1. Do I need to know grammar, punctuation, and spelling?

    Yes, these essentials help you build what we call a business sentence. Any of these elements missing can hurt the sentence. You may want to make sure your English 155 or equivalent courses have you prepared for this business course.

  2. Will I learn resumes and application letters?

    Yes and no. The department and the Core Review Committee of the College of Business have deleted those subjects from the course outline. They believe these subjects can be found at the The Career Center or related locations. I do not agree with them. I think these subjects are why students enroll in Business (Cross Disciplinary) 105. Therefore, we will probably have an introduction to them.

  3. How will I be graded?

    You will receive two grades on each paper, one for content and one for mechanics. Please see the web site on Grading Standards for more explanation. Each grade counts 50 percent.

  4. Do I need to know the computer?

    As with most business classes, you will be expected to prepare your assignments keyboarded. It would not hurt for you to already know something about Microsoft Word and Excel. The College of Business occasionally offers class in these subjects through its computer center.

  5. Will I write (and learn how to write) memos?

    Yes, you will. You will probably get tired of writing memos. Memos are the lifeblood of business transactions, including e-mail. An e-mail is nothing more than a memo with a few, subtle changes.

  6. Will I improve my writing skills?

    That is up to you. The course is intended to help you improve your writing skills. Your attitude will be important in this endeavor. In 15 weeks we cannot change the habits of a lifetime. However, we can at least make you aware of the need for improvement.

  7. Do I need an up-to-date dictionary and thesaurus?

    Yes, you will. A dictionary older than five years is probably not up-to-date with the language. The language and the use of words are constantly changing. It would not hurt to have a thesaurus for selection of words and variety of words. You should not depend on the spelling of words on your Spell Checker, because the dictionary may be more up-to-date.

  8. How much out-of-class work will be required for this class?

    Because you are delving into a businesss writing class, you will be asked to do considerable writing and rewriting. We are having to overcome habits of some 12-15 years or more. Writing cannot be done sufficiently by talking about writing. You need to experience the task and its rewards. An assignment every week will not be unusual in this class. This previous statement is not meant to discourage you. You should be realistic about whether you want to improve your writing.

  9. Will the writing skills I learn in this class carry to other classes and courses?

    Former students have told me they are praised for their memos and executive summaries written in other classes. They apply the writing techniques on their job. Whenever they write term papers for other courses, they do not have to worry about the form of the bibliography. The essay help prepares them for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam.

  10. Will the class be based on lectures?

    No, the class will not be based on lectures. Lectures will serve as an adjunct to the course material. Lectures will usually concern the development of writing skills and ways to improve the business writing. You cannot expect to write the same way at the beginning of the semester as you do at the end of the semester. Lectures do not improve writing; they enhance techniques already experienced in the writing process.

  11. How will the analytical report be taught?

    The report will be taught in sections. I assume students do not know how to write reports, especially analytical reports. They may have written memos, but these memos do not constitute longer analytical reports. Analytical reports deal with Considerations (Findings), Analysis (Conclusions), and Decisions (Recommendations). These sections require highly developed logical writing and penetrating insight. These skills require polish and practice.

  12. Will I need to read the textbooks?

    The textbooks enhance the learning process. By avoiding the purchase of the textbooks, you may avoid learning. Textbooks are meant to enhance the in-class comments and lectures. One of the textbooks is particularly up-to-date with the Web and the use of databases. Another textbook covers material from portions of the Web that you will always have at your fingertips. Another smaller paperback enhances material covered with in-class exercises. Yes, purchase the textbooks and use them wisely.

  13. Will I use the Web and need to know how to use the Internet?

    The Web has now become an integral part of the course. The Web is constantly updated with the latest thinking from the classroom and other sources. You cannot escape using the computer and the Internet in this class. Please get used to referring to the Web about once a week. The Web is considered an adjunct to teaching and learning. The Web is meant to inform and keep you up-to-date. The Web may also occasionally feature exercises that need to be done. If you do not possess Internet skills, then please check with the Computer Lab and the Learning Resources Center for classes and help. I will keep you alerted in class about any changes to any web sites.

  14. What happens about my lateness to class?

    Lateness in business or in the classroom should not be tolerated. Occasionally, people may have legitimate reasons for entering class late. Normally, you should expect to be at class on time. It is most disconcerting to have a student walk past a professor lecturing and say, "Excuse me." Also, you may interfere with the learning of the other students. I don't want you to miss class, but habitual lateness indicates an attitude that, if carried to business, could be detrimental. Work on planning for the extra problems on the freeways and parking on campus.

  15. Will I be required to express myself orally in class?

    Yes, you will. Business requires individuals to express themselves clearly and concisely. I will especially call on members of the class in all sections of the room. You may not have to express yourself orally every day, but once a week is not unheard of. Please try to overcome any shyness and say what you believe about your writing concerns. I do not expect you to believe everything in the classroom, but the authority and weight of certain points should be considered. Your opinion is welcomed, as long as it is considered an informed opinion based on evidence and data. Slandering another student is never welcomed. People from different cultures have a right to express their opinions as well. Perhaps, we can learn from each other.

  16. What will I learn?

    You will learn a multitude of ideas and writing points. First, we will talk about the importance of listening and do an exercise. Then, you will be exposed to the good and bad writing of memos. Memos constitute the lifeblood of business, along with forms. Eventually, you will be asked to prepare much longer memos as informational and analytical reports. Along the way, you will have a chance to use the computer as a writing tool. We will finish the semester talking about oral presentations and actually doing some. The course may be considered one of the most valuable ones you will take in the College of Business and Economics.

  17. What if I hate grammar and never learned it properly?

    Most of us hate grammar, perhaps because of the way it was taught to us. You need to overcome some of your prejudices and see grammar for what it is: a way to organize sentences. Grammar can actually be fun, if you approach the subject as a learning experience. We can never learn enough grammar. Sentences require careful construction, and grammar aids that effort. Let me know if I can help you in your quest for better grammar.

    Last updated Wednesday, June 25, 1997

    (c)copyright, G. Jay Christensen

    You may find additional help at my home pages where some 50 web sites are linked.