A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Online Communication & Writing Courses

Communication

CAS 110 Public Speaking (3 credits)

Course Description

Concentrates on the development of public speaking skills, including audience analysis, library research, organization, the use of evidence to support a point of view, delivery, and listening.

Learning Results

Upon completion of this class, the student will:

  • Master elements of speech communication with the ability to identify effective/ineffective methods of verbal communication.
  • Demonstrate skills in library/research and audience analysis by presenting bibliographical information in speech outlines due with each speech.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of organizational principles of supporting topics of choice with proper reason, research, sound organizational structure and passion and energy to support and defend.
  • Demonstrate competency in the use of visual (aka Power Point) communication devices.
  • Develop skills of effective communication through mastering people skills, including but not limited to, personality types, ethical speaking, cultural awareness, and nonverbal communication.
  • Utilize persuasive speaking by applying skills learned from informative speaking, adding the passion of persuasive speaking, and applying them in an effective organizational manner.
  • Build confidence in the ability to speak in front of an audience and to communicate professionally in diverse settings.

Textbooks
Learning Documentation

This course consists of 15 assignments including 4 speeches and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

Each assignment is 20 points with the exception of one worth 140 points. The speeches are either 80 or 100 points for a total of 700 points possible.

Faculty
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Shannon Lewis

MS, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
BS, Taylor University

CAS 120 Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)

Course Description

The study of self-esteem, empathic listening, language, nonverbal behavior, conflict and ethics in interpersonal communication designed to expand students' understanding of themselves and human relationships.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the basic tenants and theories of interpersonal communication.
  • Apply the principles of interpersonal communication to your daily communication practices.
  • Read academic texts, comprehend what you are reading, and apply the ideas to your own experiences and the experiences of others.
  • Understand the role of interpersonal communication in different life contexts (relationships, faith, work, etc.).

Textbooks
Learning Documentation

This course consists of 10 assignments and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

Each assignment is worth 50 points with the exception of 2 worth 240 and 160 points apiece for a total of 800 points possible.

Faculty
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Amy Bessin

MA, Western Kentucky University
BA, Taylor University

CAS 340 Intercultural Communications (3 credits)

Course Description

Intercultural Communication is designed to explore the processes involved in intercultural communication while applying practical tools to improve intercultural relationships. This course will facilitate discussions of identity in domestic and international intercultural communication, emphasizing values, worldview, and barriers in the communication process. Practical application, in addition to basic theory, will create empathy and cultural-awareness in order to address common assumptions made during intercultural interactions.

Learning Results

The student who successfully completes the course should be able to:

  • Define intercultural communication and other key terms like identity and worldview.
  • Apply the principles of intercultural communication to your daily communication practices.
  • Read academic texts, comprehend what you are reading, and apply the ideas to your own experiences and the experiences of others.
  • Identify different values, beliefs, and norms associated with cultures and co-cultures around the globe.
  • Recognize potential barriers in intercultural communication and address potential resolutions.
  • Explore theories and skills to improve intercultural competence.

Textbooks
Learning Documentation

This course consists of 9 comprehension assignments, a cultural comparison paper, an intercultural relationship journal, and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

Each assignment is worth 30 points, the paper is worth 150 points, and the journal is worth 180 points, for a total of 600 points possible.

Faculty
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Amy Bessin

MA, Western Kentucky University
BA, Taylor University

CAS 382 Family Communication (3 credits)

Course Description

The study of messages and meanings in contemporary family relationships, including family diversity, spousal relationships, custodial and autonomous child-parent relationships, sibling relationships, and the religious, legal, and televised messages about families.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the basic definitions and theories related to family communication.
  • Understand the role of family communication in different life and cultural contexts.
  • Apply theoretical perspectives and principles of areas covered in the course (including family conflict, stress management, power, decision-making, rituals, intimacy, and diversity) to personal life situations.
  • Examine how faith impacts the view of family communication and how faith guides family relationships.
  • Apply critical thinking skills while researching and writing a paper on a current issue in the field family communication.

Textbooks
Learning Documentation

This course consists of 12 comprehension assignments, a Current Issues paper, and a personal reflection essay.

Learning Evaluation

Each comprehension assignment is worth 20 points, the Current Issues paper is worth 168 points, and the personal essay is worth 72 points, for a total of 480 points in the course.

Faculty
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Amy Bessin

MA, Western Kentucky University
BA, Taylor University

English

ENG 110 Expository Writing (3 credits)

Course Description

The course provides practice in reading academic articles related to composing, writing clear and effective prose through expository modes including summaries, locating main points, responding to quotes with explanation, relating to quotes with specific personal illustrations, exploratory writing, a formal research paper, and reflections over course objectives and growth as a writer. A brief review of grammar and mechanics is provided via instructive comments in every graded assignment.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

  • Write clear and effective papers using several expository modes (e.g., exposition, narration, example) and that demonstrate a strong grasp of formal edited English.
  • Write a formal research paper, demonstrating proficiency in all stages of the research process.
  • Demonstrate strong analytical thinking in all assignments.
  • Understand writing as an instrument for creating, interpreting, and evaluating ideas (one's own ideas and the ideas of others).

Textbooks

All materials are free online resources. 

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 9 annotations, 10 short annotations and assignments, three short essays, a research paper, and a reflection.

Learning Evaluation

The assignments range from 10 to 100 points each plus a research paper worth 200 points, for a total of 1,000 points possible.

Faculty
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Carolyn Jones

ABD PhD, Ball State University MS, University of Missouri at Columbia, 1967 MA, Ball State University, 2009

ENG 240 American Literature (3 credits)

Course Description

A survey of American literary tradition from its origin to the present.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Analyze classic American literature.
  • Differentiate between stated and implied themes.
  • Assess the universality of main themes expressed in American writings.
  • Identify biographical factors that influenced the creation of American fiction, poetry and drama.
  • Compare/contrast forms of characterization.
  • Relate writings to personal/contemporary frames of reference.
  • Evaluate works of literary criticism.
  • Generate insightful critical responses to writings.
  • Interpret and analyze the merits of reading selections.

Textbooks
Learning Documentation

This course is divided into 8 modules covering different time periods in American literary history, and utilizing differing modes of criticism. Each module consists of several writing assignments. There is also a poetry journal and a 7-10 page research paper required.

Learning Evaluation

Assignments range from 50 to 150 points, for a total of 800 points possible.

Faculty
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Bertha Fagan McKeever

MA, Rhode Island College, 1978 BA, Bob Jones University, 1962

ENG 250 British Literature (3 credits)

Course Description

Explores British literature from its beginning to the present, including a brief historical overview of the development of the English language.

Learning Results

To successfully complete this course, the student will:

  • Read texts that span the history of the English language.
  • Identify major shifts/movement in literature over the course of time.
  • Become familiar with and use vocabulary specific to the study of literature.
  • Write intelligent responses to major literary works, quoting and/or paraphrasing to support an original analysis.
  • Articulate how societal/cultural changes impact literature.
  • Identify Christian/moral themes in various texts.
  • Read literature from a wide variety of genres and draw parallels between them.

Textbooks
Learning Documentation

This course consists of 10 quizzes, 4 reflection papers, 1 midterm exam, and 1 final exam.

Learning Evaluation

Each paper is 50 points, quizzes are 10 points, and exams are 100 points, for total of 500 points possible.

Faculty
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Emily Ford

PhD, Ball State University, 2017
MA, Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne
BA, Taylor University

Professional Writing

CAC 220 Communication Writing Essentials (3 credits)

Course Description

Practice in the fundamentals of business communication. Students complete a variety of assignments exemplifying the types of writing routinely practiced in business settings—including letters, résumés, news releases, reports, proposals, instructions, and other forms of business communication. Emphasis on real world experience and application.

Learning Results

In the course of this class, you will:

  • Refresh your understanding of basic writing and grammar skills by showing competency in practice grammar sheets, as well as worksheets on revising sentences and paragraphs.
  • Understand the expectations and etiquette for a variety of business communications and be able to show competence in writing each type of communication; this includes memos, emails, business letters, direct mail letters, news releases, flyers, instructions, and a blog.
    • Professionalize your personal social media presence (such as Twitter and LinkedIn), then create a résumé and cover letter to (pretend) apply for a job or internship you will locate by searching various job-search engines. (OR if you are an older student and are already professionally employed, you will create an informal report—choosing a certain type and following the instructions in the book.)
  • Complete two major projects according to all instructions: (a) a mock business website and (b) a formal proposal and PowerPoint/Prezi with a script.

Textbooks
Learning Documentation

This course consists of quizzes, Blackboard essays, worksheets, samples of business correspondence, a website project, and a proposal project.

Learning Evaluation

Each assignment is worth between 30 and 100 points, each quiz is worth 20 points, and the projects are each worth 100 points, for a total of 1,000 points in the course.

Faculty
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Linda Taylor

MA, Ball State University, 2013
BA, Houghton College, 1980

JRN 115 Introduction to Media Writing (3 credits)

Course Description

Purpose: To help students learn to use language correctly; to recognize news; to work under and respect deadlines; and to gather news and assemble it into accurate, readable stories.
This introductory course in media writing examines a variety of techniques and formats with an emphasis on news and telling the story. Emphasis is on improving writing, self-editing, and telling stories across different platforms, with the primary focus on learning to write in an accurate, compelling and precise manner.
It will introduce you to news writing and to the world of nonfiction story telling. This course provides an essential foundation for students interested in print, online and broadcast journalism, public relations, sports information careers, as well as for those interested as communication directors for ministries, nonprofits, business, industry and political office holders.

Learning Results

Through this course, students will:

  • Use correct newspaper writing style, as spelled out in The Associated Press Stylebook.
  • Develop news judgment by recognizing essential news values.
  • Learn about legal and ethical issues in reporting.
  • How a newspaper operates, produces the “daily wonder.”
  • Learn how to gather information through observation, interviewing and documents.
  • Organize information effectively and clearly for new stories.
  • Demonstrate accuracy in handling information; use attribution, direct and indirect quotation.
  • Learn news, human interest and opinion forms of writing.
  • Learn how to do research on a story assignment prior to the interview.
  • Learn how to combine listening and question asking skills on a story interview assignment.
  • Introduction to basic skills of telling stories electronically via the use of mini-video cameras with audio.

Textbooks
Learning Documentation

This course consists of 10 stories, 8 quizzes, 12 news article summaries, 13 lede re-writes and chapter summaries, and a final exam.

Learning Evaluation

The assignments range from 15 to 100 points each. Of the final grade, the stories are worth 50%, quizzes 10%, news article summaries 10%, lede re-writes and chapter summaries 10%, and the final exam 20%.

Faculty
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Alan Blanchard

PhD, Michigan State University, 2014 BA, Eastern New Mexico University, 1988

PWR 313 Article Writing I (2 credits)

Course Description

An introduction to writing from a Christian worldview and an overview of the different writing genres, with an emphasis on writing articles for publication. Stresses functional skills such as self-editing, interviewing techniques, developing vocabulary skills, and learning to cover news. Through readings and writing assignments, the student will follow a step-by-step process of learning the foundations of article writing. The course is taken through a partnership between the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and Taylor University. No online component: Students receive the initial writing materials and submit work via email.

This course may transfer as an English course. Please check with your home institution to verify the transferability.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Understand the writing craft.
  • Gain an understanding of different styles of article writing.
  • Be a competent self-editor.
  • Understand important ethical writing standards.

Textbooks

All required material is obtained through the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild.

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 13 assignments and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

The assignments are graded by JJWG mentor-professors who are experienced writers and teachers. The final grade will be sent to and transcripted by Taylor University.

PWR 314 Article Writing II (2 credits)

Course Description

A course concentrating on finding, evaluating, researching and writing the various kinds of nonfiction articles. Self-editing, interviewing techniques and developing vocabulary skills are emphasized as students write humor, how-to, inspirational, investigative, opinion and other types of articles. Building on the foundational skills learned in PWR 313, students will learn the advanced specialty areas of article writing. Students are encouraged to submit their articles for publication. The course is taken through a partnership between the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and Taylor University. No online component: Students receive the initial writing materials and submit work via email. Prerequisite: PWR313

This course may transfer as an English course. Please check with your home institution to verify the transferability.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Recognize different types of articles.
  • Understand marketing and reading audiences.
  • Be a competent self-editor.
  • Write articles using various styles and techniques.

Textbooks

All required material is obtained through the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild.

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 13 assignments, and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

Assignments are graded by JJWG mentor-professors who are experienced writers and teachers. The final grade is submitted to and transcripted by Taylor University.

PWR 323 Non-Fiction & Scriptwriting (3 credits)

Course Description

Introductory course and workshop in the instruction and practice of writing non-fiction and scriptwriting. The course is taken through a partnership between the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and Taylor University. No online component: Students receive the initial writing materials and submit work via email. Prerequisite: PWR314

This course may transfer as an English course. Please check with your home institution to verify the transferability.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

  • Understand the writing craft as it pertains to writing works of non-fiction and screenplays.
  • Gain an understanding of different styles and techniques of non-fiction writing and screenplays.
  • Become a competent self-editor.

Textbooks

All required material is obtained through the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild.

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 11 assignments and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

Assignments are graded by JJWG mentor-professors who are experienced writers and teachers. The final grade is submitted to and transcripted by Taylor University.

PWR 327 Introduction to Fiction Writing (3 credits)

Course Description

An introductory course concentrating on the instruction and practice of writing fiction. The course is taken through a partnership between Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and Taylor University. No online component: Students receive the initial writing materials and submit work via email. Prerequisite: PWR323

This course may transfer as an English course. Please check with your home institution to verify the transferability.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

  • Understand the writing craft as it pertains to writing works of fiction.
  • Gain an understanding of different styles and techniques of fiction writing.
  • Become a competent self-editor.

Textbooks

All required material is obtained through Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild.

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 13 assignments and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

Assignments are graded by JJWG mentor-professors who are experienced writers and teachers. The final grade is submitted to and transcripted by Taylor University.

PWR 343 Editing (3 credits)

Course Description

Provides training in editing for copy in books, newspapers, magazines, and e-books.

Learning Results

Course objectives are to:

  • Understand how a publishing house works—and how the roles of the various types of editors fit together.
  • Learn the basics of editing—the 30,000-foot view of the manuscript.
  • Learn the basics of copyediting—the 10,000-foot view of the manuscript.
  • Learn the basics of proofreading—the 10-foot view of the manuscript.
  • Review basic grammar and punctuation rules.
  • Practice all of these phases, learning how to improve a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, a manuscript.
  • Learn how to edit both on hard copy and on screen with track changes mode.
  • Help you determine your individual “sweet spot” when it comes to these varied roles.
  • Give you useful and practical skills that will help you get in the door at a publishing house and sustain you as you move further in your career.

Textbooks

Be sure to order a book (and not an e-book) as there are exercises in the book itself that will be assigned.

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 7 quizzes as well as various worksheets and proofreading practice assignments.

Learning Evaluation

The assignments range from 20 to 100 points each, for a total of 1,000 points possible.

Faculty
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Linda Taylor

MA, Ball State University, 2013
BA, Houghton College, 1980

PWR 423 Advanced Non-Fiction Writing (3 credits)

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide advanced academic instruction in applying ethical principles to the process of gathering, analyzing and integrating information into powerful nonfiction books. The ultimate goal is to seek out powerful stories reflecting a Christian worldview, and in all work to clearly and accurately communicate truth. The course is taught through a partnership between Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and Taylor University. No online component: Students receive the initial writing materials and submit work via email. Prerequisite: PWR327

This course may transfer as an English course. Please check with your home institution to verify the transferability.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Build on the objectives obtained in PWR 323.
  • Facilitate advanced knowledge of the skills necessary for writing non-fiction books.
  • Understand the current needs and guidelines of non-fiction book publishers.
  • Recognize book ideas, conduct adequate research, and apply the skills learned in the course to write effective non-fiction books.
  • Engage in the study of current world and community affairs, be alert for and analyze the value of ideas based on true stories, and reflect a compassionate Christian worldview in writing about people and issues for non-fiction books.
  • Think critically, analyze the information learned in class, and be able to integrate it with excellent writing skills, resulting in clear, and effective communication.

Textbooks

All required material is obtained through Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and bookstores. Additional fee: $250

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 15 assignments and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

Assignments are graded by JJWG mentor-professors who are experienced writers and teachers. The final grade is submitted to and transcripted by Taylor University.

PWR 427 Advanced Fiction Writing (3 credits)

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide academic instruction in reviewing classic and current prominent fiction written from a Christian perspective, analyzing current fiction and novels, and learning the basics of writing effective fiction. The ultimate goal is to clearly and accurately communicate themes that reflect a Christian worldview in an excellent and effective manner. The course is taught through a partnership with Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and Taylor University. No online component: Students receive the initial writing materials and submit work via email. Prerequisite: PWR327

This course may transfer as an English course. Please check with your home institution to verify the transferability.

Learning Results

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

  • Gain a working knowledge of the skills necessary for review, subject research and market analysis for fiction.
  • Increase understanding of current needs and guidelines of fiction publishers.
  • Recognize book ideas, conduct adequate research and apply the skills learned in the course to write effective fiction.
  • Engage in the study of literature, be alert for and analyze the value of ideas for powerful fiction, and be able to effectively reflect a compassionate Christian worldview.
  • Analyze the information learned in the class, and be able to integrate it with excellent writing skills, resulting in clear and effective communication.

Textbooks

All required material is obtained through Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild Guild and bookstores. Additional fee: $250

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 14 assignments and no exams.

Learning Evaluation

Assignments are graded by JJWG mentor-professors who are experienced writers and teachers. The final grade is submitted to and transcripted by Taylor University.

PWR 472 Freelance Writing (3 credits)

Course Description

This class is designed to expose writers to the wide range of freelance writing options open to them, along with experimenting with numerous formats and venues of professional writing. Students will be expected to complete their assignments and submit some of them for publication consideration to online and print media.

Learning Results

In the course of this class, you will:

  • Study examples of and write various types of articles—how-to, art-of-living, humor, roundup, seasonal, and profile. These articles will be 400–500 words.
  • Study yourself, your passions, and your interests and apply that knowledge to the magazine marketplace.
  • Determine appropriate publications for each type of article, write and actually send a query letter for at least two of those articles, and write and complete the assigned articles.
  • Learn how to organize your freelancing efforts, make money, track expenses for tax purposes, and understand the business side of freelancing.

The long-term objective is for students to understand how to take their great ideas, locate a market for them, and then build a database of places for which they can write in the future. You’ll understand how to query and how to submit your articles.

Textbooks

The Writer's Market book must be current (the last year or so).

Learning Documentation

This course consists of 6 articles with accompanying query letters, 5 textbook reflections, an "Assess Yourself" questionnaire, and a magazine and submissions tracker (part 1 and 2).

Learning Evaluation

Each article and query letter are worth 100 points, each textbook reflection is worth 40 points, the questionnaire is worth 50 points, part 1 of the magazine/submissions tracker is worth 50 points, and part 2 of the magazine/submissions tracker is worth 100 points, for a total of 1,000 points in the course.

Faculty
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Linda Taylor

MA, Ball State University, 2013
BA, Houghton College, 1980