English 3106
Professional Communication
Fall 2012
Section 01 (CRN 85250)

Dr. Chip Rogers
Phone: 742-8957
Email: chip@chipspage.com
Website: www.chipspage.com

Office: Humanities/Social Sciences (H/SS) 203
Office phone: 471-5366
Office hours:
MW 10:00-11:00; TR 11:00-12:30,
and by appointment


As stated in the MSC Catalog, English 3106 "emphasizes the importance of effective communication in the workplace. Students will learn and demonstrate skills through written and oral exercises, assignments, and projects, such as letters, memos, and reports."  Fundamentally, this course provides theories, strategies, models, and best practices for a wide variety of workplace communications. Students will develop an appreciation for audience in diverse rhetorical situations and demonstrate clear, precise writing style and reader-friendly document design. The course will involve collaborative writing and composing in both printed and electronic formats.

bulletAt least a “C” in ENGL 1102.

Texts and Materials

bulletWriting That Works: Communicating Effectively on the Job, by Walter E. Oliu, Charles T. Brusaw, and Gerald J. Alred, 10th Edition.

Each class is important, so it is crucial that you be in class on time every day. I record attendance, and absences do affect your grade. Students with more than four absences cannot pass the class, regardless of the reasons for any of the absences—I make no distinction between "excused" and "unexcused" absences. I understand that "stuff happens," and not every student will be able to attend every class meeting. I will try to work with you on any major assignments you happen to miss, especially when you let me know about the absence before missing class: feel free to call me at home or send email anytime you must miss class.

Late work: Late work is penalized one letter grade for each class day the assignment is late. Work turned in more than three class days late will receive no higher grade than F, and I accept no work more than two weeks late.

Plagiarism: Except for assignments expressly calling for collaborative effort, all written work must be your own. Any unacknowledged borrowing from the writings of others will be considered plagiarism, a serious breach of academic integrity. I will submit cases of plagiarism or other academic dishonesty for review by the Student Conduct Officer. The penalty for plagiarism in this class is an "F" for the entire course, not just the assignment in question. 

Note that this more specific definition of plagiarism will be operative in this class:

1. It is plagiarism to copy another’s words directly and present them as your own without quotation marks and direct indication of whose words you are copying.  All significant phrases, clauses, and passages copied from another source require quotation marks and proper acknowledgment, down to the page number(s) of printed texts.

2. It is plagiarism to paraphrase another writer’s work by altering some words but communicating the same essential point(s) made by the original author without proper acknowledgment.  Though quotation marks are not needed with paraphrasing, you must still acknowledge the original source directly.

3. Plagiarism includes presenting someone else’s ideas or factual discoveries as your own.  If you follow another person’s general outline or approach to a topic, presenting another’s original thinking or specific conclusions as your own, you must cite the source even if your work is in your own words entirely.  When you present another’s statistics, definitions, or statements of fact in your own work, you must also cite the source.

4. Plagiarism includes allowing someone else to prepare work that you present as your own.

5. Plagiarism applies in other media besides traditional written texts, including, but not limited to, oral presentations, graphs, charts, diagrams, artwork, video and audio compositions, and other electronic media such as web pages, PowerPoint presentations, and postings to online discussions.

For more on plagiarism, follow the "On Plagiarism" link on my website.

MSC Academic Misconduct Statement: "As a Macon State College student and as a student in this class, you are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the MSC Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct is included in the MSC Student Handbook and is available online at http://www.maconstate.edu/studentlife/docs/studenthandbook.pdf."

MSC Policy on Disability Accommodations: Students seeking academic accommodations for a disability or learning disorder must contact the MSC Counseling Center (471-2985) located in the Learning Support Building, Room 110, on the Macon campus.

"Technical Policy" (re: plagiarism detection): "a plagiarism prevention service may be used in evaluation of written work submitted for this course. If directed by the instructor, students are expected to submit or have their assignments submitted through the service in order to meet requirements for this course. The papers may be retained by the service for the sole purpose of checking for plagiarized content in future student submissions."

Instruments of evaluation and final grade breakdown

 Class participation
 In-class exercises
 Writing assignments
 Critical response assignments
 Critical response corrections
 Final portfolio

Participation: Most class periods will involve open discussion of the reading assignments with little lecture, so your participation in discussion is essential. I will call on reticent or "quiet" students. To participate, obviously you must be present in class; to score higher than B- in participation you will need perfect attendance and to contribute in discussion spontaneously and appropriately several times each class meeting, as well as being fully engaged in all in-class exercises and other activities.

In-class exercises: generally brief exercises, both written and oral, that will vary as need and context dictate; will sometimes involve collaboration with classmates in group work.

Writing assignments: typically, "homework assignments" selected from the exercises following chapter reading assignments in the textbook. 

Critical response assignments: typed informal writings of at least 200 words usually responding to posted topics related to the readings before we discuss them in class. Note that each critical response assignment is valid for one class period only, and that critical responses are accepted only by the beginning of the period for which they are assigned. I will post critical response questions on the web and announce them in class the meeting before each reading assignment is due. 

Critical response corrections: For at the first two critical responses you submit, after your work is graded you will 1) record all marked errors on corrections worksheets, and 2) hand in corrected drafts with all changes highlighted. Since corrections require a freshly printed draft after the paper has been graded, you should save all your work on disk to avoid having to retype entire drafts. For specifics, see corrections instructions

Final portfolio: a selection of writing assignments from throughout the semester, including revisions of some in-class exercises and writing assignments; will feature resumés, business letters, memos, proposals, and reports.

You should track your grades throughout the semester by keeping a "Scorecard." You can also track grades and find your cumulative average (overall course grade) by downloading and filling in the "grade calculator" for this class from my website. Feel free to email me any time throughout the semester to check your cumulative grade.

A note on note-taking: Although this course involves comparatively little lecture, you will do well to take notes every class period. "A" students typically take extensive notes. Even in class periods where your classmates do more "discussing" than the professor, you should make note of any significant points made by anyone in the discussion. You would also do well to underline, highlight, or otherwise note all passages from the readings that we take special notice of in class.

The Bottom Line: I hope every member of this class gets an A, and I will do all I can to make this happen. Don't get me wrongthe standards for "A" work are high, and I make no exceptions in course policies on absences, missed assignments, plagiarism, or late work. The number-one key to succeeding in this class is that you take responsibility for your own success, meaning that you attend to all assignments with your most careful and earnest diligence, that you respond positively to any setbacks and heed my feedback on all assignments, and that you seek my help as much and as often as you need it. I guarantee you have one of the most accessible professors at Macon State: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver

Addenda to the syllabus:
bulletEnglish 3106 schedule of readings and assignments.
bulletEnglish 3106 scorecard.