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FIRST-YEAR RESOURCES

Rhetoric & Composition 2: Public Sphere Literacy
Unit Four: Workplace Literacy (Weeks 11-14)

Inquiry Theme: Contemplating Lives in the Workplace

Literacy & Rhetoric Goals: Students will

  • Define workplace literacy in terms of issues, genres, and style

  • Recognize and define different issues related to workplace literacy

  • Demonstrate ability to think in terms of problem-solution strategies

  • Recognize and employ conventions of business genres (memo, letter, report)

  • Recognize and employ conventions of business style (you-view, positive phrasing, clarity, conciseness)
  • Define and employ a corporate ethos

  • Address audience as business associates

  • Demonstrate ability to work in collaborate groups

  • Recognize legal and ethical concerns of business writing

Writing Goals: Students will...



  • Employ short writings (letters, memos) for invention & revision of their ideas

  • Write an informal report that defines a problem and offers a solution

  • Address audience effectively, invoking the four functions of business writing: to inform, to persuade, to generate good will, and to save readers time
  • Given purpose and audience, effectively organize the information via appropriate sections & headings
  • Given purpose and audience of the report, select & present information in terms of reader benefits and needs
  • Write effective introductions with purpose statements and problem statements

  • Write effective conclusions and recommendations

  • Project a confident, business-like ethos , including awareness of ethical and legal issues
  • Effectively employ strategies of business style

  • Use appropriate citation practices when needed

Speaking Goals: Students will ...

  • Employ oral presentations (OPs) for invention/revision of their final written projects

  • Adapt final written project into a 5-minute summary for a listening audience
Suggested Readings:



  • David Eaton, Cross-Cultural Training and the Bottom Line

  • Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

  • Katherine Macklem, Doing the Rag Trade Right

  • Jennifer Merritt, with Susan Scherreik, Congratulations, Graduate – You're Unemployed
  • Christopher Palmieri, Living on the Edge at American Apparel

  • Eric Schlosser, from Global Realization

  • Deborah Tannen, Men and Women Talking on the Job

  • Rob Walker, Conscience Undercover

  • Lena Warmack, Business Schools Place Emphasis on Ethics, Personal Values


Suggested Writings:

Short Writing 1: Memo to professor define a problem for which you would like to recommend a solution (focus on off-campus issues: work, volunteer organizations, etc.) [1p, typed, ss]

Short Writing 2: Progress Report Memo to professor on final report [1p, typed, ss]

Short Writing 3: Letter to professor on planned revisions for Unit 5 [1, typed, ss]

Paper 4: Proposal (Informal Report) Letter to selected audience [2pp, typed, ss]

Suggested Oral Presentations:

Presentation 1: Read SW #1 to small group (write it for a listening audience)

Presentation 2: Present SW #2 to small group (write for reading audience)

Presentation 3: Present briefing of final paper to class (5 people, 5 minutes each)

Unit Grade: 20% of final course grade

The unit grade will be awarded to the final essay; however , short writings must be completed on due dates AND turned in with Portfolio Three; likewise, oral reports must be performed. Otherwise students may lose 1/4 percentage point for each SW or oral report not completed on time or not included in the unit portfolio (cf. Course Policy Statement)


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