The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired

Greetings 3771 Students –

Have a look at the link below.  What do you think of this assessment?

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Questions about Portfolio Assignment #5 – Persuasive Message

Hi Class,

If you have questions about the Persuasive Message assignment due on Friday, November 1st please post them here!

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Hi Class,

We are finishing up our more general discussion of how to create goodwill in business communications, and how we should think about document formatting.  Before we do so, let’s take one last look at a sample text.  This time, from the Dalkey Archive Press, a publisher of quality non-mainstream fiction that might not otherwise be available to readers.  Click the link below to see the job ad:

Link to Dalkey Archive’s December, 2012 Job Advertisement

(courtesy of

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Examples for Considering Audience in Business Writing

Locker and Kaczmarek (p. 12) give us a model for message analysis in business settings that focuses on six aspects to think about when “encoding” or “decoding” a message:







While this, like any other model, is only intended to provide a frame of reference for an analysis, and not a depiction of reality, it does focus on good things to think about composing texts in business settings.

Below are links to three business “texts,” each one written for a radically different purpose and in a different context for the others.  As you review them, think about their intended (and perhaps even, unintended) audiences:

  1. Letter from James G. Robinson to Lindsay Lohan regarding the film, Georgia Rule.
  2. Owners’ manual for Sig Sauer Classic pistols.
  3. The new California Lottery website, including the short film, “Snowfall” (1:03).

Who are the primary audiences for these texts?  What secondary audiences exist for them?  Do they have initial audiences?  Gatekeepers?  Watchdogs?  If so, who?

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Problems Creating An Account?

Hi Class –

Several students in different sections of my courses have had trouble creating an OpenLab account.  Here is what one of the directors of OpenLab has to say about getting your account activated:

“…We’ve been seeing this issue over the last few days, and it appears to be related to the student webmail client.  This is the first semester it’s happened, and we’re working on a solution.

Most students encountering this problem have been successful if, instead of clicking the activation link in the email, they copy and paste the link into their browser.  It’s also better if they can use Firefox instead of IE. ” (emphasis mine)

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Initial Assignments Posted

Hi Class — I have posted two assignments in the Assignments Page of our OpenLab course.  The first assignment, the Self-Assessment you have already received.  The second assignment, Cultural Self-Assessment, should be downloaded and completed for class on Tuesday.  Please comment below if you have any questions.

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Course Text On Reserve

Good news, everyone.  I have located a second copy of our course text, Business Communication (6th ed.) and placed it on reserve in the library.  Again, I sincerely believe that your best options are to either purchase the text, or to rent a digital copy.  It’s a crucial text for this class and we will be using it extensively.  The reserve copy is also available to you in 2-hour increments to check-out as necessary.

You might also want to check out alternative course text sites.  I can’t recommend any particular site, but I have found copies of the text for approximately 30% of the bookstore price.

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Welcome to 3771!

Greetings Class –

My name is Dr. Patrick Corbett, and I am excited to be your professor of English 3771 – Advanced Career Writing. During our time together, we will embark on the the most intensive study and practice of writing that you have ever experienced. The work of this course is demanding, but will provide you with immense benefits as you learn to use the written word to better accomplish your goals in the world.

I’ve included a few words about myself below to give you a better sense of how I approach teaching and writing. After you read my bio post, feel free to respond with questions or comments.


My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Northwestern University, a Master of Arts in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Louisville. I have taught many different types of writing courses. I am also a digital literacy researcher with an interest in video games, new media, and cultural aspects of communications technologies.

Work Experience:

For six years after college, I worked in story development in the motion picture industry at Paramount Pictures and the Mutual Film Company (and a few other places). After leaving the 80-hour work weeks common in the movie business, I worked as a screen-printing apprentice in a textile factory in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (home of the weather prognosticating groundhog). While working on my Master’s degree, I did technical writing and policy research for a large HIV/AIDS treatment consortium.

I have taught writing at Clarion University, Bellarmine University, Jefferson Community and Technical College, the University of Louisville, Madison College, and Axia College of the University of Phoenix. Along the way I have worked as an independent contractor, technical writer, and writing consultant for various companies including Star Trek: Voyager, Kaplan, Inc., the William Morris Agency, and Virgin Records, Inc.

Teaching “Philosophy”:

I love, love, love talking about and teaching writing, and I look forward to working with each of you. I expect that we will learn a lot from each other. My Master’s and Ph.D. level training in teaching writing comes out of the “Constructivist” philosophy of teaching, meaning that I believe that we create our knowledge together. I have spent eight years of graduate school learning the most effective methods of teaching writing, and I try to incorporate that training and education into an engaging environment for you to make better writing.

I take my teaching responsibilities seriously, and I will invest a lot of time into making sure you receive the education you are paying for. The other side of that is this course demands your commitment to succeed and involves continuous real work. A lot of it, in fact. This work is crucial for your success as a student, and for an engaged professional life outside of school (no matter what your career). Together, we will create a stable and productive learning environment to do this work.

Your responsibility in this course is to complete the course activities and actively engage me and your peers in thought-provoking discussions. You will find me to be a respectful but challenging professor who will demand good work from you.

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