We all know what good writing is. It’s the novel we can’t put down, the poem we never forgot, and the speech that changes the way we look at the world. Good writing is the memo that gets action and the letter that says what a phone call can’t.
In business writing, the language is concrete, the point of view is clear, and the points are well expressed. Good writing is hard work, and even the best writers get discouraged. However, with practice, you can feel more confident about your own writing. This two-day workshop will give participants the tools to become better writers.
Specific learning objectives include:
- The value of good written communication.
- How to write and proofread your work so it is clear, concise, complete, and correct.
- How to apply these skills in real-world situations.
- Understanding the proper format for memos, letters, and e-mails.
You will spend the first part of the day getting to know other participants and discussing what will take place during the workshop. Students will also have an opportunity to identify their personal learning objectives.
Many people feel that writing is a burden or something they should be able to delegate. This session will help participants identify the value of writing.
The Four C’s
During the morning of Day One, you will discuss four of the C’s of writing with participants: clear, concise, complete, and correct. Participants will practice each C through writing exercises.
During this session, participants will explore word agreement through a brief lecture and a writing exercise.
Active and Passive Voice
Most people prefer to read writing that is in the active voice. We will discuss and practice both voices during this session.
Sentences and Sentence Types
This session will discuss the structure of sentences and paragraphs. Then, participants will apply this knowledge to a writing exercise.
The Gunning Fog Index, also called the readability index, determines the difficulty level of a written piece. Participants will apply the index to a sample and to their own work.
Manners and Courtesy
Courtesy is an important principle of good business writing. During this session, participants will examine and rank several business letters, helping them explore their own style and preference.
It is important to use words that best reflect what you are trying to say. In this session, we will examine some common dilemmas (such as fewer vs. less) and suggested solutions.
Another key part of writing is political correctness. Participants will have an opportunity to re-write some exclusive terms to make them inclusive.
The two basic rules for constructing sentences are: use construction that makes meaning clear and keep construction parallel. Participants will re-write sentences that don’t follow these rules.
During this session, participants will work in teams to develop a series of test questions for other teams. We have included some key points that you can use to debrief the test.
Writing Business Letters
This session begins with three lectures on the steps for writing a business letter, types of letters, and the parts of a business letter. Participants will then examine samples of business letters to determine the type and the parts of each letter.
Writing Effective E-mails
Virtually everyone today uses e-mail to communicate at work and at home. This session will give participants some tips on writing effective e-mails and managing email.
Spelling and Proofreading
Proofreading carelessly can spoil a writer's best efforts. This session will help participants identify common spelling errors and practice their proofreading skills.
Memos are another challenge that many writers face. We will examine memos through a brief lecture and a fun exercise.
Reviewing Your Writing
In this session, participants will customize a checklist to help them ensure that each document is the best that they can do.
To wrap up the workshop, participants will work in small groups to identify some possible solutions to the ten most common writing challenges.
At the end of the workshop, students will have an opportunity to ask questions and fill out an action plan.