Online Class: Business Writing

A crash course in business communication for help with writing woes. From the basic do's and don'ts of business writing to the nitty-gritty of formatting, punctuation, tone and language--this course covers all the fundamentals.

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Course Description

This online grammar course will provide you with a comprehensive review of the grammar and writing skills necessary to be successful in your academic and professional life. Learning how to properly use English grammar will not only help you excel in writing academic essays and passing entrance exams, but more importantly, it will help you improve your everyday, work-related writing and email correspondence.

Divided up into 15 easy-to-understand lessons, this grammar course concentrates on usage, the mechanics of a sentence, spelling, and a general review of grammatical problem areas. Each lesson focuses on frequent errors, illustrates concepts with real world examples, suggests strategies, and provides review worksheets, activities, and assignments to ensure skill mastery. Lessons also offer additional study guides for further learning.
This course is ideal for all types of students who want to get an edge on taking a high school, college, or a job-related English exam--as well as anyone wishing to update and improve their grammar and writing skills.

Course Motivation

Manage Your Writing: How Bad Business Writing Is Bad for Your Business

Good business writing is a skill that should be mastered in all its forms: memorandums, e-mails, marketing campaigns, customer service information, business plans, employee negotiations, and more. If you are in business, you already know that you spend the better part of your day communicating with people through talking, writing, and negotiating. While technology advances have allowed us to communicate the written word to employees and customers in minutes, most people have not updated their writing skills to keep pace with this near-instantaneous communication.
Communication as we knew it only five, ten, or twenty years ago has been swept away with the tide of technology. Everything is sleeker and faster. However, one thing has remained constant: written communication skills. The success of an individual's career, as well as the fortunes of any business, may depend on these vital writing skills.
No matter what business you are in, poor written communication is something that can sabotage your success. Yes, we live in a world dominated by computers and telephones; but even today, writing is still one of the most crucial ways to effectively communicate with another person.
Every day at work, you write numerous e-mails, you draft business plans and letters, you compose sales letters to your customers, and you create business proposals. What you write is probably as important as how you write it. Your written communication can work wonders for your company and your success, or it can lead to your downfall.

When you go to an important meeting or an interview, you make sure that you are prepared. You dress with care, trying to make an impeccable impression on the people you are about to meet. Whether right or wrong, your appearance can make a world of difference in how other people view you. The same holds true for business writing. Have you ever taken a look at how your written communication appears to other people?
Your writing makes the same kind of impression as your clothes do. It needs to convey that you are an intelligent and skilled person who is a thorough professional. However, if your business writing is riddled with errors and mistakes, rest assured that all notions of your professionalism will quickly fade from your audience's mind.
Content and presentation are the two pillars of business communication.

If your business writing is rich in content but fails to involve the reader, is not written well, or does not convey your intended message, you have failed in your business communication. Similarly, if your business writing is accurate and professional but lacks content, clarity, and facts, then you have also missed the communication objective.
If you want to develop good writing skills, the first thing you need to learn is how to strike a fine balance between your content and the way it is presented.
To achieve this balance, you should start by following the Seven Cs of Business Communication. If you understand and follow these rules, you will develop an unbeatable edge in your business communications.

The Seven Cs of Business Communication

  • Clear: Clarity is paramount in any kind of business writing. Not only should you be clear about the message you want to convey but also ensure that it is completely understood by your audience. A good place to begin would be by asking yourself these three questions: What is the purpose of writing this document? Who is the reader? What action do I want the reader to take after reading this document? These questions will help you focus on your content and avoid straying from the point.
  • Concise: Brevity is the heart of writing. Ensure that your documents are short and sweet. Wordy business correspondence is not only annoying and distracting, but time-consuming for both the writer and reader. Remember, the reader is a professional like you, who has a busy day ahead, so do not waste their time. Keep your content short and simple.
  • Correct: Written communication says a lot about the writer. If a business letter has spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, and punctuation problems, the impression one gets is that the writer is incompetent and unprofessional. So make sure you review and revise your work before sending it out.
  • Courteous: A business letter is a professional document; hence, you have to ensure the tone is always courteous and polite. You should never come across as being rude or angry. Similarly, racist, sexist and derogatory remarks must be strictly avoided in all business writing. Also, while writing a business letter, make sure that the spelling of the name and title of the receiver is correct.
  • Conversational: Your business communication should sound personal and professional. Many company communications do not involve the reader. To keep your audience from being alienated, keep your tone crisp and chatty.
  • Convincing: Business writing must have accurate information supported with relevant content to convince the reader to take action. Ultimately, your aim is to convince the reader to do something. So, present your case, support it with reason, and request an action.
  • Complete: Always review and revise your business writing before sending it off. Go back and review those three questions you asked initially. If you are satisfied that you have covered all of them, go ahead and send out your e-mail or letter.

Now that we have covered the prerequisites for good business writing, let us take a look at some of the most common errors in business writing.
Here are the top 10 mistakes people make in business communication :
  • Too many words: Often people use more words than are required to get the point across. There is little or no editing and the sentences can stretch on for miles.
  • Frequent and unnecessary use of jargon and clichés: People often use jargon and outdated clichés in their business writing. They believe that by using such terms, their writing looks professional. However, such words have the opposite effect and tend to alienate the reader.
  • Punctuation mistakes: Even though people believe that they have a good grasp of their language, they often end up making punctuation mistakes. The use of commas, periods, colons, semicolons, and quotation marks is often wrong.
  • Grammar mistakes: You might be very good with the language, but more often than not, business communication falls prey to grammatical mistakes. Pay close attention to grammar. If you are not sure, find help.
  • Spelling mistakes. Inattention to detail and lack of revision ends up in a document riddled with spelling mistakes; this lends an unprofessional impression to your writing. There is absolutely no excuse for spelling mistakes with the spelling check programs available.
  • Overuse of flowery language: Big words and complicated sentences do not show that you are an intelligent person. Business writing should be crisp and simple. It has to sound professional and like a normal one-on-one conversation.
  • Too many negative expressions: Business writing should always have a positive tone. Instead of stressing what you cannot do, give the reader options of what you can do.
  • No clarity: Use of vague expressions and a noncommittal stand can confuse the reader. Be clear and specific in your message, and readers will understand the action you will take.
  • Condescending tone and sexist language: Your business communication should not offend or hurt anyone. Use a polite and warm tone, use neutral terms, and avoid reference to race, sex, and class.
  • Inaccurate information and no attention to details: If your business writing comes across as sloppy and with inaccurate information, it will never be taken seriously. Cross-check all the information you provide in your business writing to ensure accuracy.

We live in a world that believes speed equals efficiency. However, it never hurts to slow down and take time to review what your business communication is actually saying.
Remember that writing is thinking. Make sure your writing comes across as well-thought-out, with correct information, and is written in a warm and professional tone.

Are you looking for a way to advance your career and improve your professional marketability? 

If so, this is the course for you.
Nothing can undermine a promising career in business like poor written communication skills can. And while many people don't like to write, the ability to communicate ideas in writing is an absolute necessity in the business world. From memos to e-mails to white papers, as you make your way up the corporate ladder, writing becomes an increasingly large and important part of your job.
If your writing skills have been found lacking…  If you have trouble deciding between 'affect' and 'effect', where to place that comma, or how to structure an argument to best achieve your purpose, look no further than Business Writing Basics.
This course is designed as a one-stop guide to professional writing that will introduce you to the key elements of effective written communication.  As you progress through the eight lessons in this course, you will learn what makes good and bad writing, how to craft an understandable message, the basics of grammar and punctuation, how to draft a perfect e-mail, and much more!
With no physical classes to attend and no additional materials to buy, this course is ideal for the busy professional looking to grow his or her career!
So, whether you are an administrative assistant, manager, executive, or CEO, enroll today and take your career to the next level!
The ability to communicate effectively in writing can make or break your career.  Fair or unfair, your co-workers, employers, and clients will make judgments about your intellect and professionalism based on your writing.  Few things can destroy a business professional’s or a company’s reputation like poorly written communications can.  On the other hand, clear, concise, and well-written communications can enhance your and your company's professional image.
Since the stakes are so high, can you afford to leave your writing skills to chance?  Can you afford to jeopardize your career and reputation?
Of course not!  The good news is there are simple steps you can take to improve your writing skills.  This course is designed to meet the needs of the busy professional.  With a flexible schedule and no additional materials to buy, you don’t have to invest a lot of time and money to develop skills that may save your career.  Can you afford not to?
Improving your writing skills will open doors to new and exciting opportunities.  If you are looking for a way to score that big promotion or land a new job, using the writing skills you will learn in this course is a step in the right direction.
There is no time to waste!  Enrollment is always open, so sign up today.  Your career is waiting!
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
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  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.3 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(4,496 votes)

Lesson 1: Manage Your Writing: How Bad Business Writing Is Bad For Your Business

Manage Your Writing: How Bad Business Writing Is Bad for Your Business 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment: Introduce Yourself
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Quiz

Lesson 2: Getting Started in Business Writing

Getting Started in Business Writing 18 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Why are you taking this course?
  • Complete: Lesson 2: Assignment: Proposal
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Quiz

Lesson 3: Making the Message Accessible to the Reader

Making the Message Accessible to the Reader Additional lesson topics: Tips for Formatting Business Documents 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment: Start-Up Sheet
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Quiz

Lesson 4: Spelling and Punctuation in Business Writing

In this lesson, we will look at methods for eliminating your mistakes in business writing by following some simple rules of spelling and punctuation. 94 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Quiz
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam: Verbs
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam: Spelling
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam: Periods
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam: Punctuation 1
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam: Punctuation 2

Lesson 5: Determining the Tone of Your Communication

Determining the tone of your communications. Additional lesson topics: Appropriate Tone; Increasing Vocabulary Tips 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: OpeningandClosingPhrasesforBusinessWriting.doc
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment: Tone
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Quiz

Lesson 6: Be Politically Correct - How to Avoid Discriminatory Language in Business Communications

Be Politically Correct: How to Avoid Discriminatory Language in Business Communications 27 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Quiz

Lesson 7: Business Writing for Special Purposes

Often business letters are the first contact one makes with a prospective client or an employer; hence it becomes critical that you get the tone and message of the letter right, to make a good impression. 84 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 7-1: Sympathy Letter
  • Complete: Assignment 7-2: Resignation Letter
  • Complete: Assignment 7-3 Complaint Letter
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Quiz

Lesson 8: Business Letters

This lesson describes how to write a professional business letter. Additional lesson topics: The Basic Business Letter 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 8: Practice Exercise
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Business Memos

This lesson explains how to make concise business memos. Additional lesson topics: Business Memo Formatting; Business Memos 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment: Practice Exercise
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Personal Business Notes

This lesson explains how to write personal business notes. Additional lesson topics: Business Thank You Note Examples 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment A: Business Notes Writing
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Anatomy of a Perfect E-mail

In this lesson, we look at what makes a perfect e-mail and discuss the dos and don'ts of business e-mails. 65 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete: Assignment 11-1: Meeting Email
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Quiz
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam Addition

Lesson 12: Business E-mails and E-mail Etiquette

This lesson explains how to write business e-mails. Additional lesson topics: Samples: Tips for Email Etiquette 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment: Email Writing
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: Resumes

This lesson will explain how to format and write a professional resume. Additional lesson topics: Resumes and Cover Letters; Sample Resumes 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 13: Resume Formats
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Application Letters

This lesson describes how to make an application letter to go along with your resume. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment: Application Letter Writing
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15: Proofreading and Editing

This lesson explains the importance of editing and proofreading and how to go about it. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson 16: Three Writing Rules

This lesson discusses the three writing rules of splitting infinitives, ending sentences with a preposition, and beginning a sentence with a conjunction. Additional lesson topics: Business Writing: Several Phrases to Ban; Split Infinitives 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 16 Exam

Lesson 17: Writing Rules

This lesson looks at some of the various writing rules. You will learn what makes them rules and how it will help create better business writing. Additional lesson topics: 5 Business Writing Mistakes 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 17 Exam

Lesson 18: Additional Punctuation

This lesson discusses punctuation for business writing. You will learn what good punctuation is and why it is important. Additional lesson topics: Punctuation Basics for Business Writers 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 18 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 18 Exam

Lesson 19: Writing Resources

This lesson explains where to find additional explanations and help through outside resources. You'll learn where you can get more help in reviewing grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and more. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 19 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Your Opinion Matters: Course Rating; Samples: Course Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Assessment: Lesson 19 Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe ways to manage your business writing.
  • Describe editing tools used to making your message more accessible to the reader.
  • Summarize basic spelling and punctuation rules.
  • Describe what your tone should be in business writing.
  • Describe how to be politically correct in your business writing.
  • Demonstrate acceptable methods for writing business letters.
  • Demonstrate acceptable methods for writing business memos.
  • Demonstrate how to write acceptable business emails and proper email etiquette.
  • Demonstrate how to correctly write and format resumes and application letters.
  • Describe the three major writing rules when writing for business.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Business Writing
Course Number: 57700117
Lessons Rating: 4.3 / 5 Stars (4,496 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: April 2022
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 1.9 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $95.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "I thought the course was very helpful in not just business, but personal and email writing that I use every day. I appreciate the samples in the lessons." -- Laura S.
  • "I think it was very helpful, I learned a lot on business writing that I didn't know before I took this course." -- Januari O.
  • "I did find the course a helpful refresher. It was quite thorough and included many examples. It would be good for new college hires to review." -- Nina F.
  • "This was really helpful. I know enough about writing and grammar to get by but I haven't had any real experiences with business-focused writing until this class. Thank you." -- Lisa L.
  • "I have found this business writing course to be extremely helpful. Last week, my supervisor already noticed an improvement in my memos!" -- Joanne M.
  • "This course was very helpful and I learned a lot, I'm very thankful." -- Edward J.
  • "I really enjoyed this course. I feel more confident with my business writing." -- Tracey B.
  • "This course was very helpful. I think it has the right amount of information." -- Joli P.
  • "What was most helpful was the assignments graded by the instructor, it is the most detailed in all the classes I was taking. Good job." -- Wei W.
  • "The instructor was excellent and very knowledgeable. This was a review of everything that I took in college. Sometimes you become too relaxed with your writing and this course made me realize this." -- Dorothy D.
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