Training Courses - Business Writing

Effective Business Writing

This course is designed to show people how to write effectively for business. Attendees will learn the tips and techniques for getting their message across clearly and persuasively. The course examines the structure of written communication and how to use it to advantage. The emphasis is on the practical, and on maximum usefulness. All points are illustrated by examples from the real world, imparting giving skills attendees will be able to use immediately.

Download the brochure (4 page PDF, 168 KB)

Course Outline

The Elements of Good Writing

  • Why write well?
  • Writing in Plain English
  • The common features of business communication

Planning Your Document

  • What are you trying to achieve? What is the desired outcome?
  • Who is your audience?
  • How to put yourself in the mind of the reader
  • What do writers have to think about?
  • Organising your material
  • “Writer’s block” and how to overcome it – how word processors help

Common mistakes (and how to avoid them)

  • Apostrophe man strikes again
  • When to use its and it’s
  • The correct use of commas
  • Consistency of tense
  • Singular and plural pronouns
  • Using active voice (and when to use passive)
  • Common spelling mistakes

The Structure of Written Language

  • The importance of structure
  • How to use structure to your advantage
  • Sentence structure
  • Paragraph structure
  • Document structure

Writing Well

  • Active writing
  • Clichés and useless words
  • Words and phrases to avoid
  • Words and phrases often misused
  • The right words – and the wrong words
  • When not to use adjectives and adverbs
  • Handling technical language – when to use jargon, and when to avoid it
  • What style is, and how to use it
  • Formal and informal writing
  • Simple rules for non-sexist language
  • The ten simple steps to writing well

Types of Document

  • The structures of different documents
  • How long should your document be?
  • Business letters – the start, the middle and the end
  • Memos
  • Faxes
  • Emails
  • Short reports
  • Longer documents

Writing and the Computer

  • Email ettiquette
  • How to get the most from Microsoft Word
  • Spell checkers and grammar checkers
  • Tricks with printers
  • Voice recognition systems
  • Different file types
  • Online help

Design and Production

  • Why design is important
  • How to make any document look good
  • The importance of margins and white space
  • Fonts and typefaces
  • The role of colour
  • When to use images
  • Bullet points and breakout boxes
  • Production – printing, binding, etc.

Revising and Editing

  • How to edit – A checklist for effective revision
  • The Fog Index and other readability rules
  • Reference tools
  • Where to go from here

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