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Effective Business Writing

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Effective Business Writing

A new session of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when lessons are released. You will have access to all lessons until the course ends. However, the interactive discussion area that accompanies each lesson will automatically close two weeks after the lesson is released. As such, we strongly recommend that you complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks to complete all of your course work, including the final exam.

Week One

Wednesday - Lesson 01

In this first lesson, you'll learn a brainstorming technique that will help make writing easier and more fun for you right away. You'll learn how to disentangle the efforts of your creative and critical sides, and you'll come to understand why both sides are important components of good writing. You'll also learn why writing is one of the best problem-solving tools around.

Friday - Lesson 02

Here's where you'll learn a helpful system for organizing your writing, whether it's an e-mail, a formal letter, or a companywide memo. You'll start by picking out a document you have to write anyway so you can begin to put your new writing knowledge to use right away. You may as well get some work done while you're learning, right? Next, you'll nail down why you're writing this particular document and who your reader is. A second brainstorming technique will help you have fun thinking through these two questions.

Week Two

Wednesday - Lesson 03

In this lesson, you'll learn to make your readers do what you want. Your readers will be happy, too, since they'll get what they want in this win/win system. You'll learn the seven basic benefits you can offer your reader and how to write the crucial first sentence of your document. You'll learn one more brainstorming technique that will help you capture good ideas, words, and phrases.

Friday - Lesson 04

Master seven strategies for putting your ideas in order and learn how poor sequencing can sabotage your efforts. You'll also discover the best way to end any document. It's an idea that may surprise you!

Week Three

Wednesday - Lesson 05

Revising, formatting, editing, and proofreading may all sound similar, but they're four distinct activities. In this lesson, you'll learn how revision is a process of exploration and discovery. You'll learn formatting strategies that will invite your reader in. You'll also learn to be a ruthless editor and professional proofreader.

Friday - Lesson 06

In this lesson, you'll learn how to write clearly and concisely. You'll explore three mistaken notions that lead business writers to use lots of convoluted phrasing and needlessly long words. You'll examine the pitfalls of using business clichés, jammed modifiers, trendy words, jargon, foreign words, redundancies, and hedging adjectives.

Week Four

Wednesday - Lesson 07

In the last lesson you learned what words to remove from your document. In this lesson, you'll learn what words you should include to make your business writing more compelling. You'll learn the four parts of the written communication process. You'll find out why the verbs and nouns you choose make a major difference. You'll also learn more ways to make the task of writing more enjoyable for you.

Friday - Lesson 08

Today, we'll look at strategies for good spelling and punctuation. Everyone needs this review! To keep it fun, you'll get to deal with the topics of spelling and punctuation by taking some easy quizzes. It's a chance to learn by doing. See how good your spelling and punctuation skills really are. You'll learn that punctuation is not a tyranny of rules, but an evolving protocol to help you communicate. Finally, you'll capture your weak areas on a Tips Card.

Week Five

Wednesday - Lesson 09

Why do you have to bother with grammar? You'll find out why in this lesson. Take the Grammar Blitz Quiz to discover your grammar strengths and weaknesses. It will help you fill in the gaps that remain after years of boring grammar classes. You'll learn why using the active instead of the passive voice can be a demonstration of your integrity. You'll also explore the traps pronouns set for those of us sensitive to gender issues.

Friday - Lesson 10

Getting the tone right in business writing can be tricky, especially in e-mail. In this lesson, you'll get to tackle your worst moods with one more brainstorming technique. You'll learn how to defuse any negative emotions that might get in the way of your problem solving. You'll also learn how your attitude toward your reader, your topic, and your own needs determines your tone. As you go through the lesson, you'll learn two easy ways to eliminate unintentional tone mistakes.

Week Six

Wednesday - Lesson 11

In this lesson, you'll learn why being able to say “no” with grace is a crucial business skill. A five-part format will give you a solid strategy for writing documents that say “no” while retaining the goodwill of your reader. You'll learn how to keep bad news letters, memos, and e-mails positive and helpful.

Friday - Lesson 12

All about e-mail: Here's an up-to-date review of all the ways e-mail is different from other kinds of business writing. You'll learn tips on how to write e-mail that gets the job done. You'll find out some of pitfalls of using e-mail, including its legal status in court. You'll also discover how to manage the tone of your e-mail so that it doesn't accidentally offend your reader.

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Please click on a month to choose a session start date:

  • Learn a new skill or enhance existing skills for professional development or personal enrichment.
  • New sessions starting monthly with lessons and assignments released weekly.
  • 2-4 hours a week in a convenient six-week format.
  • Interactive learning environment. Classroom built around discussion areas where you can engage with classmates and instructors.
  • Expert instructors develop, lead, and interact with students in each course.
  • Award of completion from your learning institution with passing score.
  • Build industry skills or earn continuing education credits in a variety of fields.
  • Start Anytime. Access to all course material and assessments from day one.
  • Many tutorials can be completed in just a few hours.
  • Quick independent study. Learn something new or expand your knowledge while working at your own pace.
  • Material developed by industry leaders and student support offered.
  • Certificate of completion awarded with passing score.
  • Gain the knowledge needed to move forward with your education.
  • Start anytime. Access Granted upon registration.
  • Courses are designed to be completed within 6-12 weeks.
  • Interactive multi-media instruction with integrated assessment, allowing you to work at your own pace.
  • Professional instructors support you throughout your learning experience.
  • Confirmation of successful course completion.

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