Great Basin College

Course Syllabus Spring 2006

English 333.I01: Professional Communications

Instructor: Dr. Linda Uhlenkott

Office: MMH 119

Office Hours: M 1:30 2:30; T 4:00 5:00 p.m; W 10:00 a.m. - noon; TH 11:00 - noonOther hours by appointment.


Required Texts and Materials: Johnson-Sheehan, Richard. Technical Communication Today. ISBN: 0-321-11764-6. Bar Chart English Grammar and Punctuation.


Catalog Description:

A course in applied rhetoric for students to develop the writing and communication skills they will need as professionals. The goal is to make strong writers with flexible analysis, writing and oral communication skills.

Prerequisites:  ENG 102, ENG 108, or instructor's approval.


Course Description:

Professional Communication is a course in rhetoric designed for students who are not writing majors and who may not have had a writing course since freshman year. The course is to give you experience in developing the writing and communication skills you will be expected to have as you make the transition from student to professional. The main goal is to help you become a stronger writer with flexible analysis, writing and oral communication skills.


All assignment focus on techniques for communicating specialized information to what we define as "general audiences." "General audiences" refers to educated but non-expert readers who have a specific interest in understanding of or using the specialized knowledge that they look to you as an expert in the subject to provide.


The course is designed for you to use knowledge from your own area of study or professional interest as the focus for most assignments. The range of assignments allows you to try your hand at a variety of written genres you will be expected to use in your everyday professional life and to gain experience with the general requirements and demands of each. You will also gain experience revising and editing your work to meet professional standards.


Assignment Structure:

All assignments are in the Assignments section of the course. Each assignment is under its own file cabinet icon, but assignments may have several steps. It is important to read each step.


Bulletin Board:

The bulletin board is the discussion area of the class. I will create a bulletin board for each assignment. Please post any questions about the assignment on the correct bulletin board. If you can answer anyone elses questions, please do so. I will post answers as well.



Student Outcomes


Analyze a document to determine both audience and purpose


Letter Analysis Assignment 1

Develop documents appropriate to a stated audience and purpose 


Employment document, reports, proposals, other documents

Choose effective written, visual, or oral means to accomplish specific purposes

 Final project, letters, reports, proposals

Find, evaluate and use research resources


Job research assignment

Access information and publications on both the internet and in WebCT so that learning is enhanced

Online research, Online publications



Collaborate with others on projects

Final assignment, bulletin board postings, projects, mission statement

Use technology  to enhance communication

Powerpoint, bulletin board discussions


Present information in an effective manner; contribute effectively to group collaboration.

Final project

Exhibit critical thinking and reasoning in discussions

Group discussions of case studies

Revise documents

All written assignments

Edit documents for spelling, punctuation and other usage


All written documents

Use technology effectively

Hand in assignments via the dropbox; use e-mail to communicate with instructor; post class discussions to the bulletin board; create and post Powerpoint slideshows



Grading Policy

Each assignment in English 333 is awarded a certain number of points. The more difficult or complex the assignment, the higher the number of points. Your final grade is the total number of points you earned divided by the total number of points available. For instance, if the total number of points available is 500, and you earned 400 of those points, your final percentage grade would be 80% or a B for the class.


Following is the breakdown of percentages and letter grade equivalents.

100-95      A  

94-90        A-

89-86        B+

85-83        B

82-80        B-

79-76        C+

75-73        C

72-70        C-

69-66        D+

65-63        D

62-60        D-

59 and below  F                                                                                                       


Measurement of Learner Outcomes for General Education

Communication Skills outcomes will be the focus of this course and will be assessed through the completion of written assignments that will be evaluated by the attached writing rubric.  A group project consisting of a 20-25 page paper and a presentation of the paper will not only be used to assess the Communication Skills outcomes, but will also address the Critical Thinking, Personal and Cultural Awareness, Personal Wellness and Technological Understanding outcomes.  A separate rubric will be used for the group project assessment.



All assignments are worth a certain number of points; more complex assignments are assigned more points; simpler assignments receive fewer points. This system allows for the weighting of assignments. At the end of the semester, points are added together; the cumulative points are 65% of the grade.


Correct use of the technology powerpoint slideshows, the dropbox, e-mail and the bulletin board counts as 10% of the final grade. Failure to use any of the technology as directed will result in the lowering of this 10%.


This is not a self-paced class; you are expected to participate in class discussions on the discussions board. You will be placed in small groups, and you will be expected to contribute to the discussions through original postings and responses to the postings of others in your group.  Participation in the online discussions is worth 25% of your grade.