up to the mid-term point of the semester. Students should bring in all documents they have designed thus far including group work on the Fake Company. At this time, students will also write and read out loud a Mid-Term Evaluation Letter to the class and teacher concerning what they have learned so far and what they would like to learn more about.

>Project 5: Instructions & Description of a Mechanism- Students will create a batch of Instructions

(Chpt 7) to accompany a Description of a Mechanism (Chpt 6). Following these two items, students will complete a demonstration (in their shop or in the classroom). This project consists of students doing a round of writing, a final round of writing, and an oral demonstration.

>Project 6: Proposal- Students will propose an idea, an action, etc. Possible topics include: proposing a

new parking system on campus, proposing a new class, proposing a new major, proposing the addition of some building on campus, proposing a new ____ or the revision of _______...

            >Individual Professional Portfolio- This portfolio will be a representation of all of the

finalized documents students will create and revise throughout the semester. The portfolio should be contained in a professional-looking folder and contain specific documents (which have been revised thoroughly) as required by the instructor as well as larger projects such as proposals and reports. This portfolio must also be accompanied by a Reflection Letter.

>Memo- Many memos will be created throughout the semester. Students will get to choose

the best one that they have created/written for their final grade in the memo category. 

>Business Letter- A few business letters will be created throughout the semester. Students

will get to choose the best one that they have created/written for their final grade.


Grade Scale

900-1000 pts = A

800-899 pts = B

700-799 pts = C

600-699 pts = D

599 and below = F




Application Letters are letters which are meant to be personable, professional, and persuasive. The letter of application should respond to the kinds of qualifications the employer seeks. This letter also should emphasize the most relevant details in a resume.


Business Letters are correspondence between companies and between companies and consumers which are vital to the success of a company. These types of letters can usually be divided into the following four categories: inquiry letters, special request letters, sales letters, and customer relations letters.


Instructions “explain how to perform a task in a step-by-step manner” (Kolin 568).


Memos are a type of writing one can expect to prepare frequently in any job. Memos are “brief in-house correspondence sent up and down the corporate ladder” (Kolin 124).


Proposals are a detailed plan of action that a writer submits to a reader for approval. The ingredients for a winning proposal are: time, budget, and satisfaction.


A short report is “an organized presentation of relevant data on any topic that a company tracks in its day-to-day operations” (Kolin 651). These types of reports include: periodic reports, sales reports, progress reports, trip/travel reports, test reports, and incident reports. Long reports are a “major study that provides an in-depth view of the problem” (691).


A resume contains a factual and concise summary of one’s qualifications.



Kolin, Phillip C. Successful Writing At Work. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 2004.