Syllabus: Writing and Class Essay

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COURSE DESCRIPTION AND GOALS

GSBA 523T (Business Writing) offers instruction in communications for various audiences on accounting and business-related topics.

This course is designed not only to help you write effectively in a business environment, but also to improve your ability to analyze complex ideas, develop effective argumentation skills, and write clearly, grammatically and effectively. With an emphasis on practical workplace writing such as emails, memos, client letters, and reports, the coursework is designed to increase your capacity to analyze audiences and tailor content and style to communicate with confidence.

This class explores specific business writing and presentation techniques and strategies through in-class lectures, in-class writing exercises, peer reviews, individual writing, and group work. The topics covered range from word-, sentence-, and paragraph-level issues of correctness, conciseness, coherence, and clarity to more global considerations of critical thinking.

Throughout the semester, emphasis is placed on developing systematic ways of identifying relevant from non-essential information and then effectively and appropriately communicating your message to a wide variety of audiences in a professional communication medium. You will learn to regard effective business writing in terms of a series of strategic choices. You will improve your editing and critiquing skills, so that you can distinguish effective from ineffective writing and help not just yourself but also your colleagues to become stronger communicators in the workplace.

The course content is practical today and long into the future. You will begin using or improving many writing skills immediately—not just following graduation or in a future career position. Bear in mind, however, that while an instructor can teach you a lot of what you need to know to be a successful writer, no one can make you learn, practice, modify, polish, or strengthen your skills. That part of the course is up to you.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
This course focuses on improving your understanding of the basic principles of good writing and how you may use these principles to write effectively in a wide variety of business-related contexts.

Specifically, the learning objectives for this course are:

1. Recognize and implement the qualities associated with effective business writing, particularly the hallmarks of ‘Plain English’ and its “4Cs”: conciseness, coherence, clarity, and correctness by planning, outlining and revising a variety of business documents.
2. Identify and evaluate diverse communication goals of different audiences (especially, international audiences) and make effective choices about the tone, style, and form the communication should take by recognizing and discussing how to tailor communication to specific audiences.
3. Plan, create, and complete a variety of business documents—including, for example, memos, letters, emails, and reports—using appropriate headings, layout, and typography by applying rules of document purpose and design.
4. Conduct tax and business research using a broad range of sources by applying secondary and primary methods of research such as utilizing databases, open sources, practicing key word searches, and conducting interviews.
5. Synthesize and evaluate the quality of collected information by critically analyzing the value, credibility, and applicability of sources.
6. Support written claims with logical and persuasive reasoning, and critique the reasoning in the writing of others by applying critical thinking guidelines of Western traditions of thought.
7. Understand the importance of business ethics and its implications for business and business communication by discussing moral decision-making and approaches to ethics, such as utilitarianism, and how they translate into business contexts.
8. Collaborate productively with others by completing writing and editing tasks.…