Online Business Writing Syllabus

EH 300:  Strategies for Business Writing                                   Summer 2015

 Instructor:      Dr. Allen Berry

Office:             online/by appointment

Hours:             na

Phone:            TBA



TEXT:  The Business Writer’s Handbook by Alred, Brusaw, and Oliu.  10th Edition.  Available in the UAH Bookstore.  We will also be using supplementary materials found on Angel.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION:  3 hrs. Practical business writing with emphasis on rhetoric, organization, and research. Prerequisites: 6 hours of freshman composition; junior standing; open to all students in the School of Administrative Science or by permission of the Department of English. Does not count toward the English minor.


GRADING SYSTEM:  The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s grading system includes grades of A, B, C, D, F, I, X, W, S, U, P, AU, N, and NC. Instructors have the option of augmenting the course grades of A, B, C, and D with symbols “+” and “-” signifying, respectively, high and low achievement within the assigned grade. These augmented letter grades become part of the student’s permanent record and appear on transcripts, but augmentation of a letter grade does not affect its value for the purposes of the GPA computation.


NCATE LEARNING OUTCOMES:  Students who successfully complete this course will have accomplished the following:

Oral and Written Communication·         They have demonstrated their ability to write a variety of business-related documents in a prose style marked by its clarity, conciseness, completeness, and correctness (see project-related assignments) ·         They have demonstrated their ability to present ideas clearly and concisely in one or more oral presentations (see speech assignment)·         They have used document design and visuals to create works which are useful, readable, and attractive (see project-related assignments)  Critical Thinking·         They have demonstrated their ability to conduct secondary research and to document sources according to the rules established by MLA (see project-related assignments) ·         They have demonstrated their ability to adapt messages to the needs of different audiences (see project-related assignments)


ATTENDANCE:  Being present and on time is a mark of professionalism and a courtesy to others in the class.  Frequent absences will adversely affect your work and, consequently, your grade.  You will lose one letter grade for 3-4 absences.  Five or more absences will result in a failing grade for the course. Two tardies (more than 10 minutes late) equal one absence.  Note:  Students who drop the course are responsible for properly withdrawing.


EMAIL RULES:  Please use my UAH email address (above), not Angel to send me messages.  When you email me, please put your name and class in the Subject Line (Mary  Smith EH 300).  I will answer questions about your assignments, but I do not comment on drafts through email, nor may you send me your assignments through email unless you are unable to get to class on a day the assignment is dueThen, you may send it through email so it’s not counted late.  However, you must bring a print copy by the next class period.  I am not your secretary; therefore, I will not print your assignments for you.

CLASSROOM CONDUCT:  All students in the class must treat others with civility and respect, and conduct themselves during class sessions in a way that does not unreasonably interfere with the opportunity of other students to learn.  Failure to comply with this requirement may result in points being deducted from a student’s final grade, up to a maximum of one full letter grade.  Please turn off your cell phone, and make every effort to be at every class on time. Texting in class will result in an automatic absence, and you will be asked to leave.  Use of vapor cigarettes is not permitted. If I see smoke coming from your head, I will get a bucket of water and try to put you out, and then you will have to leave my class room.


ACADEMIC HONESTY:  Your written assignments and examinations must be your own work.  Academic misconduct will not be tolerated.  To ensure that you are aware of what is considered academic misconduct, you should review carefully the definition and examples provided in Chapter 7, Article III, Section C, in the UAH Student Handbook.  If you have any questions in this regard, please contact me right away.


PRIOR WORK:  You may not submit in fulfillment of requirements in this course any work submitted, presented, or used by you in any other course.


DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS:  The University of Alabama in Huntsville will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. If you need support or assistance because of a disability, you may be eligible for academic accommodations. Students should identify themselves to the Disability Support Office (824-1997, Madison Hall 131) and their instructor as soon as possible to ensure that appropriate accommodations are implemented in a timely manner. All discussions regarding disabilities will remain confidential.



Exercises and drafts                            10%

Resume and Job Letter                       10%

Business Letters                                   15%

Project #1 (individual)                        15% (memo, ungraded; report, 15%)

Project #2 (group)                               30% (memo, ungraded; proposal, 10%; report, 20%)

Speech on Project #2                           5%

Final Exam                                             15%

Assignments receive both a letter grade and a numerical equivalent: A = 12, A- = 11, B+ = 10, etc.  To figure the final course grade, I multiply the numerical equivalent by the percentage, then total (see chart on page four).  Note: Students should work well in advance of deadlines so they can receive my help during the drafting stage.  Also, while I will answer questions and offer comments on your drafts, I will not proofread them for mechanical or grammatical errors.  Consult your handbook if you have problems in these areas.



  • There are no late papers.  Students who consistently fall behind should drop the class.


Note:  Since this is not a correspondence course, I do not accept papers from students who are not regularly attending class.


COPYRIGHT (Allen Berry, 2014).  All federal and state copyrights in my lectures and course materials are reserved by me.  You are authorized to take notes in class for your own personal use and for no other purpose.  You are not authorized to record my lectures or to make any commercial use of them or to provide them to anyone else other than students currently enrolled in this course without my prior written permission.  In addition to legal sanctions for violations of copyright law, students found in violation of these prohibitions may be subject to University disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct.




May 26    Classes Begin – 10 week

July 3      Independence Day Holiday (No Classes) University Closed

July 27    Last MWF 10 week classes

July 27    Last MW 10 week classes

July 28    Study Day 10 Week classes

July 29 – 31            Exams 10 week classes

July 29    Last MTWR 2nd 5 week class

July 30    Last MTWRF 2nd week class

July 31    Study Day 2nd 5 week classes

300 Grading Chart


Assignment Letter Grade & numerical equivalent Percentage Points earned
Exercises, Drafts, memos

(10 ungraded exercises)

·         Punctuation

·         Style

·         Draft (resume & job letter)

·         Draft (letters)

·         Memo Project # 1

·         Quotation exercise

·         Works Cited exercise

·         Draft (# 1 report)

·         Memo Project # 2

·         Draft (# 2 report)



A   =  12

A-  =  11

B+  = 10

B    = 9

B-   = 8

C+  = 7

C    = 6

C-   = 5

D+  = 4

D    = 3

D-   = 2

F     = 1

x 10%



x 15%


Project 1




x 15%


Resume and Job Letter

x 10%


Project 2






x 10%

x 20%

x   5%


Final Exam


x 15%

  TOTAL Points

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