CMNS 1811
Business, Professional, and Academic Composition

3.0 Credits


Students in this course learn the theory and the practice of successful academic, business, and professional writing. They examine the similarities and differences involved in writing for business and academic purposes. Students also study and apply conventional methods of academic research and documentation involved in completing essays and reports.

Delivery Method

Print-based and Web-based.


None required, but it is recommended that students have 73% on the combined English 12 and Government Exam (within the last five years), or Level 4 on the composition section of the LPI (within the last two years), or completion of ENGL 0601, or completion of ESAL 0570 and 0580 with a grade of C+ or better.


After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize and explain the features that make business and professional writing both similar to and different from academic writing;
  • Recognize and correct common grammatical errors in writing and speech;
  • Recognize and adjust writing that is inappropriate to academic, business, and professional situations in tone, style, audience match, visual organization, focus on purpose, and/or choice of channel;
  • Create documents for academic and business situations requiring definition, description, comparison, cause/effect, process analysis, and division/classification modes of development;
  • Design and create documents that meet or exceed the expectations of the relevant academic, business, and professional communities; and
  • Research a topic through primary and secondary research techniques and sources.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Introduction

Unit 2: Visual Literacy and Document Design

Unit 3: Rhetorics (part 1)

Unit 4: Rhetorics (part 2)

Unit 5: Rhetorics (part 3)

Unit 6: Critical Thinking and Writing

Unit 7: Professional Correspondence

Unit 8: Exposition and Description

Unit 9: Cause/Effect, Division/Classification, and Process Writing

Unit 10: Secondary Research

Unit 11: Primary Research

Unit 12: Improving Formal Reports

Maximum Completion

30 weeks (print-based and web-based), 16 weeks (online-paced).

Required Text and Materials

Gerson, Sharon J. and Steven M. Gerson. Technical Communication: Process and Product with MyWritingLab. 7th ed. Columbus, Ohio: Pearson, 2012.
Type: ISBN: 9781323030073 - CUSTOM PUBLICATION

Additional Requirements

Computer with Internet is required.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. The primary communication is by phone if you are taking the print version of the course and through "Mail" tool in the Learning Environment if you are taking the web version. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


To achieve a passing grade, you must obtain 50% on the mandatory final project and 50% overall.

It is strongly recommended that students complete all assignments in order to achieve the learning objectives of the course.

Your final grade for the course is determined on the following basis:

Assignment 1 10%
Grammar Quiz 1 5%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Grammar Quiz 2 5%
Grammar Quiz 3 5%
Unit Writing Tasks 25%
Final Research Project * 20%
Total 100%