Affiliate Program

Business Writing Basics

Mary Anne Donovan

Course ID: LC001

Current Openings: Yes

In this course you will build upon your good grammar skills and learn about the process of creating good written business communication. You will:

  • Discover the importance of good writing skills in the business environment,
  • Learn about audience and purpose analysis,
  • Examine different types of business documents, and
  • Craft some of your own documents.

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Course Type:

Practice and exercises; some multiple choice quizzes


When you have completed this course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the process for producing written business communication
  • Identify effective business communication
  • Perform an audience and purpose analysis
  • Produce effective written business documentation.

Learner Prerequisites


Start Date Ongoing, open enrollment.
Duration 8 lessons in 8 weeks.
Limit N/A
Class Materials Provided by instructor
Cost $395 if taken individually, $1260 if taken as part of the Business Writing Certification program, a cost of $315 per course.
Tutorial Option Additional mentoring and critiquing is available from the instructor. The fee is $45 per hour. Please contact [email protected] to register.

Course Outline

Lesson 1: The Importance of Good Writing Skills

  • Learn why good writing skills are more important now than ever before.

Lesson 2: What is Business Communication, and How is it Different From Other Forms of Communication

  • This lesson takes a look at methods of business communication as well as why we communicate in business.

Lesson 3: The Writing Process

  • Overcome writer's block by learning this simple, effective technique for writing anything!

Lesson 4: Audience and Purpose Analysis

  • Who are you writing to and what is it you want them to do? Do you have more than one audience, and what to do if this is the case? Learn how to perform these important analyses to help you target your communications.

Lesson 5: Writing Effective Sentences and Paragraphs

  • Without good sentences and paragraphs you haven't got anything. Examine effective samples and write some of your own.

Lesson 6: The 7 "C's"

  • Courteous, considerate, clear, complete, concise, correct, consistent: find out why these characteristics are so important and how to apply them in your own writing.

Lesson 7: Types of Business Documents

  • Look at everything from memos to proposals to formal reports.

Lesson 8: Crafting Effective Messages

  • And the grand finale! In this lesson you will produce one large, or several smaller business documents that are relevant to your own work situation.

Instructor Bio

Mary Anne has been teaching at St. John Fisher College in both graduate and undergraduate programs for the past nine years, with a specialty in business, technical and professional communications. In addition, she is the Chief Editor of Writer Online, a professional ezine for writers and lovers of writing.

Mary Anne has over twenty years experience in corporate and business communications including technical writing, instructional design, marketing communications and internet instructional design, serving in both corporate staff functions as well as an independent contractor and consultant for national firms including Kodak, Xerox, Metropolitan Life, Motorola, and others.

As a writer and author, Mary Anne has also published numerous articles in publications including Workforce magazine, Rochester Business Journal, Building Operating Management, Equus, Equine Journal, and Writer's Digest. She has written two books: Zen and the Art of Horseback Riding, and coauthored Retraining the Harness Racehorse. Mary Anne is finishing her master's degree in liberal studies with a concentration in digital virtual literacy from Empire State College.