Advanced Writing Skills

All writing should be clear, concise, and correct. Good writers use plain language to express clear meaning. They write in a simple style that uses everyday words. They do not use showy words and ambiguous expressions in an effort to dazzle or confuse readers. They write to express ideas, not to impress others.

This workshop is for those who already are good writers. Our time will be devoted to writing letters of recommendation, of persuasion, of refusal or of action, that reflect current word usage and up-to-date formats.

You can also become more skilled at writing business cases, proposals, and reports, and learn a bit more about e-mail etiquette.

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Identify their writing challenges
  • Make their writing clear, concise, and correct
  • Improve sentence construction and paragraph development
  • Identify ways to make their writing simpler and easier to read
  • Use the readability index
  • Develop effective business letters for tough situations
  • Use proper e-mail etiquette
  • Develop an appropriate writing style and format for letters, business cases, and reports
  • Use standard ways of documenting materials

Course Outline:

Introduction and Course Overview

You will spend the first part of the day getting to know participants and discussing what will take place during the workshop. Students will also have an opportunity to identify their personal learning objectives.

The Three C’s

All writing should be clear, concise, and correct. We will look at these three elements in detail during this session and practice each of them.

Grammar and Writing Mechanics

This session will outline seven easy ways to help participants simplify their writing and ensure their grammar is correct. Participants will also take a close look at the proper length of paragraphs, what a paragraph should contain, and how to order paragraphs.

Determining Readability

During this session, you will help participants use the readability test (also called the Gunning Fog Index) on their own work.

Writing Letters

There are twelve important parts to a business letter and several different styles. We will examine all of these closely. We will also look at the proper way of folding a letter and placing it into an envelope.

Dealing with Specific Requests

Often people are asked to respond to a request for information or to write a particular letter (of recommendation, for example). We’ll discuss some tips to keep in mind when writing one of these particular documents.

E-mail Etiquette

These days, e-mail has become a universal method of communication. However, there are many questions of etiquette and few answers. This session will discuss some common dilemmas and our recommended answers.

Business Documents

Another common task is to write a business case, request for proposal, or a formal report. Where would you start? We will provide some guidelines and checklists that will help with these tasks.

Workshop Wrap-Up

At the end of the day, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and fill out an action plan.

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