T. E. Roberts [tr(at)sar.usf.edu]
report malfunctioning links to the instructor.
Updated 12 April 2017
This online course requires no conventional attendance, but students are obligated to submit lecture audio codes on schedule to verify course participation and progress.
Information to be reviewed for the final exam is highlighted in yellow on this page.
Course Syllabus and Relevant Information
syllabus, background information form, instructions, and announcements:
EXCEPT FOR ASSIGNMENT 4, SEND
REVISION INSTRUCTIONS (optional for Assignments 1, 2, and 3)
REQUIRED: Daily entries in WRITING TIPS from January 9 until April 24, 2017, available free in this archive (selected questions on final exam may be derived from these tips)
Course Textbooks (recommended but not required)
Business Writing: What Works, What Won't, Third Edition, by Wilma Davidson. St. Martin's Griffin, Resource Book. 2015. ISBN 0312109482, $16.95 list. (available from Amazon.com)
A Rhetorical Approach to Workplace Writing Practices, 2nd ed. Edited by Cassandra Branham. © University of South Florida, 2015. (Free PDF download)
Effective Business Writing (A Guide For Those who Write On the Job), 2nd Edition Revised And Updated, by Maryann V. Piotrowski. Harper Collins, 1996. ISBN: 0062733818, $12.99 list ($4.24 as used book on Amazon.com).
Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage, by William and Mary Morris. Harper Collins, 1988 (reprint of original 1975 publication). ISBN 006181606X or 978-0061816062. Hardbound, about $12.00 at Amazon.com.
Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter's Guide, by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway, and Jon Warshawsky. Free Press, 2005. ISBN 0743269098. Hardbound, about $15.00 at Amazon.com.
The Dictionary of Corporate Bulls**t: An A to Z Lexicon of Empty, Enraging, and Just Plain Stupid Office Talk, by Lois Beckwith. Broadway, 2006. ISBN 0767920740. Paperback, about $10.00 at Amazon.com.
Schedule of ENC 3250 Assignments, Spring 2017
See assignment instructions in syllabus. Grading is usually completed within one week of the submission date. See syllabus for information on optional detailed markup and revision. Schedule may change because of circumstances beyond instructor's control.
USFSM Academic Calendar, Spr 2017 (http://www.registrar.usf.edu/enroll/regist/calendt.php)
Course Content and Lectures
INSTRUCTIONS: Lectures will be posted in the FILES section of Canvas, usually on Saturday or Sunday before the numbered week in question. Each lecture consists of a spoken audio recording in MP4 format and a set of PowerPoint slides. It is important to download both files and listen to the spoken audio as you view the slides on your computer. The lectures should be heard within a day or two after being posted.
If necessary to hear MP4 files on your computer, download free Quicktime player here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL837. Alternatively, you may use the free VLC Media Player, to be found here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/. If you lack PowerPoint on your computer, you may download a free PPT viewer here.
You should save all lecture files in the same folder in which you keep your written assignments and emails related to the course. Also, back-up this folder regularly onto external media such as a USB flash drive or online archive. This folder will contain the core of what you are paying for and learning in this course. Treat it accordingly. An assignment lost as a result of careless computer usage will likely incur a penalty.
NOTES: Listen to and take notes on lectures as they are posted -- they provide essential information needed to perform assignments successfully. You must read the PowerPoint slides and hear the audio recording simultaneously. If you are unable to hear a lecture, contact the instructor immediately. Send me an email (by the deadline stated in the syllabus) noting the code words mentioned in the audio recording. Failure to do so will result in penalty to your grade.
IF YOU THINK A LECTURE IS "TOO LONG" ... remember that, if meeting on campus, this course would normally require several hours of in-person attendance plus roundtrip travel every week for 16 weeks in a semester or nine weeks in the summer session. At around 30 to 60 minutes per week, and requiring no more travel than minuscule movement of your computer mouse or fingers on the keyboard, the lecture content in this online medium is ridiculously light. If you find a lecture unsatisfying or confusing for any reason, contact me about it. Don't wait to complain at the end of the term. By then, it's too late. The lectures are not aimed at entertaining you; they are produced to improve the efficiency and depth of your learning.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR
YOUR OWN EDUCATION:
Except for the introductory lecture posted before the beginning of the term, lectures will usually be posted between Friday and Sunday, but this schedule is subject to change because of unforeseen circumstances such as the landing of a large asteroid, opening of a giant sinkhole in most of southwest Florida, or severe fugue state of the instructor. You will be notified via Canvas announcement when lectures are available. Please do not ask for a lecture to be posted in advance -- they are custom-adapted every semester.
CONTACT ME AT ANY TIME: I welcome questions raised by the lectures and other communications. Send your inquiries and comments to me via email: tr [at] sar.usf.edu. If your message appears to be of general interest and value to the class, I will send your original question and my response to all students. If you wish to chat in person, via Skype, or by phone, please contact me via email to arrange a time. Because all my teaching is online, I am very seldom on campus. Students are welcome to exchange messages with one another via the Canvas discussion forum (suggested but not required).
AND USF TECHNOLOGY
USF student email (Gmail Apps): http://mail.usf.edu/
Canvas assistance at USFSM: Tony Spall (941.359.4202 or firstname.lastname@example.org); http://usfsm.edu/e-learning-services/instructional-support/
General information on USF IT Services: http://it.usf.edu/services
GENERAL INFO ON TECHNOLOGY USE IN THIS COURSE
How to Create Long Horizontal Rule in MS Word (YouTube tutorial)
Download free Quicktime player (for Windows)
Download free VLC Media Player (alternative for lectures)
Free PowerPoint Viewer (for lectures)
Word 2003/2004 (Univ. of Wisconsin tutorials)
Word 2007/2008 (Univ. of Wisconsin tutorials)
MS Office 2011/2012 (Univ. of Wisconsin tutorials)
Microsoft Office 2010 Online Help (from Microsoft.com)
Create a GANTT chart in Excel (Windows)
Create a GANTT chart in Excel (Macintosh)
Tutorial on GANTT chart in Excel (YouTube video)
PowerPoint FAQ (very helpful)
Convert any printable document to PDF (free program)
A COLLEGE DEGREE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS?
Five Reasons to Skip College (Forbes, April 2006)
Alternatives to College Education (June 2010)
Is College Obsolete? (July 2008)
Lessons I Didn't Learn in College (Newsweek)
Reining in College Costs (Businessweek, Dec 2009)
Financial Advice for College Graduates (May 2010)
Graduates, Do Your Financial Homework (May 2011)
Alternative Education Via YouTube? (June 2010)
Challenging the Assumptions About College Teaching (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Feb 2012)
Subprime College Education? (George Will, Washington Post columnist, June 2012)
Student Financial Concerns (Inside Higher Education, Nov 2012)
High Wages After High School -- Without a Bachelor's Degree (BLS, Summer 2012)
FACTS AND OPINIONS
Some Thoughts About Writing (by Thomas Sowell, posted June 2016)
Mistrust of Science (June 2016)
Five Biggest Myths About Saving Money, According to a Millennial (Bloomberg News, Nov 2015)
Can Journaling Relieve Test-Taking Anxiety? (Oct 2012)
Stop Thinking Outside the Box! (Nov 2011)
Did You Know? (2016 Update)? (YouTube video about current and future realities)
Working with China's Generation Y (Feb 2010)
America the Fragile Empire (LA Times, Feb 2010)
Are Robots in Your Future? (Businessweek, Feb 2011)
Generational Differences in the Workplace (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, March 2011)
American Students Still Win at Innovation (Businessweek, Jan 2011)
PowerPoint In Combat (NY Times, 26 Apr 2010)
LONG AGO BUT STILL RELEVANT
Aristotle's Rhetoric (ca. 350 B.C.) - full English text
Example of Excellent Professional Writing (John McPhee, 1987)
Business Writing in History (academic research article, 1999)
Official USFSM Policies (Spring 2017)
GRADING, EVALUATION AND ATTENDANCE POLICIES:
A. USFSM policy requires that all students receive a graded assignment or examination prior to the semester’s drop/withdraw date
B. Specifically state the value of and the manner in which each assignment in the syllabus will be evaluated or graded.
C. A precise description of the grading process, e.g. use of plus or minus grading, use of straight A,B,C,D and F system, point system with delineations of grades for accumulation of a stipulated number of points, etc.
D. Attendance policy to include make up of missed work.
F. (If using Proctorio services the following statement is required.)
All students must review the syllabus and the requirements including the online terms and video testing requirements to determine if they wish to remain in the course. Enrollment in the course is an agreement to abide by and accept all terms. Any student may elect to drop or withdraw from this course before the end of the drop/add period.
Online exams and quizzes within this course may require online proctoring. Therefore, students will be required to have a webcam (USB or internal) with a microphone when taking an exam or quiz. Students understand that this remote recording device is purchased and controlled by the student and that recordings from any private residence must be done with the permission of any person residing in the residence. To avoid any concerns in this regard, students should select private spaces for the testing. The University library and other academic sites at the University offer secure private settings for recordings and students with concerns may discuss location of an appropriate space for the recordings with their instructor or advisor. Students must ensure that any recordings do not invade any third party privacy rights and accept all responsibility and liability for violations of any third party privacy concerns. Setup information will be provided prior to taking the proctored exam. For additional information about online proctoring you can visit the online proctoring student FAQ.
USFSM AND USF SYSTEM POLICIES
A. Academic Dishonesty: The University considers any form of plagiarism or cheating on exams, projects, or papers to be unacceptable behavior. Please review the USF System Regulation USF3.027 Academic Integrity of Students and the USF System Regulation USF6.0021 Student Code of Conduct.
B. Academic Disruption: The University does not tolerate behavior that disrupts the learning process. Please review USF System Regulation USF3.025 Disruption of Academic Policy.
C. Contingency Plans: In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USFSM to suspend normal operations. During this time, USFSM may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Canvas, online conferencing/collaboration tools, email messaging, and/or an alternate schedule. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor Canvas for each of their classes for course specific communication, as well as the USFSM website, their student email account, and MoBull messages for important general information. The USF hotline at 1 (800) 992-4231 is updated with pre-recorded information during an emergency. See the Campus Police Website for further information.
D. Disabilities Accommodation: Students are responsible for registering with the Office of Students with Disabilities Services (SDS) in order to receive academic accommodations. Reasonable notice must be given to the SDS office (typically 5 working days) for accommodations to be arranged. It is the responsibility of the student to provide each instructor with a copy of the official Memo of Accommodation. Contact Information: Disability Coordinator, at 941-359-4714 or email@example.com, http://usfsm.edu/disability-services/
E. Fire Alarm Instructions: At the beginning of each semester please note the emergency exit maps posted in each classroom. These signs are marked with the primary evacuation route (red) and secondary evacuation route (orange) in case the building needs to be evacuated. See Emergency Evacuation Procedures.
F. Religious Observances: USFSM recognizes the right of students and faculty to observe major religious holidays. Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class for a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second week of classes. Instructors canceling class for a religious observance should have this stated in the syllabus with an appropriate alternative assignment.
G. Protection of Students Against Discrimination and Harassment:
1. Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Harassment Reporting: USFSM is committed to providing an environment free from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence (USF System Policy 0-004).
2. Other Types of Discrimination and Harassment: USFSM also is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, marital status, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or veteran status (USF System Policy 0-007).
The Counseling and Wellness Center is a confidential resource where you can talk about incidents of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, gender-based crimes, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. This confidential resource can help you without having to report your situation to either the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSSR) or the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity (DIEO), unless you request that they make a report.
Please be aware that in compliance with Title IX and under the USF System Policy, educators must report incidents of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, gender-based crimes, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. If a student discloses any of these situations in class, in papers, or to a faculty member personally, he or she is required to report it to OSSR or DIEO for investigation. Students who are victims or who have knowledge of such discrimination or harassment are encouraged to report it to either OSSR or DIEO. The Deputy Coordinator for USFSM is Allison Dinsmore, Coordinator of Disability Services & Student Advocacy, 941-359-4714 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
§ Counseling Center and Wellness Center 941-487-4254
§ Victim Advocate (24/7) 941-504-8599
List of off-campus resources:
§ HOPE Family Services: 941-755-6805
§ Safe Place & Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) – Sarasota: 941-365-1976
§ First Call for Help- Manatee or Sarasota 941-366-5025 or www.uw211manasota.net
§ Centerstone: 941-782-4800; 24-hr Hotline 941-708-6059
H. Web Portal Information: Every newly enrolled USF student receives an official USF e-mail account. Students receive official USF correspondence and Canvas course information via that address. The web portal is accessed at http://my.usf.edu.
I. Academic Support Services:
The Information Commons provides students with individual and group study spaces, computers, printers, and various media equipment for temporary use. The Information Commons is staffed by librarians, learning support faculty, tutors, and technology and e-learning specialists. Students challenged by the rigors of academic writing, mathematics, or other course content are urged to contact their professors early in the semester to chart out a plan for academic success, and/or regularly use the tutoring services provided by Learning Support Services, which are provided at no cost to students.
J. Career Success Center:
Students can explore careers through activities such as job shadowing, mentoring, and internships. Whether students will be pursuing graduate school or seeking employment, Career Services can help develop a plan to reach their next destination. Students can prepare professional documents, practice for the interview and attend employer or graduate school information sessions. Access these resources or schedule an appointment with career advisors at www.usfsm.edu/career-services.
English as Second Language (ESL)
Worst Technical Writing (contest)
Five Weird Ways to College Success (Washington Post)
Student Evaluations of Instructor's Past Courses
Click HERE for official USF evaluations (numeric scores and comments) by students in courses taught by Mr. Roberts from Fall 2003 through Fall 2016. NOTE: For numeric scores of all USF faculty, see https://fair.usf.edu/EvaluationMart/ (For technical reasons, you must copy and paste this exact red-text link into your web browser; it will not work as a live link on this page.)
For my evaluations on the RateMyProfessor.com website, see: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=868969
Important Sites and Pages
IT Support at USF (email, websites, Canvas, etc.)
Canvas (http://my.usf.edu): all student grades, exams, and discussion forums are posted on Canvas
OASIS (main portal for class schedules and related information)
USFSM Undergraduate Catalog (2014-2015) Policy 3.025 on Disruption of Academic Process is stated at this link. Policy 3.027 on Academic Integrity is at this link. Every student must read and follow these policies.
Making the Most of an Internship (article)
Student Financial Concerns (Inside Higher Education, Nov 2012)
Writing Correctly and Effectively
ON-LINE AND ON-CAMPUS WRITING HELP
Thank God for Deadlines (June 2014)
Top Ten Editing Tips for Business Writers (About.com)
Discerning Tone in Writing (August 2013)
The Paramedic Method (conciseness, from Purdue OWL)
Basic Punctuation Rules
Use Parallel Structure in Lists (Purdue OWL)
WRITING ONLINE AND ON-TARGET
How to Write Clear & Professional Emails (June 2016)
Ten Tips for Writing Professional Emails (May 2016)
Is Email Now Outmoded? (New York Times, Dec 2010)
The End of Email? (Jan 2014)
*!#@ The E-Mail. Can We Talk? (Businessweek)
STYLE, USAGE, DOCUMENTATION, IDIOM
GRAMMARIST (lively discussion of amusing and infuriating linguistic perplexities!)
Tone in Business Writing (Purdue OWL)
The Seven Deadly Sins of Student Writers (Chronicle of Higher Education)
I Won't Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar (Harvard Business Review, July 2012)
Annoying, Pretentious and Useless Business Jargon (January 2012)
The Writer's Handbook: An Editing Checklist (Univ. of Wisconsin Madison)
Recognizing and Eliminating Mistakes (June 09)
50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice (anti-Strunk & White)
Let's Think Outside the Box of Bad Clichés (Newsweek)
MLA Documentation Procedures (Purdue)
When and Why to Cite Sources (SUNY at Albany)
Writing Tips and Samples
Writers' Tips (posted May 2014)
Useful Overview of Professional Writing (Purdue OWL)
Business Writing Tips (commercial workshop provider)
Managerial Writing Style (Sloan School of Business)
Overcoming Writer's Block (Purdue)
Use the Period. And Other Writing Lessons. (12 Oct 09)
ASSIGNMENT 1: BUSINESS MEMO (20% of grade) - due Jan 16
See syllabus for formal instructions.
Sample Assignment 1 Student Memos (2006 and 2010)
ASSIGNMENT 2: EMPLOYEE REPRIMAND (20% of grade) - due Feb 6
See syllabus for formal instructions.
How to Deal with Problem Employees (Assignment 2)
Progressive Discipline (from Univ. of Iowa)
ASSIGNMENT 3: COVER LETTER & RESUME (20% of grade) - Feb 27
See syllabus for formal instructions.
Assignment 3 instructions (slightly modified from the syllabus)
Sample of Assignment 3 (job notice, cover letter, resume, Linkedin profile, Oct 2013)
What Recruiters Look for In a Resume (Oct 2015)
Interview Success (Feb 2016)
ASSIGNMENT 4: REPORT, PROPOSAL, OR PLAN (30% of grade) - outline
due Mar 6, completed submission due Apr 24
Five Reasons for a Failed Proposal (Feb 2010)
Essential Elements of a Good Business Plan (Small Business Administration)
Guidelines for Effective SWOT Analysis (Gomer + Hille, UC Berkeley)
How to Write a Great Business Plan (Harvard Business Review)
The 10 Stupidest Things an Entrepreneur Could Do (January 2011)
Resume, LinkedIn Profile, Cover Letter, Interview, and Job-Hunting
Students Should Be Professional (Inside Higher Education, June 2015)
Communication Skills at Top of List (Businessweek)
Why Nobody Calls When You Apply for a Job (April 2014)
Caution: Internships Can Be Exploitative (New York Times, May 2012)
How to Get Noticed by Hiring Managers (May 2011)
11 Ways to Hurt Your Career (Monster.com)
Age-Proofing Your Job Application (Wall St Journal, Aug 2011)
Sarasota-Bradenton Jobs Report (Bradenton Herald, 21 Sept 2012)
How to Deal with Age Discrimination in the Job Market (PBS, Nov 2012)
Cover Letter Tips (monster.com)
Ten Worst Things to Put in Your Cover Letter (Wall St Journal)
RESUMES AND ONLINE PROFILES
Ten Things Never to Put on Your Resume (Salary.com)
Choose Meaningful Resume Details (Monster.com, Feb 2011)
Dynamic Digital Resumes (Mashable.com, 21 Feb 2011)
Is the Traditional Resume Becoming Obsolete? (Feb 2009)
Final Cut: Words to Strike From Your Resume (Oct 2011)
LinkedIn’s Plan for World Domination (New Yorker, Oct 2015)
Five Questions You Should Never Ask in a Job Interview (Monster.com)
Interview Attire for Women (2012)
Interview Attire for Men (2012)
Interview Questions (ProEdit, Oct 2012)
Interviewing - Sell Your Strong Points (ProEdit, Oct 2012)
An Important Interviewing Mistake to Avoid (Business Insider)
What NOT to Say in a Job Interview (April 2011)
Three Important Interview Questions (Forbes, April 2011)
Post-Interview Thank You (ProEdit, Nov 2012)
INFO FOR PROFESSIONAL WRITING CAREERS
Eaton Literary Agency, Sarasota FL (annual cash awards contest)
The IRS Targets Independent Contractors (Businessweek, 8 May 2010)
Getting in the Game: From Freelancer to Employee (Wall St Journal, June 2010)
Not All College Majors Are Created Equal (January 2012)
INFO FOR MILITARY VETERANS & GOVERNMENT JOB-SEEKERS
Job Hunting for Vets (May 2011)
Social Media History Becomes New Job Hurdle (NY Times)
New Directions in Online Job Search (Feb 2010)
Can Facebook Get You Fired? (CNN, Nov 2010)
Dream Jobs: College Students Get Real (Businessweek, 8 May 2010)
Dream Jobs One Year Later (Businessweek, 12 May 2011)
FOR BUSINESS GRADUATES
For Millenials: Turn Failure Into Fuel (USA Today, 18 Oct 2013)
Wharton First-Year MBA Courses Now Free Online (Businessweek, Sept 2013)
Three Types of People to Fire Immediately (Businessweek, Nov 2011)
The $32,000 Startup (Businessweek, June 2011)
The MBA Marketing Machine (Businessweek, June 2010)
College Drop-Outs Become Billionaire Entrepreneurs? (Businessweek, June 2010)
Meet the Microworkers (Businessweek, Feb 2011)
How to Prepare Yourself as an Entrepreneur (Businessweek, Feb 2011)
You Don't Have to Be an Inventor to Be Innovative (Businessweek, Feb 2011)
Innate Risk Takers (Businessweek, Feb 2010)
Fundamentals of Innovation (Feb 2010)
B-Schools Fight Bad Writing (Associated Press)
Is It Time to Retrain Business Schools? (NY Times)
Why Can't M.B.A.'s Write? (Wall Street Journal, March 2011)
The Three R's in Business Communications (Robert Parkinson, July 2010)
End of the Myth: CPAs Do Have to Write (CPA Journal)
Karma Capitalism (Businessweek)
People Skills for Business Majors (Businessweek)
The Bully Rulebook (INC. magazine)
Are B-Schools a Blight on the Land? (book review)
Wall Street Weaselwords (Newsweek)
Five Social Media Lessons for Business (Businessweek, Sept 2011)