English 420: Business Writing

Business Writing at Purdue University: 

From the Purdue English Department Website: “Workplace writing in networked environments for management contexts. Emphasizes organizational context, project planning, document management, ethics, research, team writing. Typical genres include management memos, reports, letters, e-mail, resumes (print and online), oral presentations.”

Course Design:

Instructors of ENGL 420 implement writing projects and activities designed to prepare students for business, professional, and managerial writing contexts. My iteration of ENGL 420 draws on the importance of crafting and maintaining professional personas in workplace and teamwork environments, giving students practice experience preparing job documents for career fairs and practice conducting market research for entrepreneurship and start-up project concepts. For samples of these unit assignments and the course structure, see below. I taught this course face-to-face in the Fall of 2018 and the Spring of 2019.

Course Description: 

From the Syllabus (available below): This class will focus on the rhetorical principles and best writing practices for participating in a 21st-century workplace. As part of this course, we will learn the conventions of various professional genres including resumes, business letters, memos, reports, and digital marketing materials. We will also be placing a heavy emphasis on identifying the rhetorical situations that necessitate these various forms of business communication. This class is held in a computer classroom that will act as a site for in-depth discussions and a workshop environment for collaborative documents.

Syllabus for Spring of 2019, Fall of 2018: docx | PDF

Unit 1 Assignments:

  • Job Document Portfolio: docx | PDF

Unit 2 Assignments:

Unit 3 Assignments:


All assignment sheets and syllabus content are mine unless otherwise noted.
Please do not adapt or reproduce without credit/permission.