English Language Writing Course
The five writing courses set out below represent five of the top online writing courses currently available. As there is a wide range of different writing styles, business writing courses have been focused on as they most closely represent the requirements set out in the research brief. Any course that required attendance in person has been excluded, as they would require additional information regarding location and availability. The reasons each of these courses has been selected are set out in the Research Strategy section.
Udemy — Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery
- Udemy offers a range of different writing courses. The top rating course is Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery. Taught by Shani Rami, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal, the course has attracted more than 91,650 students and over 12,500 reviews. The course is designed to take students to the "summit of flawless writing." It costs USD149, although there is currently a sale on courses at the Udemy site. Ninja Writing is made up of 49 lectures that have a total length of four hours and sixteen minutes.
- The overview of Ninja writing sets out the four levels of writing; narrative, paragraphs, sentences, and words, and is designed to make the students writing stand out from their peers.
- The Narrative Level teaches students to decide what they want to say, how to connect with the audience, create tone and pace, organizing writing, and how to add texture to writing.
- Paragraphs focuses on teaching students to choose the style of paragraphs, weave different themes into the paragraphs, and when to switch to a new paragraph.
- The sentences' module focuses giving sentences rhythm and achieving maximum dramatic impact through the sentence.
- Words focuses the importance on choosing words that are precise and colorful, which at the same time avoid distracting the reader.
- One review of the course on the website by James Bollen who states, "Hugely impressed with the professionalism and quality of this course: Shani Raja imparts his invaluable knowledge and experience of writing, and editing, in a clear and succinct way. I am grateful to him for this course and will almost certainly follow it up with more." There were multiple reviews available for this course of a similar vain.
Saylor.org Academy — Professional Writing Course (PRDV002)
- This course is a free online course. Although it is relatively short, it focuses specifically on improving professional writing skills for business. It focuses specifically on being able to communicate effectively in business through emails, memos, and other key written documents, such as emails memos and other key business documents.
- The course has three units. They are as follows:
- Know Your Audience and Purpose (approximately 1.75 hours) — This unit focuses on developing the necessary skills to cultivate and captivate the audience. Students are taught skills to help them analyze their audience, identify the purpose of their writing, and eliminate distractions from their writing.
- The Art of Persuasion (approximately 1.25 hours) — This unit focuses on drafting a document such as a memo or email that persuades the audience and reinforces the main points. It also teaches students how to recognize and remove common problems that may create distractions for the reader.
- Polishing Your Writing (approximately 30 minutes) — This unit teaches students the importance of editing so they can be sure their documents command respect and attention.
- In addition to the course work, an examination can be taken upon completion. A passing grade of 70% or higher is necessary to receive the free course completion certificate. The examination takes two hours to complete.
University of Texas Center for Professional Education — Effective Business Writing
- This is a two section online instructor-led course. Registration for the next section one course closes on 15 February 2021, with classes being held on the 16 and 17 February 2021 from 1300-1630 each day. Registration for the next section two course closes on 10 May 2021, with classes being held on the 11 and 12 May 2021 from 0900 to 1630 each day. The cost of each section is USD495.
- Both sections are led by Jennifer Lazarow who "holds an M.S. degree in Organizational Communication and a B.A. degree with a double major in Technical Writing and Communication. She is a certified trainer with Zenger-Miller, Achieve Global and Psychological Associates and a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Human Relations course."
- The course is specifically targeted toward the following groups: marketing and communications professionals, managers and supervisors, human resource professionals, business writers, and anyone who wants to polish and improve their writing skills. Students are required to bring two professional letters they have written to class for analysis.
- The combined two sections aim to teach students how to write emails and other business documents that are clear, concise and professional, achieve the optimal results from writing, and use an appropriate tone with different business groups in written communication. Students are taught to improve their writing style by using the active person, making sure language is concise, avoiding overused language and words, and eliminating redundancies in writing.
- The course counts toward the Communication Skills for Professionals Certificate.
Business Writing Center — Business Writing Course With Instructor Guidance
- The Business Writing Center has consistently been named one of the top providers of business writing courses. They offer 45 different courses of this nature. All of the courses are taught by highly qualified professionals. The Business Writing Center will often require candidates to undergo an evaluation of their writing before they register so they can be matched to the class that best meets their needs.
- All of the courses allow students to study at their own pace. They will have access to their instructor by phone or email throughout the course. The instructor also provides the students with detailed feedback on their writing so that students can improve their skills.
WRITING EFFECTIVE EMAILS IN THE WORKPLACE
- This course fits the required brief. It aims to teach students how to write clear and concise emails that create impact and motivate a response from the reader. The approach taught is highly structured and can be applied to a number of other business documents. Students have four months to complete the course. The course costs USD295.
- There are a number of core lessons provided in written form. Once each lesson is completed, students submit the emails they have worked on during the lesson for evaluation by the tutor. In addition, there are online materials that contain numerous examples and easy-to-understand explanations.
- Elements covered by the course include writing informative subject lines, formatting for readability, using headings and paragraphs, writing concisely, and avoiding clumsy phrases, complex and stiff language.
Universal — Business Writing 101
- Business Writing 101 is an online course. Each student has six months to complete the course at their own pace. The cost of the course is USD70 without a certificate and USD95 with a CEU certificate. To date 4,713 students have completed the course.
- The course contains 19 lessons and 41 assignments. It takes the average student approximately 19 hours to complete.
- Business Writing 101 is described as a crash course in business writing. It covers the full spectrum of business writing from the dos and don'ts to formatting, punctuation, tone, and language. The course is designed for assistants, secretaries, executives, managers, and senior managers of any company or organization.
- The course teaches the seven Cs of business communication:
- Clear communication;
- Concise communication;
- Correct communication;
- Courteous communication;
- Conversational communication;
- Convincing communication; and
- Complete communication.
To determine five of the best available writing courses, we first considered the research brief requirements and determined the writing style required was business writing. We then searched a range of industry publications and expert opinions and commentary. As we were unaware of the potential participant's location and availability, we excluded those courses that had an in-person attendance requirement. The five courses detailed above were chosen because they are most closely aligned to the requirements set out in the research brief. In addition, all of the courses selected are discussed in a number of "top business writing" lists, such as this. They were recommended by a range of experts in the field. After developing a shortlist of courses that fitted the research brief and met the aforementioned criteria, we considered the number of previous students that had completed the course and their feedback to determine the top five choices. We have attempted to ensure a range of different pricing options and styles of studying are included, as we felt this represented the best way of ensuring a course that had the required content while being affordable was included in the list.