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Writing and Editing Courses


Better Business Writing

One day - February 20, 2015 to be held at 1025 Connecticut Ave, NW

$ 350 per Person

Course Description
After completing this course, you will have the critical skills to improve your spelling, punctuation, usage and style, while avoiding the pitfalls of business writing, and creating persuasive and more effective memos and letters. Ten key techniques for effective communication will help you grow more confident in your ability to express yourself clearly. Good business writing is as important as ever. Being able to recognize and correct problems, avoid redundancies, and define your communication goals are all critical factors for effective business writing.

Course Outline
Part 1: Back to Basics

  • Mastering Spelling, Punctuation, and Usage
  • Six Tips for Better Spelling
  • Punctuation Pointers
  • Word Usage Quiz

Part 2: Choosing Your Words Carefully

  • Sharpening Your Writing Style
  • Deleting (Unnecessary) Redundancies
  • Forming Parallel Construction
  • Recognizing Cliches
  • Avoiding Sexist Language

Part 3: Improving Your Business Writing

  • Strengthening Your Memos
  • Using E-Mail Effectively
  • Ten Tips for a Better Memo
  • How to Begin

Part 4: Writing for Special Circumstances

  • Special Kinds of Business Writing
  • Conveying Bad News Tactfully
  • When the News Is Especially Sensitive
  • Writing Persuasively
  • Using the Motivated Sequence Outline

Part 5: Know Your Audience

  • Identifying Communication Styles
  • Sensor/Action Style
  • Thinker/Process Style
  • Feeler/People Style
  • Intuitor/Idea Style
  • Writing to Specific Styles
  • Ten Techniques for Effective Communication
  • Voluntary Learning Contract
  • Answer Keys
  • Additional Reading


Fat-Free Writing

One day - Date TBD

Course Description
The activities and techniques outlined in this course will teach you to communicate clearly, correctly, and concisely; format documents for maximum impact; use shirtsleeve English to get your point across; tailor your communication to different learning styles; and simplify your messages to ensure they will get read. Paring your writing down to a distinct and concise message makes a huge difference in what your reader pays attention to and retains. Today's limited time, technological advances, and increased pace of communication means that every written word counts. You will learn critical skills for delivering messages with impact, such as constructing eye-catching subject lines and using parallel construction.

Course Outline

  • Four Communication Styles
  • Three Learning Styles
  • Assessing Your Communication Style
  • A Matter of Style

Part 1: Use Shirtsleeve English

  • Shirtsleeve Strategies
  • Use Short, Familiar Words
  • Get Rid of Word Weeds
  • Eliminate Time-Wasters
  • Avoid Stuffiness and Clichés
  • Be Positive in Tone
  • Be Specific and Concrete
  • Don’t Jargonize
  • Make Items Parallel
  • Keep Terms Consistent

Part 2: Use Power Language

  • Verbs Are Power Words
  • Use Active Voice
  • Go for the Verb!
  • Avoid Wimp-Speak

Part 3: K.I.S.S.  Keep It Short & Simple!

  • It Is Simply Faster
  • Write Shorter Sentences
  • Create Must-Read Reference Lines
  • Get Right to the Point
  • Close with a Bang!
  • Write Shorter Paragraphs
  • Use Transitions

Part 4: Format for Your Reader’s Eye

  • Design Your Page Visually
  • Use Headings and Labels
  • Make Memos and Letters Scannable
  • Make Email Effective


Powerful Proofreading Skills

One day - Date TBD

$ 350 per Person

Course Description
Ever send out an embarrassing, costly, typo-filled, business letter? Now, this practical course is here to help. Each section contains exercises and activities that strengthen your proofreading skills and eliminate errors and inaccuracies from your documents.

Course Outline
Section 1: Proofreading for Error-Free Copy

  • What Is Proofreading?
  • Setting the Stage
  • Getting Started
  • Achieving Error-Free Documents
  • Proofreading Numbers and Names
  • Incorporating Proofreaders¿ Marks
  • How to Give Proofreading Feedback to Others

Section 2: Proofreading for Accuracy

  • Know Your Grammar Terms
  • Proofreading for Grammatical Errors
  • Proofreading for Punctuation Errors
  • Proofreading for Spelling Errors
  • Proofreading for Usage Errors
  • Proofreading for Capitalization Errors
  • Proofreading for Number Errors

Section 3: Summary

  • Proofreader’s Post Test
  • Create Your Own Proofreader’s Library


Writing Business Proposals & Reports

One day

Course Description
Writing effective reports and proposals takes more than fundamental writing skills. This course teaches readers how to organize, research, develop, and edit complex documents as well as sharpen one's overall business writing skills.

Course Outline
Part 1: Strategies for Writing Proposals and Reports

  • Writing Self-Assessment
  • Reviewing the Basics
  • Punctuation Pointers
  • Common Faults
  • Other Suggestions to Sharpen Your Writing Skills
  • Preparing to Write
  • Organizing for Maximum Impact
  • The Persuasive Report
  • Feasibility Study
  • Choosing an Appropriate Tone
  • Using a Consistent Style
  • Editing to Enhance Your Writing

Part 2: Writing Successful Reports

  • Developing Your Ideas
  • Sample Report
  • Sample Feasibility Study
  • Sample Report Using the Motivated Sequence Outline
  • Editing Your Written Reports
  • Completing Your Reports

Part 3: Writing Winning Proposals

  • Developing Your Ideas
  • Editing Your Written Proposals
  • Completing Your Proposals
  • Sample Proposal


Writing Effective E-Mail

One day

Course Description
E-mail is more prevalent today than ever before. Its instantaneous nature makes it a convenient, time-saving tool for businesses. However, it is also more important than ever to take the time to write messages that are secure as well as clear and error-free. This course also includes an added emphasis on how to avoid workplace disasters such as lost sales, customer-service nightmares--and in the worst cases, lawsuits and financial losses--triggered by careless or poorly written e-mail. This course will also guide you in writing a comprehensive and effective e-mail policy for your organization.

Course Outline
Part 1: Think Before You E-Mail

  • Beware Potential Perils
  • Deciding When to Use E-Mail
  • Addressing Your E-Mail Message
  • Replying to E-Mail Messages
  • E-Mailing to International Audiences

Part 2: Composing Your E-Mail Message

  • Collecting Your Thoughts with the Five Ws
  • Writing a Subject Line with Real Oomph
  • Incorporating a Salutation and Signature
  • Grabbing the Reader's Attention: The Lead
  • Organizing with the Inverted Pyramid
  • Comparing Chronological Writing
  • Getting Started in Three Easy Steps

Part 3: Keys to Effective E-Mail

  • Striving for Simplicity
  • Writing with Power...or Paste?
  • Eliminating Mechanical Errors
  • Spelling Counts!
  • Using the Active Voice
  • Avoiding Sexist Language

Part 4: Polishing Your Cybermanners

  • Setting the Right Tone
  • Dodging Conversational Pitfalls
  • Watch Your Cyberlanguage
  • Extinguishing Flames
  • Punctuating with Smileys and Shorthand
  • Reviewing Netiquette Guidelines
  • Netiquette Guidelines for Managers

Part 5: Formatting Your E-Mail Message

  • Selecting Format Settings
  • Enhancing Readability
  • Sending Attachments with Care
  • Battling Electronic Viruses

Part 6: Managing E-Mail Overload

  • Controlling Your In-Box Clutter
  • Reducing Spam Intake
  • Organization-Wide E-Mail Management
  • Devising an E-Mail Policy for Your Organization
  • Using a Sample E-Mail Policy as a Guide


Writing Persuasively

One day

Course Description
When you adapt basic sales techniques in your everyday business writing, you can get your readers to do what you want. This course takes a fresh look at the purpose of most business writing, which is to sell ideas. A five-step model shows you how to grab your readers' attention and motivate them into action. Use the tips in this course not only to improve your writing, but to build strong relationships with your students.

Course Outline
Part 1: Rethink Sales

  • Recognize Your Sales Purpose
  • Value the Quick Sale
  • Step into Your Readers' Shoes
  • Part 1 Summary

Part 2: Use the S.A.L.E.S. Model

  • Write to Sell with a Five-Step Formula
  • Start by Getting Your Readers' Attention
  • Add the Background Essentials and Unique Features
  • List Benefits from Your Readers' Viewpoint
  • Evaluate and Counter Possible Objections
  • Sign Off with an Either/Or Call to Action
  • Part 2 Summary

Part 3: Involve Your Readers' Senses

  • Understand Sensory Styles
  • Make It Look Good
  • Appeal to the Touch
  • Make Your Writing Sing
  • Size Up Your Readers' Personality
  • Part 3 Summary

Part 4: Adapt Additional Sales Techniques

  • Make It Easy for Readers to Buy
  • Pre-qualify Your Readers
  • Personalize Your Message
  • Create a Relationship
  • Start High on Your Request
  • Offer a Package Deal
  • Use Testimonials
  • Offer a Pilot Program or Trial Period
  • Establish a Sense of Urgency
  • Deliver What Your Promised
  • Show Gratitude
  • Be Positively Persistent
  • Part 4 Summary

Part 5: Get to the Point

  • Go Back to Basics
  • Keep It Short
  • Make It Simple
  • Write the Way You Talk
  • Get Your Readers Up to Speed
  • Concentrate on Verbs
  • Accentuate the Positive
  • Relax Grammar Rules as Appropriate
  • Part 5 Summary
  The Training Institute of Washington, DC. (800) 698-1191 Toll Free