GEB 3213 Syllabus

Writing in Business
Fall 2006

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GEB 3213 Syllabus

GEB 3213 Assignments

GEB 3213 Schedule


Instructor: Cathlena Martin
Section: 9216
Office: Bryan 125b
Office Hours: Tuesday 11-3 in the Image Lab on the 4th floor of Rolfs Hall
Mailbox: 4301 Turlington
Class Times: MW per 9 (4:05-4:55) / lecture T per 10 (5:10-6:00)
Class Room: Matherly 11
Class Website:

In business, where communication needs to be as clear as it is convincing, mastering the principles of effective, efficient writing is essential. GEB 3213 – Writing in Business is designed to teach business students the fundamental written communication skills that will allow them to express their ideas effectively and efficiently, preparing them for the demands of the business workplace. This course focuses on three areas central to professional writing in business: knowledge of the types of writing central to business communication, mastery of the techniques for persuasive argumentation, and understanding of the fundamentals of writing clearly, specifically, and concisely.

The workplace-based writing assignments in this course ensure that students learn professional communication principles within different organizational contexts, as they work on assignments, cases, and projects drawn from everyday business situations. The course emphasizes both internal and external communication, as well as how to select style, formats, and approaches appropriately according to context and audience. Assignments include e-mails, memos, letters, resumes, and individual documents as well as team-written reports.

Course Format
• Students attend one live lecture per week on the fundamentals of business writing and stylistic principles. Lectures are held in Bryan 130 on Tuesdays during period 10.
• Teaching Assistants teach two writing-intensive workshops each week on effective writing principles and strategies. During workshops, students discuss assigned readings, complete in-class writing and other exercises, critique sample documents and peers’ writing, and make presentations.

Course Texts
We have selected Business and Administrative Communication, by Kitty O. Locker, as our primary text. This is a very comprehensive business textbook with good online support providing daily newsfeeds and useful resource links. We have combined this into a custom text with Business Writing CPR: 16 Principles for Writing Virtually Anything Effectively written by our own Jane Douglas. Business Writing CPR uses new research into neuroscience, cognition, and linguistics to provide writers with the essential stylistic tools for mastering clear, efficient, and highly effective writing.

Course Assignments
Students will analyze real-world scenarios to determine how and why a document serves its purpose in the workplace, discover the role of document design in information processing, and learn how to respond efficiently to clients’ and colleagues’ needs. The assignments, geared to both general and specialist audiences, provide practice in such essential career skills as problem solving, time management, and oral presentations.

Students complete multiple drafts of the following writing assignments:

• Good and bad news memos
• Resume
• Cover letter
• Persuasive memo
• Proposal memo
• Progress report
• Team report
• Power Point presentation
• Final assessment memo

Course Objectives
By the end of this course, students will know how to:
• Structure sentences, paragraphs, and documents for maximum impact
• Better comprehend their professional roles and the communication tools needed in the business world
• Gear their writing towards a number of audiences, both internal and external to the workplace
• Assess how a variety of written communication styles affect the audience’s reception of ideas
• Deploy useful strategies for writing essential workplace documents like memos, instructions, and reports
• Write collaboratively with teammates to produce a coherent and professional report
• Write and revise for optimal concision and clarity.

Attendance and Participation
Students are expected to attend all lectures and writing workshops because success in this course depends on intensive, continuous, and supervised writing practice. Writing is a skill, which means that the more you practice writing with guidance, the more your skills will improve. Because of the incremental and cumulative effect of GEB 3213, if a student misses 6 workshop sessions (for any reason), the student will be assigned a grade of E (failure) for the course. Any class missed will negatively effect the student's participation grade. In addition, quizzes, in-class writing, group work, peer review and other in-class activities can not be made up.

Students are responsible for getting assignments in on their due dates. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the assigned date, and students must complete ALL assignments to pass the course. Students should complete readings and assignments included in the syllabus by the class following the assignment, unless otherwise indicated. Even with an excused absence, students should make every attempt to turn assignments in on time.

Religious Holidays
A student needs to inform the faculty member of the religious observances of his or her faith that will conflict with class attendance, with tests or examinations, or with other class activities prior to the class or occurrence of that test or activity. Because our students represent a myriad of cultures and many faiths, the University of Florida is not able to assure that scheduled academic activities do not conflict with the holy days of all religious groups. We, therefore, rely on individual students to make their need for an excused absence known in advance of the scheduled activities.

Students, upon prior notification of their instructors, shall be excused from class or other scheduled academic activity to observe a religious holy day of their faith. Students shall not be penalized due to absence from class or other scheduled academic activity because of religious observances.

Academic Honesty
As a University of Florida student, your performance is governed by the UF Honor Code, available in its full form at The Honor Code requires Florida students to neither give nor receive unauthorized aid in completing all assignments. Violations include cheating, plagiarism, bribery, and misrepresentation, all defined in detail at Plagiarism is the presentation of the words or ideas of another as one's own. You would commit plagiarism by using, without crediting the source:
1. Any part of another person's essay, speech, or ideas (even if paraphrased or expressed in your own words);
2. Any part of an article in a magazine, journal, newspaper, or any part of a book, encyclopedia, CD, online internet page, etc.

Students with Physical Disabilities
The University of Florida complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

General Education Learning Outcomes
GEB 3213 satisfies General Education requirements for both Composition (C) and Gordon Rule-Communication (E6). As a result, to fulfill the Composition requirement, GEB 3213 offers instruction in how to write with maximum clarity, organization, and efficiency, as well as how to adapt writing to the demands of a variety of genres, contexts, and audiences. To satisfy the E6 Gordon Rule requirement, GEB 3213 also requires students to complete at least 6,000 words of evaluated writing during the semester.