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Goodman School of Business
Our Goodman Graduate Proof-Reading program has been re-vamped to offer language assistance/proof-reading to MAcc, IMAcc, MBA, MBA ISP, MSc, PMPC and CAS students at no charge. This initiative was developed in response to feedback from many faculty members indicating a need for ongoing language support for our students throughout their graduate programs.
The submission process is described in the Proof-Reading Policy. Please note that the proof-readers will not be actually making corrections in the document. Instead, their feedback comments will require the student to consider the error or suggestion and make the change themselves. It is our hope that the students’ involvement in this process will help them develop their skills and avoid making similar mistakes on future pieces of work.
Students are expected to run their work through a standard English spelling and grammar check process prior to submission. If it is clear that they have not done this, their work will be returned without review.
There are several resources available through the Academic Integrity office including academic expectations, informationg on how to avoid plagiarism, and places to go for help.
Business Liaison Librarian
The Business Liaison Librarian, Linda Lowry, provides an invaluable resource for students, faculty, and staff. Linda can assist with information on improving business writing skills and provides advice on researching business questions using library resources and other materials available to the Brock University community.
Business English & Communications Research Guide
The Business English & Communications Research Guide features valuable written, audio and video resources available at the James A. Gibson Library. This brief but comprehensive guide can help fine tune undergraduate and graduate-level students’ Business English and communication skills. It provides essay writing, report writing, public speaking, and presentation links. For direct assistance, contact the Business Liaison Librarian or click on the links below.
Topics featured in this guide are:
- Business writing
- General Writing Skills
- Dictionary and Thesaurus
- (Remember, good dictionaries typically have a section on English language grammar, sentence structure, and word usage. It is worth a serious look.)
- Citation Style Guides
- Handbook for Writing Proposals
- Graphics and Data Visualization
- Theses and Dissertations
One of the best ways to improve writing skills is to read well-written material. It is highly recommended that Business students at ALL levels regularly read business/management journals like The Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Review, Leadership, and the Ivey Management Review. Have a discussion with the Business Liaison Librarian for assistance in developing a customized reading list that suits your academic major and particular interests.
Remember, Goodman School of Business students should be looking for well-written material over what is just popular.
Online Business Vocabulary
We have a number of online business dictionaries. For example,The Oxford Reference Online database contains the following business-related dictionaries:
- A Dictionary of Accounting (4th ed.)
- A Dictionary of Business & Management (5th ed.)
- A Dictionary of Economics (4th ed.)
- A Dictionary of Finance and Banking (4th revised ed.)
- A Dictionary of Human Resource Management (2nd ed.)
- A Dictionary of Marketing (3rd ed.)
You can often find glossaries online that are reputable. For example:
- The Conference Board of Canada has a dictionary of financial, economic, and business terms
- The Economist has a list of Economics terms
- The Washington Post has a Business A-Z glossary
Academic-Zone Learning Services, which is part of the Student Development Centre, offers a wide variety of resources and workshops for students to ensure academic and professional success. Workshops include study skills and strategies for a university environment as well as a variety of workshops focusing solely on communication skills.
A brief outline of some of the two-hour workshops focusing on written communications can be found below and are offered at different times throughout the academic year. Additional information on workshop times, dates, and locations can be found through the Academic-Zone Learning Services Workshop webpage. Faculty can schedule workshops for their students or request customized workshops in specific areas by visiting Academic-Zone Learning Services.
Basic Grammar & Writing for Students with English as a Second Language (ESL)
Academic-Zone Learning Services, which is part of the Student Development Centre, offers a variety of grammar and punctuation workshops to assist students whose primary language is not English to prepare them for academic study in English. A current list of workshop dates and times can be found on the Academic-Zone Learning Services Workshop webpage.
- The Grammar and Punctuation workshop teaches how to identify and correct articles, prepositions, pronouns, verb agreement, and punctuation.
- The Academic Writing workshop will provide you with tips and tricks on ways to properly write an academic paper for a North American audience including how to summarize information, paraphrase, and develop a thesis statement.
- The Revising and Editing workshop teaches how to revise and edit your academic paper including how do develop discussion points, improve the flow of ideas, and avoid sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences.
Brock University Professor Ron Thomson launched a website targeted to non-native English speakers to help them with accent reduction. The website, English Accent Coach, offers a free interactive game based environment to help students practice the English pronunciation of vowels and consonants.
Basic Grammar & Writing for Students in Post-Secondary Education
The Student Development Centre has workshops designed to help you polish your grammar skills:
- The Punctuation workshop covers how to avoid using run-on sentences, comma splices, and apostrophe errors to create clear and concise sentences by using proper punctuation.
- The Grammar 101 workshop teaches how to find and fix the most common grammatical errors including subject-verb agreement, pronoun use, and proper word usage.
Additional workshop information can be found through the Academic-Zone Learning Services Workshop webpage.
Writing workshops for Students in Business Programs
Goodman offers courses specifically designed for students studying in business programs to develop the written and oral communications skills necessary for today’s business environment.
- The Business Communications & Writing workshop focuses on proper etiquette, effectiveness, and efficiency in business communications including professional presentation and speaking skills in addition to various types of business communication.
- The Writing for Business workshop is for students that are registered in Academic-Zone Learning Services as part of their courses and provides a review of the online resources in Essay-Zone Business Grammar and Business formats.
Additional workshop information can be found by visiting the Academic-Zone Learning Services Workshop webpage.
Recommended Business Writing Exercise:
Read a business article from one of the journals listed in Section 3 above. Think about the main learning points. Write two executive summaries of the same article: one of 200 words and another of 400 words. Identify what you learned about keeping it brief while simultaneously reflecting substance of thought.
Check your results with Academic-Zone Learning Services at email@example.com.
Comprehensive Writing Workshops for Students in Post-Secondary Education
Students wanting more comprehensive writing program will find the following three-part workshop series very helpful. Be sure to register for all three components to get the maximum benefits!
- The University Writing: Total Experience (a) workshop focuses on the essay writing process including how to narrow your topics, collect information, develop an appropriate thesis statement, and essay outline.
- The University Writing: Total Experience (b) workshop focuses on revising thesis statement and essay outlines, how to integrate research into essays by using proper formats for quotations and paraphrasing, and how to write a first draft of a paper.
- The University Writing: Total Experience (c) workshop focuses on evaluating and developing points, improving paragraph structure, and finding and correcting common grammar mistakes.
Drop-In Services at the Student Development Centre
Students can get help with developing effective essay writing, problem solving, and other general study skills at the Drop-in Learning Centre. Drop-in Centre staff meet with students to review essays and assignments to show students how to identify and correct problem areas such as integrating research, organizing ideas, correct sentence and grammar errors, and effective editing techniques.
Students are invited to take advantage of the Drop-in Learning Centre, located in the Hildebrand Learning Centre of the Learning Commons (ST 231), which is operated by Academic-Zone Learning Services.
Essay-Zone: Online/Self-Study Resource Tool
Academic-Zone Learning Services not only delivers traditional writing skills workshops, but more recently developed an Essay-Zone interactive online resource to help students improve their writing. The videos on the Essay-Zone link include self-administered quizzes as part of the learning experience. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Keys to Success
The Student Development Centre has built an excellent resource for students and faculty called Keys for Success filled with useful information on how to boost your grades, steps to improve your essay writing, helpful tips on grammar, punctuation, and the proper way to cite sources in your work.
At the Goodman School of Business, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and professional skills necessary for a successful career after you graduate. Our programs and courses provide you with opportunities to strengthen your written communication skills so that you will be able to create professional business documents effectively.
The following forms were designed by professors to reflect the written communication skills that are important for professional business documents. These forms are sometimes used by professors to assess student performance in class but also can be a useful self-reflection tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your writing. After each written submission use the form to review each trait and description to identify areas where you excel, ones where your skills are satisfactory, and areas that could use improvement. Work on the areas that need improvement before your next written assignment and then use the form again to chart your improvements.