Business Comm Syllabus


Lackawanna College

ENG 115 ON: College Writing Syllabus, 3 credits

Fall 2018: October 18 – December 7, 2018


3 credits




Dr. Carlie I. Nicastro

214 Healey Hall 


Please do NOT use my LC email. 

Office Hours

Tuesday 12:30-2:30

Friday 11-12

By appointment




Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.



Aldred, G.J., Brusaw, C.T., & Oliu, W.E. (2015). Business writer’s handbook (11th ed.) Boston, MA: Bedford St. Martins. ISBN: 9781457675515


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.



ENG 115 (Formerly EN 111) - Business Communications EN 115 is a practical course that introduces students to various media and the standard protocols of business communications, helping them to become competent, dependable communicators. Although written communication is the primary focus of the course, students will also investigate other forms of communication, including electronic mail and networking. This course employs a process approach to message development and empowers students as informed and effective listeners, speakers and writers (3 Credits).


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.



By the end of this course, the student shall be able to satisfy the following outcomes and expectations. Students will be able to:

  1. Understand and demonstrate the use of basic and advanced proper writing techniques that today's technology demands, including anticipating audience reaction,
  2. Write effective and concise letters and memos,
  3. Prepare informal and formal reports,
  4. Proofread and edit copies of business correspondence,
  5. Complete an accurate, complete resume and cover letter,
  6. Conduct excellent interviews and complete follow-up employment correspondence,
  7. Use career skills that are needed to succeed, such as using ethical tools, working collaboratively, observing business etiquette, and resolving workplace conflicts,
  8. Plan successfully for and participate in meetings and conduct proper techniques in telephone usage,
  9. Use e-mail effectively and efficiently,
  10. Develop interpersonal skills that contribute to effective and satisfying personal, social and professional relationships,
  11. Utilize electronic presentation software.


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.



The table below provides a list of all of the course assessments, and will help you keep track of your grade. To calculate your grade as a percent, simply add your assignment scores and divide by 500.  



Available Points

Score Received 

Points Needed to Get the Grade I Want

Group Project: Business Proposal




Business Contact Interview




Audience Analysis




Work Analysis




Letters, Memos, and Emails




PowerPoint Presentation




Professional Resume and Cover Letter




Professional Bio Page




Issue Resolution Plan




Project Documentation and Communication Plan




Discussion and Participation





Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.



Rubrics provide details on the objectives of your assignments. Use these as a guide, checking off each item before turning in your assignments, and there is no reason why you cannot earn every available point! Detailed rubrics will be provided for each assignment as the course progresses. These are interactive and must be competed and included with your work. You will also find the rubrics that you will need on a daily basis. Submission of an assignment without its interactive rubric will result in an automatic 5-point loss.


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Group Project: Business Proposal

This project consists of creating an innovative business idea, a strategic plan, a business card and brochure, a fax cover sheet and a company letter head, a promotional video, an informational website, and a memo, letter, a PowerPoint to present it all, and a team-status report to reflect in the process. There is one step due each week. 


* You may choose your own teams. I will create a DQ thread for you to do so. However, if you do not have teammates chosen by Sunday night at midnight, I will create one for you. There should be no more than three members to a group. Once teams are chosen, I will create team threads under Discussions and post the weekly step. All work should be completed as a reply to the weekly step. You should each show that you are working by posting individual contributions.  


Business Contact Interview
In this project, you will interview (by phone, email, or in person) an individual who is presently employed in business with at least five years experience in his or her current organization.  The person can be a friend, relative, or a current coworker or supervisor. The ideal person should work in a career area in which you are interested. The focus of the interview is communication. 


Audience Analysis

This assignment use case studies to analyze background, needs, interests, and expectations of a real audience, considering cultural needs and differences, decision making capacity, credibility, and preferences. You will create an outline to demonstrate how you would use these components to craft a business message.


Work Analysis

Locate an example of communication breakdown. Identify what information was conveyed; what data shouldhave been gathered for the task identified; the type of communication that was used to convey the information; your opinion of that choice; your evaluation of where the communication went wrong and why; and your solution for what should have been done differently, why, and how.


Letters, Memos, and Emails
In this multi-part assignment, you will write several important and common types of business communications including good news, bad news, and persuasive messages. 

  • You should locate an article in a publication related to your preferred business or industry and then compose a persuasive letter to your immediate supervisor. The letter should describe the content of an article, persuading your supervisor to adapt some of the ideas you read about in your workplace.
  • You should create a good news memo that presents all five steps of the analytical process: specify the question, select and describe the analytical framework, evaluate the data, reach a conclusion, recommend a course of action.
  • You should create a bad news email with an attached report that supports the bad news.

Power Point Presentation

This informative presentation will consists of a how-to on the business related topic of your choice. For example, reducing stress, emotional intelligence, working in teams.


Professional Resume and Cover Letter

Locate a part-time job, internship, or career position for which you would like to apply and design a resume and cover letter specifically designed to earn you that position. You will also create a job application task list, engage in a mock interview with a classmate, and create a thank you letter based on your experience.

Professional Bio Page
In this assignment, you will create a free webpage consisting of your professional introduction and portfolio. It should present a businesslike design; formal, professional persona; accurate, clear content; and supplementary files for potential employers to view. 

Issue Resolution Plan
You will identify a current workplace or social issue in today's media and prepare an outline of the issue resolution process, including a planned expected versus actual conversation starter, and the anticipated outcome at each choice point in a collaborative, problem-solving conversation.

Project Documentation and Communication Plan
In this project you will create personalized documentation (to do list, table, mind map, calendar, etc.) for an imagined upcoming community event. Documentation will include a strategic implementation and communication plan and a meeting agenda. You will then collaborate with classmates to hold a meeting, recording minutes and producing an analysis of the meeting's results.


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Submission Rubric for ALL Assignments 

(Unless otherwise noted in an assignment’s directions)

Neglecting the following will result in an automatic deduction of up to10 points. All assignments must be submitted to me through file exchange on the Portal without exception. All assignments must be saved as either .doc or .docx. All assignments must be accompanied by the completed interactive rubric. All assignments must follow APA style. This includes: 

  •  Separate title page consisting of your name, the paper title, and the college name
  •  Headers and page numbers (anchored within the actual document header)
  •  Double spacing
  •  Times New Roman or Courier New 12 point font
  •  1 inch margins all around
  •  Indented paragraphs (Do not skip lines between paragraphs)
  •  Parenthetical citations with a corresponding and separate reference page
  •  Proper spelling and grammar
  •  Detail, Detail, Detail, Support, Explanation, Detail!!!


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Online Course Attendance Policy 

Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well.


Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes posting replies in a graded discussion forum or submitting a written assignment. Activities (Syllabus quiz, Course Navigation Quiz, Academic Honesty Pledge, Autobiography) not related to the aforementioned activities will notcount for attendance purposes. 


Students who fail to participate in an academic activity as described above in the online classroom prior to the last day to drop/adda course will automatically be dropped from the course. 


# of Days Required for Discussion in an Online Course

Maximum # of Weeks Allowed without Discussion


Twice on any four days in a week (8 total)




  •  You are required to engage in discussion at least TWICE on FOUR days throughout the week for a total of EIGHT replies in all, minimum. 
  •  Students who miss one week of discussion will be DROPPEDfrom the course. It is the responsibility of the student to formally withdraw from the course at the Registrar’s office.


Online Course Discussion Policy

In order to understand, remember, and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said.” “I agree.” Or “Good thinking.” are NOT acceptable. Also, you should NOT simply repeat what someone else has already said. 


You MUST reply no less than 8 times per week – twice on any four days.


Good Discussionsin Course Resources will help you, but you should also use this rubric to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class discussion!


Online Classroom Discussion and Interaction Suggestions


  • Answer both Discussion Questions directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material, support your response with research or reading, and promote conversation (2 replies)
  • Respond to at least two classmates’ replies (2 replies)
  • Continue both conversations with at least one additional reply to each peer (2 replies)
  • Respond to at least one of the teacher’s secondary questions, conversing with a classmate who responds to the same question (2 replies)
  • Be sure all responses are detailed and clear and replies are twice on four separate days.
  • Be sure that all responses relate to the course reading and notes, your own everyday life, or to both
  • Provides the class with a response that is non-generic and inspiring – meaning that they learn from what you have contributed and can continue the conversation 
  • Use proper grammar, spelling, and netiquette 


Responses that do not move the conversation forward by providing information to which others can respond and build upon will negatively affectyour weekly score. 


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Withdrawal Policy

A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student stops attending a course for which he/she is registered after the published census date (end of drop/add) without having officially withdrawn from the course, the student will be assigned an AW (penalty-grade failure) for the class. No exceptions will be made.

Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course.


Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy. 


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Instructor Policies

You are grown ups. Welcome to the real world. These policies reflect what living here is like. There are no exceptions to these policies. 



The following will result in a ZEROfor your score, without exception: 

  •  Rude/ignorant/disruptive behavior
  •  Copying others’ ideas or posts
  •  Failure to participate in discussions or answer all designated DQs (any one week of missing discussion results in an irreversible drop)
  •  Posts that lack a demonstration of learning, insight, and critical thought



Assignments are due on the portal by 11:55 PM on their due date. 


The following will not be accepted. Ever.  

  •  Late assignments (including in-class presentations)
  •  Emailed assignments 
  •  Hard copy assignments
  •  Extra credit assignments
  •  Technical excuses (We have FIVEcomputer labs, free wi-fi, and on-call IT at


Five points will automatically deducted for assignments: 


My Expectations of You


There will be NO exceptions to these policies. Please do not present excuses in an attempt to circumvent them. In the spirit of fairness and to avoid miscommunication or misunderstanding about your responsibilities, I will not engage in discussions regarding excuses to these policies. Each excuse results in the removal of any earned extra credit points.

Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


The assignments in this course are tracked by points and calculated by simple addition. 


Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Points Value

Quality Points


96 – 100 




90 – 95 




87 – 89




83 – 86 




80 – 82 




77 – 79




73 – 76




70 – 72 




67 – 69 




60 – 66




0 – 59 





Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well. Please see the Student Handbookfor a complete explanation.


The following are among the forms of dishonesty, in a classroom of any type, for which sanctions may be applied: 


(Please see student handbook for more information)


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Disability Statement

Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution.  Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs.  Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab.  If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Mrs. Christine Kiehart in the Disability Services office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses. 

Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Lackawanna College Notice of Nondiscrimination

Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal Law including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Lackawanna College is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based harassment. 


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Lackawanna College will not tolerate any forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and gender-based harassment by employees, students or third parties. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.The College also prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. This policy applies to admissions, employment, treatment and access to all programs and activities that take place either on or off the campus at Lackawanna College. 


Lackawanna College will fully and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and will take action reasonably designed to resolve the complaint in an equitable manner, end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and, when appropriate, take steps to remedy its effects on individuals and the college community.

Lackawanna College complies with Title IX and all other federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.


Reports or inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be made to:

Title IX Coordinator/ Executive Director of the Student Wellness Program, Marsha Pigga, Angeli Hall, Room 102, 501 Vine Street, Scranton PA, 18509 (570) 955-1466/ (570) 677-7589,


Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action inquiries:Anita Cola, Affirmative Action Officer/Dean of Continuing Education, Angeli Hall, Room 300C,Vine Street, Scranton PA(570) 961-7815, colaa@lackawanna.eduor Dan LaMagna, Affirmative Action Officer/Dean of Students, Angeli Hall, Room 104, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-1579,   


Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at, 800-421-3481. Philadelphia Office: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building,100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323 Telephone: 215-656-8541, Email:   


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Portfolio and Coursework

Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, accessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper.


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.




Course Schedule

*PLEASE NOTE:Online courses are only 7.5 weeks in length. However, they meet the same objectives and maintain the same rigor as when offered in the traditional classroom. Online courses also do NOT recognize breaks. Although, you may schedule your work to meet requirements in a way that enables your break days to correspond with the on-ground class break days. 


Class Week



Objectives Met

Week 1

Oct. 18-21

What is Communication; Effective Messages

Group Project Step 1 & 2


1, 4, 7, 10

Week 2

Oct. 22-28

Communication and Technology

Group Project Step 3 & 4

Business Contact Interview


1, 4, 6, 7, 10

Week 3

Oct. 29-Nov. 4


Good News and Neutral, and Bad News Messages

Group Project Step 5& 6

Audience Analysis

Work Analysis


1, 7, 8, 10

Week 4

Nov. 5-11

Persuasive Messages

Group Project Step 7 & 8

Letters, Memos, and Emails Part I 

PowerPoint Presentation


1, 2, 7, 9, 19, 10, 11

Week 5

Nov. 12-18

Ethics in the Decision Making Process

Group Project Step 9 & 10

Letters, Memos, and Emails Part II and III


1, 2, 7, 9, 10

Week 6

Nov. 19-25

The Job Search Process: Resumes, Cover Letters, Application, Interviews, and Follow-Up Messages

Group Project Step 11 & 12

Professional Resume and Cover Letter

Professional Bio Page


1, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11

Week 7

Nov. 26-Dec. 7

Visuals and Presentations (Reports, Proposals, and Instructions in the Workplace)

Group Project Step 13-15

Issue Resolution Plan

Project Documentation and Communication Plan

1, 3, 7, 8, 10


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Instructional Methods

Instructional methods are interactive and reciprocal. These include lecture, discussion and interaction, independent and group work, presentations, and shared reflection. There are several ways we will learn in this course:


1.    Learning from reading:

There is no required text in this course, but some important web reading to help you understand the subject matter will be assigned. Reading is expected. To enhance your comprehension and demonstrate your learning, share two or three questions or debate points in class discussions to explore our reading selections.

  1.  Learning from one another:

Participation in class discussions is essential for learning, which is why it is such a big portion of your grade! You will each be expected to actively participate in class discussions. Mutual respect for one another is the requirement for a successful and enjoyable learning community. 

  1.  Learning from writing:

Writing and developing essays based on your research is an integral component of this class. In addition to learning the different styles of writing along with underlying skills and conventions, writing gives you an opportunity to reflect on and record your learning for future use.

  1. Learning from practice:

Practice makes perfect! It also demonstrates and enables you to revise your learning based on the strengths and weaknesses you recognize through your reflection on your efforts. Rubrics and samples, where possible, will be provided to help guide your participation for in-class activities. 

Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


All examinations are listed on the Home Page in the to-do list as well as on the course Calendar and the Assignments link. There are helpful tips posted on the Home Page message as well as help threads in Discussions. In an online class assignments are almost always due at 11:55 PM on Sunday evening; however, you are responsible for double checking and meeting all due dates by reviewing the previously noted resources. 


How will I pass this course?

In order to successfully earn a Pass in this course, you must: 

  • Complete all discussion questions, replying no less that twice per day on any four days. You should have no less than 8 replies minimum per week.
  • Complete all assignments posted in Assignments.
  • Ask for help as soon as you need it! 


Late, emailed, or improperly submitted work, or inquiries/excuses regarding these will not be accepted, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.