Business Writing I Course Outline


Below is the table of contents for the Business Writing I course.

1. About this course
Objectives
Outline
Prerequisites
Communications
How will I be graded?
Text input exercises
Quiz exercises
Course calendar
How do I start?
2. Understanding sentence structure
Subjects and predicates
Recognizing parts of speech
Nouns and noun phrases
Verbs and verb phrases
Plural nouns
Plural nouns and subject-verb agreement
Subject-verb agreement with subject modifiers
Compound subjects
Objects
Complements
Adjectives
Quiz
Pronouns
What is a pronoun?
Using personal pronouns
Using indefinite pronouns
Using pronouns in tandem
Using pronouns with the verb ‘ to be’
Using “due to” as a relative pronoun
Using either and neither
Using its vs. it’s
Using which vs. that
Using I vs. me, she vs. her
Using who vs. whom
Avoiding unclear pronoun references
Avoiding inconsistent pronoun reference
Avoiding dangling pronouns
Quiz
Summary
3. Writing sentences and paragraphs
Topic sentence
Paragraph and sentence length
Paragraph linking and coherence
Maintaining consistency of tense
Using active vs. passive voice
Using positives vs. negatives
Using non-sexist language
Using jargon and technical terms
Quiz
Avoiding common sentence problems
Run-on sentences
Sentence fragments
Dangling and misplaced modifiers
Lack of parallel structure in sentences
Lack of parallel structure in lists
Lack of sentence variation
Wordiness
Quiz
Avoiding subject-verb agreement problems
Errors with collective subjects
Errors with compound subjects
Errors with verbs following subjects
Quiz
Summary
4. Using punctuation
Period
Comma
Commas after introductory words, phrases, or clauses
Commas to separate coordinate adjectives
Commas to separate a direct quotation from its introduction
Commas to separate phrases that contrast
Commas in a series
Commas before conjunctions that join independent clauses
Commas to enclose parenthetical elements in a sentence
Commas with dates, addresses and titles
Commas for clarification
Comma errors
Do not place a comma between a subject and its verb
Do not use a comma between compound subjects
Do not use a comma after a coordinating conjunction
Do not use commas between cumulative adjectives
Do not use a comma to join two independent clauses
Semi-colon
Semi-colons between two related independent clauses
Semi-colons before conjunctions when two clauses are joined
Semi-colons between items in a series containing internal punctuation
Colon
Colons that introduce a list
Colons between independent clauses
Question mark
Dash
Hyphen
Using apostrophes
Introducing the apostrophe
Apostrophes and plurals
Apostrophes to show omission
Apostrophes to show possession
Whether to add ‘s or s’ or just an apostrophe
Punctuation exercises
Exercise 1 – Commas
Exercise 2 – Commas
Exercise 3 – Apostrophes
Exercise 4 – Apostrophes
Quiz
Summary
5. Using numbers and capitals
Using capitals
Always capitalize the…
Do not capitalize the…
Quiz
Using numbers
Introducing numbers
Specific number values
Mixed numbers
Numbers that appear together
Numbers starting a sentence
Decimal and large numbers
Percentages
Money
Addresses
Ages
Dates and time
Numbers under 10 and over 10
U.S. measurements
Metric measurements
Quiz
Summary
6. Writing process
Preparing to write
Analyze your audience
Determine the purpose of your document
Gather ideas and facts
Establish your scope
Organizing your information
Use the SAFE format
Summary: Summarize the message
Action – What action is required?
Facts – What are the facts?
Evidence – Include material to support your conclusions
Exceptions to the SAFE format
Create a document plan
Writing the draft
Revising
Revision checklist
Quiz
Summary
7. Writing guidelines
Layout
Use tables
Use lists
Choose the right type of list
Highlight important information
Use descriptive headings
Visual organization
Content
Aim for parallelism in sentences
Aim for parallelism in lists
Use topic sentences
Maintain paragraph unity and coherence
Use consistent tense
Speak directly to the reader
Clarity
Use simple words
Avoid figures of speech
Use active voice
Write clearly
Conciseness
Use short simple sentences
Write short clear paragraphs
Use present tense
Omit irrelevant details
Style
Choose the right tone
Emphasize the positive
Use personal pronouns
Be brief and direct but use tact
Quiz
Summary
8. Writing letters
Written communication
Write with the YOU attitude
Use a positive tone
Avoid “you” if it suggests blame
Focus on the reader “you” and not “I”
Focus on the benefits for the reader
Understand human nature
Avoid these objectionable expressions
Remember the 8 C’s of writing
Organizing your writing
The opening paragraph – your introductory statement
The middle paragraphs
The closing paragraph
Choose an appropriate letter style
Full block letter – Two-point punctuation
Modified block – two point punctuation and block paragraphs
Modified block – two-point punctuation and indented paragraphs
Simplified letter
Choose the appropriate punctuation style
Types of letters
Persuasive request
Letters of claim
Letters conveying good news
Letters conveying negative news
Adjustment letter
Format of a letter
Return address
Date
Inside address
Salutation
Subject
Body
Complementary closing
Typed signature
Enclosure notation
Additional information
Quiz
Summary
Further reading
9. Exercise 1: Letters
Goals
Description
Exercise 1a – inquiry letter
Exercise 1b – good news letter
Exercise 1c – bad news letter
10. Assignment 1: Letters
Goals
Description
Letter 1: Claim letter
Letter 2: Response to claim letter, presenting good news
Letter 3: Response to claim letter, presenting negative news
Letter 4: Request for information
Grading
Revision checklist
Submission
11. Writing memos
Memos
Characteristics of successful memos
Language
Writing style and tone
Cautions
Headings
Types of memos
Procedures and non-confidential information
Requesting information
Reply to information
Confirmation of information
Announcing activities or publicizing policies
Parts of a memo
TO line
FROM line
DATE line
SUBJECT line
Opening
Body
Closing
Memo format
Email versus memos
Quiz
Summary
12. Exercise 2: Memos
Goals
Description
Memo exercise 1: Bad news memo
Memo exercise 2: Persuasive memo
13. Writing email
How is email different from other communication?
How is email similar to other communication?
Email is not an excuse to write poorly
Use an appropriate tone and style
Provide context
Write clear email messages
Parts of an email message
Recipient
Sender
Subject
Salutations
Body
Closing
Attachments
Intonation
Gestures
Quiz
Summary
14. Exercise 3: Effective writing
Exercise 1
Exercise 2
Exercise 3
Exercise 4
Exercise 5
Exercise 6
Exercise 7
Exercise 8
15. Assignment 2: Memos and email
Goals
Description
Memo 1
Memo 2
Email
Grading
Revision checklist
Submission
16. Writing proposals
Defining the sales proposal
Writing an effective sales proposal
Purpose of the sales proposal
Types of proposals
Unsolicited proposals
Solicited proposals
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Informal proposal
Formal proposal
Internal proposal
Proposal sample
Main body of a proposal
Background information
Proposed solution
Implementation
Seller profile
Budget
Writing an informal proposal
Subject line
Introduction
Body
Closing
Authorization
Appendix (or attachment)
Sample informal proposal
Writing a formal proposal
Letter of transmittal
Title page
Table of contents
Executive summary
Body
Conclusion
Appendix
Sample formal proposal
Writing an internal proposal
Introduction
Background
Options
Recommendations
Implementation
Conclusion
Sample internal proposal
Other formatting considerations
Headings
Lists
Tables
Graphs and charts
Headers in letters
Quiz
Summary
Further reading
17. Assignment 3: Proposals
Goals
Description
Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Grading

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