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Guide to Teaching Materials

Dr. Mary Ellen Guffey

Emerita Professor of Business
Los Angeles Pierce College
E-mail: m.e.guffey@cox.net
Web: www.meguffey.com













Mary Ellen Guffey

E-mail: m.e.guffey@cox.net

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Guide to Teaching Materials

Unit 1


My primary goal in writing Essentials of Business Communication was to offer a
text/workbook that would teach essential language skills to students in a hurry to put these
skills to work in a career. A secondary goal, however, was to provide instructors with
excellent, completely organized course materials so that they could be immediately effective
in the classroom with a minimum of experience and effort.


The Ninth Edition of Essentials of Business Communication features an exceptional number
of time-saving ancillaries and resources. Some come from the publisher, others may be
downloaded from our premier Web site, and some (such as author quizzes) come directly
from me. This Instructors Manual explains the many resources available with Essentials,
9e, and provides suggestions on how to use them.
Annotated Instructors Edition (ISBN: 1133190367)
The Annotated Instructors Edition provides an easy-to-read, all-in-one manual from which to
teach. Answers to end-of-chapter review questions, writing improvement exercises,
grammar/mechanics checkups, and the diagnostic test ensure classroom efficiency. Places
where supplementary lectures may be presented are marked in the text. Be sure you have the
AIE and not the student edition from which to teach!
Instructors Manual With Solutions and Test Bank
(ISBN: 1111970165)
Invaluable to novice and veteran teachers alike, the Instructors Manual provides exceptional
teaching ideas and materials, summarized here and described in more detail in later pages:

Prebuilt Coursethe easy way to plan a course

Complete lecture notes
Course planning and classroom management tips
Teaching tips for online and hybrid classes
Assessment/grading methods and rubrics
Collaboration tips and activities
Sample course schedules
Suggested answers for critical thinking questions
Solutions for Writing Improvement, Grammar/Mechanics Challenge, and Editing
Challenge exercises
Transparency master solutions for nearly all e-mail, memo, and letter activities
Video discussion guide for Building Workplace Skills and Bridging the Gap videos
Suggested responses to questions in Workplace in Focus photo essays

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Guide to Teaching Materials

Instructors Resource CD (ISBN 1111970653)

The Instructors Resource CD (IRCD) provides the following:
Instructors Manual, including solutions
Instructors PowerPoint presentation slides
Print version of the certified test bank
Transparency masters in Word
ExamView testing program
Triple-Option PowerPoint Slides
The PowerPoint program for the Ninth Edition provides three sets of slides: (a) a set for
instructors, (b) an enhanced multimedia set for instructors, and (c) a student set. No other
business communication textbook offers a comprehensive triple-option PowerPoint program
with different slides for instructors and students, as well as multimedia slides for Internet
viewing. The new slide program captures attention, creates lively lectures, and, most
important, improves learning and retention.
Instructor PowerPoint Slides (available on the Instructors Resource CD
ISBN: 1111970653)
Different from the student slides, the Instructor Version uses color, animation, photos, and
creative graphics to introduce concepts and engage students in interactive dialogue. As many
as 80 dazzling slides for each chapter outline concepts, present new examples, and summarize
key points.
Instructor Multimedia PowerPoint Slides (available on the Instructors Resource
CD ISBN: 1111970653)
For instructors in Internet-enabled classrooms, the Multimedia Version includes everything
from the Instructor PowerPoint slides but adds links to two sets of student videos: Building
Workplace Skills videos and Bridging the Gap videos. A total of 13 videos is available.
Student PowerPoint Slides
Available at www.cengagebrain.com, the student PowerPoint slides present basic concepts in
a colorful program that reviews important chapter concepts. Instructors have a rich assortment
of PowerPoint slides; students have a slimmer version.
Transparency Masters
You may be thinking that transparencies are terribly pass, but many instructors are not
always assigned to rooms that are digitally equipped. Tried-and-true overhead projectors can
save the day. Written by Dr. Guffey, 227 transparency masters summarize, supplement, and
highlight course concepts. They provide lecture summaries, additional examples,
effective/ineffective documents, enrichment ideas, and interactive quizzes.
Because of the cost of preparing and mailing acetates, we are making this collection of
transparency masters available at the Instructor Web site and also on the Instructors Resource
CD (IRCD). Because they are digital, you can customize them to fit your lectures.

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Guide to Teaching Materials

Overview of EBC Testing Materials

EBC, 9e, provides a number of test and quiz materials summarized here but explained more
fully in other parts of this manual:

Test banks are provided with 100 questions for each of 14 chapters.
Student Web site chapter quizzes (25 points each) with answers and feedback are
provided to students; grades or completion are not reported to instructors.
Unit tests are available in the IM and also as part of ExamView.
Author chapter quizzes are available from Dr. Guffey.
WebTutor product provides timed chapter quizzes with grades reported to instructor.

Certified Test Bank (Included in the Instructors Manual)

This Instructors Manual now contains revised test banks with 100 questions for each chapter.
The test banks include multiple choice, true-false, and fill-in questions. Many of the multiplechoice and true-false questions are new. We also provide three unit tests available in this
manual and also with ExamView. If you prefer to customize these unit tests, you will find a
digital version on the Instructors Resource CD.
When developing an assessment program, remember that objective testing material does not
always adequately reveal your students ability to apply the principles being taught. I
recommend, therefore, that you assign an ample number of in-class and out-of-class writing
problems and exercises to enable you to evaluate students performance with greater validity.
ExamView Testing Software (available on the Instructors Resource CD
ISBN: 1111970653)
Free to adopters, ExamView Pro enables instructors to create paper or online tests in minutes.
All test bank questions are available through ExamView. You can customize a test, print
multiple versions, or save tests for delivery via the Internet. You can track student results and
view detailed item analysis. Online testing is available at your Web site or with ExamView
acting as host. Check with your sales representative for more information. Test bank questions
may also be downloaded from the instructor site accessed at http://login.cengage.com.
ExamView software, however, is available only on our Instructors Resource CD. Instructor
support for ExamView is available at http://www.cengage.com/support/.
Authors Chapter Quizzes
Instructors using Essentials of Business Communication, 9e, may request a set of 20-point
paper-based chapter quizzes from the author. Some quiz questions come from the test banks.
These quizzes are presented as handouts that can save instructors much time in preparation. To
receive this set of quizzes, send an e-mail request explaining what book and edition you are
using, along with your full contact information to m.e.guffey@cox.net. We can send these
quizzes only to instructors with campus e-mail addresses.
Expanded Video Collection (ISBN: 1111970645)
For the Ninth Edition, we bring instructors and students a new video, Technology in the
Workplace. This video accompanies our new Chapter 5, Electronic Messages and Digital
Media. Illustrating appropriate and inappropriate use of technology in todays workplace, this
fast-paced video is sure to stimulate class discussion as students learn how to use todays

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Guide to Teaching Materials

technology professionally. This new video joins the following Guffey video libraries from
which instructors may choose:
Video Library 1 Building Workplace Skills presents eight high-quality DVD videos made
especially for Guffey books, introducing and reinforcing concepts in the Ninth Edition of
EBC. These excellent tools boost learning by demonstrating chapter-specific material to
strengthen students comprehension and retention of key ideas.
Video Library 2 Bridging the Gap presents five DVD videos taking students inside real
companies such as Organic Valley, Cold Stone Creamery, and Hard Rock Cafe. Most videos
provide a structured writing assignment aimed at bridging the gap between the classroom and
the real world of work. See the Video Discussion Guide for suggested responses to critical
thinking questions, assignments, and solutions.
Aplia Help With Homework
Aplia, an online, interactive tool, ensures that students review fundamental grammar and
mechanics as well as understand concepts presented in Essentials of Business Communication,
9e. Aplia facilitates learning by increasing student effort and engagement. Aplia is not
automatically included with the Ninth Edition. If you would like more information, student
pricing, or to see a demo, please check with your sales rep or contact Aplia at 1-888-858-7305
or email info@aplia.com. Aplia includes the following:

Auto-graded, chapter-specific assignments that hold students accountable for reading and
understanding the text

Grammar and mechanics tutorials that require students to remediate on key writing skills
so that instructors spend less time reviewing and more time teaching advanced writing
Access to an ebook version of Essentials of Business Communication, 9e.

WebTutor (Blackboard: 1133049079; WebCT: 1133049095)

WebTutor is an interactive, Web-based student supplement that can be packaged with the
textbook. Instructors can incorporate WebTutor as an integral part of the course, or students
can use it on their own as a study guide. WebTutor for Essentials includes the following:
Chapter overviews with narrated slides
Chapter review quizzes
Model document demonstration problems
Flashcards of key vocabulary
Critical thinking case tutorials
Online testing and scoring
Threaded discussion questions
Video cases and video segments
Distance learning instructors will find the WebTutor supplement particularly helpful in
designing and customizing online activities. See your sales rep for more information about
WebTutor for your course.

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Guide to Teaching Materials

Workplace Simulations
New to this edition are three simulation activities that help students transfer their skills to the
workplace. Located at the student site, Writeaway Hotels Simulation encourages students to
practice managing and writing e-mail messages. Designed as an in-class activity, the
simulation works best for 12 to 25 students, each playing a role within the fictitious company,
Writeaway Hotels. Within 30 minutes in a computer lab or classroom, students read, write,
and respond to messages to each other. During a debrief discussion, students evaluate
messages sent during the simulation. Aggresshop is a simulation that helps students apply
principles of customer and internal communication in a retail environment. Bank on Me
simulates a hiring cycle in which students participate in the recruitment and hiring process at a
financial services company. All three simulations have complete instructions and instructors
guide at the instructor Web site.
Newsletter: Business Communication Newsletter
Instructors using Guffey textbooks will find business communication teaching ideas and
relevant current events in Dr. Guffeys Web-based Business Communication Newsletter. It
contains news of interest in the business communication course as well as news from the
author, teaching modules, writing improvement exercises, and bonus case studies with
solutions. Visit http://guffey.swlearning.com/newsletter where the current edition is always
available. To receive announcements of each quarterly issue, send an e-mail message (no
subject line, no content) to join-guffeylist@lyris.dundee.net. You will then receive a
message asking you to confirm your registration.


Instructor Web Site (http://login.cengage.com)
Because our Web site is not created from a publishers cookie-cutter template, it can offer
much more than most textbook sites. To gain access to the Guffey premier site, complete the
sign-in at http://login.cengage.com. Our premier instructor site offers you an extraordinary
collection of practical classroom teaching materials, including the following:

Prebuilt course containing introduction, class schedule, syllabus, and grading plan for
Essentials of Business Communication, 9e.

Downloadable supplements including Instructors Manual, PowerPoint slides, certified

test bank, lecture transparencies, and solutions.

KnowNow with a continuously refreshed library of relevant news stories related to each
chapter topic. Each news story offers an engaging perspective on real workplace issues
and is supported by creatively designed discussion questions.

Downloadable classroom teaching modules on topics such as business etiquette,

listening, peer editing, informational interviewing, document design, e-newsletters,
teamwork activities, and more.

Downloadable bonus writing activities including Ten Good/Bad Documents and

Supplementary Cases.

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Guide to Teaching Materials

Downloadable writing handouts that help students improve control of active-passive

voice, capitalization, commas, pronouns, and 17 other problem areas.
Textbook information informing you about what is available.
Links to professional organizations to help you find conferences and associations.
Link to Dr. Guffeys Business Communication Newsletter bringing you quarterly issues
with classroom teaching tips, news items, and case studies.
Student Web Site (http://www.cengagebrain.com)
Free to every student with a new book, the student companion site presents unparalleled
interactive self-help resources to expand and enhance student learning. Numerous resources
assist students in developing basic grammar, mechanics, language, and writing skills. Other
resources strengthen retention of textbook concepts, and still others develop listening,
etiquette, and Internet skills. Students may purchase access to this site if an access card did not
come with their textbooks. The following resources are available:
PowerPoint slides (student version) summarize and illustrate chapter concepts.
Chapter quizzes of 25 points are learning tools that test comprehension of textbook
concepts and reinforce retention with feedback and explanations.
Your Personal Language Trainer, an interactive self-teaching resource, functions as a
mini business English course reviewing grammar, punctuation, and usage while offering
constructive feedback on student answers.
Beat the Clock games test student knowledge of chapter concepts in a fun, competitive
Writing Improvement Cases allow students to revise the textbook documents online
without rekeying.
Interactive Grammar/Mechanics Checkup exercises enable students to complete
exercises similar to those in the textbook with immediate feedback and answers.
New simulations with case-based scenarios place students in workplace settings so they
learn to apply their communication skills on the job as they react to real-world challenges.
Speak Right! helps students improve their pronunciation of difficult words.
Spell Right! helps students improve their spelling skills with interactive exercises.
Flashcards review key terms from the glossary so that students internalize vocabulary and
concepts that are the foundation of their learning.
Bonus module, How to Write Instructions, illustrates the creation of workplace
Bonus module, Business Etiquette Guide, helps students to brush up their workplace
etiquette skills.
Writing resources include links to online writing labs for students to find answers to
questions regarding writing techniques.
Links to MLA and APA citation formats provide guidance in documentation.
Report topics offer an updated list of nearly 100 business report topics.

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Guide to Teaching Materials

Unit 2

Students in this course study the principles, strategies, and techniques of effective written,
oral, and digital business communication. Emphasis is placed on reviewing grammar and
mechanics as students create successful written messages including e-mails, memos, letters,
reports, and rsums. Students learn productive techniques for business meetings,
presentations, and interviews, as well as communicating professionally in an increasingly
global, digital workplace.

During a course using Essentials of Business Communication, students will achieve the
Demonstrate polished grammar, punctuation, and usage skills necessary to create,
proofread, and edit typical written business messages and oral presentations.
Prepare clear, concise, and well-organized e-mails, memos, letters, and reports.
Implement problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in preparing business messages
and presentations.
Demonstrate professionalism while developing effective listening, nonverbal, meeting,
team, and cross-cultural skills.
Gain hands-on experience in the use of digital tools for researching, reporting, composing,
and interacting on the job.
Create persuasive, professional rsums, cover letters, and other employment messages.
Demonstrate superior interviewing techniques when applying for employment.


Writing Emphasis
My convictionbased on 35 years of teaching experience supported by the results of
standardized testingis that most students come to a basic business communication class
without adequate writing skills. My primary goal in this textbook is to help these students
improve their writing skills. However, I realize the importance of speaking, listening, and
nonverbal skills. These skills also receive attention.

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Guide to Teaching
Course Planning

Revision Exercises
Many of the initial writing exercises in Essentials of Business Communication require students
to rewrite poorly written messages. Because postsecondary and college students often lack
business experience and the ability to create a context for hypothetical problems, I have used
existing messages to create situations that contain most of the data students will need to solve
communication problems. Moreover, poorly written messages provide an opportunity for the
instructor to discuss common writing errors. Therefore, instead of having students create an
entire document, they are sometimes asked to revise a faulty one. This approach allows
students to concentrate on appropriate strategies and writing skills. As students progress
through the course, however, fewer rewrites are provided.
Writing Plans and Model Documents
In each edition of Essentials of Business Communication, I have presented writing plans and
many model documents to help students organize their messages. Some teachers criticize
writing plans because these plans are not totally realistic, they say. Rarely do workers on the
job, they argue, meet the identical context that the writing plan presents. However, I am firmly
convinced that writing plans are an effective teaching device for novice writers, especially at
the postsecondary level. Many of our students lack business experience, and it is difficult for
them to provide a valid context so that they can get started with a message. They have not had
enough experience in business to know where to begin a message or how to develop it.
Essentials provides ample writing plans and model documents so that students know exactly
how to organize and format their messages.
Grammar and Mechanics
Essentials of Business Communication, 9e, offers the following resources for business
communicators who need to review grammar and mechanics.

Grammar/Mechanics Diagnostic Pretest. A 65-point diagnostic test appears in the

Grammar/Mechanics Handbook. This test with answers is printed in the Annotated
Instructors Edition of Essentials of Business Communication. A blank copy is printed in
this manual, along with a list of answers. A blank copy and a list of answers are also
available at the Web site for instructors. These electronic copies may be sent to students if

Grammar/Mechanics Posttest. This edition also includes a posttest, which has been
judged to be valid for assessment comparison. This posttest can help you gauge whether
your students did enough studying to improve their grammar/mechanics scores.

The Grammar/Mechanics Handbook in Essentials of Business Communication contains

principles as well as exercises for review and application. These exercises may be used
for in-class instruction or for individual assignments to supplement the text.

Cumulative Editing Exercises appear in the Grammar/Mechanics Handbook. These 10point exercises review all grammar principles cumulatively. They may be used for
quizzing; only the instructor has the answers.

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Grammar/Mechanics Checkups Now Online! Every chapter includes a concise

review of sections from the Grammar/Mechanics Handbook. Students may complete this
exercise in the textbook and check answers at the end of the book. For further practice
they may complete the exercise online at www.cengagebrain.com. The online exercises
parallel the textbook checkups but with different content. Students receive immediate
feedback and explanations.

Advanced Grammar/Mechanics Checkups appear at www.cengagebrain.com. These

15-sentence self-checked exercises are crammed with errors in spelling, word use,
grammar, punctuation, usage, and style. In correcting each sentence, students learn to
remedy common problems in grammar and mechanics. These review exercises are meant
as learning, not assessment, tools.

Teaching Materials

Whether to teach grammar/mechanics in the classroom, ignore it, or assign it in supplementary

exercises is a decision youll make based on your goals and philosophy. In my classes I
administer the Grammar/Mechanics Diagnostic Test to motivate students and to pinpoint their
strengths and weaknesses. Then I spend two or three class sessions reviewing the material in
the Grammar/Mechanics Handbook and checking its application exercises. Following this
initial intense overview, I continue to reinforce the grammar and mechanics principles as the
class progresses to writing principles and strategies. Research has shown that grammar
instruction is most effective when it is not taught in isolation. Students remember the
principles better when they are able to apply them in writing contexts.
Oral Reporting
If your course emphasizes speaking skills (presented in Chapter 12), you might consider this
plan. Require students to make three presentations. The first might be an ungraded two-minute
self-introduction at the beginning of the course. The second report, delivered halfway through
the course, is a five-minute presentation on a magazine article (see Activity 12.2). The third
report, delivered at the end of the course, is a five-minute presentation on the topic of their
long written report or on any other topic. The final presentation may be an individual or team
experience. The second and third presentations may include PowerPoint slides.
Long Report
If your course includes a long report, you might want to follow the course schedule shown in
Figure 1.2. This schedule allows for the introduction and development of the report while the
class progresses through Unit 3, Communicating at Work (Chapters 5 through 8). In the two
weeks before the report is due, a number of class sessions are devoted to report writing. If you
want your students to have the experience of a long report but not a formal report, consider
assigning a 1500-word memo or letter report from Chapter 10.

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Course Planning
Guide to Teaching


The following course schedules describe three different plans for the business communication
class. Two schedules are intended for 16-week courses, and one schedule is intended for a 10week course. By studying these schedules, you can see how the chapters can be arranged to
accomplish various goals and terms.

16-Week Course (Schedule 1)

45 class meetings of 50 minutes each (includes grammar instruction and oral
reporting; excludes long report)

Topic or Activity
Grammar/Mechanics Diagnostic Test
Grammar/Mechanics Handbook instruction and exercises
Brief introduction of Chapter 12, Business Presentations; class introductions
Chapter 1, Communication Skills as Career Filters
Chapter 2, Planning Business Messages
Chapter 3, Composing Business Messages
Chapter 4, Revising Business Messages
UNIT TEST 1 (Chapters 14)
Chapter 5, Electronic Messages and Digital Media
Chapter 6, Positive Messages
Chapter 7, Negative Messages
Chapter 8, Persuasive Messages
UNIT TEST 2 (Chapters 58)
Chapter 9, Informal Reports
Chapter 10, Proposals and Formal Reports
Chapter 11, Professionalism at Work
Chapter 12, Business Presentations
Chapter 13, The Job Search, Rsums, and Cover Letters
Chapter 14, Interviewing and Following Up
Oral presentations, mock employment interviewing, or guest speaker

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Teaching Materials


16-Week Course (Schedule 2)

45 class meetings of 50 minutes each (includes oral reporting and long report
but excludes grammar/mechanics instruction)

Topic or Activity
Grammar/Mechanics Diagnostic Test (assign individual remediation)
Chapter 1, Communication Skills ass Career Filters
Chapter 2, Planning Business Messages
Chapter 3, Composing Business Messages
Chapter 4, Revising Business Messages
UNIT TEST 1 (Chapters 14)
Introduce long report; begin collecting data
Chapter 5, Electronic Messages and Digital Media
Chapter 6, Positive Messages
Chapter 7, Negative Messages
Chapter 8, Persuasive Messages
UNIT TEST 2 (Chapters 58) or in-class writing assignment
Discuss long report progress, report organization
Chapter 9, Informal Reports
Chapter 10, Proposals and Formal Reports
Discuss long report format, presentation, guidelines; long report due
Chapter 11, Professionalism at Work
Chapter 12, Business Presentations
Chapter 13, The Job Search, Rsums, and Cover Letters
Chapter 14, Interviewing and Following Up
Oral reports

10-Week Course
35 to 40 class sessions of 50 minutes each (includes e-mails, memos, letters,
oral reporting, and employment communication)

Topic or Activity
Grammar/Mechanics Diagnostic Test (assign individual remediation)
Chapter 1, Communication Skills as Career Filters
Chapter 2, Planning Business Messages
Chapter 3, Composing Business Messages
Chapter 4, Revising Business Messages
UNIT TEST 1 (Chapters 14)
Chapter 5, Electronic Messages and Digital Media
Chapter 6, Positive Messages
Chapter 7, Negative Messages
Chapter 8, Persuasive Messages

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Guide to Teaching
Course Planning



UNIT TEST 2 (Chapters 58)

Chapter 9, Informal Reports (discussion only)
Chapter 11, Professionalism at Work
Chapter 12, Business Presentations
Chapter 13, The Job Search, Rsums, and Cover Letters
Chapter 14, Interviewing and Following Up
Oral presentations, mock employment interviewing, or guest speaker

This Prebuilt Course is intended to help you organize a complex business communication
course. I know from experience how challenging it is to develop an effective and complete
course, especially when the number of relevant topics and the array of supplements continue
to grow. Its difficult to know what to assign, how much students should do, and where to find
everything. Because increasing numbers of adjuncts are teaching this course and because I
have so many inquiries asking for help, I have spent considerable time preparing this basic
Prebuilt Course for your convenience.
Orientation. The syllabus orientation provides a template for you to use in preparing your
syllabus to distribute to students. It includes a photograph of the textbook, contact information
for you, course justification, learning outcomes, and course policies. You can, of course, alter
any of these to fit your course.
Course Schedule. This Prebuilt Course is organized for a 14- to 15-week course that meets
three times a week in 50-minute classes in a total of 42 class meetings. However, you can
adjust the outline to your course. If your course meets once a week, cover three class meetings
from the syllabus. If your course meets twice a week, cover the material from three class
meetings in two sessions.
You may decide to omit or deemphasize some chapters in the textbook. However, I
recommend assigning all the chapters to be read even if they are not covered in lectures. Tests
will cover all the chapter content. Tell your students that as college students they are expected
to be able to read and internalize material even if it is not presented in lectures.
Emphasis on Writing Skills. This course focuses on developing writing skills, which are very
important in all careers and which employers say are lacking in graduates. The course also
includes grammar and mechanics, which is presented at the beginning of the course with
review exercises in every chapter.
Course Content. This basic course covers the following:
Communication foundations (Chapter 1 and 11 devoted to listening, nonverbal skills,
etiquette, team skills, professionalism, ethics, and intercultural communication).
Writing techniques (Chapters 24)

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Teaching Materials

Business correspondence (e-mail, letters, memos in Chapters 58)

Report writing (Chapters 9 and 10)
Oral presentations (Chapter 12)
Employment communication (Chapters 13 and 14)

This is a lot to cover in one 14-week course! If you prefer to spend more time on
correspondence, you can eliminate the time spent on reports. If you prefer to focus on a long
analytical report, you might not want to cover employment communication. You may not
cover reports at all, focusing on oral presentations and employment communication. This
Prebuilt Course is a basic course. You may alter it by giving more or less emphasis to any of
the general areas shown.
Grading Plan and Grade Record Sheet. This basic course includes my recommended
grading plan and provides a template for assessing written assignments. The Prebuilt Course
also includes a grade record sheet for you and your students to track their grades. This sheet
shows every graded assignment for the course. You can adjust the number of graded
assignments upward or downward, but be sure that every assignment (segment) is worth 100
points. For example, my Prebuilt Course has four memos, e-mails, and letters worth 100 points
each. A report receives 300 points (3 segments), and an oral presentation is worth 200 points
(2 segments). Distribute the Grade Record Sheet early in the course and discuss how it works.
Check-in Assignments. Some homework assignments can be checked in to indicate
completion. They do not receive grades and merely tell you that the student completed the
assignment. If a student completes 100 percent of the check-in assignments, the students
score would be 100 points. If 90 percent are completed, the student receives 90 points. Checkin assignments are useful for homework that is turned in.
Testing. My Prebuilt Course calls for three unit tests and one final exam. The ready-made unit
tests, available in the Instructors Manual and on the Instructors Resource CD, contain 50
items, most of which are from the test banks. Each unit test is worth 100 points. The final
exam, however, must be prepared by the instructor. I did not prepare a final exam because
instructors may not cover written reports, oral presentations, or employment communication.
Here are some possibilities for the final exam: (a) an objective test with 100 points, covering
the entire course, (b) an objective test with 50 points covering Chapters 13 and 14 plus a
writing assignment from Chapters 58, or (c) a letter or short report-writing assignment from
one of the chapter activities. If you prefer to focus totally on writing and if you prefer not to
give objective tests, use all of the unit test time for graded in-class writing assignments.
Grammar/Mechanics. This course emphasizes grammar and mechanics. However, I did not
introduce it in the first three class sessions. To avoid scaring off students, I suggest focusing
on the first chapter before starting a grammar review, as suggested in the course schedule.
After the in-class review, students complete much of the grammar/mechanics work on their
own. At the student companion Web site, they have a comprehensive grammar and
punctuation review program called Personal Language Trainer. They may also complete the
end-of-chapter Grammar/Mechanics Checkup exercises online. I suggest giving the
Grammar/Mechanics Pretest early in the course. Toward the end of the course, you might want

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Guide to Teaching
Course Planning


to give the Grammar/Mechanics Posttest to see whether students have improved. Some
instructors lower the final grade in the course if students have not improved.
Calculating Final Grades. Students keep track of their assignments and grades on the Grade
Record Sheet. On the last day of class, I allow class members to study for the final exam (or
take a practice final) while I calculate final grades with each student individually. My Prebuilt
Course has 16 graded segments. Students total their grades and divide by 16 to learn their
course average. For the final exam, they can estimate their grade to give a close approximation
of the final grade they will receive. You, of course, will calculate the final grade including the
exact final exam grade. Since the final exam counts for only 100 points (unless you change its
value), it usually does not alter the final average significantly. My course contains 16 grading
segments. However, you can reduce or enlarge that number as necessary for your course. If
your course has only 14 total grading segments, you divide the total number of points by 14. I
have provided a grading scale, but you can alter the AF points if you wish. Calculating each
students final grade on the last day of class is a tremendous time-saver and stress reducer. I
highly recommend this strategy!
Revising Assignments. Writing authorities recommend revision as an important technique in
developing writing skills. You may want to allow students to revise a limited number of
assignments, but only if significant changes are made. The second attempt can earn no more
than 90 points. See the discussion on Revision in this manual.
Converting the Instructors Guide to a Student Syllabus. I have written the course
schedule with the instructor in mind. To convert this multipage document to a student handout,
you should make some changes. Read through the Class Activities column and remove or
rephrase some of the items so that they are not instructions to you. Insert your class meeting
dates in the first column below the class meeting numbers.
Teaching Tips
Try to reserve five minutes at the end of each class to preview the homework assignment
for the next class. Starting an assignment with the students motivates them to complete it
out of class.
Start with an easy writing task for the first graded assignment.
Consider giving name tents to students on the first day of class. When they have a
question, they raise their name tent. Displaying the name tents helps you learn their names.
Have them make their own name tents in class on the first day.
Prepare your grade book with an extra blank line between all student names so that you can
cross out grades and replace with revised scores if you allow students to revise their
Return tests and graded assignments at the end of the period unless you plan to use class
time to discuss them. I have found that students focus better on the class lecture and
discussion when graded assignments do not distract them.

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Teaching Materials

Office Hours:
Course Name and Term:
Meeting Time and Place:
Web Access Site:
Required Textbook:
Other Requirements:

Your name
Your telephone
Your e-mail address
Your office address
Your office hours
Your school, course name, and term
Your meeting time and place
Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy:
Essentials of Business Communication, 9e
Internet access and a working e-mail address

Course Description
Students in this course study the
principles, strategies, and techniques
of effective written, oral, and digital
business communication. Emphasis
is placed on reviewing grammar and
mechanics as students create
successful written messages
including e-mails, memos, letters,
reports, and rsums. Students learn
productive techniques for business
meetings, presentations, and
interviews, as well as communicating
professionally in an increasingly
global, digital workplace.

Course Objectives
This course is designed to develop
the following professional skills:

Course Justification
Developing excellent communication
skills is extremely important to your
career success, whether you are
already working or are about to enter
todays workplace.
Surveys of employers show that
communication skills are critical to
effective job placement, career
advancement, and organizational
Writing skills are more important than
ever because technology enables us
to transmit messages more rapidly,
more often, and to greater numbers
of people than ever before.
Todays flatter organizations and
digital workplace demand that every
employee be a skilled communicator.
Communicating and collaborating
with peers, managers, clients, and
customers who differ in race,
ethnicity, gender, age, and lifestyle is
commonplace and requires special

Written Communication. You

will develop or improve your
ability to use clear, concise,
and grammatically correct
language as you employ
appropriate formats in writing
e-mail messages, memos,
business letters, reports,
citations, presentation outlines,
cover letters, and rsums.
Oral Presentation. You will
develop or improve your ability
to select, organize, and deliver
information in businesslike and
professional presentations.
You will study effective verbal
and nonverbal techniques and
practice delivery in a
nonthreatening, supportive
environment. You will develop
skill in using visual aids,
handouts, and multimedia
presentation materials.
Interpersonal, Team, Digital.
You will develop or improve
your ability to listen, to
contribute to team
performance, to plan and
participate in productive
meetings, to use collaborative
technologies, to use digital
technologies safely and
effectively, to understand and
employ nonverbal skills to
advance your career, to work
in diverse environments, and to
gain a competitive edge with
professionalism and business
etiquette skills.

Course Policies

Attendance. As in the
workplace, you must attend
class and be on time. Roll call
will be conducted the first five
minutes of each class. If you
are not present, you are
considered absent or tardy.
Two tardies equal one
absence. Three absences
reduce your final grade by one

Late assignments. Anything

submitted late will receive only
50 percent of its total points.
Being absent or late is not an
excuse for submitting a late

Plagiarism. Written
assignments must be your
original work. Please review
the institutions definition of
plagiarism and the resulting

Preparation. An initial reading

of all study assignments
should be completed prior to
the class period in which the
material will be discussed.

Oral assignments cannot be

made up.

Digital tools. All cell phones,

smartphones, and computers
must be turned off during
class unless authorized by
your instructor.

Food and drinks. No food or

drinks may be brought to the

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Guide to Teaching
Course Planning


Prebuilt Course Assignment Schedule

The following schedule outlines a possible 14- to 15-week class (42 class sessions). If your
term is 16 or 18 weeks, spend more time on the outlined activities. If your term is 10 or 12
weeks, condense or delete some activities. This schedule describes a course that covers
grammar and mechanics, correspondence, short reports, oral presentations, and employment
1, 2, 3

Introduce instructor. Present course orientation and syllabus.
First class: Students write persuasive letter: Why I should be allowed to take this class.
Discuss how to read textbook.
Present Chapter 1 using IM lecture notes and PowerPoint slides or transparencies.
With every chapter assignment, students read chapter, study chapter review questions,
complete Grammar/Mechanics Checkup (online or in book), complete assigned
exercises, and view PowerPoint slides at Web site.
Have students introduce themselves using Activity 1.3 or 1.4.
Assign selected Chapter 1 activities. Discuss in class.
Assign Dr. Guffeys Online Communication Skills Assessment and Listening Test at Web
If time, show video Career Success Begins With Communication Foundations or
Intercultural Communication at Work

4, 5, 6

Give Grammar/Mechanics Diagnostic Pretest from textbook. Students grade own papers.
Discuss strengths and weaknesses from G/M Profile.
Study G/M Handbook and complete exercises.
Introduce Personal Language Trainer (PLT) at Web site. Consider collecting PLT printout
of Step 3 quizzes (10-pt) to check in.
Assign Chapter 2.

7, 8


Present Chapter 2. Use IM lecture notes and PowerPoint slides or transparencies.
Call on students to answer selected Chapter Review questions.
Discuss activities and exercises. Check homework.

9, 10


Present Chapter 3. Discuss selected activities and exercises.
Check homework.

11, 12


Present Chapter 4. Assign selected activities and exercises. Check homework.
If time, show video, Guffey Writing Process Develops Fluent Workplace Skills.
Review for unit test.

Class 13

UNIT TEST, Chapters 1-4

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14, 15, 16


Present Chapter 5. Return and discuss unit test at end of period.
Assign selected activities and check homework.
Discuss and distribute grading scale (if not done earlier).
Collect one activity to be graded.
Consider showing video, Smart E-Mail Messages and Memos Advance Your Career
and Technology in the Workplace.

17, 18, 19


Present Chapter 6.
Assign selected activities and check homework.
Collect one activity to be graded.

20, 21, 22


Present Chapter 7.
Assign selected activities and check homework.
Collect one activity to be graded.

23, 24, 25


Present Chapter 8.
Assign selected activities and check homework.
Collect one activity to be graded. Review for unit test.

Class 26

UNIT TEST, Chapters 5-8

May give in-class writing assignment instead of test.

27, 28, 29


Present Chapter 9.
Assign report. Establish due date (possibly Class 33). Consider assigning team report.
Discuss report topics individually with students.

Class 30


Present Chapter 10 briefly.
Discuss high points in chapter but only for reference.

Class 31

Work day.
Check rough drafts of student reports. Consult individually.

32, 33


Present Chapter 11.
Discuss selected activities and check homework.
Collect reports.

34, 35


Present Chapter 12.
Discuss selected activities and check homework.
Consider showing video, Effective On-the-Job Presentations.

36, 37

Students make individual or team oral presentations; class evaluates.
Students may use report topic from Ch. 10 or a new topic for presentation.

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Course Planning
Guide to Teaching

38, 39


Present Chapter 13.
Assign selected activities and check homework.
Students write rsums and revise until perfect.
Consider showing video, The Job Search.
May continue oral presentations.

40, 41


Present Chapter 14.
Discuss selected activities.
Consider having mock interviews or a speaker.
Consider showing video, Sharpening Your Interview Skills.
May continue oral presentations.

Class 42


Unit Test 3 or review for final exam.
Consider calculating final grades individually with students.


Introducing chapters
Preview each chapter at the end of the preceding class meeting. Students are more likely
to complete their homework if you start it with them.
Use the Instructors PowerPoint slides or transparencies to introduce and explain chapter
concepts. Use the slides as the basis for an expanded lecture. Use lecture notes from
Instructors Manual.
Using optional classroom activities
Administer chapter quizzes (obtain from author).
Review Grammar/Mechanics Checkup and Editing Challenge exercises.
Review specific sections of the Grammar/Mechanics Handbook.
Show relevant videos (see Video Discussion Guide).
Have two students work together to complete exercises or end-of-chapter activities.
Compose selected activity assignments together in groups or as class (see Teaching
Techniques in this manual).
Encouraging students to use Web Companion Site at www.cengagebrain.com.
Students can enhance their learning at their own pace by doing the following:
View PowerPoint slides for colorful chapter review.
Pump up their language skills by completing Personal Language Trainer exercises.
Study flash cards to reinforce chapter vocabulary and concepts.
Complete Grammar/Mechanics Checkups with immediate feedback.

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Teaching Materials

Grading Suggestions
Consistency, fairness, and simplicity are the hallmarks of course grading. You will find many
grading methods described in this manual in Evaluating Writing Assignments.
I highly recommend my Assigned Weights Method. It enables you to give every writing
assignment a number grade based on specific points earned in the assignment. This objective
scoring system has proved effective in avoiding confrontations with students. They understand
and accept grades when based on numerical rating systems.
Templates showing my recommended grading rubrics for writing assignments and oral
presentations appear on pages 39 to 41.
A report assessment form appears on page 42. Distribute this rubric to students for them to
sign and submit with their reports. The report rubric shows 100 points; however, it counts as 3
segments in the grading plan (300 points). You might want to increase the points on the rubric
to 300 to clarify the total score to students.
As part of the Prebuilt Course is a Grade Record Sheet, which appears on the next page.
Distribute it to students for them to track their grades.

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Guide to Teaching
Course Planning


Grade Record
Date _____________________________
Keep printouts of your assignments and record your scores here.
E-Mails, Memos, Letters

Point Value

Your Grade

100 pts.
100 pts.
100 pts.
100 pts.



300 pts.


Oral Presentation

200 pts.


Chapter 5 [name specific activity]

Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8

Employment Communication
Cover Letter

100 pts.
100 pts.

Unit 1 Test
Unit 2 Test
Unit 3 Test
Final Exam

100 pts.
100 pts.
100 pts.
100 pts.


Estimate your final exam grade to calculate your final average.

Check-in Assignments
Ch. 2 Writing Improvement
Exercise (WIE)
Ch. 3 WIE
Ch. 4 WIE
Ch. 5 WIE Case
Ch. 7 WIE Case
Other check-in activities __________

100 pts. possible

If all assigned activities are checked in, you receive 100 pts.
If 90% are checked in, you receive 90 pts. And so forth.

Divide total by number of 100-pt. segments (16 )
Your Mathematical Average



A = 93 to 100%
B = 85 to 92%
C = 76 to 84%
D = 65 to 75%
F = 0 to 64%
Grammar/Mechanics (optional)
Your final grade will be lowered grade (3.5 points) if you do not pass the Grammar/Mechanics
Instructors: Use this as a template. Fill in the activity numbers you plan to grade. You can increase or decrease the number of assignments
(segments), but be sure each equals 100 points. Consider including some assignments that are checked in but not graded. These assignments
are handy to make sure students are doing their homework. Change the grading scale to your standards.

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Guide toPlanning
Teaching Materials


Many instructors are now teaching business communication in an online or hybrid format.
Essentials of Business Communication, 9e, provides outstanding resources that can help you
create an effective and pedagogically sound online course:
WebTutoravailable for Blackboard, WebCT, and selected other platformsoffers a
content-rich teaching and learning aid that helps instructors easily create strong, interactive
online classrooms using a cartridge that can be incorporated in your course management
system. Ready-made premium content includes flashcards, online quizzes, additional Web
links, threaded discussions, narrated PowerPoint presentations, and e-lectures. In addition,
WebTutor provides other important tools including a course calendar, synchronous chat,
e-mail, and an asynchronous discussion board. Learn more about Cengage WebTutor
from your sales representative or at http://www.cengage.com/coursecare/cartridge/.
Premium Student Web Site provides online access to an exceptional array of resources
including chapter review quizzes, Your Personal Language Trainer, Speak Right!, Spell
Right!, PowerPoint chapter review slides, writing improvement cases,
grammar/mechanics exercises with answers and feedback, flash cards reviewing key
terms, report topics, etiquette module, and other learning tools.
Instructors Web Site provides online access to downloadable supplements, exercises
and handouts, writing improvement exercise, and many teaching modules.
Sample Syllabi. All business communication courses are organized differently. To see
how a few other instructors have organized their online or Web-based business
communication courses, send an e-mail to the author (m.e.guffey@cox.net) and request a
list of sample syllabi from instructors across the country who are using Guffey books. Be
sure to include information about your school, your course, and yourself.
Teaching Tips for Online or Hybrid Classes
If you are considering teaching business communication online, check with your college to
find out what resources and training are offered to online instructors. You should also do
research to learn about some of the best practices that others are using to make their online
classrooms positive, interactive, and rich learning environments for online students. Here are a
few proven best practices:

Organize your online course materials so that students can easily navigate them and can
clearly understand what is expected of them.

Even when using publisher materials such as those provided with Essentials of Business
Communication, personalize and embellish them to add greater value and individuality to
your course.

Place a digital image of yourself in your online classroom so that students feel more of a
connection to you. Encourage students to share digital photos of themselves.

If you decide to have mandatory on-campus meetings (for orientation, exams, and so on),
provide alternative accommodations for students who are unable to come to campus
during required times.

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Guide to Teaching


Develop a fun introductory assignment to help students get to know one another.

Respond promptly to student questions, and provide prompt and constructive feedback for
all assignments.

Set firm deadlines to help students manage their time and stay on track. Provide regularly
scheduled activities, and do not let students procrastinate.

The student needs to feel connected to the online class. Provide ample opportunities for
student-student interaction. Develop group projects, and plan other activities so that
students work with one another.

Encourage students to use the discussion board for frequently asked questions (FAQs).
This saves time for you and reduces your e-mail. If a student e-mails a question pertaining
to the course, say, Mark, this question should be posted on the FAQ discussion board so
that all students may benefit from the answer.

Organize the discussion board into categories representing potential types of questions
related to course content.

Consider giving grades or extra credit for discussion board posts. See the sample rubric
for assessing discussion board performance following the last item.

When communicating with students, do so in a respectful, positive way. Check the tone of
all e-mail messages and discussion board postings before sending them. Also check your
messages and postings carefully for accuracy and clarity before sending them. Because
you are serving as role model in this course, your grammar and spelling must be perfect!

Invite and encourage online students to visit during your on-campus office hours.

If a student has stopped logging on to your online classroom and is not responding to your
e-mail messages, try calling the student. Its often this extra encouragement that can get
an online student back on track.

Grading Rubrics for Online Discussion Performance

Many instructors with online courses encourage discussion by making it part of the students
grade. Following are two possible rubrics, one comprehensive and the other fairly simple.

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Teaching Materials

Comprehensive Discussion Group Rubric




(8) points




morespellingorgrammar fewerspellingor


(8) points


(8) points











Simple Discussion Group Rubric















Source: Crews, T. B., and Smith, M. (2011, April). Using Facebook vs. Blackboard discussion board for FAQs in a large
online course. Business Education Forum, 28.

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Guide to Teaching
Course Planning


Suggestions for Reducing Cheating in Online Classes

Even when following the best practices, online instructors are naturally concerned about
testing and security in their online classrooms. Without seeing the students in person, how can
you be sure that the student is actually completing his or her own work? Here are some tips
you can use to combat cheating in your online classroom:

Let students know exactly what you expect of them and inform them of any college
regulations concerning academic honesty.

The more interaction you have with students, the more you will become aware of their
abilities and writing styles. Develop discussion board assignments that require students to
interact regularly and frequently with you and with each other.

Use a variety of evaluation instruments in your course, and require numerous and
regular assignments. The more required of students, the more difficult it would be for
them to find someone else to complete the work for them. Grades in an online business
communication course should be based on a variety of assignments (e.g., writing
assignments, tests, participation, discussion board assignments, and so on).

Change your assignments and tests from semester to semester so that students who have
already taken your class cant share information with others.

Do what is necessary to prepare your students well for tests and exams. Provide study
guides, review sessions, and opportunities for students to ask questions on the discussion
board. Encourage and help students set up study groups. Tell students exactly what to
expect when taking tests (number of questions, types of questions, time allowed, etc.)
prior to the test.

Unless you give your tests in a monitored environment, you must assume that all tests
you give are open book and open note. Write your test questions accordingly. Use
questions that test students application of knowledge. Make sure your questions are
challenging, even if students are using their books. Include questions that come from
your lecture notes and from classroom discussions.

Use the security features included with course management packages of Blackboard and other
platforms to perform the following:
1. Deliver questions one at a time, where students must answer a question before moving on to
the next question. Select whether questions can be revisited after they have been answered.
2. Set a time limit, but make it realistic for all students, including ESL students and those
with learning disabilities.
3. Allow students to take the test only one time.
4. Make tests available for only limited periods of time.
5. Require students to enter a proctor password or IP mask address to access the test.
6. Release test scores and results only after the availability period is over. This will prevent
students from taking the exam and then sharing answers with other students during the
availability period.
7. Randomize the order that questions are released to students.
8. Create alternate questions so that students receive different question sets.

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