Why take this course?
Ideal for those who are new to business writing or need a refresher, this course shows you how to format, write and proofread typical business documents so that they are clear, concise, complete and correct. Through a combination of brief demonstrations, discussion and lots of hands-on exercises and real-life examples, you’ll learn the plain language writing techniques that today’s business world expects you to know, and how to use them to engage readers and write more professionally.
You’ll learn how to adjust style and tone, build stronger sentences and paragraphs, avoid common grammar and punctuation mistakes, and much more.
Who should attend?
Anyone who needs to write business documents that are clear and easy to read.
After completing this course, you will be able to
- understand how clear written communication can save you time and money.
- write and proofread your work so it is clear, concise, complete and correct.
- apply plain language skills in real-world situations.
- properly format memos, letters, and emails.
This course helps you learn or enhance skills you need to meet and apply these federal public service competencies, behaviours, policies or programs:
Key Leadership Competencies:
Employee Effective Behaviours:
Thinking things through, Excellence through results
Communications Policy of the Government of Canada
What topics are covered?
Introduction to plain language writing
- Becoming a better writer
- What is plain language writing?
- Why bother?
- The Four Cs: Clear, Concise, Complete, Correct.
Sentences and paragraphs
- Sentence types
- Using chronological order
- Chunking for online text
- Using simpler language
- Jargon and acronyms
- Clear sentence construction
- Active and passive voice
- Modifiers and participles
- Readers first
- Tightening sentences
- Updating language
- Including all necessary information
- Thinking like a reader
- Subject-verb agreement
- Practical and inclusive language
- Common confusables
Business letters, memos and emails
- Manners and courtesy
- Steps to writing business letters
- Types of business letter
- Emails and memos
- Managing emails
Spelling and proofreading
- International spelling differences
- Using spell-check wisely
- Reviewing your writing