Good writing skills are essential for career success in many jobs today. Are yours holding you back?

This one-day workshop will dramatically improve your business writing by showing you how to communicate faster and more effectively using plain English.

This highly interactive and fun workshop looks at the writing process, appropriate business and technical writing style, punctuation, and page design.

Who this workshop is designed for:

This workshop is for you if you write reports, manuals, journal articles, letters, memos, or email, and want to get your message across quickly and clearly. If you’re already a good writer, the workshop will sharpen your skills and give you valuable insights into your writing style. And you’ll get a quick refresher on some of the important rules of grammar, punctuation, and usage that often cause problems for writers. The workshop is not intended for those who lack basic English literacy.

Topics include:

  • What plain English is and why it’s the best style for business writing
  • Why writing style guides are important and the best ones to buy
  • How to plan your writing
  • Things you want to know about your readers
  • How to brainstorm ideas
  • Ways to organize your document
  • Strategies for writing faster and better
  • Ways to present information graphically
  • How to write simple but powerful sentences
  • The importance of choosing everyday words
  • 20 rules of plain English
  • Where to put commas and other tricky punctuation
  • How to design pages that stand out and are easy to read

Course objectives:

At the end of the workshop you will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of writing in plain English
  • Plan a writing project before you begin to write
  • Write faster and more efficiently
  • Write short, active sentences
  • Choose short, everyday words
  • Avoid common style, grammar, and punctuation problems
  • Design attractive, professional-looking pages

What the workshop will cover:

Good Business Writing Style
  • Examples of bad writing styles
  • What is plain English?
  • Tone
  • Style guides and style sheets
Planning to Write
  • Deciding purpose and objectives
  • Understanding your readers
  • Reading at work
  • Clustering
  • Organizing your ideas
  • Organizing your document
  • Outlining before you write
Writing Strategies
  • Writing faster and better
  • Designing a hierarchy
  • Paragraphing frequently
  • Using informative headings
  • Presenting information graphically
  • Editing for clarity
  • Reviewing and approving
Words and Sentences
  • Fog index calculation
  • Writing points of view
  • Sentence length
  • Types of sentences
  • Word choice
  • Sentence order
  • Active and passive verbs
  • Using strong verbs
  • Verb tenses
20 Rules of Plain English
  • Writing in parallel ways
  • Keeping related words together
  • Using prepositions with care
  • Distinguishing which from that
  • Avoiding surplus nouns
  • Avoiding noun and modifier strings
  • Using pronouns with care
  • Avoiding slang
  • Being gender neutral
  • Being specific
  • Avoiding clichés
  • Placing modifiers carefully
  • Avoiding unnecessary qualification
  • Using contractions
  • Being concise
  • Avoiding foreign words
  • Capitalizing properly
  • Abbreviating with care
  • Writing numbers consistently
  • Ignoring some old rules
Punctuation Matters
  • Commas
  • Colons and semicolons
  • Punctuating lists
  • Apostrophes
  • Parentheses
  • Quotation marks
  • Hyphens
  • Em dashes and en dashes
  • Other marks of punctuation
Designing Effective Pages
  • Page design and layout
  • Using graphics
  • Using your word processor