Week 2: Writing beliefs

Download the week 2 lesson plan as a Word document.

Download the week 2 interactive lecture as PowerPoint slides.

Download the week 2 H5P interactive lecture by clicking the “reuse” button.

Download the audio recording of the week 2 interactive lecture.

Student Instructions

Welcome to Week 2! This module will last a week, which means you and your group should have it finished by <<date>>.

Learning Outcomes

  • We will think about how business writing is different from other types of writing.
  • We will learn some business communication terminology.
  • We will explore our own beliefs, thoughts and feelings about our own writing.
  • We will understand our own writing process and identify where we might want to make changes.
  • We will practice learning online.
  • We will continue to develop our classroom community.


In This Module You Will…

  • Engage in a short, interactive lecture about your writing beliefs and experiences.
  • Do a “scavenger hunt” in your pod for business writing documents, then find some common trends.
  • Watch a short video about your first assignment and begin thinking about your blog/ Coronavirus Archive.
  • Begin your ‘Question of the Day‘ activities

Participation Activity: Scavenger Hunt

An illustration of a piece of paper with writing on it and a pencilInstructor Notes:

For this participation activity, students will collect business writing documents. You can either use a Padlet (https://padlet.com/) or a SPLOT (which you can set up using WordPress). If neither of these are available, students could also post in a forum, but the nice thing about the Padlet/SPLOT is that they can see all the documents at once.

Student Instructions

For this activity, you’ll be working in your pods.

Step 1: Each student will find at least 1 example of business communication (emails, memos, reports, etc). You can find a lot of these documents online, such as government reports. Post your example in this Padlet. You don’t need to make an account. Simply click the + sign, then add the document with a brief description.

Step 2: With your group members, discuss what these documents have in common (organization, use of language, formatting, tone, use of visuals etc). You don’t have to read them all thoroughly. Just skim them. You may choose to have this discussion in the forum, but if you’re more comfortable with texting/BBB etc. you’re welcome to do so. Try to come up with at least 5 features of business communication. Then, think about how these business communication documents are different from essays and other academic writing. Why do you think these differences exist?

Step 3: When you’re done, 1 person from the group should post a summary of the group’s response. Make sure to answer the 3 questions:

  • What did your documents have in common?
  • How is business communication different from academic writing like essays?
  • Why do you think these differences exist?

Bonus Forum

We’re thinking about the WHYs of business communication. This article gives us an interesting opportunity to think about information and perspectives that may not seem to fit into our mind map about business communication.


Read the article and within a couple of days, go for a walk outside. Your walk can be in your neighbourhood, in the deep woods, or along a trail. As the article suggests, think about the nature you see as “ki/kin” instead of “it.” Is that weird, uncomfortable? Maybe it’s hard to even imagine. Think about animals and plants. Did you notice the same things as the students in the article? When you thought about these questions, what connections did you make? Were they unexpected?

Once you have read the article and have taken your walk, consider a response to two ideas in the essay. Consider what changes when you try to think about animals and plants as kin rather than an it. You could consider:

  1. Do words make worlds? Where have you seen evidence of this? When you consider a tree as ki how might it change the way you write to other humans?
  2. Does the passive voice – “the plant was pulled from the earth” – obscure a greater truth?
  3. How can words heal relationships? Does changing the way we see plants and animals help change the way we see and communicate with each other?

Write a short paragraph about what you learned and post it in the forum.

An illustration of a piece of paper with writing on it and a pencilCare/Connection

Check in with each student with a personalized response to the paragraph they submitted in week 1.


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Resources for a business communications open online course Copyright © 2020 by Arley Cruthers; Melissa Ashman; John Grant; Seanna Takacs; and Petti Fong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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