Text only

Class Home Page Course Syllabus


Summer 2018 ENG 1205-100
Instructor: Kirk Lockwood
Office: B-320
Phone: 224-0336
E-mail: kirk_lockwood@ivcc.edu
Office Hours: By appointment


This course focuses on writing for the vocational, technical, and business worlds.  Designed for students in business, technical, and vocational programs, the writing includes memos, letters, resumes, reports, and other business/technical documents. The course also stresses team-building, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Credit Hours: 3. Division: Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences. Prerequisites: Appropriate score on English placement exam, ACT English score of 21, NEW SAT (3/16) Evidence Based Reading/Writing score of 500, PARCC score of 4-5, or successful completion of ENG 0900. In addition, appropriate score on Reading placement exam, ACT Reading score of 21, NEW SAT (3/16) Evidence Based Reading/Writing score of 500, PARCC score of 4-5, or successful completion of RED 0900.


These are the things you should be able to do when you finish this course. 

2.1. Recognize and apply techniques for effective writing.
2.2. Recognize and apply techniques for effective presentation of numerical data.
2.3. Recognize and apply techniques of critical thinking and problem-solving.
2.4. Write acceptable routine business/technical documents, including paper and electronic memos (e-mail), letters, resumes, application letters, reports, and other standard documents (e.g. summaries, descriptions, instructions, etc.).
2.5. Understand and use contemporary technology effectively in producing business/technical documents.
2.6. Recognize and apply techniques of collaborative writing and team-building.

This course addresses the following IVCC general ed. goals: 1) to communicate successfully, both orally and in writing, to a variety of audiences and 2) to understand what it means to act ethically and responsibly as an individual in one's career and as a member of society.


3.1. Searles, G. J. (2018). Workplace communications: The basics (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson. (With 2016 MLA Updates)
3.2. College-Level Dictionary (Recommended)


To complete the requirements for this course, you will need the following:

4.1. Access to a Word Processing Program

You may use a program such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, Open Office, WordPerfect, or  Pages for Mac to create your writing assignments. The important element is that your program allows you to save written documents in Word format, which is the required document format for this class. If you're not sure if your program is capable of saving in Word format, feel free to ask me, and we'll figure out if it is or not. All IVCC students are able to download Microsoft Office (including Word) for free from the following link: Download Office 365. To sign in to do so, use your student e-mail login information. If you need help, please contact the Student Help Desk.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MICROSOFT WORKS AND OPEN OFFICE: While you will be able to submit writing assignments you've created in Microsoft Works and Open Office, you will not be able to use these programs to read my comments on your graded writing assignments. To make these comments, I use Microsoft Word's insert comments feature, and Microsoft Works and Open Office have been unable to read them in the past. If you have Works or Open Office, you likely will need to open your graded assignments on another computer, preferably one with Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word is available in all of the computer labs here at IVCC.

4.2. Access to the Internet

You should be able to access the Internet through a browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. This Internet access will allow you to read our class web pages (like this one) and access our class Blackboard. The following link provides a list of recommended browsers to use with Blackboard: Browser Requirements and Settings for Blackboard.

4.3. An E-mail Account

All e-mail communication for this class will be through your student e-mail account. Information about your student e-mail account, including a Quick Start Guide, is available at the following link: Office 365 Student Email. You'll be using your e-mail account to turn in your graded e-mail assignment and to communicate with me.


5.1. Assignments

You will be completing a number of graded writing assignments during this class. They are listed below:

Business Letter  100 points
E-mail 100 points
Short Report 200 points
Long Report Proposal 100 points
Long Report 300 points
Descriptions/Instructions 200 points
Application Letter 100 points
Resume 100 points

5.2. Assignment Requirements 

You must type all of these writing assignments except for the e-mail using a word processor and submit them (except for the e-mail) as file attachments through Blackboard. Submitting the assignments through Blackboard also submits them automatically to SafeAssign, Blackboard's plagiarism detection service. Submitting your assignments through Safe Assign also allows them to be used to check assignments submitted by other IVCC students by placing them in IVCC's SafeAssign database. If a writing assignment is late, it will be penalized five percentage points for each 24 hours, starting at the due date and time. In addition, this late penalty also will be applied to any rewrite of that assignment.

After I grade your writing assignments, I will return them to you with my comments. You may keep the grades you earn on your letter, e-mail, short report, long report proposal, long report, and description/instructions, or you may resubmit each of them for a higher grade. You may resubmit each of these writing assignments only once. These rewrites are due no later than two weeks after I return your graded assignments to you. You will use e-mail to submit the rewrites. NOTE: If you resubmit one of these assignments, you also must attach a file containing a typed, correctly formatted memo that explains what changes you made and how you hope they improve the document.

NOTE: All rewrites are due by the last day of the course, which may be less than two weeks for assignments later in the semester. Because of the semester schedule, you will not be able to turn in a rewrite of the application letter or resume.

Please also note that you must turn in at least one draft of all writing assignments to pass the class (though doing so does not guarantee a passing grade).  In addition, in the case of consistently below-average writing (D or F level), I do reserve the right to base your course grade solely upon the quality of your writing assignments. 


You will complete a quiz at the end of each unit. These quizzes may cover reading assignments, handouts, Blackboard discussions, lectures, and any other class material. Quizzes must be submitted through a Blackboard assignment posting by the due date and time to receive full credit.  


Miscellaneous assignments may include chapter exercises, collaborative workshops, style exercises, discussion questions, short memos, and a variety of other assignments. Any assignment that fails to meet the requirements or that is not turned in when it is due may receive partial credit or no credit. You will either submit these assignments through a Blackboard assignment posting or complete them in the Blackboard discussion area (each assignment will specify which). 


Assignments will graded based on the scale below. Your final course grade will be based upon the same 10-point scale, but without the plus or minus for the final letter grade.

A+  97-100% B+  87-89% C+  77-79% D+  67-69% F  0-59%
A  94-96% B  84-86% C  74-76% D  64-66%  
A-  90-93%  B-  80-83% C-  70-73% D-  60-63%  


You may earn back up to 30 points for missed exercise, quiz, rough draft, and writing assignment points. To earn these points, find a periodical article on the Internet about the use of writing in a business, industrial, or technological setting and type a 1-page summary and critique of the article. Each summary/critique must be written carefully and thoughtfully and is worth 10 points. Turn in each summary/critique as an attachment to an e-mail to the instructor and include the URL, or web address, of the article. The last day to turn in a summary/critique is the last day that assignments are due for the course (see Course Schedule).


Because this class is delivered entirely online and we don't meet face-to-face, the class doesn't have a traditional attendance policy. 

However, your participation in class activities not only affects your learning, but that of your fellow students, as well. In addition, the quantity and quality of your contributions to the class may affect your class grade if it is "borderline" at the end of the semester. 

You are expected to participate regularly in all class activities, including the following:

Be prepared to log into our class Blackboard at least once a day every weekday to check for announcements, work on assignments, respond to questions, turn in work, etc. If you don't log in consistently, you'll probably fall behind rather quickly.

On my end, I'll check in on the class Blackboard and my e-mail each weekday that IVCC is open and possibly other days, depending on assignments, questions, etc. I'll try to respond to questions within 24 hours during the week and no later than on Monday for questions sent to me over the weekend. My goal is to return graded assignments to you within one to two weeks after their due dates.


This course and all the work you submit for it are subject to IVCC’s Academic Integrity Policy, which is available in the current IVCC Catalog and Student Handbook. Everything that you submit for this class must be your own work. If any of your work includes any material from a source, you must give full credit to the source. In other words, that material must be fully documented. Submitting work that is not your own and failing to document source material are both plagiarism, a form of cheating. Plagiarism and cheating in general can destroy your credibility as a writer and are grounds for failing an assignment in this course and/or the entire course. Refer to the IVCC Stylebook for more information on plagiarism. In addition, you are not allowed to submit work that you completed prior to this class or are working on for another class (for example, for another college course or in high school) without my prior approval. Please discuss with me any concerns you have about these issues.


You may withdraw from this course through July 26. Students have the ability to initiate a withdrawal from classes. By completing the form in the Records Office or through the form located within WebAdvisor, the student is authorizing IVCC to remove him/her from the course. Entering the student ID number serves as the student’s electronic signature. IVCC has the right to rescind a withdrawal in cases of academic dishonesty or at the instructor’s discretion. Students should be aware of the impact of a withdrawal on full-time status for insurance purposes and for financial aid. It is highly recommended that students meet with their instructor or with a counselor before withdrawing from a class to discuss if a withdrawal is the best course of action for that particular student. More detailed information is available at the Office of Admissions website.


Please take advantage of my availability through our course Blackboard, by e-mail, and by phone to talk to me about a specific writing assignment or the class in general. If necessary, we can arrange to meet at my office on campus. I'm pleased to help you with the class in any way I reasonably can. Get your money’s worth out of your instructors, your classes, and the other services IVCC offers its students.


The IVCC Writing Center offers free, unlimited, one-on-one tutoring for students in any class at any stage of their writing process. The Writing Center staff, which includes faculty and student tutors, is happy to assist students in understanding assignments, brainstorming topics, organizing and developing ideas, and revising and editing drafts. Our Quick Query service provides help with basic writing questions via email. The Writing Center also has handouts on grammar and style, writing reference materials, and documentation manuals available in the Center and in the IVCC Stylebook. The schedule, appointment availability, and Quick Query instructions can be found by visiting the Writing Center website, calling the Learning Commons at 815-224-0637, or stopping by the Writing Center in the Learning Commons (D-201).


The library hours and notices of any shortened hours are posted on the library web page.  Please plan your work on research assignments accordingly. Many library resources are available online with your IVCC student ID at the Jacobs Library website. Chat online or text the library at 1-815-605-0482 for assistance. The mission of Jacobs Library is to provide resources to enhance the IVCC learning programs and services that enable our community to seek, evaluate, and use information. To fulfill that mission, the library promotes an environment for quiet reading, study, research, and computer access by individuals, as well as small group work in designated areas. Students need to be respectful of this mission and of other students using the library for quiet reading, study, and research. Failure to abide by the rules of the library and failure to follow directions of staff will subject students to the Student Code of Conduct. If you, or a group you are with, are disruptive, you will be asked to leave the library. Jacobs Library (located on the main campus) helps you get to know your college library’s collections and services. A self-guided orientation is available whenever the library is open for you to learn about the library at your own pace. Allow about 20 minutes and bring your IVCC student ID to the library service desk in A-201 to get started.  If you prefer to participate in a guided orientation with a library staff member, please bring your IVCC student ID to the library at one of the scheduled times posted at the Library Orientations website.



If you are a student with a documented cognitive (learning disability), physical, or psychiatric disability (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, AD/HD, post-traumatic stress, and others), you may be eligible for academic support services, such as extended test time, texts in audio format, note-taking services, etc.  If you are interested in learning if you can receive these academic support services, please contact Tina Hardy (tina_hardy@ivcc.edu or 224-0284) or stop by the Disability Services Office in C-211. 



Unless otherwise noted, reading assignments refer to Workplace Communications: The Basics, 7th ed.  This schedule includes major assignments for each unit. More specific due dates, assignments, and instructions will be provided with each unit through the class Blackboard. NOTE: The College is closed on Fridays, June 15-July 27.

Unit 1: Class Introduction (Wednesday, 6/13-Thursday, 6/14)
Intro to Blackboard and Netiquette
• Autobiography, Skills/Expectations Survey
Quiz 1
Unit 4: Long Reports (Tuesday, 7/3-Thursday, 7/26)
Chapters 10, 11, 5, and 9
Graded Long Report Proposal
Graded Long Report
Quiz 4
• Mid-term Survey
Unit 2: Letters, Memos, E-mail (Thursday, 6/14-Thursday, 6/21)
• Chapters 1 and 2
• Graded Letter and E-mail
• Quiz 2
Unit 5: Instructions/Procedure Descriptions (Thursday, 7/26-Thursday, 8/2)
• Chapter 7
Graded Instructions
• Quiz 5
Unit 3: Visuals and Short Reports (Thursday, 6/21-Tuesday, 7/3)
• Chapters 3 and 4
• Graded Short Report
Quiz 3

Unit 6: Application Letters and Resumes (Thursday, 8/2-Thursday, 8/9)
• Chapter 8
• Graded Application Letter and Resume
• Quiz 6
• End-of-Semester Survey