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ELE 3907 Structured Writing for Effective Communication

ELE 3907 Structured Writing for Effective Communication

Course code: 
ELE 3907
Department: 
Communication and Culture
Credits: 
15
Course coordinator: 
Yanique Fletcher
Mark Brown
Course name in Norwegian: 
Structured Writing for Effective Communication
Product category: 
Bachelor
Portfolio: 
Bachelor - Programme Electives
Semester: 
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Bachelor
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

Communication is central in business operations. Organizations are created, operated, and managed between actors who negotiate their role in the world through communicative processes that aim to achieve mutual understandings. Skillful communication is recognized as being a critical success factor in business operations. Regularly appearing as the top three qualities that major employers look for in business school graduates are “written communication,” alongside “critical thinking” and “verbal communication” skills.

In 2020, 306.4 billion emails were delivered daily, and by 2025, it will be 376.4 billion emails. Business communication in the 21st century is transnational, multicultural and is conducted largely via email. How masterful are you in your writing skills? How competent are you in concise, effective written communication within a professional multidimensional multinational environment? Do you find yourself sending five emails when one properly written email would have sufficed?  How do you best use social media in today’s business environment? There are many different needs for business writing, starting with initiating job applications and requests for references and continuing with industry appropriate correspondence and communication on the job. In this class, we will craft skillful written communication with customers, business associates, and prospective clients across spaces in given industries within proper format, language, and pragmatics (word choice and meaning). 

This course will help you to develop the writing skills required in modern global business. Through the analysis of realistic business models, students will work on techniques for writing effective emails, letters, memos, proposals, reports, and working with social media. You will use your own writing to develop language skills, working on the specific grammar, punctuation, style, and usage needs. Focus will be given to structure, genre, formality, and specific language required for each of the different genres presented and studied.

Weekly readings will focus on current research of the pragmatic and sociolinguistic backgrounds to the writing, by reflecting on audience and how others perceive your writing; how different cultures, genders, and backgrounds may interpret the same writing in different ways; and how to present yourself through your writing to clearly communicate within this complex social backdrop. Within this context, we will also consider the role of English as a lingua franca and what that may mean for your writing.

You will develop your writing through the prism of each weekly genre (e.g., email, report, letters) and sociolinguistic focus (i.e., how genders communicate; how the communication styles are perceived by others; communicating across cultures) to become more sensitive to the sociolinguistic landscape underpinning your writing. Students will work with both one way communication (e.g., reports, memos, proposals) and dialogic writing (e.g., emails, letters, social media) and the blending of these concepts within genres.

This is a practical learn-as-you-do course designed to develop students writing structure, grammar, punctuation, and mastery of pragmatics and meaning through intensive writing, individual feedback, and editing. 

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

This course seeks to prepare students for competent, efficient, effective professional communication in the business world.

During the course students shall:

  • Acquire advanced knowledge and awareness of audience, structure, and organization. 
  • Acquire advanced knowledge and awareness of English grammar and punctuation.
  • Develop awareness and command of different genres: i.e., persuasive writing, intercultural considerations, dialogic writing.
  • Work with tools and resources to support writing. 
Learning outcomes - Skills

After completed course students shall be able to:

  • Edit own writing
  • Write more accurately, clearly, and concisely
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in writing
  • Manage the principles of English grammar and usage
  • Structure writing appropriately
  • Work within different registers and genres
  • Reflect on and write to the needs of the audience
General Competence

Students shall be able to effectively function in daily work situations and demonstrate a mastery of writing: English grammar, punctuation, writing organization, persuasive writing, intercultural considerations, and dialogic writing.

Course content
  • Weekly written assignments
  • Weekly in-class writing tasks
  • Peer feedback and self-assessment
  • Learning through the writing process: write, edit, revise
  • Written communication analysis
  • Technology’s role in writing
  • Writing for appropriate situations and media
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving in writing
  • Writing for different audiences
  • Writing styles and genres
  • Considerations in writing – culture, medium, and purpose
  • Professional writing errors and blunders
  • Maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of written communication
  • Metacognition communication
  • Small group activities
Teaching and learning activities

This course will be conducted with 13 lectures in plenary session and 14 workshops including weekly writing assignments and revisions.

Students must participate in both lectures, workshops and complete all writing assignments. This practical course uses the writing process, which requires class participation and writing of both draft and revisions. The writing process is learning by doing (writing and discussing) and class participation.

Class participation requirements

Classes are designed to be interactive - small group activities, student-led discussions, writing, and peer feedback. Attendance and participation in class is expected. Students will develop their portfolios throughout the semester in an intense writing and feedback process:

  • Weekly writing tasks and revisions with peer and teacher-led formative assessment
  • In-class writing tasks
  • Written reflection blog

Software and hardware toolsSoftware and hardware tools used is Microsoft Word, Laptop/tablet (but not phone), Its Learning, Eduflow.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Qualifications

Higher Education Entrance Qualification

Disclaimer

Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

Participants should have a good command of written English.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
ELE 39071
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Two examiners
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
100No1 Semester(s)Individual
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:100
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment:
Exam code:ELE 39071
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Portfolio assessment
Total weight: 
100
Student workload
ActivityDurationComment
Teaching
39 Hour(s)
Participation in lectures (3-hour class)
Teaching
28 Hour(s)
Workshops (2-hour class)
Prepare for teaching
115 Hour(s)
Preparatory reading and work for lectures and workshops
Student's own work with learning resources
165 Hour(s)
Draft writing and revision
Submission(s)
30 Hour(s)
Assessment
Feedback activities and counselling
23 Hour(s)
Feedback
Sum workload: 
400

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 15 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 400 hours.