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Online Business Writing Course

Business and Technical Writing

Effective written communication is essential in business and technical applications, such as in developing client proposals or preparing Web site content. In this online business writing course, you'll explore different types of business and technical writing for print and the Web, focusing on learning professional approaches to researching, formatting, writing, and editing documents in the workplace. With feedback from an expert instructor, you'll improve your writing and gain practice in data presentation and instructional writing.

Business writing course image 

Learn to write business and technical documents

Polish your professional writing skills

Instructor-Led Course

Feedback from design professionals

Creative Projects

Stretch your skills, grow your portfolio

Learn at Your Own Pace

Self-paced and scheduled programs available

Course Outline

1 - Nuts and Bolts of Business and Technical Writing

This lecture takes a look at the nuts and bolts of business and technical writing. We'll start by discovering how business and technical writing differs from other types of writing. We'll then explore the processes used to create business and technical documents. As business and technical writing is often produced in a collaborative process, we'll discuss how writers work as part of a team and examine some "rules of the road" for business and technical writing.

2 - Writing for Print

This lecture focuses on the preparation of written materials that are destined to be printed. With printed materials, you need to communicate your writing using visual features that work for the printed page rather than an electronic screen. As a designer, you are familiar with document layout and composition rules, but when you also tackle the role of writing documents, there is much more for you to control.

3 - Researching for Writing

This lecture begins by describing a type of document that is invaluable in laying out the detailed rules for document content and formatting: the style guide. As there is no one style guide that fits all business and technical writing needs, you will be introduced to a selection of important guides so that you can choose the appropriate one for your projects. We'll also focus on key research tools for obtaining the facts and information needed to draft proposals, reports, technical manuals, and other written materials you might need to author.

4 - Illustrating Your Writing

The first half of this lecture looks at the use of tables, charts, graphs, and maps to organize and present data. The second half focuses on the use of illustrations in print and on the Web.

5 - Creating Instructional Material

The lecture begins with a look at writing tutorials such as user guides and "getting started" guides. These books differ from reference books in that their purpose is to teach novices how to make the best use of a product. The second part of the lecture focuses on the help files that ship with most software programs.

6 - Writing for the Web and Authoring Structured Documents

This lecture looks at two loosely related topics that can give you an edge in business and technical writing. The first part of the lecture looks at preparing written and visual material for use on the Web in a business and technical context. The second part tackles structured documentation, a method of creating documentation which relies on formal rules as a means of producing consistent, flexible documents.

Course Outcomes

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Use a systematic process for writing business and technical documents, including planning, drafting, editing, and revision.
  • Apply formatting and grammar principles specific to business and technical documents.
  • Identify the basic layout needs for business and technical documents including margins, columns, and pagination.
  • Apply techniques for creating consistently formatted documents in a word processor.
  • Identify general and specialized style guides used for writing.
  • Use online and offline reference sources for research, properly citing sources and respecting copyright and trademark laws.
  • Represent data with charts, graphs, and maps and incorporate different kinds of images into business documents.
  • Create basic instructional materials such as user guides, help materials, and slideshow presentations.
  • Apply methods for writing and presenting engaging, readable content for the Web.
  • Discuss the general use of XML for managing large, structured documents.
  • Author various business and technical documents including email, official letters, resume, cover letter, bibliography, proposal, user guide, and slideshow.

Course Registration

Interested in this course? Scheduled enrollment options are available. Ask Admissions about taking this course as part of a degree program.

Course LevelClasses startRegistration FeeTuition
Degree course
3-credit course, 15 week
Jan, Apr, Aug$200$510/credit
* Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for updates to course or program content.

Software and Supplies

To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • MS Word or equivalent program.

Who’s Teaching

Course developed by Debra Herman

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.

Chat with our knowledgeable admissions staff to select course and program options.

Complete your registration entirely online.

Related Programs

Did you know? You can take this course as part of an award-winning certificate or degree program.