See also:
Business Writing Intensive

Business Writing

Business Writing

Business Writing is a 6-week class, which includes a mixture of lectures and exercises. It’s for beginners or anyone who wants a refresher. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

For companies interested in our Business Writing program, see this brochure or visit our Corporate Classes page.

In business, your writing counts. It’s a projection of yourself (and your company) just as much as what you wear or how you conduct yourself in a meeting. Good writing skills will enhance your image, increase your confidence, boost your productivity, and help you achieve your objectives on a daily basis.

Here you will learn the basic principles of good business writing, which you can immediately put into action—on anything from simple emails to complex documents. You’ll also be surprised at how entertaining the course is, and by how much “personality” can play a part in your business writing.

Whether you seek to pick up the basics or polish your skills, you’ll soon be writing with less stress and more success.

About Business Writing
Business Writing

A down-to-earth class that will improve your written communication in any professional workspace. The laid-back language, pop culture references, and focus on the basics build a strong professional writing foundation that can be applied to limitless format: emails, memos, reports, etc.

Ivy Chamness

military officer


This course touches on grammar and style points, but these things are covered more fully in Grammar 1 and Grammar 2.

This is not an English-as-second-language course. It’s fine if English is not your first language, but you must speak and write it fluently.

Upcoming Classes

To ensure everyone's good health, students in NYC classes must provide proof of full Covid vaccinations (the initial series of Covid vaccines plus at least one booster). We will accept your Covid vaccine card (or a digital scan), a NY State Excelsior digital card, or another form of government-approved proof. We will contact you before class begins about showing us proof. Also, we will require masks in the classrooms and Gotham premises.

More Covid details


Registration fee $25, paid once per term



This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of effective business writing, and lets you experiment with various communication techniques. Course components:
     Writing exercises

New York City/Zoom classes
The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. Many topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes 
Week 1
You and the Audience: The value of good business writing. You—knowing how to present yourself. Audience—know your audience, picture yourself in their shoes. You and your audience—know your point, understand the situation, ways to connect. Integrity. Grammar tip—what is a sentence?

Week 2
Tone: Tuning your tone—word choice, situation. Tone killers and sweeteners. Meta-message. Openings and closings. Emotion. Style tip—what is a paragraph?

Week 3
Structure/Process: Structure—choosing between the “straight-on” or “ramp-up” approach, pyramid/sandwich/feature structures, visual design. Process—planning/first draft/revising, professionalism. Patience and practice. Grammar tip—the he/she conundrum.

Week 4
Strong Writing: Be clear—clarity checklist, avoid “business-speak” and “know-it-all-speak.” Be concise—concise checklist, cutting with a machete and with surgical scissors. Be specific. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Style tip—active vs. passive voice.

Week 5
Engaging Writing: Be conversational—naturalness, levels of formality. Be colorful—what is colorful and when to use it. Conversational and colorful techniques—sentence tips, strong verbs, sparing with modifiers, avoid clichés, figurative language, sound, story, humor. Social grace. Style tip—parallel structure.

Week 6
Email and Other Forms: Email protocol—tips, traps, and etiquette. Tour of other business writing forms—letters, memos, reports, proposals, white papers, press releases, brochures, websites, blogs/newsletters, social media. Opportunity. Grammar tip—punctuation primer.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.


Corie Hengst
Corie Hengst

Corie Hengst is a production editor at Adweek, where she focuses on editing and production for the print magazine. She has served as a freelance editorial contributor for companies and publications including Penguin Random House, Bankrate, and ShoeFitts Marketing. She has also written white papers, newsletters and blogs, as well as edited business books, and she has held magazine editor positions at Plan Adviser/Plan Sponsor and American Salon. She holds a BA from Missouri State University.

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Dana Miller
Dana Miller

Dana Miller is the dean of students and director of One-on-One services at Gotham Writers Workshop. She also serves as liaison to such Business Writing corporate clients as NASCAR, Indiana University, Ogilvy & Mather, and the UN Development Program. She also owns [email protected] Yoga and has served as a copywriter for BBDO Advertising. She holds a BA from Haverford College.

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Mo Krochmal
Mo Krochmal

Mo Krochmal is the executive editor and founder of Social Media News NY. He was a founding producer for the New York Times website, senior editor of GenomeWeb, executive producer of Nassau News Live, and New York editor for TechWeb. He has written for United Press International, the New York Times, the Danbury News-Times, the Wilson Daily Times, and the Washington Daily News. He is the vice president of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He has facilitated professional communication training at the Courts of the United States, the US Patent and Technology Office, and Health Security Partners in Washington, DC. He has taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hofstra University, Quinnipiac University, and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He holds a BA from North Carolina State University and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University.

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