Comprehensive Writing Training


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Course Outline

On the first day of this writing course, students will learn grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills as well as overall basic writing skills. The second day of class will give business professionals the tools they need to write effective, efficient business correspondence. Students will learn how to get started on a writing project, use appropriate business tone in the document, and discern between the different kinds of business correspondence. Students will learn how to decide what the appropriate vehicle is for written communication in business, electronic or hard copy.

  1. Why Proper Writing and Correct Grammar Are Essential for Successful Business Writing
    1. Making the Right First Impression
  2. Basic Grammar Rules
    1. Parts of Speech
      1. Nouns
      2. Pronouns
      3. Verbs
      4. Adjectives
      5. Adverbs
      6. Prepositions
      7. Conjunctions
      8. Interjections
    2. Subject-verb Agreement
    3. Parallel Construction
    4. Complete versus Run-on Sentences
    5. Hypercorrection
      1. Common Hypercorrections
      2. When It's Okay to Use "Me"
  3. Punctuation
    1. Periods
    2. Commas
    3. Colons and Semicolons
    4. Apostrophes, Single Quotation Marks, and Double Quotation Marks
    5. Question Marks and Exclamation Points
    6. Dashes and Hyphens
    7. Parenthetical Elements
  4. Word Usage
    1. How to Use the Right Word
    2. What Is the Appropriate Tone for the Document: Formal or Informal?
    3. How Familiar Is Your Audience With the Language (Jargon) of the Industry?
    4. Does Your Audience Need to Be Persuaded, or Is It Already on Board with the Topic?
    5. What Do You Want the Audience to Do after Reading the Document?
    6. Look It Up: Using a Dictionary for Proper Spelling and Usage
    7. Commonly Confused Words
  5. Capitalization
    1. Words that Are Always Capitalized
    2. Words that Are Never Capitalized
    3. Headings and Titles
  6. Choosing the Correct "Person" and "Tense"
    1. Three Types of "Persons"
      1. When to Write in First Person
      2. When to Write in Second Person
      3. When to Write in Third Person
    2. Using Correct Tenses in Business Writing
      1. How to Use Past Tense in Business Writing
      2. How to Use Present Tense in Business Writing
      3. How to Use Future Tense in Business Writing
  7. Sentence Structure
    1. Simple Sentences
    2. Compound Sentences
    3. Complex Sentences
    4. Compound-Complex Sentences
  8. Writing Styles and Tone
    1. Formal Business Writing
    2. Informal Business Writing
    3. Diction
  9. Writing Clearly and Concisely
    1. All-inclusive Language
    2. Salutations in Letters
    3. Pronouns
    4. Names and Titles
    5. Gender-free Language
    6. Including Everyone for the Sake of Gaining Buy-in
  10. Getting to the Heart of the Message
    1. Omitting Unnecessary Words
    2. Avoiding Meaningless Phrases
    3. Jargon
    4. Using Paragraphs Correctly
    5. Expository Paragraph
    6. Persuasive Paragraph
    7. Descriptive Paragraph
    8. Narrative Paragraph
    9. Paragraph Length
  11. Proofreading Your Work
    1. Ensuring Your Writing Is Error Free
    2. Reviewing and Editing
    3. Ensuring Consistency in Your Writing
    4. Using Spell Checkers
    5. Using Grammar Checkers
  12. Major Functions and Forms of Business Writing
    1. The Three Major Functions of Business Writing
    2. Forms of Business Writing
    3. Preparing to Write
    4. Knowing the Subject
  13. Writing and Communication Guidelines
    1. Consider Your Audience
    2. How Much Information to Include
    3. Anticipate Questions
    4. Formal vs Informal Writing
    5. Use Appropriate, Nondiscriminatory Language
    6. Use Bullets, Numbering, and Formatting
    7. Communicating Effectively
  14. Email and Instant Messenger
    1. Email
      1. The Message
      2. Email Do's and Don'ts
    2. The Electronics Communication Privacy Act of 1986
    3. Instant Messenger
      1. IM Statuses
      2. IM Do's and Don'ts
  15. Letters, Documents, and Proposals
    1. Letters and Documents
      1. Anticipating Audience Response
      2. Choosing the Right Tone
      3. Business Letter Format
    2. Proposals
      1. Determining the Desired Outcome
      2. Writing an Executive Summary
      3. Using Informative and Persuasive Techniques
      4. Using Visuals
  16. More Writing Tips
    1. Organize the Information
    2. Chronological Paragraphs
      1. Compare-and-contrast Paragraphs
      2. Cause-and-effect Paragraphs
      3. Problem-Solution Paragraphs
      4. Relationship Paragraphs
      5. Choosing the Organizational Model
    3. Delivering Negative Information
      1. Writing an Introduction
      2. Buffering the Negative News
      3. Providing a Remedy, Lesson Learned, or Course of Action
      4. Concluding the Message
    4. Reading What You Wrote

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