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Introduction to Business Writing & Technical Writing

Introduction to Business Writing & Technical Writing published on

This is the post for the week of August 28, 2017.

This is the course website for these four courses, all taught by Traci Gardner at Virginia Tech during Fall Semester 2017:

  • English 3764 (Technical Writing), CRN #83879
  • English 3774 (Business Writing), CRN #83890
  • English 3774 (Business Writing), CRN #83891
  • English 3774 (Business Writing), CRN #83892

Information on all assignments, weekly activities, and related resources for these courses will be posted here. Check this site regularly for the details on what to do for the course.

Notes for This Week

  • Mandatory Syllabus Quiz due today! The English Department requires that you complete an assignment by 11:59PM on the first day of classes. There is no grace period, and there is no extension possible. If you do not, you will be dropped from this course by English Department policy. Details are in the first bullet point under the “Tasks to Complete This Week” heading.
  • Two Courses, One Site? It may seem strange, but yes, this site and the various resources we are using are for two different classes: Business Writing and Technical Writing. Why? The policies and general set-up for the courses are the same. The readings, activities, and assignments are sometimes different. Sometimes they do overlap. Basically, I would rather spend my time helping you than maintaining two nearly duplicate sites.
  • Work Hours: Normally, I am online from late afternoon through early morning hours. I’m not a morning person. So look for responses from me during those hours.

Readings for This Week

Tasks for This Week

You will notice that there are a lot of tasks. I try to post everything that you need to do at the beginning of each week. In my experience, online students have to fit work for this course in around many other responsibilities. By posting everything at the beginning of the week, I hope that I give you enough lead time to fit the coursework around your other obligations.

Here’s what you need to do for this week:

  1. Complete the Course Overview Module in Canvas. You will read the various course documents and then take a syllabus verification quiz.
  2. Confirm that your notifications in Canvas are set the way you want them. Note that Canvas uses your notification preferences to determine whether to email you or text you (or not tell you at all) about information on the site. See the section "How do I adjust my notification preferences?" in the Student Getting Started with Canvas Guide for more information on setting up your notifications.
  3. Add a professional profile picture to your Canvas account. Follow the Canvas documentation to add a profile picture in your user account. Since this is an online course, your profile picture helps me see you as more than just a name on the course roll.
  4. Join our team on Slack and say hello in #general. Check out the information on the Help with Slack page for details on how to choose a username and how to use the discussion tool. You can also ask for help in #general—and if you see someone ask a question you can answer, please chime in. We will use Slack for informal discussion and real-time conversations.
  5. Add a professional profile picture to your Slack account. Photos will help us all get to know one another and will personalize the discussion. Without photos, it’s just a list of names for your classmates. If you need help, check the Slack documentation on editing your profile.
  6. Discuss writing in the workplace with your Writing Group in Discussions in Canvas. After reading the Why Good Writing Is Needed for Better Jobs Infographic, write a reply that explains five capabilities people in business fields or technical fields need to be successful. You should make one post by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, 8/30, then collaborate to build a group list of ten capabilities by 11:59PM on Friday, 9/1. The grace period for this activity ends at 11:59PM on Tuesday, 9/5 (you get an extra day because of the Labor Day holiday).
  7. (optional) Participate in my AMA: Ask me anything on Slack. Post any questions you have about me, my background, or the course. Read whatever has been posted. Add replies or follow-up questions as desired. Please keep the conversation classroom-friendly.
  8. Watch this site or Announcements in Canvas during the week for additional information about the course and the work that we will do together. There will be posts daily that give you more details..
  9. By 11:59PM on Friday, September 1, write your 09/01 Labor Log in Canvas. Read more details on Labor Logs page. The grace period for your log entry ends at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, September 5 (again, you get an extra day because of the Labor Day holiday)


Image Credit: Why Good Writing Is Needed for Better Jobs from Grammarly.


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