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.
Make 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 our Business Communication Center FAQs for more information.
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
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 assist you as you work to develop your writing and speaking communication skills. In your writing, whether you need help organizing your thoughts, tightening your sentences, improving document design, or proofreading, 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 strengthen your PowerPoint presentations, Toastmaster speeches, and other oral presentations. You can even practice your speech and get tips on how to make the delivery more effective. In addition, cameras are available for you to check out for class assignments.
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.
Because the BCC’s mission is to assist students in improving their communication skills, each group member is encouraged to attend the session addressing that member’s contribution to the project. 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:
Tutors may give permission for two appointments in one day but may limit or prohibit them during high demand weeks. This means that the student must have seen the tutor once so the tutor can justify and authorize the second appointment.
Appointment times begin when students arrive with their Comet Cards and a printed, double-spaced copy of the document to review.
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 will 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.
Students who do not show for an appointment, who are 10 minutes late, or who cancel with less than 12 hours’ notice are considered No Shows.
The restrictions for No Shows are:
No Shows for appointments made for limited review documents count as one of the reviews.
Because the BCC’s main focus is class documents, and because the BCC’s goal is to help students develop writing skills, not to edit work, only limited reviews are available for the following documents:
Improperly booked appointments for limited review documents count as one of total number of allowable reviews. To attend a workshop, follow the directions on the Job Search Documents: Resumes, Etc. Appointments
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 mliost recent revisions.
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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, or improve your grammar. If you want help with your presentation, they will help you improve the script, strengthen your PowerPoint slides, or invent helpful note cards. You can even practice your speech. 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 visit the Center every day, but only once a day for one, thirty-minute appointment unless you have prior tutor authorization.
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.
The Business Communication Center is typically staffed by graduate students in Arts and Humanities. Tutors must demonstrate writing proficiency and pass an exam to assess their tutoring skills prior to employment. You can be confident that your students will receive qualified help.
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. Frequently, creating a polished paper requires a second appointment after the student has worked more on the paper. Final papers may have errors for several reasons:
Yes, in these ways:
JSOM Students are welcome to bring any piece of writing or oral presentation including class assignments, application essays, cover letters, resumes, PowerPoint presentations, or even Toastmasters speeches. Group projects are also welcome. Tutors will approve hour-long appointments to discuss group project drafts, and as many of the team members as possible are encouraged to participate. Frequently, the tutor facilitates discussions about not only how to revise problem areas in the draft that may be written by different students, but also how to organize and format the entire paper. For this reason, it is important to have all or almost all group members attend the session.
As a regular service, tutors provide a signed Feedback 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 Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule one of the following or to discuss a new topic for your class!
Although tutors ask students for the written homework assignments, students do not always bring these to the Center. As a rule, tutors will instruct students to cite, reference, and format papers using the APA Style Guide. If you prefer a different style guide or if you have specific areas of focus for the tutors, please contact the coordinator with your instructions at Elizabeth Bruce or 972-883-5385
The Center has three cameras available for student use for oral presentation assignments. Please observe the following guidelines:
The best way to get personalized help on your cover letter, resume, or other job-related writing is to make use of the UT Dallas Career Center and JSOM Career Management Center. Please visit their webpages for more information.
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?
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.
View “Your Writing, Not Someone Else’s,” produced by the Business Writing Center at the University of Washington
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.