Why Pursue Training in Business Writing?
Whatever your line of business, sooner or later you will probably end up having to draft some kind of business-related document, if you haven't already. For example, have you ever sent an email to a client or a coworker? Have you ever crafted a business plan, a memo, a letter of reference or even a cover letter with your resume? These common documents are all forms of business writing, in addition to sales reports, presentations and proposals.
Some hallmarks of effective business writing include clarity, word economy and an appropriate tone. All of these are essential to good communication, which in turn is essential to the smooth operation of your business. If you're interested in improving this skill set (and there's always room for improvement!), consider the following training options.
Business Writing in the Classroom
Campus-based business writing (or professional writing) courses can be found at many universities and community colleges across the United States. They may be used to meet general education or elective requirements for a business-related undergraduate degree or offered as part of a professional writing minor.
For individuals who have already graduated college, many schools offer continuing education courses and workshops designed especially for working adults. Alternately, if you're a writer with some experience and intend to specialize in an area like promotional or fundraising writing, you can study business writing at the graduate level.
Common Course Topics
Regardless of whether you pursue a credit-granting or continuing education option, these courses can help you learn how to write with concision and accuracy while you practice creating the different kinds of documents you might produce at work (such as reports, memos and proposals). You'll also learn how to choose the style and tone appropriate for your audience and adapt your writing to mediums like email and social media. Proper grammar is covered as well, along with editing and proofreading techniques.
Business Writing Online
For those who prefer the convenience and flexibility of online coursework, there are plenty of business writing training options available. Most universities and community colleges now offer hybrid and fully-online versions of these courses. Some degree programs are fully online as well. For example, NYU offers an online MS in professional writing that can be completed in three semesters.
If you're looking for an alternative to more traditional college courses, there are several options for those who wish to improve their writing skills on their own schedules:
- As part of its OpenCourseWare program, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers free, albeit non-credit versions of many of its courses, including upper-level courses in business and management communications.
- For those planning on starting a new business, the United States Small Business Association offers a free and complete online tutorial that walks you through the steps in drafting and writing your own business plan.
- If you're looking for a course to give you a firm foundation in the basics, check out Study.com's Writing Skills for Business course to explore the prewriting, writing and revision stages of business writing.
- Study.com also offers comprehensive courses in the related fields of Business Communication and Advanced Technical Writing that can be used to earn a transferable form of college credit while exploring the ins and outs of everything from emails, reports and presentations to proposals, resumes and cover letters. At an average length of eight minutes, these courses' self-paced lessons are tailored to fit your schedule, anytime, anywhere. Also, each course includes quizzes that allow you to take as much time as you need to review and practice!