Business Writing

Business Writing

We all know what good writing is. It’s the novel we can’t put down, the poem we never forgot, and the speech that changes the way we look at the world. Good writing is the memo that gets action and the letter that says what a phone call can’t.

In business writing, the language is concrete, the point of view is clear, and the points are well expressed. Good writing is hard work, and even the best writers get discouraged. However, with practice you can feel more confident about your own writing.

Specific learning objectives will include:

  • The value of good written communication.
  • How to write and proofread your work so it is clear, concise, complete, and correct.
  • How to apply these skills in real world situations.
  • The proper format for memos, letters, and e-mails.

Course Overview

Why Write?

Many people feel that writing is a burden or something they should be able to delegate. This section will help the student identify the value of writing.

The Four C’s

The instructor will discuss four of the C’s of writing with the student: clear, concise, complete, and correct. The student will practice each C through writing exercises.

Word Agreement

During this section, the student will explore word agreement through a brief lecture and a writing exercise.

Active and Passive Voice

Most people prefer to read writing that is in the active voice. We will discuss and practice both voices during this section.

Sentences and Sentence Types

This section will discuss the structure of sentences and paragraphs. Then, the student will apply this knowledge to a writing exercise.

Inclusive Language

Another key part of writing is political correctness. The student will have an opportunity to re-write some exclusive terms to make them inclusive.

Readability Index

The Gunning Fog Index, also called the readability index, determines the difficulty level of a written piece. The student will apply the index to a sample and to their own work.

Manners and Courtesy

Courtesy is an important principle of good business writing. During this section, the student will examine and rank several business letters, helping them explore their own style and preference.

Practical Language

It is important to use words that best reflect what you are trying to say. In this section, we will examine some common dilemmas (such as fewer vs. less) and suggested solutions.

Sentence Construction

The two basic rules for constructing sentences are: use construction that makes meaning clear and keep construction parallel. The student will re-write sentences that don’t follow these rules.

Punctuation

During this section, the student will work in teams or by themselves to develop a series of test questions for other teams. We have included some key points that you can use to debrief the test.

Writing Business Letters

This section begins with three lectures on the steps for writing a business letter, types of letters, and the parts of a business letter. The student will then examine samples of business letters to determine the type and the parts of each letter.

Writing Effective E-mails

Virtually everyone today uses e-mail to communicate at work and at home. This section will give the student some tips on writing effective e-mails and managing mail.

Spelling and Proofreading

Proofreading carelessly can spoil a writer's best efforts. This section will help the student identify common spelling errors and practice their proofreading skills.

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