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Syllabus Business 31: Business English Fundamentals

Dr. Al Santillanes - Instructor

16-week course
Prerequisite: Eligibility for English 1 Units: 3 Transfer: UC, CSU
This course emphasizes clear, effective written communication through the correct grammar,
punctuation, and sentence and paragraph structure in writing business research reports and other
business documents.
Textbook Required:
(1) Guffey/Seefer, SMC Business English, 11e. ISBN 9781285999524
Writing Assignments (Reports, Other docs)
Business Report
Tests (six tests @ 50 pts. Each)
Final Exam
Class Participation/Discussions



900-1,000 points =
800-899 points =
700-799 points =
600-699 points =
0-599 points =


The course grade is based on the accumulation of points gained from the completion and
submission of assignments, exams, and participation in chapter discussion questions. There is
no extra credit. See the Key Dates chart in this syllabus for the due dates of assignments, tests,
and chapter discussions. All tests, assignments, and threaded discussions are due by the specific
dates and times assigned. NO EXCEPTIONS.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to comprehend and analyze college level/professional
business writing and respond with writing effective analytic documents and reports.
- Students will research a business related topic using the library, web-based and/or field
research and will write a research paper that demonstrates effective writing, carefully evaluated
and documented material to support a clearly defined purpose or position.
Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

Use correct sentence and paragraph structure in writing clear, complete and concise


business reports and other business documents (letters, memorandums, and e-mail).
Demonstrate correct usage of punctuation, capitalization, grammar, spelling, and
numbers in writing business reports and other documents.
Plan, organize, research, format, compose and evaluate effective business reports
and other business documents.
Organize, analyze and present information and data in writing and visual form (tables,
graphs, charts, etc.)
State a concise problem or issue and determine the information requirements
necessary for solving the problem or issue as well as analyzing and supporting logical
conclusions and recommendations.

- Audio-visuals including chapter presentations, videos and review activities
- Self-assessment quizzes
- Threaded discussions, Teach & Confer sessions, and written homework assignments to
promote interaction, develop learning confidence, enhance comprehension and facilitate
application of course material
You can make use of the Canvas helpdesk support. They are available by telephone 24 hours
per day, seven days a week, and 365 days per year. Their toll-free telephone number is (844)
If you have any computing or technical issues that prevent you from posting or completing any
test, assignment or bonus threaded discussion follow these steps:
1. Report this immediately to the Canvas Technical Support Agent and work with them to resolve
it. They are equipped to address technical issues and problems in the online class. It can take up
to four hours for them to respond via e-mail depending on workload, which is why you should not
wait until the last minute to do an assignment or test.
2. Prior to ending the call make sure that you receive a case number that verifies you contacting
the Canvas Technical Support agent. Ask them to send you and the instructor a follow-up email
indicating that you indeed experienced a problem.


My Communication with the Class: I will regularly use Announcements posted in the online
course to provide reminders of assignments due each week and other important information, so
check them frequently. I also may send e-mail announcements to all students through the
Canvas system that communicates through your SMC e-mail address. It's important that you
check your SMC e-mail frequently. If you have questions or need clarification of an issue post
questions at the "Your Questions" discussion located in the Course Home unit. I'll post a reply so
all students can receive and benefit from the information. Students may also feel free to answer
each others questions.
Student Communication with Me: If your question is personal in nature or you need one-on-one
assistance, you may e-mail me at SANTILLANES_ALBERT@SMC.EDU. You may also schedule
a conference call during my office hours (see Administrative Item). Do not leave phone
messages with the Business Department.

All e-mail correspondence must include your first name, last name, and the section number for
your online class in the subject line of your e-mail. Any correspondence that does not include this
information may not get a response. Providing your identification information in the subject line
helps me to distinguish and prioritize between different classes, and other e-mails. Also, many
people use only their screen names, thinking that I would somehow know who they are; many
junk ads use only one word in the subject line (such as Help!). These e-mails do not get a
Example of a question that should be posted on the Your Questions threaded discussion:
Are tests cumulative?
Example of a question that should be e-mailed: "Why did I only get half credit for my homework?
IMPORTANT NOTE: Online courses give you 24-hour access to the course materials, not 24hour access to the instructor. Please understand that I will get back to you within 48-hours or
less, and that I dont normally correspond online or via e-mail on Saturday and Sunday.
Students are responsible for reading, understanding and following all assignment instructions
including those for due dates, development, and submission of tests, assignments and threaded
discussions. If you're not clear about these instructions, ask me well in advance of the due date.
PLEASE REMEMBER that NOT reading or GAINING clarification of any instruction in a timely
way WILL NOT be an excuse for assignments or tests being late, submitted incorrectly or not
submitted at all.
The online courses settings are designed on Pacific Standard Time. So, 11pm Pacific Standard
Time is the end of day for the online class. For example, the Unit 1 Exam for Chapters 1 and 2 is
due no later than Sunday, September 11 at 11pm Pacific Standard Time. At that time the system
will close access to the test. Due dates and times are available in the Key Dates chart of this
All tests, assignments, and threaded discussions are due by the specific dates and times
assigned. NO EXCEPTIONS. Late work is unacceptable, particularly due to the accelerated
nature of this class and the flexible timing provided in the online environment. There are no "late
points" for late tests, assignments or threaded discussions. See the Grading section of this
syllabus on the grading process for tests and assignments, and late assignments.
Unit Exams: up to 300 total points
There are 6 unit exams and each covers selected chapters. Each test is 50 multiple-choice
questions and worth up to 50 points. There is a separate unit in the course for each exam, which
may consist of one to two chapters or one to three chapters. Please note that the Final Exam is
not considered a unit exam and MUST BE completed in order to pass the course!
You have a choice of one of four (4) days in a unit exam week to take the test. You may take the
test at one sitting on any of these days. Each test is timed. When you enter the test, you have up
to 1 hour (60 minutes) to complete it. Dont wait until the last minute to begin the exam; the
online system may experience overloads and technical problems near the closing time for the
exam. My advice however, is to take the exams early and give yourself enough time to complete
it well before it closes.
IMPORTANT: Due to the large time span and flexibility provided to take tests, NO make-ups of
individual tests are given, regardless of excuse or emergency. This includes: (1) technology
problems or issues that can be addressed prior to a test; (2) failure to read test instructions and

dates; (3) not accessing tests as instructed; (4) not accessing tests in time to complete them, and
(5) not notifying the Help Desk and me immediately if you have a technical problem during a test.
Also, please note that your lowest score will be dropped from the calculation of your total unit
exam scores.
Writing Assignments: up to 500 total points
The schedule details regarding each of the six (6) writing assignments are found in the Key
Dates, Readings, Exams and Assignments section of the Canvas course in the Document
Sharing section, and are introduced with the corresponding Week and Chapter assigned. For
example, Writing Application 1.1 is assigned in Week 1 and is contained in Chapter 1 Parts of
Speech section of the Course Home column. Open Writing Application 1.1 and the assignment
information includes instructions on how to submit your assignments in the online class. Read
these instructions carefully: only those assignments submitted according to the instructions
provided (MSWord file) will be read and graded. E-mailed assignments will not be accepted or
There are six (6) written assignments:
- Writing Application 1.1: 80 points
- Writing Application 2.1: 80 points
- Writing Application 3.3: 80 points
- Writing Application 4.3: 80 points
- Writing Application 5.3: 80 points
- Writing Application 6.2: 100 points (Business Report)
- Total Points:
500 points
Threaded Discussions
Threaded discussions are located in each chapter under Discussion. The topics for these
discussions are related to various chapter questions in the textbook. Please remember that your
participation by responding to the questions and interacting with other students responses factors
into the total course grade. Also, responses to chapter discussion questions are due within the
assigned chapter week (see Week & Dates chart for each chapter in this syllabus) by 11:00 p.m.,
PST. At that time, the system will close and not allow you to post your discussion or comment on
your response or response to other classmates. No late discussions are accepted regardless of
excuse. This includes failure to read threaded instructions and due dates; not accessing threads
as instructed; not accessing threads in time to complete them.
Test points: Each test has a total of 50 questions at one (1) point for each question. The
maximum on each test is 50 points: 50 x 1 point. Test scores will be available on the Friday
following the last day of the test. When you access the Gradebook, you will see the total
score. The SMC Business Department does not provide test questions and answers to students
via e-mail, phone, or other electronic media, because the integrity of the tests and test questions
must be protected - they will be used again, and used by other professors.
Assignment points: The different homework Writing Application assignments are worth from 1-80
points each. The number of points given is based on the completeness and quality writing based
on the categories listed in the Grade Form Rubric (see Sample in Document Sharing section of
the course). Organize your work so that it is easy to read and understand, and provide the proper
business format, spacing, etc. Points may be deducted for poor organization, excessive typos
and other errors that are a barrier to understanding your work. Proofread your assignments
carefully for a professional, business-like presentation.

A Business Report is due in the final week of the course (see the Key Dates, etc. schedule in the
Document Sharing section of the Canvas course). Details on its subject, content, length, format,
outside research, etc. will follow as the course progresses. A similar Grade Form Rubric (see
Grade Form Writing Assignment Rubric located in the Document Sharing section of the Canvas
course) to this sample form will be used, but it will be based on 1-100 points instead of the 1-80
* Late Written Assignments: Late means that - as recorded by the Canvas system an assignment that is deposited in the Assignment Box more than one minute (60 seconds)
beyond the stated deadline for the assignment. Late assignments receive a zero-point score.
There are no late points for assignments.
Threaded Discussions: Each discussion should address the question presented, written in
coherent sentences, professional in tone, and free of excessive typos and grammar errors
that prevent others from understanding what you're communicating.
No late threads are accepted Please leave time when you enter a discussion to complete it by
the deadline noted.
Comparing points to grades. This course is graded on the basis of total points received. The
following grade scales provide a comparison of points and percentages in order to provide a
better understanding on where you would stand regarding a "grade" on a test or homework
assignment. The percentages were arrived at by dividing the point scores below by the total
possible points.
(EXAMPLE): Total possible Writing Assignment points = 100% = 80 points
72-80 points = A
64-71 points = B
56-63 points = C
48-55 points = D
0-47 points = F
(EXAMPLE): Total possible Unit Exam points = 100% = 50 points
45-50 points = A
40-44 points = B
35-39 points = C
30-34 points = D
0-30 points = F
(EXAMPLE): Total possible Final Exam points = 100% = 150 points
135-150 points = A
120-134 points = B
105-119 points = C
90-104 points = D
0-89 points = F
(EXAMPLE): Total possible WA 6.2 Short Business Report points = 100% = 100 points
90-100 points = A
80-89 points = B
70-79 points = C
60-69 points = D
0-59 points = F
My office hours are made available as needed when a student makes a request to me. I will
arrange a conference call or video conference call with all of the contact details after you send me

a request by SMC E-mail and provide a two-hour time frame based on my availability: Monday,
Wednesday p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday a.m.
Students are responsible for their own computer resources, Internet access and e-mail
account. For online course technical requirements, log on and link to
Technical Requirements.
Students are responsible for communicating with the Canvas helpdesk support, other students in
the class and me in a timely and respectful manner. If you have a technical issue or problem with
the online class or during a test, assignment or threaded discussion you must notify the Canvas
helpdesk support immediately (meaning at the time you have the issue or problem, not the next
day). If you have a question about an assignment, ask me well in advance so that you can
receive an answer in a timely manner.
Students who do not introduce themselves to the class, do not participate in the class materials
and/or do not participate in threaded discussions, tests and homework assignments may be
dropped. Late drops or additions are NOT allowed. Drop dates may be found in the Santa Monica
College Spring 2012 Schedule of Classes and in the online class under Announcements.
I recommend that you print out a copy of the syllabus, since you might need to refer to it
frequently. This is particularly important if you are new to an online course.
Because I regard this class as I would any job responsibility, I will hold you to strict standards of
timeliness and ethics. With regard to ethical conduct, it is my sincere hope that no student in this
class submits work which is not his or her own. Any assignment that is not written solely by the
student whose name appears on the submission will automatically receive a grade of zero (0) for
the assignment. Similarly, if a student is determined to have cheated on a test, the student will
receive a score of "0" for the test.
Copying any portion of others' threaded discussions or homework assignments will result in a
zero (0) for that discussion or assignment. In addition, students found to be cheating or engaging
in plagiarism may be reported to the Academic Disciplinarian.
To learn about plagiarism and how to avoid it, see this link to the SMC Honor Council's site on
this topic:
Further, Santa Monica College and the Business Department welcome students from all over the
world with various backgrounds and life experiences. SMC is committed to fostering a safe and
productive learning environment. SMC has zero tolerance for discrimination, and/or sexual
harassment, which includes sexual misconduct such as, domestic and dating violence, sexual
assault, sexual exploitation, and stalking. Any sexual violence or physical abuse, as defined by
California law, whether committed by an employee, student, or member of the public, occurring
on college-owned or controlled property, at college-sponsored or supervised functions, or related
to or arising from college attendance or activity is a violation of District policies and regulations,
and is subject to all applicable punishment, including criminal and/or civil prosecution and
employee or student discipline procedures.
SMC Students assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the
colleges function as an educational institution, which respects the rights of others to learn, and to
acknowledge the academic freedom to teach and communicate in an environment that fosters
learning and creativity. With that in mind, it is important to keep a respectful tone and attitude
when communicating and interacting with your colleagues. You are the only you. No one else will

have your sensibilities of what is funny or interesting. Part of being respectful is also realizing that
someone else may be offended by something you think is every day normal.
Students who have experienced some form of sexual misconduct or discrimination are
encouraged to talk to someone about their experience, so they can get the support they need. To
learn more about support available for students, please see You can also call Lisa
Winter, Compliance Administrator Title IX Coordinator, at 310-434-4225.
PLEASE NOTE: I reserve the right to make changes in this class and/or course schedule. I will
provide notice to students well in advance of any changes.