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Butler Community College

Carol Klein

Business, Technology and Workforce Development

Spring 2001



BE 130. Business Communications. 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: A score at a predetermined level on the ASSET exam, a grade of C or above in EG160 or instructor consent. This course requires a review and practice of basic grammar, writing and reading skills. This is a course designed for the business student. Instruction and practice is given in the writing of effective business letters of various types, such as the sales letter, the collection letter, the letter of application and resume, the use of correct business vocabulary, the writing of business reports, and correct business speaking. Computers will be used to create most of these documents.


Merrier, Patricia (2000). Business Communication. Cincinnati, Ohio. Southwestern Educational Publishing. ISBN: 0-538-72295-9.


Smith, Leila R. (1999) English for Careers. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall Publishing. ISBN: 0-13-080-231-X.

Grammar and Usage reference guides


At the successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

1. Write sentences and paragraphs using correct grammar, vocabulary, and structure.

Demonstrate correct spelling and grammar

Use phrases which are non-discriminatory

Construct complete sentences

2. Discuss the communication process

Identify the characteristics of business messages

Rewrite a message

Discuss nonverbal signals in a message.

3. Plan written messages

Identify the steps in planning a written business message

Analyze the receiver and situation

Select message type and organizational approach

Organize message content directly or indirectly

Implement the steps in the planning process

Design letterhead.

4. Develop business messages

Apply the 4Cs of good business writing--clarity, completeness, conciseness, and correctness

Write with "you" attitude

Restate a sentence using reader benefits

Compare phrases which are concrete and specific to those which are not

Choose simple, specific words

Identify sentences with unity

Use transitional words and phrases

Use editing symbols

5. Write positive and neutral news messages

Explain the direct organizational approach to writing messages

Compose effective requests for information or action

Write effective replies

6. Plan and write bad news messages

Identify types of bad news messages

Explain features of the indirect organizational plan

Compose effective bad news messages

7. Plan and write persuasive messages

Use attention, interest, desire, and action (AIDA) to make the indirect approach work

8. Write employment and special messages

Write a resume

Compose an application letter

Differentiate between formal and informal meeting minutes

Write news releases


1. Grammar, vocabulary, and structure


Non-discriminatory phrases

Complete sentences

2. Communication process

Characteristics of business messages

Rewrite a message

Nonverbal signals.

3. Plan written messages

Steps in planning

Analyze the receiver

Message type and organizational approach

Message content

Steps in the planning


4. Develop business messages

4Cs of good business writing

"You" attitude

Reader benefits

Concrete phrases

Simple, specific words

Sentences with unity

Transitional words and phrases

Editing symbols

5. Positive and neutral news messages

Direct organizational approach

Requests for information or action

Effective replies

6. Bad news messages

Types of bad news messages

Indirect organizational plan

Effective bad news messages

7. Persuasive messages


8. Employment and special messages


Application letter

Meeting minutes

News releases


1. Lecture and discussion

2. Computer exercises

3. Writing practice in class

4. Students and instructor use sample documents for discussion.

5. Students prepare a functional resume.


1. Assignments written outside of class

2. Messages written during class

3. Tests