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Business Communications – Syllabus




Instructor:  D. Christopher


Voicemail: 323-343-2916

Office:        ST604



Office hours: Tuesdays 9-11:00, Thursdays 9-11:00 AND 4:00-5:30

Business Communication Lecture Notes are available on the following site. These notes will be upgraded on a weekly basis. The lecture notes will assist you in preparing for quizzes and exams.

All assigned readings are subject to quizzes the following week of class.  The class is structured around two time frames—the TUESDAY session will be lecture/quiz based and the THURSDAY session will be in-class (individual/group)activity based/lecture-based.   All in-class assignments will consist of  written assignments and group discussions, quizzes, and class discussions (individual and group).


The following is a tentative guideline for the course activities and assignments for the quarter:





Textbook Required:

Thill, John V., Courtland L. Bovee. Excellence in Business Communication, 5th edition. Prentice Hall, 2002.
student website:
The student website complements the textbook and offers many opportunities for improving your writing and research techniques.

Week One

Read Chapters 1, 2, 3

Case Studies, Oral presentation, WA#1,

Basic Skills

Week Two

Read Chapters 4, 5, 6

Case Studies, WA#2, research techniques

Week Three

Read Chapters 7, 8, 9

Case Studies, WA# 3, 4

Week Four

Read Chapters 10, 11, 12, 13

Case Studies, Report Topic and Report Outline due

Week Five

Continued Reading Chapters 10-13

Case Studies, Proposal and Bibliography due

Week Six

Midterm Exam-Chapters 1-6

Midterm Exam, Revise proposal, continue research

Week Seven

Read Chapter 14

Case Study, WA# 5, Progress report due

Week Eight

The employment process will consist of a four-part process: the resume, the letter of application, the follow-up letter, and the application form.
The follow-up letter may be one of the following: the acceptance letter, the rejection letter, the thank-you letter, or the inquiry letter.
In today's marketplace, the electronic resume is becoming the most popular method of posting resumes on such sites as,,; to name a few. Also, listed are a number of sites mentioned in this week's lecture. These sites which offer valuable references pertaining to personality, resume techniques, and interview tips.

Read Chapter 15

Case Study, Resume, follow-up letters, application format due Week Nine

Week Nine

Oral Presentations

Groups selected randomly, *All Reports are due this week.

Week Ten

Oral Presentations

Groups selected randomly

Week Eleven

Final Examination-Chapters 7-15

All written materials (reports, etc.) will be given back after the final exam.






There will be no makeup allowed for missed in-class assignments and quizzes.  The course evaluation will consist of the following breakdown:  written assignments (30%), examinations/quizzes (30%), oral presentations (10%), and analytical report (30%). 


The above weekly guidelines are given so that you can manage your time wisely and efficiently.  The analytical report is quite time-consuming and will take approximately 40 hours to complete the assigned topic in an efficient and effective manner.  The report must be indicative of your own research efforts.  The report must be based on the assigned topics outlined on the website created by Dr. Christopher. 


You may choose to undertake the report project either as an individual or team-work effort.  However, the creation of a team and its outcome is the responsibility of each member of the group.  Please do not take part in a team project unless you are prepared for the various group efforts displayed by each team member.  Team members must make a concerted effort to participate equally in the written and oral components of the report project. 


The grading scale for the quarter is as follows:  A= 90-100, B= 80-89,  C= 70-79,

D= 60-69, F= -60.  No one can earn a passing grade for the quarter unless they submit a final project, oral presentation, and final examination.  These conditions are set by the core competencies as outlined for the Business Communication course.