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Course Materials
Course Organization
Course Assignments

BYU Course Outcomes

The MCOM 320 course has three objectives: to help you

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© BYU Independent Study

Specifically, you should be able to do the following when you finish this course:

  1. Compose various commonly occurring business texts, achieving effectiveness in design, organization, content, and style.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of generally accepted grammar standards from Writing & Speaking for Business (WS4B).
  3. Give effective oral presentations with appropriate visual support, achieving effectiveness in message, media, and messenger.
  4. Create effective business graphics and implement effective visual-design principles.


If you are a BYU student, you must have satisfied the First-Year Writing requirement, English 150, or equivalent before enrolling in this course. Freshman students are not permitted to take this course.

Course Materials

Baker, William H. Writing and Speaking for Business. 3rd ed. Provo, UT: BYU Academic Publishing, 2013. (WS4B) Important: must be the third edition.

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Course Organization

This course consists of twelve lessons, each centered on a key concept in business writing and communication and linked to one or more chapters in the textbook. Each lesson is broken down as shown below:

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© BYU Independent Study

Textbook Reading

In many lessons, you will need to read selections in the textbook before reading the other lesson materials. Some reading assignments will be new, and some you will have read before in a previous assignment. Even if you have already read the assigned pages, reread them in light of the new topic to gain additional important insights. I will point out what to look for as you read previously read text.

Online Content: Additional Discussion Material, Examples, and Learning Activities

The lessons consist of pages that provide additional information about the topic, as well as thinking strategies and examples for specific types of writing.

Computer-Graded Assignments

The seventeen computer-graded assignments are quizzes with questions that are computer graded and automatically submitted upon completion. Questions range from multiple choice to true/false to matching and short answer. All computer-graded assignments focus on the reading material, both from the textbook and from the online content. Please complete the computer-graded assignments in the order given.

Written Assignments

As you can imagine, the writing assignments compose the bulk of your graded work. Writing assignments consist of three types:

  1. Short memos, usually one page single spaced
  2. Short papers, one- or two-page documents, single spaced
  3. Major papers, between three and seven pages, single spaced

How written assignments are graded. Written assignments will be evaluated on design, organization, content, and style (DOCS), a rubric explained in lesson 5 and chapter 5. Oral assignments will be evaluated on the basis of message, media, and messenger (explained in lesson 11 and chapter 12).


Some of the presentations in the course will require you to record a video of yourself using GoReact. You must register with GoReact before recording your video. Use your course logins to create an account.

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This course has two exams: (1) a grammar and writing basic exam and (2) a final exam. The grammar exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions. The final exam consists of 89 multiple-choice questions. Both exams are closed book and closed notes and have no time limit.

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Course Assignments

The figure below shows the types of assignments and their percentage toward your final course grade. An explanation of each type follows the chart.

Type of Assignment Percentage of Final Grade
Two objective exams: (1) grammar, (2) final 20%
Computer-graded assignments 15%
Shorter writings: OABC memo, letters 1 & 2, cover letter & résumé 28%
Longer writings: briefing article, final business report & memo, case analysis report, presentation slides, and handout 30%
Oral presentation 7%
Total 100%

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Assessment of your learning will be based mostly on actual writing assignments. The remainder of your grade will come from computer-graded assignments and exams.

Written assignments will be evaluated on design, organization, content, and style (DOCS), a rubric explained in lesson 5 and chapter 5. Oral assignments will be evaluated on the basis of message, media, and messenger (explained in lesson 11 and chapter 12).

Important: If you are on a deadline, please contact your instructor to make her aware so she can take this into account when grading your assignments.

Grading Scale
A 100–93%
A− 92–90%
B+ 89–87%
B 86–82%
B− 81–80%
C+ 79–77%
C 76–65%
C− 64–60%
D+ 59–57%
D 56–53%
D− 52–50%
E (fail) 49–0%

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A Word to the Wise

While an Independent Study course may be more convenient than attending class, it can also be easy to put off course work without the push of an actual class to attend or a schedule to keep. I advise you set a schedule for yourself and stick to it as much as possible. In the long run, it will be more efficient if you practice and apply what you learn in a timely manner.

Course Policies and Procedures

The lessons in this course build upon one another. That is, the skills and knowledge you gain in one lesson can be—and should be—applied to the assignments in the next lesson along with new learning and skills.

Please be mindful to

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


18 computer-graded assignments may be resubmitted once for a fee; 10 instructor-graded assignments; 9 may be resubmitted once for a fee, the Oral Presentation cannot be resubmitted.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.


2 proctored, computer-graded exams, may retake once for a fee. You must pass the final exam with at least a 50% to pass this course.

Retake an exam for a fee.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514