Communications Studies and Personal Development

Communications Studies and Personal Development
- Damian Gordon -
Module Aim
• This module will introduce students to the
theory of clear communication and to a
range of practical communication skills.
These skills will include writing basic
technical and business documents,
delivering oral presentations, studying
effectively, networking productively,
listening actively and participating fully in
team projects.
Module Description
1. Improve the students’ academic performance, their
career prospects, and ultimately their companies’
success through clear, concise, ethical and accurate
2. To develop the students’ critical thinking abilities, their
social and interactive skills, their understanding of the
principles underpinning communication problems, and a
positive approach to communicating clearly in a diverse
range of situations.
3. To reinforce students’ self-esteem through a greater
understanding of communication principles and their
practice of a range of valuable communication skills
Learning Outcomes
1. plan, draft and edit a wide range of basic business and technical
documents, including reports, letters, instructions, specifications,
memoranda and e-mail.
2. make formal oral presentations, using appropriate visual aids; to
contribute effectively to group interaction and performance
3. discuss contemporary communication issues in organisations such
as the role of new information technologies, intercultural
communication, globalisation and legal and ethical issues.
4. apply appropriate study skills to bridge the gap from second level
and third level
5. use appropriate technical skills for written deliverables
6. use more effectively communication skills such as questioning and
listening skills, study skills, intercultural competencies and nonverbal interaction.
Module Content (1/6)
• Introduction to Principles of
Communication: Categories of human
communication; importance of effective
communication for studies and career;
role of communication in organisations;
how the components of the
communication process work; ways to
improve interpersonal communication.
Module Content (2/6)
• Effective Writing: Planning and drafting a
document; revising, editing and proof-reading
documents; organising information; layout,
format and structure of various documents;
style of writing including references to tone,
word choice, sentence structures; review of
most important principles of grammar and
punctuation; writing products including reports,
technical documents, letters and e-mails; using
the computer in writing projects; writing a
curriculum vitae; note-taking and basic
Module Content (3/6)
• Oral Presentation: Major steps in
preparing an oral presentation; verbal and
non-verbal aspects of delivering a
presentation; structuring a presentation;
criteria for evaluating presentations; use
of visual aids; basics of interview
Module Content (4/6)
• Interpersonal and Organisational
Communication Skills: Communicating in
teams: listening skills; participating more
effectively at meetings; the vocabulary of
meetings and roles of committee
personnel; handling conflict at meetings;
the categories and functions of nonverbal communication and its role in
effective communication; giving effective
feedback .
Module Content (5/6)
• Contemporary Issues in Communication:
Information technology and its
implications for individual and
organisational communication;
globalisation and intercultural
communication; legal and ethical aspects
of communication; autonomy in work; rate
of change and its implications for
Module Content (6/6)
• Personal development: Study skills,
technical writing
• The Module is assessed as 100%
Continuous Assessment.
How to write e-mails
How to write an e-mail
• Writing e-mails is a skill
• It takes practice
• With email, you can't assume anything
about a sender's location, time, frame of
mind, profession, interests, or future value
to you. This means, among other things,
that you need to be very, very careful
about giving your receivers some context.
How to write an e-mail
Subject Line
Need help with timetable
Re: Need help with timetable
Fwd: Need help with timetable
URGENT: Need help with timetable
REQ: Need help with timetable
FYI: Need help with timetable
How to write an e-mail
Mr./Ms. [Full name],
[Body of e-mail].
Your name
Student Number
How to write an e-mail
Quoting an e-mail
> I am e-mailing you to request if you
> you have finished it
How to write an e-mail
Change pronouns
> I am e-mailing you to request if you
> you have finished [the assignment]
How to write an e-mail
• Short Paragraphs
– Frequently email messages will be read in a
document window with scrollbars. While
scrollbars are nice, it makes it harder to
visually track long paragraphs. Consider
breaking up your paragraphs to only a few
sentences apiece.
How to write an e-mail
• Line Length
– Some mail clients do not automatically wrap (adjust
what words go on what line). This means that if there
is a mismatch between your client's and your
correspondent's in how they wrap lines, your
correspondent may end up with a message that looks
– You should try to keep your lines under sixty
characters long. This is to leave a little room for the
indentation or quote marks your correspondents may
want if they need to quote pieces of your message in
their replies.
How to write an e-mail
• Smileys
– A facial gestures can be represented with
what is called a "smiley": a textual drawing of
a facial expression. The most common are;
How to write an e-mail
• Language
– The biggest status cue is your competence with the language.
– If you have lots of misspellings, your subjects do not agree with
your verbs, or you use the wrong word, people may assume that
you are uneducated. From that, they may infer that you are not
very clever. It doesn't matter that the correlation between
language ability and intelligence is weak (especially among nonnative speakers); lots of people will make that inference anyway.
– Furthermore, some people are literally insulted by getting email
with errors, especially typographical errors. They feel that it is
disrespectful to send email with blatant errors. (Note that you can
use this to your advantage. If you want to flaunt your superior
status, you can insert some typos deliberately.)
How to write an e-mail
• Acronyms
BTW - By The Way
FYI - For Your Information
IMHO - In My Humble/Honest Opinion
RTFM - Read The Manual ("Manual" here refers to any documentation)
LOL - [I] Laughed Out Loud [at what you wrote]
RSN - Real Soon Now
ROTFL - [I am] Rolling On The Floor Laughing [at what you wrote]
• These are less common, but show up occasionally:
– TTFN - Ta-Ta For Now
– TIA - Thanks In Advance (also sometimes written advTHANKSance)
What was that all about ?
What was that all about ?
• Write down the three most important ideas
you encountered during the class.
• Swap with the person beside you, are their
top three similar or different?
What was that all about ?
• Have a look at the notes that you have
taken, do they make sense? Write a
question mark beside everything you are
not sure of, and underline the key issues.
• Swap with the person beside you, are their
notes similar or different?