Indiana University Northwest

ENG-W231 Syllabus


Indiana University Northwest

Professional Writing Skills


English W231 (Web)



Instructor Name:       Linda Oldenburg
Phone:                        (219) 671-1004 (Please use the “Messages” link in

                                    Oncourse for contacting me)


See the **Course Guide/Schedule**for
session themes, readings, resources, and all assignment due dates.

Course Description


ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills (3 cr.)  P: ENG-W 131 or equivalent

This course is designed to develop research and writing skills requisite for most academic and professional activities. Emphasis on methods of research, organization, and writing techniques useful in preparing reviews, critical bibliographies, research and technical reports, proposals, and papers. Junior or senior standing recommended. (Fall, Spring, Summer I, Summer II)



Course Goals and Objectives


  • The purpose of this course is to prepare you for the writing assignments you will encounter in the business community.
  • Much of this writing will involve close observation, critical reading and analysis; improving your writing skills will also require working on your critical thinking.
  • You will learn to use writing as means to discover, develop, test, and refine ideas, and techniques for expressing and organizing those ideas effectively and clearly.
  • You will develop skills to effectively complete an adjustment letter, complaint letter, email, external proposal, internal memorandum, internal proposal, and a resume/cover letter/thank you response.

Course Materials

  • Required Text

    Alred, Gerald J. & Charles T. Brusaw & Walter E. Oliu. The Business

     Writer’s Handbook. 10th Ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press.  2012.

     ISN 13:978-1-4576-0448-5 ISN: 10:1-4576-0448-5

Grading Information

Grades will be determined as shown in the following assignment chart.  Detailed descriptions of assignments are available below and from the assignment links in the chart. Due dates are detailed in the Course Schedule.


The time in Oncourse is set to Eastern Standard Time. This means there is an hour difference if you live in area that is Central Standard Time.  Please make sure to submit assignments by 10:55 CST.



Assignments                                                                                     Points


Resume/Cover Letter/Thank You Correspondence                     100 points

Proposal: Internal                                                                             150 points

Proposal: External Sales                                                                 200 points

Proposal: Grant                                                                                200 points                                  

Online Portfolio                                                                                 50 points

Oncourse/Syllabus Quiz                                                                   25 points

Library Group Activity                                                                       50 points

Minor Writing Assignments            6@ 15 points                                       90 points

Discussion Questions                      6@ 10 points                           60 points

First Drafts                                       3@ 10 points                            30 points

Peer Reviews                                               3 @15 points                            45 points


TOTAL                                                                                            1000 Points







Class Policies Regarding Graded Work

**The following policies are in effect for all individual deliverables throughout the semester, unless noted otherwise. **

***Late Work***

  • Late Assignments are NOT accepted.
  • Computer problems, work or family obligations, etc. are not acceptable excuses for late assignments. 
  • Please make sure to have a back-up plan available in case of an emergency.
  • Please make sure to avoid submitting assignments at the last minute so you have time to address potential problems.

***Original Work***

All Assignments submitted in this course must be your original work. Please see the Plagiarism Policy below:



  • Plagiarism is the unfair use of a source. You commit plagiarism if you do not acknowledge the use of sources and/or when you present the work of someone else as your own.
  • Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic ethics with severe consequences, beginning with a failing grade for this course.


An incomplete grade may be assigned when a student is unable to complete the course due to an extreme circumstance. In order to receive an incomplete, the student must meet the following criteria:


  • Be in good academic standing at the time of the request
  • Is unable to complete a final assignment due to an extreme circumstance
  • Submit a formal request to the instructor


The instructor will determine if the request is valid and will notify the student if the request is granted. The instructor will send the student a date of completion for the assignment.


NOTE: The instructor will keep students apprised of assignment grades via the online class Grade book. Students are responsible for reviewing the grade book frequently and contacting the instructor of discrepancies. Students must contact the instructor if they do not receive any grade by 10 days after the assignment submission date.


Attendance Policy:


  • Attendance is calculated by your submission of work on Sundays. If you miss submitting work on 4 Sundays within the semester, you may be dropped from this course.


Course Requirements



  • It is imperative that you check your IUN Email, Messages and the Announcements I will post in class regularly. I will be posting the upcoming week’s assignments and any changes that may occur via your email, mail and announcements.


  • Please make sure to send me a message in Oncourse as soon as you encounter any questions or concerns.


Dates to Remember

Classes Begin:


Automatic Withdrawal Deadline


Classes End


Finals Week






IU Academic Policies

This course is governed by IU academic policies in the following areas:

  • Grading Guidelines
  • Writing Standards
  • Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
  • Course Evaluations
  • Students With Disabilities

IUN Flag Early Alert System

This semester I will be using IU’s FLAG Early Alert System to provide real-time feedback on your performance in this course. Periodically throughout the semester I will be entering data on factors such as your class attendance, participation, and success with coursework, among other things. This information will provide feedback on how you are faring in the course and offer you suggestions on how you might be able to improve your performance.
You will be able to access this information in the student center: Onestart > Student Services page > Student Center > My Academics and Grades > My Grades.


A+       97.0     1000-970

A         93.0     969-930

A-        90.0     929-900

B+       87.0     899-870

B         83.0     869-830

B-        80.0     829-800

C+       77.0     799-777

C         73.0     776-730

C-        70.0     729-700

D+       67.0     699-670

D         63.0     669-630

D-        60.0     629-600

F            0.0




Additional Information



The home page of Oncourse has links, video tutorials and several tips and updates to help you navigate the website. IU has prepared a reference page containing links to information about a variety of resources to help you function successfully in your online Oncourse class. 

Right to Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities 

Indiana University is committed to creating a learning environment and academic community that promotes educational opportunities for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Course directors are asked to make reasonable accommodations, upon request by the student or the university, for such disabilities. It is the responsibility of students with documented physical or learning disabilities seeking accommodation to notify their course directors and the relevant campus office that deals with such cases in a timely manner concerning the need for such accommodation. Indiana University will make reasonable accommodations for access to programs, services, and facilities as outlined by applicable state and federal laws.




Campus support office:






The college reserves the right to change any statements, policies or scheduling as necessary. Students will be informed promptly of any and all changes. 



Weekly Schedule: Assignments: Eng. W 231

All assignments are due on SUNDAYS, by 10:55P.M. (CST)

(BWH) refers to The Business Writer’s Handbook


Reading Assignments

Due Date

Assignments Due


  • Review your syllabus and the Course Announcement
  • Review the guidelines and grading rubric for the Resume Assignment
  • Review (BHW) pages 39-42; 283; 473-489






  • Writing Assignment One: 15 pts.
  • Discussion Question One: 10 pts.
  • Oncourse/Syllabus Quiz: 25 pts.





  • Review the Guidelines and Grading Rubric for the Resume Assignment





  • Final Resume Assignment: 100 pts.


  • Review (BHW) 419-421
    • Review Guidelines and Grading Rubric for the Internal Proposal Assignment





  • Writing Assignment Two: 15 pts.
  • Discussion Question Two: 10 pts.


  • Review: Peer Review Guidelines
  • Review Sample Paper formatted in MLA located under Resources
  • Review Citing Sources using MLA formatting Style







  • Draft: Internal Proposal: 10 pts.
  • Writing Assignment Three: 15 pts.


  • Review Example: Internal Proposal
  • Review the Peer Review Guidelines





  • Discussion Question Three: 10 pts.
  • Peer Review: Internal Proposal: 15 pts.
  • Library Group Assignment: 50 pts.



  • Review Peer Review Guidelines





  • Writing Assignment Four: 15 pts.
  • Discussion Question Four: 10 pts.
  • Final Internal Proposal: 150 pts.



  • Review the Guidelines and Grading Rubric for the External Proposal (Sales)
    • Review (BHW) 427-437






  • Writing Assignment Five: 15 pts.
  • Discussion Question Five: 10 pts.



  • Review the Guidelines and Grading Rubric for the External Proposal Assignment (Sales)





  • Draft: External Proposal (Sales):10 pts.




  • Review Example: (BHW) 427-437
  • Review the Guidelines and Grading Rubric for The External Proposal (Sales)




  • Peer Reviews External Proposal (Sales): 15 pts.





  • Review Guidelines and Grading Rubric: External Proposal Sales





  • Final External Proposal (Sales) 200 pts.





  • Review The Samples Paper formatted in APA  located under Resources
    • Review Citing Sources using APA formatting style
    • Review: Guidelines and Grading Rubric: External Proposal: Grant
    • Review (BHW) 426







  • Writing Assignment Six: 15 pts.
  • Discussion Question 6: 10 pts.



  • Review Peer Review Guidelines




  • Draft: External Proposal (Grant) 10 pts.



  • Review the Guidelines and Grading Rubric: External Proposal (Grant)





  • Peer Reviews: External Proposal (Grant) 15 pts.



  • Review the Guidelines and grading rubric: External Proposal (Sales)
    • Review the Portfolio Guidelines






  • Final External Proposal (Grant): 200 pts.




  • Review Guidelines: Online Portfolio





  • Online Portfolio: 50 pts.




  • No assignments due


  • Classes end
    • Final exams:



The college reserves the right to change any statements, policies or scheduling as necessary. Students will be informed promptly of any and all changes.