Five years from now, do you see yourself climbing the corporate ladder? Working as a highly sought-after lawyer, engineer, journalist, or health care professional? Changing the world by leading a nonprofit organization? Running your own business? Or, are you still trying to find your vocational calling—that place that Frederick Buechner described as “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet?”
Regardless of your career path, you will need solid communication to achieve your career goals. Strong communication skills help you do more than achieve your ambitions, though. They help you become a more agile professional. Writing, speaking, and listening skills are valued across departments, companies, and even industries. When you are armed with strong communication skills, you will find it easier to adapt to the times—whatever those times look like.
In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your writing skills. You will create several writing projects (including a memo, proposal, brochure, outline, annotated bibliography, and white paper) and receive ample feedback on these projects from your peers and instructor. We will consider how areas of individual difference—like our generation and culture—influence how we write and expect others to write. We’ll even consider how a government law—the Plain Writing Act of 2010—has changed workplace communication today. Ultimately, by the end of the course, you will be more equipped to present yourself and your (current or future) company in ways that will help you achieve your goals.
This course meets the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements for Advanced Writing (Category 2) and is approved under gtPathways in the content area of Advanced Writing (GT-CO3).
Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Apply and reflect upon contemporary texts and (communication and new media) theories and their implications for competent corporate and professional communication (fulfills CO-3 Objective 1).
- Explain and practice strategies to make their writing more concise, ethical, and straightforward across all stages of the writing process, including generating ideas, identifying sources, evaluating sources, drafting, citing, revising, editing (for the self and others), and presenting (fulfills CO-3 Objectives 2 and 4).
- Recognize audience members’ areas of individual difference and modify writing practices based on these differences (fulfills CO-3 Objective 3).
- Create common business documents and presentations that adhere to established business writing and communication norms, including the norms for formatting and content (fulfills CO-3 Objective 5).
- Demonstrate basic competence in common new media technologies used in business communication contexts (fulfills CO-3 Objective 5).
Course Materials Note - Various LinkedIn Learning videos and courses: As a student enrolled in a JTC course, you have access to this service. You will receive an invitation to access LinkedIn Learning approximately one week before the start of the semester. If you add the class after that point, please contact your instructor via email, immediately upon registering for the course, to gain access. You will be required to view the below television series episodes and films in this class. Plan on spending about $5 on video rentals to access these resources. You may use the rental service of your choice (e.g., Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Apple iTunes, etc.).
CO 150 (College Composition) or Seminar
This course was previously titled "Business Communication."
Textbooks and Materials
- Business Writing Today: A Practical Guide, 3rd Ed. (2019)
Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.
See paragraph at bottom of course description above for further information about course materials.
Linnea Sudduth Ward is an instructor in the Department of Journalism and Media Communication. Dr. Ward's recent research interests focus on people's communication about and perceptions of social norms across contexts like technology platforms and culture. For example, her dissertation research considered how a group of "trailing wives"--or, women who move for their partners' needs rather than their own--used social media to practice resilience.
Dr. Ward's personal academic experiences deeply influence her approach to online course instruction. Throughout her time as an undergraduate and graduate student, she completed several online courses. As a result, she is particularly passionate about integrating varied learning activities into courses, providing substantial feedback on course assignments, and clearly outlining course expectations (particularly, grading expectations). Additionally, given her personal interest in popular culture, Dr. Ward enjoys integrating movies and television shows into coursework.