Business Communication Center

YES! We can help you NOW!

Schedule WebEx and telephone appointments now by clicking on the ‘booknow’ button!

The purpose of the Jindal School of Management (JSOM), Business Communication Center is to help students improve their writing and speaking skills in order to become more effective communicators. The ability to communicate clearly through writing and speaking is a key differentiator in the business world. Being smart and having great ideas is important, but the ability to communicate those ideas clearly will drive your success.

Book an appointmentMake an appointment in the JSOM Business Communication Center and let experienced tutors help you strengthen your abilities to make smart choices when you write and deliver oral presentations. READ THE POLICIES VERY CLOSELY AND BE SURE YOU FOLLOW THEM!

Business Communication Center Locations

JSOM Addition 12.106 (New Addition, 2nd Floor)
Jindal School of Management SM 43
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 W. Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
(972) 883-5385


Register for a Workshop

Resumes and Cover Letters For English Language Learners

Learn about Our Services

Resume & Cover Letter Process Services

Thanks for seeking information about the JSOM Business Communication Center. Communication abilities, including writing and speaking, are rated as one of the most desired qualities in today’s job market. In your professional life, you will spend a great deal of time trying to explain, direct, and persuade other people through your writing and speaking skills. Your ability to do this clearly and effectively will have a direct bearing on your success in the business world.

The JSOM Business Communication Center is here to help you develop your writing and speaking communication skills. In your writing, whether you need help organizing your thoughts, tightening your sentences, improving the format, or paraphrasing properly, our tutors will give you the feedback necessary to help you improve the clarity and impact of your written work. To enhance your speaking skills, our tutors will help you to engage your audience with verbal and non-verbal skills, improve the structure and design of your PowerPoint slides, and gain confidence in your presentations. You can even practice your presentation, individually or as a group.

Appointments are not required but are strongly recommended so that you get the time you need. I encourage you to take the first step toward developing your skills as a business communicator and explore what the JSOM Business Communication Center has to offer.

McClain Watson, PhD Director, Business Communication Center
(972)-883-4875JSOM 4.415

Session Times

  • Sessions are 45 minutes long.
  • Students may book three, 45-minute sessions a week under the following guidelines:
    • Students who visit more than three times per week may be asked to visit with the coordinator and/or the director to assess student needs and best use of the BCC. Failure to comply may result in restrictions.
    • Students who visit more than three times per week may be asked to comply with a Writing/Speaking Improvement Plan to help the student improve and to ensure the BCC is meeting student needs. Failure to agree to and comply with the plan may result in restrictions.
    • Students booking second sessions for the same document/task must bring the following, and failure to comply will result in restrictions:
      • Comet Card
      • Previous draft of student document with all notes
      • Revised draft in which student has applied issues identified in first session
      • All tutor notes and Areas to Improve form

Items to Bring to a Session

  • Students are required to bring the following to every session, and failure to do so will result in a restriction:
    • Comet Card
    • A printed, double-spaced copy of the document to review,
  • Students should also bring:
    • The professor’s written assignment description, and
    • A writing implement.

Work the BCC Does Not Help With

  • Dissertations and Articles for Publication
  • Editing
    Tutors do not edit student documents. Instead, tutors help students identify issues in their work and find solutions. The goal is to help students learn to be better writers and speakers, not to fix student work to help students get better grades.
  • Proofreading
    Tutors will not proofread to edit, but they will provide proofreading tips based on the writing issues identified during a session.
  • Someone else’s work
    Tutors do not provide assistance to students with work that is not their own. The only exception to this rule is for format and citations in a group project.
  • Take-home exams
    Tutors assist students with take-home exams only with prior permission from the professor.
  • Competitions
    Tutors assist students with competition materials only with prior sponsor/advisor permission.
  • Job-search documents specifically designed to assess candidate’s writing skills.(The Southwest Airlines essay required for internship application is an example of this type of document.)
  • Job-search documents when the student has not attended a BCC workshop and POD. Only tutors may book appointments for job-search documents.

Group Projects

Because the BCC’s mission is to assist students in improving their communication skills, each group member is encouraged to attend the session. However, the BCC recognizes that full attendance, while productive, is not always practical. Therefore, one group member may represent the entire group to gain feedback for the entire project in the following areas:

  • Format
  • Citations and References

  • Limited Group Feedback

    Tutors will not attempt to “hurry” through the entire document in order to edit. Tutors will not review the work of members who do not attend, and students who bring or send other members’ work for review, other than for the format and citations, may be in violation of BCC policy and incur a restriction.

Multiple Appointments Policy

Students may book only one appointment per day. Unauthorized second appointments booked for the same day will be canceled without notification and No Show restrictions may be applied.

Late Policy

Appointment times begin when students arrive with their Comet Cards and a printed, double-spaced copy of the document to review.

  • Students over ten minutes late forfeit their appointment to non-scheduled, waiting students.
  • Students 10 minutes late are considered No Shows.


Students making cancellations with less than 12 hours’ notice will be considered No Shows and will incur restrictions. Appointments may be canceled by clicking on the “Manage your appointment” icon in your email appointment confirmation or reminder or by phoning the BCC at (972) 883-5385.

Improperly Booked Appointments

Improperly booked appointments may incur No Show restrictions. For example, job search documents, such as resumes and cover letters, cannot be booked in the class assignment category, even if that document is for a class. Only tutors may book job search document appointments. Improperly booked appointments for limited review documents may count as one of the total number of allowable reviews.

No Show Policy

Students who do not show for an appointment, who are 10 minutes late (even due to printing issues), or who cancel with less than 12-hour notice are considered No Shows. Appointments begin when students arrive with a Comet Card and a printed, double-spaced copy of the document to review. Second visits for the same document must also bring the previous draft, the revision, and all tutor notes including the Areas to Improve form.

Restrictions for No Shows
First No Show Second No Show Third No Show Fourth No Show
Student’s existing appointments are cancelled. Student’s existing appointments are cancelled. Student’s existing appointments are cancelled. Student’s existing appointments are cancelled.
Student is restricted from booking further appointments for the rest of the week. Student is restricted from booking further appointments for two weeks. Student is restricted from booking further appointments for three weeks. Student is restricted from booking further appointments for the rest of the semester.

No Shows for appointments made for limited review documents count as one of the reviews.

Limited Review Documents

Because the BCC’s goal is to help students develop writing skills, not to edit work, only two reviews are available for personal statements (statements of purpose). These documents are typically part of the application process for academic jobs, scholarship programs, and grad school. Writing samples for such applications will also be limited to two appointments and will be general in nature.

All job search documents are booked by tutors following student attendance at workshops and small interaction groups (PODs) for resumes and cover letters. Once students have attended the resume and cover letter workshops and PODs, tutors may book one appointment for students for the following:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • LinkedIn Page
  • Elevator Speech
  • Possible Interview Questions

To register for a resume or cover letter workshop, click on the green “For All Students” tab at the top of this page.

The BCC reserves the right to add, delete, or modify policies at any time during a semester. Website updates are submitted for revision once per semester, and the website may not include the most recent revisions.

Click on the question to view the answer.

Information for Students

Expand All

Walk-ins are welcomed, but only at times when other students have not booked appointments or have canceled. You can book an appointment by clicking Book Now

Yes. The BCC gets VERY busy right before writing assignments are due. Making an appointment early will ensure that you get help when you need it.

No. Tutors do not “fix” or edit student papers so they are ready for class submission. Instead, tutors will help you to identify patterns of errors in your work so that you learn to identify and correct errors yourself.

Tutors will help you in any way you need help. If you want help with your writing, they will help you invent a paper topic, organize your document, or smooth out your sentences. If you want help with your presentation, they will help you improve the script, strengthen your PowerPoint slides, or invent helpful notecards. You can even practice your presentation. It all depends on what YOU need.


No. Tutors do not edit student work. To help students become more skillful and independent writers, tutors help students identify issues (normally two or three per appointment) that need attention.

Not necessarily. The tutors will help you to strengthen your documents and practice your presentations skills, but instructors assign the scores. If you have any questions about how your work will be evaluated in an assignment, meet with your instructors and ask them. THEN you should make an appointment with the Center and communicate that information to the tutor. Your chances of success are much higher if you clearly communicate the assignment instructions and expectations to the tutor.

You may book appointments for up to three appointments a week, but only one appointment per day.

Information for Faculty

Expand All

Any JSOM student can use the Business Communication Center, but our focus is the Undergraduate Program. Although tutors are not content experts, they are skilled writers with training in tutoring, so they are able to help graduate students with communication issues that do not require advanced subject knowledge. Foreign language learners often work with our tutors on general issues such as grammar, word choice, sentence structure, punctuation, and effective PowerPoint slides and presentation techniques. However, grammar will not be the first issue addressed if a document needs to be rewritten because of Higher-Order Concerns such as a lack of clarity, improper paraphrasing, or abstruse organization.

The BCC is typically staffed by graduate students. Tutors must demonstrate writing proficiency and pass an exam to assess their tutoring skills prior to employment. Occasionally, undergraduate students who receive a faculty recommendation because of excellent communication skills serve as tutors. You can be confident that your students will receive qualified help.

  • As part of your writing assignments, explain to students that their best work will rarely be their first draft. Remind them that getting the perspective of a second reader will help them write better papers.
  • Tell students about online writing tips and reference materials on the BCC web site. These are useful as students draft papers and, later, check final revisions.
  • Tell students you have noticed that taking the time to use the BCC services leads to higher quality papers. They can visit the BCC for three weekly 45-minute sessions.
  • Tell students that we can help them strengthen their PowerPoint slides and give them valuable tips to help them be more at ease during an oral presentation.
  • Include the following verbiage and link in your syllabus or assignments:


Booking appointments at the Business Communication Center will help you develop your verbal and written communication skills. Tutors will help you at any stage of your writing and will discuss American business writing development as well as paraphrasing and citing your sources in APA style. These issues normally take more than one appointment. When your writing is ready to examine the grammar, BCC tutors will not correct the grammar, but they will help you to identify patterns of errors in your work and will explain grammar rules to help you identify and resolve these issues yourself.

Appointments are filled quickly, especially when assignments are due, so to ensure you get the space you need, book over a week in advance at at

Business Communication Center
JSOM II, 12.106

Tutors do not edit papers because the primary goal of the Business Communication Center is to help students improve their writing. Ideally, a conversation about a draft begins with larger issues of structure, clarity, and effective argument, with the tutor and student taking time to work through revisions. Then the conversation moves on to finer points, with the tutor highlighting patterns of error or offering revision guidelines, still coaching the student in improving the writing. Since polished papers may require many rewrites, neither professors nor students should expect perfection after only a few visits. Final papers may have errors for several reasons:

  • The draft has too many issues to work through in the course of one tutoring session.
  • A student applies revision guidelines, reworks the paper after the session, but does not spend enough time on final editing.
  • A student comes in one or two hours before the paper is due, so there is time to work on only selected issues.
  • The tutor and student may work through part of the paper, and then the student will take the paper home to finish. The student who is still learning may make a few errors.
  • Some foreign language learners have clarity issues in their papers and may have difficulty verbalizing the meaning of a passage or even a sentence to the tutor.

Yes, in these ways:

  • Many students, even graduate students, do not understand how to use and document sources correctly. Tutors can introduce this skill and provide illustrations and resources.
  • When students copy and paste passages, tutors will often recognize the problem simply from changes in writing style. This creates an opportunity to work with students on paraphrasing and citing sources correctly.
  • Expectations about documenting sources vary across cultures, and the tutors are prepared to explain to students what they need to do to adapt to U.S. academic conventions.
  • Ask the BCC to present its 1.5-hour guest lecture in APA citations and paraphrasing. The presentation includes a group activity so your students can practice.

  • Get help from a peer tutor in pushing students beyond Google to do research. To supplement Ms. Henry’’s introduction to library research tools, ask a student who has already taken your class to come in and give a quick talk from the student perspective about how useful the library tools can be.
  • Take another look at how your assignments are designed. Often students struggle with assignments because they do not understand the expectations or simply do not know the standard forms of writing in a new context. Be sure the assignment specifies the audience (possibly a hypothetical audience), the role of the writer, the purpose for writing, and the kind of document to write. If you do not provide a model, consider referring students to the BCC or its website for models of formats, for example, a memo. We can work with you to provide an appropriate model that you can use as a handout or include in your syllabus. For more information on effective assignment design, see the following sites:
  • Make the criteria for success part of the assignment. List the characteristics you will look for when grading and, if appropriate, describe in specific detail different levels of achievement that correspond to different grades. Being explicit about grading criteria helps students understand what success looks like, which the students are still learning. The following websites give examples of different kinds of grading rubrics that make it easier to communicate criteria for success: and
  • Build a draft and revision step into assignments. To keep feedback and grading time manageable, try one of these options:
    • Give credit for a complete draft, but do not give students feedback on it. Instead, suggest they take the draft to the BCC, or include peer feedback as part of the assignment. Explain to students that you are requiring the draft to help them do their best work.
    • Give students comments on the draft so they can apply your suggestions as they revise. Grade, but give minimal comments on the final paper. Your comments at that point make much less difference in student learning.
  • Create multi-step assignments. Instead of giving students assignments on unrelated topics, create a series of assignments in which the writing and thinking on one prepares students to take on the next assignment. Usually, the final paper will be a larger project that pulls together the thinking skills and content areas of the previous papers.

JSOM Students are welcome to bring any piece of writing or oral presentation including class assignments, PowerPoint presentations, or even Toastmasters speeches. Group projects are also welcome. Although tutors will not review portions of the writing when the writer of that portion is not present, they will review the entire document for format and APA citations and references when one writer brings the document for the entire group.

As a regular service, tutors provide an Areas to Improve form. This form offers suggestions for some areas that require further attention and serves as a verification that the student received assistance in the Center.

Requiring an entire class to attend the BCC can sometimes backfire. The BCC’s mission is to assist students in improving their communication skills, not to edit student papers. Students who are threatened with the possibility of a lower grade if they do not visit the BCC have unrealistic expectations when visiting the BCC. Such students are anxious to have their papers “fixed” and often are not focused on learning, making them unreceptive to tutor coaching. In addition, when instructors require an entire class to go to the BCC, more motivated students who are working to improve their skills are unable to obtain appointments.

Helping students to understand that tutors will not edit their papers and encouraging students to visit the BCC early and regularly is a better way to ensure that class assignments will achieve higher levels of proficiency. If your entire class needs assistance, consider scheduling a guest lecture for a particular assignment or skill. Contact Elizabeth Bruce at 972-883-5385 or to schedule one of the following or to discuss a new topic for your class!

  • Resumes
  • Cover Letters
  • LinkedIn
  • APA Format
  • Avoiding Plagiarism: Paraphrasing and APA Citing and Referencing
  • Presentation with Panache
  • Professional Presence

Although tutors ask students for the written assignments, students do not always bring these to the BCC. As a rule, tutors will instruct students to cite, reference, and format papers using the APA Style Guide because APA is the approved style for all business documents, not only at JSOM but at every university in the country. If you require a different style guide, tutors will advise your students to consult you with questions. For FASB, IRC, and other board standards with their own citation style, students will be advised to consult their textbook and professor.

There are hundreds of online resources that will help you to make smart choices when you write business documents.

These resources are intended to provide general writing assistance, NOT to tell you how your instructor wants the assignment written. If you have a question about whether any of the advice given below is appropriate for your class assignment, ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR.

General Sites

Business Writing Blogs

Job-Related Writing

The best way to get personalized help on your cover letter, resume, or other job-related writing is to make register for a BCC Resume or Cover Letter workshop at

Business Writing Resources

  • Why Cite? Working with sources can inspire your own ideas and enrich them, and your citation of these sources is the visible trace of that debt.

  • How to Critically Evaluate Sources In the research process you will encounter many types of resources including books, articles and websites. But not everything you find on your topic will be suitable. How do you make sense of what is out there and evaluate its authority and appropriateness for your research?

  • What is Plagiarism?

    Academic versus Popular Journals – When you select articles from an online search you need to make a distinction between scholarly and popular material.

  • Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing This handout is intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

Online Resources

Online sources can assist you in preparing more effective speeches. While these resources provide general advice, your professors’ instructions should be your first source of direction for your presentations. If you have questions concerning the appropriateness of any of the following links, ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR.

How to Engage Your Audience

Using Slides and Handouts Effectively

Avoiding Common Presentation Mistakes

Conquering Nervousness and Bad Habits

Meeting Strangers at Networking Events

Citing and Referencing on Slides