Business Writing and Professional Communication

The Business Writing and Professional Communication faculty are dedicated to promoting effective business communication practices. Our faculty equip School of Business undergraduates with skills needed to establish a strong foundation for success in and outside of the classroom.

Communication Skills Make You Successful

Communication skills continue to be a top priority for employers and for student success in a classroom. In a recent National Association of College and Employers' Job Outlook Report, employers ranked the attributes they look for on college resumes. Out of twenty characteristics, written communication skills ranked 5th while verbal skills ranked 7th. Regarding “Career Readiness Competencies,” the same report found that written and oral communications were ranked “above essential” for new hires. The Business Writing and Professional Communication program is designed to elevate the communication skills that students practice through academic and experiential learning opportunities.

Business Communication Courses

The business communication courses offered at the School of Business are 3002W Effective Business Writing, 3003W Business Communications, and 3004W Business Writing and Communications. Each course offers a different approach (based on credits and campus availability) to improve written and verbal competencies within the workplace. Business students should consult their plan of study for which course is required. Students are limited to earning credit for one business writing/communication course (BUSN 3002W, 3003W, or 3004W).

In this 1-credit Effective Business Writing course, students will learn techniques to improve written business communication skills, while engaging in a variety of written tasks that students are likely to encounter early in their careers, such as reports to supervisors, sales proposals, documentation of business policies, responses to complaints, as well as general business letters and memos. There is also a focus on language, style, tone, and clarity, as well as expected formatting conventions of various external and internal communications. Students will receive focused and individualized critiques of their written assignments and will be required to revise their writing.  In this class you will:
  • Enhance strategies for reading, drafting, revising, editing, and self-assessment 
  • Expand professional vocabulary 
  • Negotiate own writing goals and audience expectations regarding conventions of genre, medium, and rhetorical situation 
  • Develop and engage in the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes
  • Formulate and articulate a stance through and in your writing 
  • Harness a cognizance of your professional identity during interactions in professional contexts
  • Strengthen your source-use practices as applied to business communication (including evaluating, integrating, quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, synthesizing, analyzing, and citing sources) 
Pre-requisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open only to Business Majors of sophomore or higher status. Not open for credit to students who have passed BUSN 3003W or 3004W or BADM 4075W or MGMT 3070W. *This course is expected to be phased out and replaced with the two- and three-credit options, over the course of the coming academic years.

Only open to students admitted to Business prior to fall 2019.

This 3-credit course covers techniques for improving professional writing and oral communications skills and ways in which visual communications, document design, and use of workplace technologies shape the message.

The purpose of this course is to develop textual and oral communication skills necessary for a professional environment. In today’s global climate, professionals must be able to craft effective, persuasive arguments that transcend cultural, linguistic, intellectual, and technological barriers; to do so, one must have a strong understanding of his/her target audience as well as the medium in which the message is conveyed. Students will foster a greater awareness of the rhetorical and compositional decisions they make in both routine (e.g. emails and memoranda) and significant (e.g. proposals and reports) documents so that their writing becomes more succinct, credible, coherent, and, ultimately, effective. Likewise, students will learn ways in which to create, organize, and give clear, strong, and convincing presentations. Finally, because no professional works in complete isolation, students will improve their interpersonal skills in order to become better capable of appropriately supporting, managing, and enhancing projects that require group work.

*This course is offered at the Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses.
This 2-credit course focuses on rhetorical strategies and practices for improving professional writing and oral communications, as well as ways in which visual communications, document design, and emerging genres (e.g., new media, social media) shape professional messages. 

In this course you will: 
  • Learn to identify and attend to the rhetorical elements (e.g., audience, purpose, use) and strategies (e.g., persuasion) that govern effective professional communication;
  • Create messages that reflect both the features and conventions of professional workplace genres (e.g., correspondence, short reports) and emerging genres (e.g., new media);
  • Develop a professional writing style, as well as use critical feedback to improve principles of clarity, coherence, and accessibility that govern this style;
  • Practice platform speaking strategies and presentation skills to help you communicate with authority and impact stakeholders;
  • Explore the integrated, multimodal dimensions (e.g., written, oral, visual) of professional communication across a range of rhetorical situations;
  • Develop strategies to enhance your collaborative composing process.

Meet the Faculty

Brent Lucia teaches business writing and communication courses for the School of Business at UConn. In the past he’s taught both literature and composition courses for The City University of New York and William Paterson University. Brent is also Chair of the Advisory Board for the International Rhetoric Workshop and a past member of its Organization Committee. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2018 with a Ph.D in Composition and Applied Linguistics. His current research explores the rhetorics of technology and its relationship to spatial operations and user experiences.

Zachary Suetta is an Assistant Professor in-Residence at the University of Connecticut School of Business. His ongoing project examines the external and internal dynamics of anger at play within the works of subaltern writers of the Romantic era, arguing that these marginalized individuals view the passion as essential in understanding the nature of subjectivity and the self but often struggle in its artistic execution because of societal expectations and the volatile nature of the passion itself.

Maria Vint teaches Effective Business Writing for the School of Business at UConn. Previously, she taught advanced business English to international pre-graduate students in Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, as well as rhetoric and argumentation, technical writing for engineers, writing for the social sciences, advanced research methodology, first-year composition, literature/history hybrid courses, and sociolinguistics, throughout the City University of New York. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Composition and Applied Linguistics program of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as well as an executive board member of the Two-Year College English Association, for the northeast region. Her research interests include writer and communicator identities, as well as writing anxiety.

Online Professional Communication Tools

Did you know that the UConn Library has dedicated staff just for School of Business students? Leverage the Library to be more competitive in and out of the classroom. Connecting with a librarian can:
  • Guide you to library resources designed for business students
  • Empower your student organization with connections they need to industry-specific guides
  • Help you access scholarly and reputable sources to improve:
    • business pitches
    • stock pitches
    • case competition entries
    • academic reports
  • Show you how to read an academic paper
  • Help you narrow down your field of study or jobs in your industry

Learn more about UConn Library resources for Business students

Our Business Librarian, Edward Junhao Lim, is here to support students with research resources at the School of Business. You can email Edward (edward.lim@uconn.edu) or schedule an appointment with him.