Curriculum Guideline

Workplace Writing Skills Review

Effective Date:
Course Code
CMNS 1099
Workplace Writing Skills Review
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
3 / 1
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Classroom activities will encourage students to develop a critical awareness of the principles of clear and correct prose. Although brief lectures will focus the aims of each unit, most sessions will be workshop-oriented and will emphasize:

  1. writing activities
  2. discussion and assessment of student writing
  3. discussion of ways to revise and improve written products
  4. rewriting activities.

Students will work in small study groups, learning to assess the effectiveness of one another's writing and to recommend strategies for organization and for revision.

Course Description
This preparatory course is designed for students requiring a review of the principles and practices of Standard English. This course is not a pre-requisite for other CMNS & ENGL courses, but a refresher to help students to develop the writing skills necessary for the more complex writing tasks required in subsequent courses. The fundamentals of Standard English are emphasized, including spelling, diction, grammar, logical sentence connections, and paragraph coherence. Course content is geared to students’ educational and professional goals and focuses on straightforward workplace writing tasks: summaries, descriptions, memos, letters, short reports.
Course Content

Students will acquire these skills by performing a variety of writing tasks to prepare them for future workplace related writing activities. Students will:

  1. write routine letters such as
    • requests for information
    • responses to request for information
  2. write memoranda which
    • instruct
    • report
  3. write summaries of field-related readings
  4. write descriptions of phenomena or mechanisms
  5. explain data or processes
  6. complete preparatory writing exercises.
Learning Outcomes

Successful students should be able to undertake the more complex writing tasks required in CMNS 1110, 1111 and 1115 or English 1130.

Special Course Objectives

By the end of the course, successful students will have developed proficiency in writing skills allowing them to

  1. write coherent paragraphs
  2. organize data in accurate and coherent form
  3. show logical connections between assertions
  4. write grammatically correct sentences
  5. choose words appropriate to the writing task
  6. spell correctly
  7. summarize field-related readings
  8. write business correspondence and memoranda in appropriate format
  9. use library resources effectively and efficiently
  10. gather data from firsthand observation
  11. distinguish between fact and opinion
  12. submit assignments in a neat and legible form that considers readers’ needs.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on this general breakdown:

Letter (3)  15%
Memoranda (2)  20%
Summaries (2)  20%
Description  10%
Explanations  10%
Tests/Quizzes/Exercizes  15%
Preparedness and participation           10%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

The instructor will choose a suitable textbook. Possible choices are as follows:

  • The Brief English Handbook.  Dornan & Dawe
  • Writing Fundamentals.  J. T. Lyons
  • Canadian Business English.  Mary E. Guffey & P. Burke
  • The Bare Essentials.  S. Norton & B. Green
  • The Least You Should Know About English.  T. F. Glazier
  • The Reluctant Writer.  Mann & Roberts
  • Impact.  Mary Northey
  • The minimum required score on the Douglas College English Assessment, written within the last four years, OR
  • a final grade of "B" or higher in English 12, Literature 12 or English 12 First Peoples, OR
  • proof of enrolment in a college-level writing or literature course, defined as a course that transfers to Douglas College as an English, Communications or Creative Writing course, OR
  • a grade of C- in EASL 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both EASL 0465 and 0475, OR
  • a grade of C- or better in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455, OR
  • a Language Proficiency Index (LPI) score of 5 on both Essay Level and English Usage and a score of 10 on the Reading Comprehension section, OR
  • an IELTS score of 7 with a minimum score on all parts of 6.5 within the last two years, OR
  • a TOEFL (internet-based) overall score of 92 with a minimum of 22 in each of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing within the last two years