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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

ENGL 0661: Written Communication

This course provides an introduction to writing clear, positive messages and to understanding basic writing strategies. It is designed to help you to be more proficient at the kind of writing you need to do-at home, at school, and in the workplace. This course will show you some typical techniques for effective writing and will give you practice in writing various sorts of e-mail messages, memos, letters, college essays, and workplace reports.

Learning outcomes

  • Gather ideas, define and narrow topics, evaluate, select, and order material to write organized paragraphs, essays, reports, emails and business or personal letters.
  • Adjust the content and style of your writing to purpose, audience, and situation.
  • Develop letter-writing strategies.
  • Produce business writing (including reports and memos, emails, and letters) with minimum preparation time.
  • Write a persuasive essay incorporating the basics of an approved style and format (such as APA or MLA).
  • Write a report that includes analysis and offers recommendations.
  • Write, revise, and edit work to improve content organization, word choice, phrasing, sentence and paragraph structure, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Recognize and correct clichés, jargon, slang, poor tone, and wordiness in sentences.
  • Use computer spelling checkers and grammar checkers appropriately and effectively.

Course topics

  • Unit 1: The Keys to Good Written Communication
  • Unit 2: The Writing Process
  • Unit 3: Strategies for Direct Messages
  • Unit 4: Strategies for Indirect Messages
  • Unit 5: Strategies for Report Writing
  • Unit 6: Writing Effective Essays

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Canadian Writer’s Reference with APA 2020 and MLA 2021 Update. 7th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2022.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-1-319-40003-3
  1. Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. Exercises for A Canadian Writer’s Reference. 7th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-1-319-19184-9

NOTE: The final exam is an open book exam. However, no digital or electronic resources will be permitted.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Assignment 5 10%
Assignment 6 10%
Final Examination (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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