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Workplace Writing Skills Review

Course Code: CMNS 1099
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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.

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.

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%

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.

course prerequisites

  • Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement EXCEPT the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU, OR
  • a minimum grade of C- in ELLA 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both ELLA 0465 and 0475, OR
  • a minimum grade of C- in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455 or ENGU 0490, OR
  • Mastery in ELLA 0330 and any two of ELLA 0310, 0320, or 0340.


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.

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