Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
Page Course Terms of Use
Unit 1: Know Your Audience and Purpose Page Unit 1 Learning Outcomes
1.1: What Is Professional Writing? URL Business Communication for Success

You will be prompted to read sections of this book throughout the course. You may choose to bookmark it now and skip to the appropriate section as prompted by the instructions in the resource boxes below, or you can simply open the specific sections of the text assigned as you progress through each resource box.

1.1.1: Definition of Professional Writing URL Writing Commons: "Professional Writing"

Read the brief introduction to professional writing, and watch the embedded videos on the page. Please note that the resource provides an overview of two types of professional writing: business writing and technical writing. Business Letters and Memos URL Business Communication for Success: "Chapter 9, Section 2: Memorandums and Letters"

Read this section. You may want to take notes on the basic elements of business memos and letters. Electronic Communication URL Business Communication for Success: "Chapter 9, Section 1: Text, Email, and Netiquette"

Read this section, which discusses when electronic communication is appropriate in a professional context. Proposals URL Business Communication for Success: "Chapter 9, Section 3: Business Proposal"

Read this section. This section provides an overview of the elements and purpose of effective business proposals. Page two of this section pertains to the sections commonly found in a proposal: the cover page, executive summary or abstract, background, the body of the proposal, etc. When you are writing a proposal, you might want to use these categories as section headers for your proposal. Informational Presentations URL Business Communication for Success: "Chapter 13, Section 6: Creating an Informative Presentation"

Read this section, which explains the basic structure of an informational presentation. Persuasive Presentations URL Business Communication for Success: "Chapter 14, Section 3: Functions of the Presentation to Persuade"

Read this section, which explains how presentations can be used to motivate action.

1.1.3: Professional Writing Tone Page ProsWrite: "Learn About Tone in Professional Writing"

Watch this video. The video provides useful information on how to maintain a professional tone in business communications. At the end of the video, test your understanding with the included self-assessment.

1.2.2: Research Your Specific Audience URL Business Communication for Success: "Chapter 3, Section 4: Getting to Know Your Audience"

Read this section. This section will introduce you to strategies for analyzing your audience and tailoring your message to them. When you are done reading this section, jot down what you know about the audience for your business document. Motivate URL Writing Commons: "Rhetorical Appeals"

This webpage provides an overview of four classical strategies for persuading your audience. Please click on the link above and read this webpage, including the examples at the bottom of the page. Then choose the strategy that will be most effective for your audience. Organize Your Message around One Main Objective URL Business Communication for Success: "Chapter 6, Section 1: Organization"

Read this section. This section will explain how to organize your content coherently. Once you have read the section, create an outline for your business document. Begin your outline with your main point, and then organize your bullets so that they support this main point.

1.3.1: Brainstorm Page The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center: "Brainstorming"

Skim this handout, and focus on the brainstorming technique that seems the most useful for you.

Unit 2: The Art of Persuasion Page Unit 2 Learning Outcomes
2.2.4: Create a Clear Story URL Joseph M. Williams and Gregory Colomb's "Clear Narrative, 'Characters,' and 'Actions'"

Read this section. Then think about the story you are trying to tell in your document. Who is the main character? What is the primary action?

2.2.5: Define Terms, Manage the Flow of Information URL The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center: "Flow"

Watch this video, then reflect on the flow of information in your outline.

2.2.6: Be Ethical URL Business Communication for Success: "Chapter 5, Section 4: Ethics, Plagiarism, and Reliable Sources"

Read this section. Review your outline and make sure that (1) your ideas are your own, (2) that your information is accurate and reliable, and (3) that you are not using any unethical methods to persuade your audience.

Unit 3: Polishing Your Writing Page Unit 3 Learning Outcomes
3.1.2: Self-Editing URL The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Writing Center: "Proofreading"

Watch this video, then use one of the techniques to quickly proofread your draft document.

3.1.4: Extraneous Information and Words URL Writing Commons: Joseph Moxley's "Select an Appropriate Sentence Pattern"

Read this article, then edit the sentence patterns in your document.

3.2: Final Review URL Editorial Checklist

Download and print this document. Read through the Editorial Checklist as you edit your document. Ideally, you will read through your document looking for just one or two items on the checklist at a time. This means you will read through your document several times. Keep this document as a resource as you edit professional documents in the future.

Optional Course Evaluation Survey URL Optional Course Evaluation Survey

Please take a few moments to provide some feedback about this course. Consider completing the survey whether you have completed the course, you are nearly at that point, or you have just come to study one unit or a few units of this course.

Your feedback will focus our efforts to continually improve our course design, content, technology, and general ease-of-use. Additionally, your input will be considered alongside our consulting professors' evaluation of the course during its next round of peer review. As always, please report urgent course experience concerns to [email protected] and/or our discussion forums.