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Business Communication for Success

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Description: Business Communication for Success (BCS) provides a comprehensive, integrated approach to the study and application of written and oral business communication to serve both student and professor. The text includes a number of features such as learning objectives, exercises, real world examples, key terms, and post-chapter assessments. Each chapter is self-contained, allowing for mix-and-match flexibility and custom or course-specific design. The first three chapters form the core foundation for the study of oral and written business communication. The next sequence of chapters focus on the process of writing, then oral performance with an emphasis on results. The final sequence of chapters focus on contexts where business communication occurs, from interpersonal to intercultural and from groups to leadership.

Author: University of Minnesota Libraries' Publishing Services (Adapted version)

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Creative Commons License
Business Communication for Success by University of Minnesota Libraries' Publishing Services (Adapted version) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

1. Reviewed by: Christine Horgan
  • Institution: SAIT Polytechnic
  • Title/Position: Curriculum Coordinator
  • Overall Rating: 4.9 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The content in the book is very comprehensive.

It meets the needs of several of our diploma-level business communications courses and could also meet the needs of our degree-level business communications courses.

A lot of the content will also be suitable for our diploma-level and degree-level technical communications courses.

Several chapters may be useful resources to our degree-level sociology or psychology courses.

There is no Table of Contents, Table of Illustrations, or Index. All of which would be useful additions.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Accuracy of the content is excellent. Supplemental materials take the form of takeaway statements, exercises, and end-of-unit references.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

Content is current and relevant.

New software for report generation or presentations may mean that some chapters require small updates at some point in the future.

The text is written in a straightforward manner.

What I'm particularly pleased about is that there is one consistent writing voice and one consistent editing voice throughout the textbook. As the book has been previously published by a traditional print publisher, that level of detail shows up in this e-book. This is not the case with most OER e-books, and it is that consistency of voice that is, in part, allowing me to recommend the book. (Afterall, we must be seen to practice what we preach in our communications courses.)

I particularly appreciate how the content of each chapter is "chunked" into small, manageable pieces.

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

Very clear. Relevant. To the point. The writing is very accessible. While the book is written for diploma- and degree-level students, the writing itself is not heavily academic.

Consistent writing and editing voice.

Jargon is explained.

Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

There is consistency in terminology.

If by framework you mean the flow of the writing and the organization of the formatting, then both are excellent. The layout of the chapters/units within chapters is logical and it makes navigation very easy.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

The chapters are broken up into manageable "chunks" so that students are not overwhelmed with large chunks of academic text.

Because the content is broken into smaller units, it would be very easy for an instructor/professor to assign reading material. It's also these smaller chunks/units that make the book so flexible, accessible, and manageable for students (even reluctant students) because some chapters or units within those chapters would be supplemental reading material in courses other than business communications courses.

It's going to be very easy to select chapters and units within chapters as reading material in several different courses.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

They topics in the book are presented in a logical, clear fashion.

There's a logical flow from one topic to the next. There's also a logical flow from one unit in a chapter to the next.

There's organization consistency (which supports the logical flow of content) in each chapter and each unit within the chapter. Each chapter has one or more quotes relevant to the content, introductory exercises, content, learning objectives, key takeaways (which function as a unit summary), and suggested exercises.

There are enough photographs, tables, point-form lists to add interest and break up the text. (A few more photographs would not go amiss.)

The unit exercises are relevant and interesting. They provide students and instructor/professor with ideas and options. Most of the unit exercises will work (or can be adapted) for both on-campus students and distance students.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

I didn't notice any interface issues or navigation problems. Images displayed just fine.

The only distraction I noted was on page 253 where the e-mail example appears to overlay some of the chapter text.

I assume that the book can be read by an e-reader for those students with vision limitations/challenges and that it will display well on mobile devices. I will be following up with my institution's multi-media team and Accessibility committee to ensure that we are not disadvantaging some students.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

I was not aware of any grammatical or spelling errors. The following images will need citations, though: Fig 14.1, 14.3, 14.5, and 16.2.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The author was aware of and respectful of inclusion and diversity. The author used he/she in most instances and occasionally "they" as a singular pronoun. Several chapters included content that made students think beyond their own culture. One whole chapter is devoted to doing business in other cultures. Many of the photos are U.S. based and some coud be changed. While there are some photos with non-caucasion participants, many could be changed to include a more diverse group including indigenous students and those with obvious physical disabilities.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

I would recommend this book. In fact, I have recommended it to several colleagues for several of our business communications courses as a starting point.