Writing Workshop Spring 2022 Syllabus


LLD 100WB-01
Business Communications
Spring 2022 Syllabus

Debra Hunter
Office Hours: By appointment T/Th 1:00pm-3:00pm via Zoom

Syllabus Links
Grading Policies
Canvas Login and Tutorials

Course Prerequisites

Completion of English 1B with a C- or better, completion of core GE, and upper division standing

Course Description

Instruction and practice in reading, discussing, and writing about issues germane to the student’s major field of study.  ABC/NC.  3 units.

Required: Bovée, C.L. & Thill, J.V. (2018). Business communication today with MyLab (15th ed.).  Pearson. 

Recommended: American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Information about purchasing these textbooks is found in the Welcome Module on Canvas.

Technology Requirements

To participate in this course, you should have the following items:

  • A working laptop/tablet 
  • Microsoft Word or a compatible word processing program, Adobe Spark, and PowerPoint
  • Reliable internet access

Microsoft Office apps and Adobe Spark are available at NO CHARGE to SJSU students; you can access this software through one.sjsu.edu (enter ‘software’ in the search box on the home page to find information on downloading the app). I also suggest that all 100WB students use the free Grammarly grammar checker: download the Grammarly app here.

This is a fully online course and technology issues will not be accepted as an excuse for late work! In order to avoid technology issues, you should do the following:

  • Have a backup plan in case of equipment failure (you can rent laptops from the SJSU King Library).  
  • Save back-up copies of all of your course work on Google Drive or on another cloud server.
  • After submitting an assignment to Canvas, review it to make sure that you’ve uploaded the correct file – assignments are graded as submitted.

Canvas Website

The class is taught through Canvas course modules which open at 12:01 am on Mondays and close two weeks later on Sundays at 11:59 pm. Go to one.sjsu.edu to begin your Canvas login.

I primarily communicate to my online students through Canvas Announcements, so I suggest that you adjust your Canvas Notifications settings so announcements are forwarded to the device you check most frequently. To do this:

  • Go to Canvas
  • Click on your Account tab, and then on the Notifications tab
  • Navigate to the Announcements bar and make the appropriate selections.

You may also use this procedure to have Canvas notify you of approaching assignment due dates. For Canvas help, call eCampus at (408) 924-2337 or go to the eCampus Canvas help page.

Submitting Assignments to Canvas
  • Assignments are considered to be submitted when they are uploaded to Canvas. Do not wait until the last minute to submit an assignment as uploads may take some time!
  • If you miss a final deadline (that means, you’ve missed the original due date AND the end of the late period), DO NOT email me the assignment to prove that it was completed on time; emailed assignments WILL NOT be graded.  
  • Assignments will be graded as uploaded to Canvas, and incorrect, blank, or unreadable files will receive no points.  To avoid this, click on the “View Submission” option after uploading your work to make sure that you have submitted the correct file.   Always do this!
  • You can re-submit assignments as many times as you would like before a deadline; Canvas shows me your final submission and that is what I will grade.   If you submit an assignment by the due date, and then decide to re-submit it during the late period, a late penalty will be assessed.


This course is set up as a series of weekly modules. Each module contains a list of all activities due for the week and links to those activities. Modules open on Mondays at 12:01 am and close two weeks later on Sundays at 11:59pm. This means that you have two weeks to complete a module’s activities; you can work ahead if you would like to do so.  There are two exceptions to this; the APA formatting module opens at the beginning of the semester and closes at the end of Week 11.  Also, the Extra Credit Module is open for one week only.

Each module contains required tasks, like readings, videos, assignments, and quizzes, and other learning resources. These items are arranged in a certain order to control the flow of the course and help you navigate the course content in an organized way. Under each required task you will see an action word like ‘view’ or ‘submit’.  In order to finish a task and move to the next one, you must complete this action.

Late Policy
  • Late work is accepted up to 48 hours after a due date, with one exception – the final assignment of the semester must be submitted by the specified due date/time.  
  • Work submitted up to 24 hours late will receive a 10% penalty, and work submitted from 24 to 48 hours late will receive a 20% penalty.  These penalties are based on the total points possible and are automatically assessed by Canvas. 
  • After 48 hours, no late assignments are accepted; the online assignment dropbox will close and you will NOT be able to submit assignments or access quizzes/exams.  Ungraded course content, like videos and readings, remains available throughout the semester.

Exceptions are made to this policy only in rare circumstances; for example, for a long illness.  Please contact me regarding this.

Contacting Your Instructor

The best way to reach me is via email at debra.hunter@sjsu.edu. I respond to emails within 24 hours, during the hours of 6am – 5pm Monday through Friday.  When you email me, mention your course number in the subject line (for example, “Question about 100WB”) and sign the message with your full name.   I am teaching several different classes and I need these two things to respond to your question in a timely and accurate manner.

PLEASE try to find the answer to your question yourself before contacting me!  You’ll likely find the answer to many general course questions in the course syllabus or on Canvas.  Also, general writing questions (like those on grammar, punctuation, or capitalization) or questions on formatting and APA style can often be answered via a quick Google search.  Google can be a student writer’s best friend!

If you would like to speak with me via Zoom, contact me to set up an appointment during my office hours.

Library Services for Business Writers

The SJSU Martin Luther King Library offers research guides that contain discipline-specific information for student researchers/writers in many disciplines: go here to access the SJSU King Library Business Research Guide.

100WB students can also get one-on-one research assistance from a librarian who is a subject expert in our discipline.  Our subject librarian is Christa Bailey; she can be reached at christa.bailey@sjsu.edu

Course Goals

In this course you will develop advanced proficiency in college-level writing and appropriate contemporary research strategies and methodologies to communicate effectively to both specialized and general audiences. The course will focus on four broad areas of competence: mastery of discipline-specific genres, both oral and written; mastery of the mechanics and style appropriate to business communications; mastery of research strategies including the ability to locate, utilize, and cite appropriate sources; and mastery of the process of business writing.

GE Learning Outcomes (GELO)

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

GELO 1   Produce discipline-specific written work that demonstrates upper-division proficiency in language use, grammar, and clarity of expression

GELO 2   Explain, analyze, develop, and criticize ideas effectively, including ideas encountered in multiple readings and expressed in different forms of discourse

GELO 3   Organize and develop essays and documents for both professional and general audiences

GELO 4   Organize and develop essays and documents according to appropriate editorial and citation standards

GELO 5   Locate, organize, and synthesize information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and to communicate that purpose in writing

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO)

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

CLO 1 Create an effective job search strategy, resume, and cover letter.

CLO 2 Write a formal business report using APA format

CLO 3 Critique and revise ineffective business documents.

CLO 4 Write effective and audience-appropriate business documents, including letters, memos, electronic messages, and information research report.

CLO 5 Communicate and collaborate in one-on-one, small group, and large group situations online.

Assignments and Outcomes

You will accomplish the 100WB GE and Course Learning Objectives with the following assignments:

Assignment % of Final
Word Count GELO CLO
Orientation Assignments 5% 200 3 1
Reading Quizzes 15% 1-4 1-4
Portfolio One – Job Correspondence: 20%      
Your Story   200 1-3 1
Job Listing   200 2, 5 1, 4
Resume   300 1-3 1
LinkedIn Analysis   500 1-3 1, 3, 5
LinkedIn Profile   300 1-5 1
Cover Letter (2 drafts)   600 1-3 1, 4
Portfolio Two – Business Basics (Partner Projects): 20%      
Analysis of Follow-Up Message   200 1-3 1, 3, 5
Business Introductions Presentation   200 1-5 4, 5
Cultural Competence Analysis   200 1-3 3, 5
Letter of Recommendation (Parts I & II)   400 2-4 4, 5
Analysis of Declining a Job Offer Email   200 1, 2 3, 5
Final Research Project: 30%      
Research Plan   300 1, 3 2, 4, 5
Annotated Bibliography   1,000 3-5 2, 4, 5
First Draft (Peer Reviewed)   900 1-5 2, 4, 5
First Draft (Instructor Reviewed)   900 1-5 2, 4, 5
Final Draft   2,000 1-5 2, 4, 5
Video Presentation      
APA Module 10%      
APA Formatting/Citation Assignments   600 1, 4 2
Extra Credit 2.5%      
  Total: 102.5%      

Grading Policies

In the instructions for each assignment, you will find information on how many points the assignment is worth and how it will be graded; further information on grading criteria will be found in that assignment’s grading rubric. Your final grade is the sum of all points earned in the semester out of 1,000 points possible; once all grading is finished, Canvas will convert your point total to a percentage, and then will assign a letter grade according to the chart below.

I usually grade your assignments within a week after they are submitted, but occasionally grading may be delayed if my work load is unusually heavy.  I will try my best not to let the time between submission and grading of an assignment be longer than two weeks.

Grades will not be adjusted (rounded up or down, or ‘bumped’) at the end of the semester.

Your final letter grade will be assigned according to the chart below:

A+ = 97+ A = 93-96.9% A- = 90-92.9% F = Below 60%
B+ = 87-89.9% B = 83-86.9% B- = 80-82.9%  
C+ = 77-79.9% C = 73-76.9% C- = 70-72.9%  
D+  = 67-69.9 % D = 63 – 66.9% D- = 60-62.9%  

NOTE that you must earn at least 73%, or a C, to fulfill your undergraduate GWAR requirement.

General Grading Standards

Each assignment will have an associated grading rubric, which is based on these general standards:

A All assignment requirements are fulfilled. Submission is well-organized, well-developed, and displays a clear sense of audience and purpose. The paper is well-edited; there are little to no execution errors, and academic language standards and APA style standards (when necessary) are met. The writer demonstrates understanding of the conventions of written business English. If required, meaningful participation and interaction with other students is present.
B All assignment requirements are fulfilled but the submission may show some flaws in organization, development, sense of audience and purpose.  Some further editing and correction of minor errors may be needed so that the paper conforms to academic language and APA style standards.  The writer may demonstrate gaps in understanding of the conventions of written business English. If required, meaningful participation and interaction with other students may be perfunctory.
C All assignment requirements are fulfilled but there is weakness in basic organization, development, and sense of audience and purpose. Substantial further editing and correction of errors may be needed so that the paper conforms to academic language and APA style standards.  The writer demonstrates significant gaps in understanding of the conventions of written business English.  Where required, meaningful participation and interaction with other students is absent.
D The assignment is incomplete and/or there are serious deficiencies in basic organization, development, and sense of audience and purpose. Substantial further editing and correction of errors may be needed because the paper falls short of academic language and APA style standards.  The writer demonstrates little understanding of the conventions of written business English.  Where required, meaningful participation and interaction with other students is absent.

General Assignment Guidelines

  • All written assignments should reflect common business standards. This means that assignments will be prompt (submitted by the due date), well-presented (demonstrating uniformity in formatting), accurate (meticulously edited for grammar and mechanics) and ethical (adhering to academic integrity standards). 
  • Documents should be produced in an appropriate typeface (like 11- or 12-point Times New Roman or Ariel) and should be appropriately formatted, with 1” margins on all sides.  Generally, business letters and memos are presented in block letter format: text is left-aligned and paragraphs are not indented. 
  • After completing your assignments, be sure to read the feedback that your instructor (and sometimes, your peer) provides on your submission. Also be sure to review the grading rubric.  This will help you perform better on your future assignments. 
  • In this class, you will use APA 7th edition style for formatting research papers and citing sources. Although this class covers business writing, APA style is frequently used for academic assignments beyond English 1A and 1B.
  • Edit your work RUTHLESSLY! Errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation interfere with the flow of written communication and may have a negative impact on a reader’s impression of you.  The grammar standards of this course reflect the formality of the final documents presented in the workplace. This is an upper-division course and it is expected that you have an understanding of basic business English grammar rules.  If you need help developing your understanding of Academic English, I strongly suggest that you work with a tutor at the SJSU Writing Center; click here to make an appointment with a writing tutor.

I have zero tolerance for cheating, plagiarism, and re-submission of work that has been previously submitted for a grade in another class; any of these will result in a grade of zero for the assignment/assessment and incidents will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. It is easy to avoid problems in this area: don’t cheat! Find the Academic Integrity Policy here.

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. is available here: go to the university policies page.

The Department of Linguistics and Language Development

The Department remains available for your questions and concerns, even during this time when the office must stay closed. Please contact office administrator Cookie Galvan <cookie.galvan@sjsu.edu> (408-924-6624) or department chair Stefan Frazier <stefan.frazier@sjsu.edu> (408-924-4443), or see the department web page <www.sjsu.edu/linguistics> for more information.

Course Schedule

Please be aware that this course schedule is subject to change with fair notice

Week Assignments Due Activities/Assignments
(Begin each module by reading the weekly START HERE page)
Welcome to LLD100WB

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • My Story
  • LLD100WB Syllabus Quiz
Building Careers and Writing Résumés

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 18 and take Chapter 18 quiz

Learning Activities: Watch Resume Writing for Success and Using the STAR Method and read Writing Soft Skills into Your Resume

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Annotated Job Posting
  • Targeted Resume
Applying and Interviewing for Employment

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 19 and take Chapter 19 quiz

Learning Activities: Watch Cover Letter Tips and read 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • LinkedIn Profile Analysis
  • Cover Letter (First Draft) for Peer Review
Professional Communication

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 1 and take Chapter 1 quiz

Learning Activities: Read 8 Best Practices for Business Email Etiquette and Watch Canvas Groups Overview for Students

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Follow-up Message Analysis (Group Project)
  • Peer Review of Cover Letter
Collaboration, Interpersonal Communication, Business Etiquette

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 2 and take Chapter 2 quiz

Learning Activities: Read Introduction Etiquette for Business Men and Women and watch How to Use Adobe Spark

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Basics of Business Introductions Presentation (Group Project)
Communication Challenges in a Diverse Global Marketplace

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 3 and take Chapter 3 quiz

Learning Activities:  Watch How to Handle Cross Cultural Misunderstandings and How Silicon Valley is Trying to Fix its Diversity Problem

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Cover Letter (Final Draft)
  • Cultural Competence Analysis (Group Project)
Writing Routine and Positive Messages

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 10 and take Chapter 10 quiz

Learning Activities: Watch video How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter and read How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation 

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Letter of Recommendation Part I – The Request
Writing Negative Messages

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 11 and take Chapter 11 quiz

Learning Activities: Read How to Write a Letter of Recommendation

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Letter of Recommendation Part II – The Letter
  • Letter Declining a Job Offer Analysis (Group Project)
Spring Break

Graded Activities:

  • Sign-up for Final Project
  • Work on APA Style Module (all tasks due 4/10/22)
Planning Projects and Reports

Pearson MyLab; Read Chapter 14 and take Chapter 14 quiz

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Research Plan
  • APA Style Module (all tasks due 4/10/22)
Finding, Processing, and Evaluating Information

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 13 and take Chapter 13 quiz

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Extra Credit (Optional)
Writing and Completing Reports and Proposals

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 15 and take Chapter 15 quiz

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Final Project – Research Paper (Submit twice for instructor and peer review)
Enhancing Presentations with Slides and Other Visuals

Pearson MyLab: Read Chapter 17 and take Chapter 17 quiz

Graded Activities: Complete and submit

  • Peer Review of Final Project
Final Project – Research Paper

 Graded Activities: Complete and submit: 

  • Final Project
Final Project – Presentation

Graded Activities: Complete and submit: 

  • Final Presentation
Information on University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs’ Syllabus Information web page at https://www.sjsu.edu/gup/syllabusinfo/