The Explicit Business Writing with Additional Training course is a thorough, in-depth course that teaches all the best practices that business-writing professionals now know create explicit email, memos, letters, and reports. It is competency based, so it teaches the skills to a mastery level. The training is sufficiently thorough that graduates are able to edit others' work and teach the principles. As such, it is suitable for training trainers. We know of no other training program in business writing that teaches these best practices and no other that teaches business writing skills to a mastery level of competence.
The course instructor is Robert Hogan, PhD, author of the book, Explicit Business Writing: Best Practices for the Twenty-First Century. The course includes a free copy of the book and teaches all of the best practices explained in the text. It contains 39 activities and 17 competency examination writing samples that Dr. Hogan evaluates. As such, it requires the amount of work expected in a three-credit-hour college course.
You will go through the course at your own pace, so you could complete it within a few weeks. However, you have up to four months to complete the course so you can fit the study time into your schedule. All lessons must be finished within the four-month period.
You will master all of the following skills and demonstrate your competence in writing examinations:
- Have clear objectives.
- Provide information that suits the reader's knowledge of the subject, educational background, technical expertise, need for concrete explanations, and need for depth of knowledge.
- Include everything every intended reader needs to achieve your objectives.
- Respond to requests by providing precisely what the person asked for under the conditions specified.
- Give readers the information they need at the specific points where they need it for maximum understanding.
- When readers have differing needs or abilities, write different versions or sections of the document to match the readers' needs and abilities.
- Present topics in the same order throughout and link all the contents in each part.
- In emails, letters, and memos, write thanks, commendations, and genuine statements of good will that build teams and partnerships with clients.
- Present the information with consideration for the reader's possible reaction to the subject and you.
- Use the tone and level of formality that fit the objectives and the reader.
- Ask for and give feedback on the clarity and relevance of documents and writing.
- Write email subject lines using words that alert the reader to the contents, required action, or critical information in the email.
- In the introduction, explain everything readers need to know to understand fully why they are receiving the document.
- In the introduction, describe all actions the reader is expected to perform and any critical information the reader must know.
- Summarize conclusions and recommendations at the beginning.
- Write a clear statement of the contents at the end of the introduction so readers know what to expect and can prepare for reading.
- Put the information into clearly defined blocks that the reader can read, understand, and remember, one block at a time.
- For each information block, write an explicit opening statement the reader can use to begin putting the block's details into a framework.
- For lists with items that are each several paragraphs or pages long, open the lists with statements of the contents and open each list item with a description of the item's contents.
- For lists with items that are a few lines long, break out the lists with numbers and bullets.
- Present information in a clear visual blueprint so readers can see the organization as they read.
- Use tables to organize the information so readers can place the details into a clear framework.
- End the document with a conclusion that helps readers achieve your objectives.
- Include feedback loops that reflect the importance of the content and your assessment of the likelihood this reader will understand or act as expected.
- Write concrete, detailed descriptions of problems and issues.
- Write requests that state directly, unambiguously, and completely what you are requesting.
- Use key terms consistently.
- Fully explain the concept behind every new key term as the reader encounters it.
- Have a clear focus for the document and for each part.
- Communicate technical subjects clearly to non technical readers.
- Write instructions and procedures that are complete and concrete.
- Provide sufficient, relevant evidence for statements.
- Write concisely.
- Write clear, focused, organized paragraphs that help readers identify, understand, and remember concepts.
- Write sentences that are complete, simple, clear, and straightforward.
- Use only simple punctuation.
- Use words every intended reader will understand.
- Polish and proofread all documents.
- Use formatting that makes the text easy to read.