• Course Introduction

        • Time: 12 hours
        • Free Certificate
        This short course provides adult learners with the skills they need to write effectively in digital and print-based business environments. Writing is a daily and integral part of professional life. The demand for professionals who can communicate clearly and effectively to various audiences remains high and presents a recipe for success in nearly every profession.

        Here, we examine how to identify the purpose or goals of the messages we wish to convey, analyze our audience to keep them engaged, and write clear and persuasive prose. In most workplaces, we are likely to write in a collaborative team environment. Here, we explore how to use available communication channels – blogs, contracts, emails, reports, presentations, press releases, social media posts, and more – for maximum impact. We also learn how to edit and proofread documents so they are presented in a polished, competent, and professional way.

        • Course Syllabus

          First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

        • Unit 1: Know Your Purpose

          To be an effective writer, it is essential to identify the purpose or goal of your communication – whether you are writing for your own personal reasons to entertain a friend or convince a local politician, or you have been given a job assignment to sell the services of your company to a wealthy business client. What message do you want to convey? If you are unclear or uncertain about what you wish to accomplish, your readers will find your writing confusing and difficult to comprehend. Your local politician may follow an unwanted course, or your wealthy business client may move on to a more articulate competitor.

          In this unit, we examine several rhetorical models the Ancient Greeks adopted to help create a framework for what they wanted to achieve during their discussions. What is your purpose? Are you writing to persuade, inform, analyze, or express? In most cases, you should incorporate several elements of these rhetorical strategies to help you get your point across most effectively. But your purpose must be clear – so you can effectively explain or pitch it to your audience.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

        • Unit 2: Know Your Audience and Communication Channel

          Now that you have a purpose, goal, or broad idea of what you want to accomplish, you must find an effective way to communicate your message. Your first step is to analyze your audience – you need to learn who your readers are, what they need, and what will engage them. Next, you must determine the best communication channel to reach them. Finally, you must consider privacy issues and your ethical responsibilities.

          As disparate as these topics seem, they all influence effective communications with each particular audience. They are essential ingredients for being a competent communicator. Let's begin.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

        • Unit 3: Drafting Your Message

          Now that you have researched your audience, decided the purpose of your message, and understand your ethical responsibilities, it is time to draft your document. In this unit, we discuss the best way to format or display the content you want to communicate to your audience. How should you craft or present your message to reinforce your main points and persuade your readers to accept your arguments? We also learn how to eliminate common problems that may be distracting.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

        • Unit 4: Polishing Your Writing

          We are accustomed to texting and emailing messages with typos, slang, abbreviations, and common errors. However, you should discard these shortcuts in the business world. Make it a habit to reread and edit every piece of writing, no matter how brief, before you hit the send button. In this unit, we discuss how to revise and proofread your writing to command attention and respect.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 1 hour.

        • Course Feedback Survey

          Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

          If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org.

        • Certificate Final Exam

          Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

          To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt.

          Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.