Online Class: Business Writing

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Course Description

We live in a world where communication is paramount to survival. In a work environment where communication is equated with the professionalism and efficiency of an individual, would you jeopardize your career because of bad writing? Do you want the embarrassment of sending out a poorly written email to your peers? Can you risk sending out badly written communications to customers and putting your company's reputation on the line? Of course not, no one aspires to be a bad writer. No one wants to communicate badly.

This crash course in business communication may help remedy your writing woes.
From the basic do's and don'ts of business communication to the nitty-gritty of formatting, punctuation, tone and language--this course covers all the fundamentals. As a one stop guide to a professional's writing career, the class is ideal for assistants, secretaries, executives, managers, and senior managers of any company or organization. Learn about the common mistakes we make when writing a business letter. Learn how often people mistake 'affect' for 'effect', and 'except' for 'accept'.  Learn about how to write business emails.
This course will also give you insights into your reader's mind. Who are they? What do they want? How can you effectively reach out to them?

Manage Your Writing: How Bad Business Writing Is Bad for Your Business

Good business writing is a skill that should be mastered in all its forms: memorandums, e-mails, marketing campaigns, customer service information, business plans, employee negotiations, and more. If you are in business, you already know that you spend the better part of your day communicating with people through talking, writing, and negotiating. While technology advances have allowed us to communicate the written word to employees and customers in minutes, most people have not updated their writing skills to keep pace with this near-instantaneous communication.
Communication as we knew it only five, ten, or twenty years ago has been swept away with the tide of technology. Everything is sleeker and faster. However, one thing has remained constant: written communication skills. The success of an individual's career, as well as the fortunes of any business, may depend on these vital writing skills.
No matter what business you are in, poor written communication is something that can sabotage your success. Yes, we live in a world dominated by computers and telephones; but even today, writing is still one of the most crucial ways to effectively communicate with another person.
Every day at work, you write numerous e-mails, you draft business plans and letters, you compose sales letters to your customers, and you create business proposals. What you write is probably as important as how you write it. Your written communication can work wonders for your company and your success, or it can lead to your downfall.

When you go to an important meeting or an interview, you make sure that you are prepared. You dress with care, trying to make an impeccable impression on the people you are about to meet. Whether right or wrong, your appearance can make a world of difference in how other people view you. The same holds true for business writing. Have you ever taken a look at how your written communication appears to other people?
Your writing makes the same kind of impression as your clothes do. It needs to convey that you are an intelligent and skilled person who is a thorough professional. However, if your business writing is riddled with errors and mistakes, rest assured that all notions of your professionalism will quickly fade from your audience's mind.
Content and presentation are the two pillars of business communication.

If your business writing is rich in content but fails to involve the reader, is not written well, or does not convey your intended message, you have failed in your business communication. Similarly, if your business writing is accurate and professional but lacks content, clarity, and facts, then you have also missed the communication objective.
If you want to develop good writing skills, the first thing you need to learn is how to strike a fine balance between your content and the way it is presented.
To achieve this balance, you should start by following the Seven Cs of Business Communication. If you understand and follow these rules, you will develop an unbeatable edge in your business communications.

The Seven Cs of Business Communication

  • Clear: Clarity is paramount in any kind of business writing. Not only should you be clear about the message you want to convey but also ensure that it is completely understood by your audience. A good place to begin would be by asking yourself these three questions: What is the purpose of writing this document? Who is the reader? What action do I want the reader to take after reading this document? These questions will help you focus on your content and avoid straying from the point.
  • Concise: Brevity is the heart of writing. Ensure that your documents are short and sweet. Wordy business correspondence is not only annoying and distracting, but time-consuming for both the writer and reader. Remember, the reader is a professional like you, who has a busy day ahead, so do not waste their time. Keep your content short and simple.
  • Correct: Written communication says a lot about the writer. If a business letter has spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, and punctuation problems, the impression one gets is that the writer is incompetent and unprofessional. So make sure you review and revise your work before sending it out.
  • Courteous: A business letter is a professional document; hence, you have to ensure the tone is always courteous and polite. You should never come across as being rude or angry. Similarly, racist, sexist and derogatory remarks must be strictly avoided in all business writing. Also, while writing a business letter, make sure that the spelling of the name and title of the receiver is correct.
  • Conversational: Your business communication should sound personal and professional. Many company communications do not involve the reader. To keep your audience from being alienated, keep your tone crisp and chatty.
  • Convincing: Business writing must have accurate information supported with relevant content to convince the reader to take action. Ultimately, your aim is to convince the reader to do something. So, present your case, support it with reason, and request an action.
  • Complete: Always review and revise your business writing before sending it off. Go back and review those three questions you asked initially. If you are satisfied that you have covered all of them, go ahead and send out your e-mail or letter.

Now that we have covered the prerequisites for good business writing, let us take a look at some of the most common errors in business writing.
Here are the top 10 mistakes people make in business communication :
  • Too many words: Often people use more words than are required to get the point across. There is little or no editing and the sentences can stretch on for miles.
  • Frequent and unnecessary use of jargon and clichés: People often use jargon and outdated clichés in their business writing. They believe that by using such terms, their writing looks professional. However, such words have the opposite effect and tend to alienate the reader.
  • Punctuation mistakes: Even though people believe that they have a good grasp of their language, they often end up making punctuation mistakes. The use of commas, periods, colons, semicolons, and quotation marks is often wrong.
  • Grammar mistakes: You might be very good with the language, but more often than not, business communication falls prey to grammatical mistakes. Pay close attention to grammar. If you are not sure, find help.
  • Spelling mistakes. Inattention to detail and lack of revision ends up in a document riddled with spelling mistakes; this lends an unprofessional impression to your writing. There is absolutely no excuse for spelling mistakes with the spelling check programs available.
  • Overuse of flowery language: Big words and complicated sentences do not show that you are an intelligent person. Business writing should be crisp and simple. It has to sound professional and like a normal one-on-one conversation.
  • Too many negative expressions: Business writing should always have a positive tone. Instead of stressing what you cannot do, give the reader options of what you can do.
  • No clarity: Use of vague expressions and a noncommittal stand can confuse the reader. Be clear and specific in your message, and readers will understand the action you will take.
  • Condescending tone and sexist language: Your business communication should not offend or hurt anyone. Use a polite and warm tone, use neutral terms, and avoid reference to race, sex, and class.
  • Inaccurate information and no attention to details: If your business writing comes across as sloppy and with inaccurate information, it will never be taken seriously. Cross-check all the information you provide in your business writing to ensure accuracy.

We live in a world that believes speed equals efficiency. However, it never hurts to slow down and take time to review what your business communication is actually saying.
Remember that writing is thinking. Make sure your writing comes across as well-thought-out, with correct information, and is written in a warm and professional tone.

Are you looking for a way to advance your career and improve your professional marketability? 

If so, this is the course for you.
Nothing can undermine a promising career in business like poor written communication skills can. And while many people don't like to write, the ability to communicate ideas in writing is an absolute necessity in the business world. From memos to e-mails to white papers, as you make your way up the corporate ladder, writing becomes an increasingly large and important part of your job.
If your writing skills have been found lacking…  If you have trouble deciding between 'affect' and 'effect', where to place that comma, or how to structure an argument to best achieve your purpose, look no further than Business Writing Basics.
This course is designed as a one-stop guide to professional writing that will introduce you to the key elements of effective written communication.  As you progress through the eight lessons in this course, you will learn what makes good and bad writing, how to craft an understandable message, the basics of grammar and punctuation, how to draft a perfect e-mail, and much more!
With no physical classes to attend and no additional materials to buy, this course is ideal for the busy professional looking to grow his or her career!
So, whether you are an administrative assistant, manager, executive, or CEO, enroll today and take your career to the next level!
The ability to communicate effectively in writing can make or break your career.  Fair or unfair, your co-workers, employers, and clients will make judgments about your intellect and professionalism based on your writing.  Few things can destroy a business professional’s or a company’s reputation like poorly written communications can.  On the other hand, clear, concise, and well-written communications can enhance your and your company's professional image.
Since the stakes are so high, can you afford to leave your writing skills to chance?  Can you afford to jeopardize your career and reputation?
Of course not!  The good news is there are simple steps you can take to improve your writing skills.  This course is designed to meet the needs of the busy professional.  With a flexible schedule and no additional materials to buy, you don’t have to invest a lot of time and money to develop skills that may save your career.  Can you afford not to?
In eight comprehensive lessons, we'll guide you through the process of business writing from start to finish. 
  • Lesson 1: Manage Your Writing: How Bad Business Writing Is Bad For Your Business
  • Lesson 2: Getting Started on Business Writing
  • Lesson 3: Making the Message Accessible to the Reader
  • Lesson 4: Spelling and Punctuation in Business Writing
  • Lesson 5: Determining the Tone of Your Communication
  • Lesson 6: Be Politically Correct - How to Avoid Discriminatory Language in Business Communications
  • Lesson 7: Business Writing for Special Purposes
  • Lesson 8: Anatomy of a Perfect Email

As you complete the lessons, you will learn the keys to successful written communication.  Lessons 1-3 will introduce you to the process of business writing and will help you recognize what can go right and what can go wrong.  These lessons will also teach you how to reach out to your reader effectively. 

Lessons 4 and 5 will help you brush up on the basics of spelling and punctuation (all those things you don’t remember from your high school English class) and teach you how to adapt your voice depending on the situation and the audience.

Finally, Lessons 6-8 will help you avoid using offensive language and tone and teach you how to tailor your writing for different purposes.

A score of 90% or above will earn you an 'A' in the course, a score of 80% to 90% will earn you a 'B', etc.  And while the material is rich and important, the exams and comprehension assignments are not difficult.
At the end of the course, in addition to a good grade, you will find that you have greater confidence in yourself and your professional abilities.  You can say goodbye to the fear of sending out error-filled e-mails and poorly worded memos. And the best thing is, people will notice!
Improving your writing skills will open doors to new and exciting opportunities.  If you are looking for a way to score that big promotion or land a new job, using the writing skills you will learn in this course is a step in the right direction.
There is no time to waste!  Enrollment is always open, so sign up today.  Your career is waiting!
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
  • Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.5 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (4,259 votes)

    Lesson 1: Manage Your Writing: How Bad Business Writing Is Bad For Your Business

    Manage Your Writing: How Bad Business Writing Is Bad for Your Business 8 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment: Introduce Yourself
    • Complete: Lesson 1 Quiz

    Lesson 2: Getting Started in Business Writing

    Getting Started in Business Writing 18 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Take Poll: Why are you taking this course?
    • Complete: Lesson 2: Assignment: Proposal
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Quiz

    Lesson 3: Making the Message Accessible to the Reader

    Making the Message Accessible to the Reader 33 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Review Article: Tips for Formatting Business Documents
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment: Start-Up Sheet
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Quiz

    Lesson 4: Spelling and Punctuation in Business Writing

    In this lesson, we will look at methods for eliminating your mistakes in business writing by following some simple rules of spelling and punctuation. 94 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Quiz
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam: Verbs
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam: Spelling
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam: Periods
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam: Punctuation 1
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam: Punctuation 2

    Lesson 5: Determining the Tone of Your Communication

    Determining the tone of your communications. 28 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Review Practice Worksheet: OpeningandClosingPhrasesforBusinessWriting.doc
    • Review 2 Articles: Increasing Vocabulary Tips; Appropriate Tone
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment: Tone
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Quiz

    Lesson 6: Be Politically Correct - How to Avoid Discriminatory Language in Business Communications

    Be Politically Correct: How to Avoid Discriminatory Language in Business Communications 27 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Quiz

    Lesson 7: Business Writing for Special Purposes

    Often business letters are the first contact one makes with a prospective client or an employer; hence it becomes critical that you get the tone and message of the letter right, to make a good impression. 84 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Complete: Assignment 7-1: Sympathy Letter
    • Complete: Assignment 7-2: Resignation Letter
    • Complete: Assignment 7-3 Complaint Letter
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Quiz

    Lesson 8: Business Letters

    This lesson describes how to write a professional business letter. 34 Total Points
    • Lesson 8 Video
    • Review Article: The Basic Business Letter
    • Complete Assignment: Lesson 8: Practice Exercise
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

    Lesson 9: Business Memos

    This lesson explains how to make concise business memos. 35 Total Points
    • Lesson 9 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Business Memos; Business Memo Formatting
    • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment: Practice Exercise
    • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

    Lesson 10: Personal Business Notes

    This lesson explains how to write personal business notes. 35 Total Points
    • Lesson 10 Video
    • Review Article: Business Thank You Note Examples
    • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment A: Business Notes Writing
    • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam

    Lesson 11: Anatomy of a Perfect E-mail

    In this lesson, we look at what makes a perfect e-mail and discuss the dos and don'ts of business e-mails. 65 Total Points
    • Lesson 11 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
    • Complete: Assignment 11-1: Meeting Email
    • Complete: Lesson 11 Quiz
    • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam Addition

    Lesson 12: Business E-mails and E-mail Etiquette

    This lesson explains how to write business e-mails. 35 Total Points
    • Lesson 12 Video
    • Review Article: Samples: Tips for Email Etiquette
    • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment: Email Writing
    • Complete: Lesson 12 Exam

    Lesson 13: Resumes

    This lesson will explain how to format and write a professional resume. 12 Total Points
    • Lesson 13 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Sample Resumes; Resumes and Cover Letters
    • Complete Assignment: Lesson 13: Resume Formats
    • Complete: Lesson 13 Exam

    Lesson 14: Application Letters

    This lesson describes how to make an application letter to go along with your resume. 33 Total Points
    • Lesson 14 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment: Application Letter Writing
    • Complete: Lesson 14 Exam

    Lesson 15: Proofreading and Editing

    This lesson explains the importance of editing and proofreading and how to go about it. 11 Total Points
    • Lesson 15 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 15 Exam

    Lesson 16: Three Writing Rules

    This lesson discusses the three writing rules of splitting infinitives, ending sentences with a preposition, and beginning a sentence with a conjunction. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 16 Video
    • Review 3 Articles: Business Writing: 7 Phrases to Ban; Business Writing Rules; Split Infinitives
    • Complete: Lesson 16 Exam

    Lesson 17: Writing Rules

    This lesson looks at some of the various writing rules. You will learn what makes them rules and how it will help create better business writing. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 17 Video
    • Review Article: 5 Business Writing Mistakes
    • Complete: Lesson 17 Exam

    Lesson 18: Additional Punctuation

    This lesson discusses punctuation for business writing. You will learn what good punctuation is and why it is important. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 18 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Mandatory Style Vs Optional Style; Punctuation Basics for Business Writers
    • Complete: Lesson 18 Exam

    Lesson 19: Writing Resources

    This lesson explains where to find additional explanations and help through outside resources. You'll learn where you can get more help in reviewing grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and more. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 19 Video
    • Take Poll: Your Opinion Matters: Course Rating
    • Take Survey: Samples: Course Comments
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete: Lesson 19 Exam
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Describe ways to manage your business writing.
    • Describe editing tools used to making your message more accessible to the reader.
    • Summarize basic spelling and punctuation rules.
    • Describe what your tone should be in business writing.
    • Describe how to be politically correct in your business writing.
    • Demonstrate acceptable methods for writing business letters.
    • Demonstrate acceptable methods for writing business memos.
    • Demonstrate how to write acceptable business emails and proper email etiquette.
    • Demonstrate how to correctly write and format resumes and application letters.
    • Describe the three major writing rules when writing for business, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

    Online CEU Certificate
    • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
    • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
    • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
    • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
    • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: Business Writing
    Course Number: 7550413
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (4,259 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: Technical Skill (Intermediate) (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 1.9 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Instructor: Daphnee St.Val
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $70.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $95.00

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    Student Testimonials

    • "What was most helpful was the assignments graded by the instructor, it is the most detailed in all the classes I was taking. Good job." -- Wei W.
    • "The instructor was excellent and very knowledgeable. This was a review of everything that I took in college. Sometimes you become too relaxed with your writing and this course made me realize this." -- Dorothy D.
    • "I have always needed help with my grammar. I have bookmarked all of the links provided in this course." -- Cheryl C.
    • "The practice exercises were most valuable. Thank you!" -- Billie P.
    • "The instructor was very nice and quick at checking my work and getting back to me. I liked the way everything was broken down. The different chapters on pieces of writing was helpful." -- Aryn K.
    • "The lesson on tone of writing seemed to be most helpful for me." -- Jennie B.
    • "Every part of the course was helpful!" -- Ann W.
    • View More Testimonials...

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