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Workplace Writing for Child, Family and Community Studies

Course Code: CMNS 1110
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer, Winter
course overview

Communications 1110 is designed for students intending to enroll in the Classroom and Community Support Worker, Child and Youth Care Counsellor, Community Social Service Worker, or Early Childhood Education programs. Instruction is adapted for workplace settings in the social services fields. Assignments focus on specific workplace writing tasks, with emphasis given to particular writing strategies tailored to particular purposes and readers: summary, correspondence, memoranda, and Project Brief.

Course Content

Course content will be drawn from the following areas:

I.   Tasks (Written and Oral)

  • Reports: field-research, progress reports on client contact, informational, problem/solution, minutes, agenda
  • Brief
  • Letters and Memos: application, transmittal, to the editor
  • Resume
  • Summary/Comparative Summary
  • Bibliography
  • Employment Interview Skills
  • Meeting Skills
  • Oral Presentations

II.  Compositional Strategies

  • Topic development
  • Brainstorming
  • Free and pre-writing
  • Revising
  • Editing - self or peer
  • Research
  • Comparison, cause/effect, analogy, definition
  • Argument and analysis
  • Summary.

Methods of Instruction

This course will emphasize learning through interactive instruction. Students will involve themselves in the discussion, analysis, and production of various writing activities. Under the instructor’s direction, students will integrate the results of primary and/or secondary research activities with appropriate language and structural principles in a number of writing situations. Additionally, instructors will respect the principle and values advocated by instructors within the Faculty of Child, Family and Community Studies. Students may be requested to write in response to textbook and program material, film or video scenarios, field trips and other experiential situations in the workplace. Other methods include lectures, group discussions, and presentations by resource people with field-related expertise.

Means of Assessment

To pass CMNS 1110, students must demonstrate the ability to write in standard English and demonstrate communicative competence in relation to the designed writing purposes, audiences and tasks in the social services field.

Evaluation will be based on this general breakdown:

Comparative Summary 20%
Letters 20%
Job Package 10%
Brief 30%
(Covering Letter) 5%
(Progress Report) 5%
Preparation and Participation 10%

Learning Outcomes

Communications 1110 has been developed to meet the communications requirements of specific programs within the Faculty of Child, Family and Community Studies.

I.   General Skills

The student will be able to:

  1. write in standard English;
  2. demonstrate communicative competence through successful completion of writing tasks.

II.  Specific Skills

The student will be able to:

Writing Skills

  1. use correct language fundamentals in all written assignments: punctuation, spelling, grammar;
  2. write effective sentences (clear and concise);
  3. write well-developed paragraphs;
  4. demonstrate skill at developing unity, coherence, and emphasis in professional prose;
  5. quote, paraphrase, and note sources accurately;
  6. present a conventional bibliography.

Rhetorical Skills

  1. write appropriately for single and multiple readers (laypersons, supervisors, court personnel);
  2. prepare written documents using language conventions consistent with appropriate field-related standards and practices (tone, diction, voice);
  3. use field-appropriate style of documentation.

Analytical Skills

  1. seek out and select appropriate sources for assignments;
  2. use college library sources effectively;
  3. analyze research for relevant data;
  4. recognize and avoid plagiarism.

Collaborative Skills

  1. collaborate effectively with other students;
  2. interact appropriately with peer editors or readers, and participants at meetings.

III. Specific Writing Tasks

The students will be required to successfully complete writing tasks selected from the following list:

  1. extract and summarize the main points from field-related articles;
  2. develop an effective application letter and resume;
  3. develop both a chronological and a functional resume;
  4. compose an informative report on workplace/practicum site;
  5. write effective correspondence in a variety of relevant situations consistent with field-related standards and practices;
  6. demonstrate the ability to develop and compose an agenda;
  7. demonstrate the ability to record and compose accurate minutes of a meeting;
  8. compose a brief on a contemporary issue for an identified and real audience;
  9. compose an informative brochure for a field-related organization; and
  10. demonstrate the ability to develop and produce academic research papers.

IV.  Specific Oral Tasks

  1. Apply basic rules or order in formal meetings;
  2. Present motions in meetings.

course prerequisites

Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement with the exceptions of the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU and the assessments listed below. These require the specified higher standard for entry into CMNS, CRWR and ENGL courses.
• 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, OR
• TOEFL overall score of 83 with a minimum of 24 in Writing, OR
• IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, OR
• CLB score of 8, OR
• CEFR level B2+, OR
• CAEL minimum overall and essay score of 70 (computer or paper based), OR
• recognized equivalent or exemption.


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.