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English 3430: Professional Writing

Fall 2019 Section #: 29855


Professor Sabrena P. Belz

Email: BelzS@uhv.edu
Phone: 281-794-2079
Office Hours: Available via Blackboard Email—
preferred method of contact

Required Text (available through VC/UHV Bookstore and online)

MacRae, Paul. Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide for Americans.
Broadview Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-55481-331-5.

Both paper and e-book editions are acceptable for the class. The publisher’s website for
the book is available here: https://broadviewpress.com/product/business-and-
*Helpful Link for APA and MLA Style Guidelines: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

General Requirements
1. Attendance and full participation in class
2. Student Success Center tutorials – submission of all major assignments: Link to
Student Success Center Login Page: https://uhv.mywconline.com/

Course Goals

1. To understand writing as a problem-solving strategy and as a tool of professional

communication and advancement.
2. To analyze different readers and target messages to them, maintaining good
“you” attitude throughout.
3. To understand the organizational strategies behind effective professional writing.
4. To increase proficiency in researching a topic using the library and other sources,
in synthesizing research material, in incorporating that material into a formal
report, and in documenting it.
5. To achieve fundamental written English skills.

Learning Objectives: Each objective is tied to one or more of the assigned papers.

1. To write a professional resume and application letter in response to a particular

job ad.
2. To tailor an effective message for a particular reader.
3. To write an effective proposal.
4. To paraphrase and summarize passages of text accurately and to document
them correctly.
5. To write an effective research report tailored to professional readers on a topic in
one’s profession.
6. To write successful professional correspondence, including positive, negative,
and persuasive messages.
7. To prove mastery of course content and grammar.

Final Exam Time and Passing Grades

The Final Exam is a 2-hour writing exam at the end of the semester. You need a 70% or
above on the Final Exam to pass ENG 3430. If you score below a 70%, you will
receive an incomplete (“I”) on your grade report, and you should contact me about
re-taking the exam. Students who do not retake the final by the date specified by
the School of Arts and Sciences will be asked to re-enroll in ENG 3430. Students
who do re-take the exam but fail it a second time will be asked to re-enroll in ENG

Participation in the Course

Being prepared for an online course means being ready to contribute actively to the
class through your written assignments and online postings. In addition, it is imperative
that we create a respectful, non-threatening environment in which to share our opinions
and thoughts about the world. We may not always agree with the cultural issues
addressed in class, but we must continue to be thoughtful, appropriate, and sensitive at
all times with one another. Intolerance or hostility with others will not be allowed. I am
the final moderator on Blackboard, and I will remove postings that are hostile, intolerant,
or inappropriate for the course.

Preparation is the first part of participation. Students should be prepared for the course.
Preparation includes completion of any reading and any homework assigned by the
instructor. Students should take their own notes and have access to copies of the
books. For every hour of class time, the instructor expects that students spend an hour
and a half to two hours in reading, research, or assignment drafting.

Contacting Me
The best way to reach me about this course is through the Blackboard Messages Tool. I
attempt to respond to Messages within 24 hours on business days (Monday-Friday, and
Sunday afternoons). Use professional courtesy when emailing by including a specific
topic in your subject line. Messages should not be sent to the whole class, and abuses
of the Messages system should be immediately reported to the instructor.

Student Success Center (SSC) Tutorials 361-570-4288


Student Success Center staff can help you improve your writing by giving you an opportunity to
interact with objective readers who can offer different perspectives. This opportunity will also
allow you to become a more objective reader of your own writing and to become better at
editing and critiquing your own work. You are required to submit all major assignments to the
Student Success Center (SSC) so you need to write your drafts and submit them in a timely
fashion to ensure feedback prior to the due dates. Since your assignments are due by midnight
on Monday in your designated Blackboard assignment dropbox, you should submit your rough
drafts of major assignments to the SSC by Tuesday or Wednesday morning of the previous
week. Students are required to use the ‘online tutoring’ link to submit their work.

General Course Structure, Grades, and Assignments

Although you will have some flexibility in completing course readings and activities, this course
is not self-paced. You will need to follow the weekly course schedule (see the icon on the course
homepage). The course is divided into weekly units. Each unit will require that you read
assigned material from the textbook or other sources, read lecture notes, participate in online
discussions, produce written documents, and submit course assignments to the UHV Student
Success Center online tutoring. What you will need to read, due dates, and other important
information will all be available in the weekly course schedule.

You receive "credit" or a grade for your participation in this class. While the participation grades
are important, each unit will also have a "major" writing assignment. These writing assignments
account for most of your grade. A more detailed description of each of these assignments, their
submission requirements, and due dates will be in the appropriate course unit.

UHV’s Standardized Policies

It is your responsibility to be familiar with the UHV Student Handbook. It contains
policies which both protect you and the integrity of the degree you are seeking.
Ignorance of university policy is not a defense for breaking or ignoring policy.
Particularly important policies are listed here.

Academic Integrity: “Students. . . have a responsibility to fulfill, and indeed an

investment to protect, in helping to ensure that academic achievement is
characterized by honesty and fair play” (UHV Student Handbook). The University
takes academic integrity very seriously. It is your responsibility to understand what
behavior violates academic honesty rules and to understand the consequences for
such violations. Please refer to the UHV Student Handbook:

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is an increasingly common form of academic misconduct. All

of the following are considered plagiarism:
 turning in someone else's work as your own
 copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
 failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
 giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
 changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving
 copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of
your work, whether you give credit or not.
Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply
acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your
audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to
prevent plagiarism. [adapted from: https://www.plagiarism.org/article/what-is-

Plagiarism Policy
If the materials you submit in the course do not convince me of the authenticity of your
work, then the burden of proof of authenticity is yours. Submitting someone else’s work
as your own or allowing someone else to write your papers is plagiarism and will result
in a failing grade for the course.

Plagiarized papers or projects will receive a grade of “0” (zero) -- no exceptions.

Cheating or collusion will also result in a grade of “0” (zero) on that paper or project.
Plagiarism or collusion on a second assignment will result in a zero in the course.
Students need to be aware that the instructor will be utilizing plagiarism software and
internet sources to check student work for potential plagiarism.

Services for Students with Disabilities: The University of Houston System complies
with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, pertaining to the provision of reasonable academic
adjustments / auxiliary aids for students who have a disability. In accordance with
Section 504 and ADA guidelines, the University of Houston-Victoria strives to
provide reasonable academic adjustments / auxiliary aids to students who request
and require them. If you believe that you have a disability requiring an academic
adjustment/auxiliary aid, please contact the UHV Office of Disability Services;
Cheryl Worley, Manager; University North, Suite 214 -H; Office – 361-570-4287; Fax
– 361-580-5504; worleyc@uhv.edu; www.uhv.edu/disabilityservices.

Student Services: The Academic Center offers writing assistance, subject-area
tutoring, testing services, and information resources. For additional information:
call 361-570-4288 or Toll Free: 1-877-970-4848, ext. 288; or visit their website:

Grievance Procedure: If you have a non-academic grievance or complaint, please

contact Student Services at 361-470-4133. If you have an academic grievance or
complaint, please contact your school’s dean. Please refer to the UHV Student
Handbook for additional information: http://www.uhv.edu/HandBook/.

Title IX: Sexual Misconduct: The University of Houston System including UHV seeks
to provide an educational environment free from sex discrimination, including non-
consensual sexual contact, sexual assault, sexual harassment, interpersonal
violence and stalking. We encourage you to report any sexual misconduct to UHV
Title IX Coordinators (361-570-4835; University West 116). If you report any sexual
misconduct to me, I am required to share that information with our Title IX
Coordinators. For more information about the UHS Sexual Misconduct policy and
counseling and support resources available to you, go to http://www.uhv.edu/title-

Student Conduct: Students are expected to participate in a mutually respectful

learning environment. If your behavior is disruptive, I will remove you from class and
you will be referred to the Office of Student Affairs and/or the Academic Dean.
Disruptive behavior is defined by the Student Code of Conduct as:
“3.6 Disruptive Classroom Conduct”: Disruptive classroom conduct means engaging
in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor’s ability to
teach or student learning. The classroom extends to any setting where a student is
engaged in work toward academic credit or satisfaction of program-based
requirements or related activities.” (https://www.uhv.edu/handbook/code-of-

A Final Note: The greatest determinant of your success this semester will be your own
ability to keep up with assigned work. Do not neglect readings - they are your key to
understanding the written assignments. Moreover, they’ll help you plan and produce
better final documents. Also, stay current with work and try to upload all writing
assignments at least one day in advance of the due date. This will help you avoid
technical issues and keep you current with the class work. Beyond that, be sure to
contact me via Blackboard email with any questions you might have. I am happy to

Section 29855–Fall 2019—Distance Ed Blackboard Course

Week 1 8/26/19 to 9/2/19--Diagnostic Memo/ Discussion Board

Week 2 9/3/19 to 9/9/19--Memo to Instructor Rough Draft/Discussion Board/Submit Rough Draft to SSC

Week 3 9/10/19 to 9/16/19--Memo to Instructor SSC & Final Draft/Discussion Board

Week 4 9/17/19 to 9/23/19--Audience Analysis Rough Draft/Discussion Board/Submit Rough Draft to


Week 5 9/24/19 to 9/30/19--Audience Analysis SSC & Final Draft/Discussion Board

Week 6 10/1/19 to 10/7/19--Business Letter and Email Rough Draft/Discussion Board/Submit Rough
Drafts to SSC

Week 7 10/8/19 to 10/14/19--Business Letter and Email SSC & Final Draft; Research Paper Topic
Summary/Discussion Board

Week 8 10/15/19 to 10/21/19-- Proposal Rough Draft/Discussion Board/ Submit Rough Draft to SSC

Week 9 10/22/19 to 10/28/19-- Proposal SSC & Final Draft/Discussion Board; Submit 8 Research Paper

Week 10 10/29/19 to 11/4/19-- Resume and Job Letter Rough Draft/Discussion Board/ Submit Rough
Drafts to SSC

Week 11 11/5/19 to 11/11/19-- Resume and Job Letter SSC & Final Draft/Discussion Board

Week 12 11/12/19 to 11/18/19—Research Paper References/Sources

Week 13 11/19/19 to 11/25/19--Research Paper—Rough Draft/Last Discussion Board/ Submit Rough

Draft to SSC

Week 14 11/26/19 to 12/2/19--Research Paper—Submit 8 ‘Marked’ Research Paper Sources & SSC; No
Discussion Board this week

*********************Thanksgiving Break 11/28/19-12/1/19************************

Week 15 (12/3/19-12/9/19)--Research Paper Final Draft/No Discussion Board this week

[The Final Draft of the Research Paper is due by midnight on Monday, 12/9/19]
Week 16—Final Exam
[*Final Exam—8:00am Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 until 6:00pm Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019]