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 realistic, experienced-based approach to learning how to effectively communicate in the business world.

Joseph Mayall

product marketing manager

Notes

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

Masks are not required, but we’ll provide masks for those who want them. We are no longer requesting proof of vaccination.

More Covid details
  • You can still enroll in this class.
    Starts Tuesday, July 16
    Online, anytime
    6-Week Class
  • Starts Tuesday, October 8
    Online, anytime
    6-Week Class

Price

Registration fee $25, paid once per term

6-Week

Syllabus

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

Teachers

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 Stay@Om Yoga and has served as a copywriter for BBDO Advertising. She holds a BA from Haverford College.

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