English 306: Business Writing

“Ms. Lueck was very knowledgeable and helped me understand materials that I did not have any knowledge on before this course.” –ENG306 student

“Very enthusiastic and helpful to the entire class. Made the topic fun and interesting!” –ENG306 student

Course Description and Goals

The work in this course is designed to help you develop effective business writing strategies. To accomplish this goal, we’ll write a variety of business-associated genres, including resumes, emails, business letters, memos, business plans, and presentations. Students are anticipated to be advanced Business students and Arts and Sciences students anticipating careers in business and business-related fields, including law and public service.

Course Design

This course is built around a simulated experience rather than around learning units. While you’ll do standard business writing tasks like analyzing a job ad, writing a resume and cover letter, and preparing memos and proposals, you won’t be doing so because we’re moving to different units with different learning objectives. Rather, you’ll be doing so because the course simulation will require that those pieces of writing be undertaken as necessary tasks at the time.

The Fiction (Simulation Premise)

The simulation around which this course is designed is that I, fictionally, have won the lottery, and I’ve decided that I want to do some good with my winnings. One of the ways that I’ve decided to do this (in this simulation) is to create 306 Business Incubation, a business incubator, which is a place where budding entrepreneurs can build their teams, develop their first product/service, and then make proposals to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and/or venture capitalists to receive more funds and launch their business. You are, surprisingly enough, a group of students interested in starting your own businesses, and you’ve come to 306 Business Incubation hoping that over the course of this semester, you’ll get that chance.

The Simulation’s Phases

This course is broken into three main phases, which are as follows (graded assignments are bolded):

Phase One: Building Your Teams

During this phase, you will analyze a job ad, draft resumes and cover letters, and engage in and reflect on behavioral interviews. Four of you will be selected as Project Managers over four different teams, and these Project Managers will ‘hire’ their teams from the remaining students. As compensation, *Project Managers will receive significant extra credit*. This hiring process will involve good news/bad news letters and acceptance/rejection letters.

Phase Two: Developing Your Product/Service

During this phase, each team will develop a potential product or service they will use as the foundation of their incubating business. Doing so will involve a series of memos and emails within your team and to the CEO of 306 Business Incubations (me). 

Phase Three: Pitching Your Business

During this phase, each team will develop a business plan based on the template used by the Small Business Administration. This business plan will then be converted into an effective PowerPoint or Prezi presentation that will be shared with the class.

Every Friday, you’ll receive an email (which will also be posted on Blackboard) that will contain instructions about the upcoming week’s readings, due dates, and other important notes. This level of schedule fluidity is necessary because it’s possible that the simulation may require schedule adjustments depending on a variety of factors.

(Thanks to Robert Terry and Barrie Olson for their work developing this curriculum)