Course Goals & Policies

WRT 350 is intended to introduce you to conventions, styles, and strategies for communicating in a professional setting. Course objectives include the following:

  • Becoming familiar with the basic genres of business communication.
  • Learning to shape a message to suit a particular audience and rhetorical situation.
  • Designing visually effective texts.
  • Engaging successfully in collaborative planning and executing of a project.
  • Learning to provide valuable feedback on others’ work.
  • Learning to integrate others’ feedback into your own work.
  • Developing and delivering effective oral presentations for a business setting.

The course schedule includes peer-review workshops for your Correspondence Portfolio, Job Packet, and Review & Recommendation Report assignments. These workshops are your chance to receive feedback from your peers on your work before turning it in for a grade. They also provide the opportunity to see how others handled the assignments, and, in turn, to provide feedback of your own. The ability to provide useful feedback to others is a valuable skill that will be extremely beneficial in your professional life. Likewise, learning to process feedback from others as you revise your work is a key part of being a successful communicator. As such, you must attend these peer-review workshops with completed drafts before turning in these assignments to be graded. If you absolutely must miss a workshop due to circumstance beyond your control, you must make arrangements with me in advance to seek an alternative way of receiving feedback on your draft.

This course is designed to help you move from writing and communicating in a university setting to writing and communication in a workplace setting. Therefore, I expect everyone in the class to behave professionally at all times. In a workplace setting, regular attendance, punctuality, professional behavior, and deadline adherence are not only required but assumed; those same behaviors are required for success in this class. For example, any e-mail communication with me should employ professional standards, including a descriptive, concise subject line and a professional format and tone. Use this opportunity to practice an essential communication skill.

All writing that you turn in during this class should be your own work, written expressly for this course. Plagiarism (submitting someone else’s work as your own or not citing the ideas or words of others) is grounds for failing this course and will not be tolerated. We’ll talk about plagiarism as it relates to citing research sources during the semester, but if you have a question about what constitutes plagiarism, please discuss it with me. If you have questions about the university policy on plagiarism, consult the GVSU Student Code, Section 223.01.

Late work will not receive full credit. If you have pressing circumstances that prevent you from meeting a deadline, please talk to me BEFORE the due date in question.

What that means: “This course is designated SWS. Completion of WRT 150 with a grade of C or better (not C-) is a prerequisite. SWS credit will not be given to a student who completes this course before completing the prerequisite. SWS courses adhere to certain guidelines. Students turn in a total of at least 3,000 words of writing. Part of that total may be essay exams, but a substantial amount of it is made up of essays, reports, or research papers. The instructor works with students on revising drafts of papers, rather than simply grading the finished piece of writing. At least four hours of class time will be devoted to writing instruction. At least one third of the final grade in the course is based on the writing assignments.”