Topic outline

  • Course Introduction

    Professional Writing is designed to provide adult learners with the basic skills they need to write effective documents in the workplace. In this course, you will learn how to analyze your audience so that you can write prose that is both clear and persuasive. You will practice writing common business documents, such as emails, memos, proposals, and presentations. You will also learn how to effectively edit these documents for maximum impact.

    This course is part of the Professional Development Program (PRDV), which is designed especially for adult learners who are ready to gain and apply skills demanded by today's employers.

  • Unit 1: Know Your Audience and Purpose

    When you are writing in a professional context, it is essential to cultivate an awareness and respect for your audience. Before you begin writing, you must determine for whom you are writing and why. Your goal should be to make your meaning as clear as possible, so your audience does not have to struggle to understand what you are saying. In this unit, you will learn how to analyze your audience, to identify your purpose for writing, and to prepare an outline that will help you get your point across.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 1.75 hours.

  • 1.1: What Is Professional Writing?

  • 1.1.1: Definition of Professional Writing

  • 1.1.2.1: Business Letters and Memos

  • 1.1.2.2: Electronic Communication

  • 1.1.2.3: Proposals

  • 1.1.3: Professional Writing Tone

  • 1.2.1: Characteristics of Your Audience

  • 1.2.2: Research Your Specific Audience

  • 1.2.3.1: Motivate

  • 1.2.3.2: Organize Your Message around One Main Objective

  • 1.3.1: Brainstorm

  • 1.3.2: Consider Objections

  • Unit 2: The Art of Persuasion

    Now that you have determined your audience, crafted your main point, and created an outline, it is time to draft your document. In this unit, you will learn how to craft a memo or email message that will reinforce your main point and persuade your audience. You will also learn how to eliminate common problems that may distract your reader from your main point.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 1.25 hours.

  • 2.1: Review Your Outline

  • 2.2: Craft Your Message

  • 2.2.1: Make a Connection

  • 2.2.1.1: Salutations

  • 2.2.1.2: Introductions

  • 2.2.2: State Your Point

  • 2.2.3: Reinforce Your Point

  • 2.2.3.1: Document Titles and Subject Lines

  • 2.2.3.2: Headers

  • 2.2.3.3: Topic Sentences

  • 2.2.3.4: Key Words

  • 2.2.4: Create a Clear Story

  • 2.2.5: Define Terms, Manage the Flow of Information

  • 2.2.6: Be Ethical

  • 2.3: Draft Your Message

  • Unit 3: Polishing Your Writing

    In this age of instant communication, we have become accustomed to writing rapidly and reading documents filled with typographical errors, slang or abbreviations, and other common errors. While this may be the standard practice when text-messaging, it is not standard practice in the business world. Every piece of writing, no matter how brief, must be edited. In this unit, you will learn how to revise your writing so that it commands respect and attention.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 30 minutes.

  • 3.1: Editing

  • 3.1.1: Share with a Friend

  • 3.1.2: Self-Editing

  • 3.1.3: Inconsistent Formatting: Common Problems, Especially in Resumes

  • 3.1.4: Extraneous Information and Words

  • 3.1.5: Information Intended for a Different Audience

  • 3.1.6: Incorrect Electronic File Names

  • 3.1.7: Maintain Professionalism

  • 3.2: Final Review