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Business Writing Across the Core Writing to Think June 8, 2009.

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1 Business Writing Across the Core Writing to Think June 8, 2009

2 Background The BWAC program grew out of our discussions of the writing assessment last spring  Decision was made to focus on where we could have value added  Decision was made to spread the work load and engage all the faculty  Decision was made to focus on five documents each assigned in two core classes  Decision was made to focus on advancing critical thinking of fundamental business concepts through writing

3 Expectations for faculty teaching a BWAC course  Describe the BWAC program to students Explain the scope of the program Emphasize the relevance of business writing in their professional career Highlight the difference in the five documents  Assign the document at least once Shorter documents may be assign more than once  Identify good and bad samples of student writing  Share your experience with faculty at fall assessment retreat

4 Clarification  The BWAC committee provides the document template  The template is a starting point  Individual instructors are encouraged to augment the template to capture the complexity and diversity of individual classes  Everyone teaching in the same BWAC core class assigns the same document, but not necessarily the same assignment  Each document is assigned twice, in a lower level class and in an upper class—the document template remains the same the content of the assignment becomes more sophisticate  Individual faculty decide on the grading weight for the assignment  Individual faculty decide on method of grading-no imposed rubrics  Not a writing intensive class  No expectation of grading-revising-resubmitting  Not teaching grammar

5 What do we want to accomplish today  Provide information and motivation for syllabi revision for this fall  Sort through any issues  Hear your ideas  Focus on things to think about when crafting assignment  Provide examples and suggestions  Breakout into document groups Generate ideas for content—faculty and adjuncts Discuss any issues

6 Things to think about when crafting the assignment 1.Design a good assignment Specific In-writing Never underestimate the students ability to understand broad concepts nor overestimate their knowledge of specific facts 2. Clarify grading criteria/Decide on how you are going to provide feedback Comments vs. Rubric 3.Devote some class time to discussing the assignment and content ideas

7 4.Have students submit something early in a preliminary fashion if applicable 5.Consider having students peer review before handing in to instructor Response or advice Give peer reviewers a concrete way to record their reactions

8 6.Recommend that students utilize the writing center 7. Provide the writing center with your assignment description and grading scheme

9 Letters Cover letter Letter to the editor Customer letter of complaint Collection letter Business bad news Break the class into two groups and have one group write a complaint letter and the other a response letter Have students write a complaint letter with frustration and emotion and a second with professionalism

10 Memo Request information or action Provide information of answer a question Propose a course of action Offer a solution to a problem Break the class into two groups and have them write about the same content but to different audiences— superiors and co- workers Show examples of different types of memos from your email

11 Executive Summary Business Plan Business sheet Group presentation Group project Simulation Research paper Commission report Summary is not an abstract Length of summary is proportional to original work Never start with “The purpose of this report…” Write it like it was a telegram to your boss who is reporting to his boss

12 Proposal Small business proposal Grant proposal Sales proposal Funding proposal Technology proposal Production proposal Solicited or unsolicited Internal or external Specify the format Identify method of rhetoric Comparisons of projects Degree of importance Sequence of implementation Categories of issues Identify critical reader whose job it is to reject proposal

13 Business Case Integration of acquisition Organizational restructuring Moving into ecommerce Marketing natural products Promoting eco-tourism Marketing luxury fragrances Creation of scenario Textbook or online Recent news stories Campus events Developments in professional field Identify business problem or issue Believable scenario Raises a thought provoking issue Can not be answered with a trite answer Easily applicable analytical tool Problem demands a concrete solution

14 Getting started with content driven assignments 1. What are the course topics? 2. What liberal arts thinking skills are the most important to me? 3.Based on previous student’s experience, what is the concept that students had the most difficulty with? 4.What is my unique stamp? What do I want them to remember about my class?

15 Ideas from Breakout Groups Letter BADM 115 ContentVariations 1 Social ResponsibilityLetter to editor or stakeholder 2 Sexual harassment lawsuit Case dismissed—letter to company and letter to individual 3 Misleading news article on product recall Letter to editor

16 Letter BADM 301 INFO 315 CONTENTVARIATIONS and PROCESS 1 Write a pitch letter to the board of directors asking for funding 2 Letter to the editor

17 Memo-ECON 101 ContentVariations 1The effect of elasticity of demand on total revenue Explain the concept to non-economist 2Cross price elasticity of demandHave students identify substitutes and complements for a product 3Tax incidencePropose a new excise tax and analyze effect 4Market structureAnalyze the level of competition for a new market entrant 5Goal of the firmMemos to two organizations one a firm and the other a nonprofit organization. 6Rent ControlMemo to housing authority analyzing a change in rent control.

18 Memo—Corporate Finance ContentVariation and Process 1 Personal finance- time value of money retirement calculations Write a memo to a client explaining the client’s investment options 2 Ethics—falsifying a mortgage application Write a memo to a bank manager identifying the fraud. 3 Financial statement analysis—ratios, corporate weaknesses Write a memo to an investor making a comparison between a large cap and a small cap company. 4 Agency theoryWrite a memo from a regulator identifying a principal agent problem.

19 Executive Summary Accounting and International Business ContentVariations and Process ACCT 222 Balance sheet assessment Have students write an executive summary of a balance sheet analysis IBUSInternational business issues Have students write an executive summary for an existing research paper.

20 Proposal—Information Systems and Management ContentVariations and Process INFO 224 Propose a new enterprise wide system or New Software Response to a RFP MGMT 370 Consulting proposal— propose a solution to a production problem Stagger assignments over semester, have different groups do new topics e.g. quality, just in time, make vs. buy, inventory control

21 Case Analysis Marketing and Management Content MKT 290 Ethics or sustainabilitySelect a focused case so that students do not have to go into all elements. Stagger assignment. MGMT 302 Traditional integrated business casesUse existing cases that are part of the course assignments.

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