About this Course
4.7
730 ratings
237 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Arabic...

Skills you will gain

GrammarCommunicationBusiness WritingWriting
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Arabic...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Building Great Business Writing

The first lesson in this module introduces the Effective Communication specialization, the capstone project, and the Business Writing course. You'll meet the writing instructor, Dr. Quentin McAndrew, and her counterparts Dave Underwood and Professor William Kuskin, who teach Graphic Design and Successful Presentation. Dave and William join Quentin to offer insights into how writing, design, and presentation relate to a process of continuous personal branding that we call Effective Communication. In this module, you'll discover the simple principles that inform all great business writing and that serve as the foundation of this course. These lessons set the stage for the deeper exploration and specific techniques that follow, not just in Business Writing, but in Graphic Design and Successful Presentation as well. Let's get started! ...
Reading
13 videos (Total 49 min), 3 readings, 4 quizzes
Video13 videos
What's So Great About the Capstone?3m
What is Good Writing?2m
Be the Windowpane3m
Waste No Time2m
Don't Sound Smart; Be Smart4m
Own Your Ideas3m
Everyone Needs an Editor; or, the Story of My Failure5m
Who are you?3m
Appearance Matters3m
Looking Your Best4m
Dave Gives Pointers: Type is the Message5m
Success!2m
Reading3 readings
A Few Important Points About This Course5m
Why Johnny Can't Write and Employers Are Mad10m
You Can Never Be a Worse Writer Than I Was10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Simplifying Sentences6m
Edit out the Wishy-Washy6m
Improve Memos with Design Elements4m
Writing Principles and Design20m
Week
2
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

The Formula for Writing Success

Did you know that the most important element of good writing isn't good writing? It's good organization. If you haven't organized your documents for maximum effectiveness, you've wasted an opportunity to present your ideas--and yourself--with power. This module teaches you the universal organizational formula that allows you to optimize your business writing. You'll understand how the principles you learned in Module One build to this formula, and you'll see how a scaffold gets created and applied to a real business document. By the end of this module, you'll be able to wield your organizational knowledge in service of your ideas and personal brand, and you'll have built the foundation that allows you to generate powerful sentences in Module Three....
Reading
9 videos (Total 40 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
Video9 videos
Great Writers Are Great Revisers2m
The Organizational Scaffold You Need for Everything4m
Quentin, William, and Dave Brainstorm the Memo4m
Bonus Video: The Basics of Greatness6m
A Blank Page: Facing the Void6m
Say it: The Body Paragraphs6m
Building Out the Scaffold4m
The Conclusion Concludes1m
Reading2 readings
Have No Fear of English as a Second Language10m
New York Times: "What Corporate America Can't Build: A Sentence"5m
Quiz4 practice exercises
The Elements of the Scaffold6m
Compare Openings6m
Starting with the Most Important Point6m
Practicing the Scaffold15m
Week
3
Hours to complete
7 hours to complete

Crafting Powerful Writing

In the first lesson of Module Three, we'll apply our writing principles and our scaffold to creating an actual memo. You'll see, step-by-step, how the scaffold guides the writing process to make it easier to create a forceful business document. You'll understand how to apply the scaffold to guide sentence and paragraph creation, and you'll have a chance to test and reinforce your new skills. The second lesson covers common grammatical errors that sap many writers' professional brands. Short videos explain each error, why each hurts your clarity, and how to correct your writing--even if you don't remember the grammar rule. You'll understand why these changes are important to your goal of Effective Communication and why it's important to eliminate these common missteps from your own writing....
Reading
15 videos (Total 51 min), 14 quizzes
Video15 videos
The First Paragraph Roadmap5m
Signposting with Topic Sentences4m
William on Voicing Writing: How Does it Sound?2m
Writing a Paragraph4m
Revising a Paragraph4m
The Conclusion Concludes (Reprise)1m
Does Good Grammar Matter?2m
Grammar Blast: I vs. Me3m
Grammar Blast: Mangled Modifiers5m
Grammar Blast: Serial or Oxford Comma2m
Grammar Blast: Pronoun Problems3m
Grammar Blast: Apostrophe Abuse3m
Grammar Blast: Your, You're, Their, They're, There2m
Grammar Blast: That vs. Which2m
Quiz12 practice exercises
What Goes in the First Paragraph?6m
Writing Strong Topic Sentences6m
Critique These Conclusions6m
I vs. Me6m
Fix These Modifiers6m
Serial Comma Practice6m
Pronoun Placement6m
Apostrophe Practice6m
Your vs. You're, There vs. Their vs. They're: Test Your Skill!6m
That vs. Which6m
Rubric Training Quiz20m
Rubric Training Quiz20m
Week
4
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Activate Your Voice!

So, you've started to write a document . . . Module Four takes you beyond the scaffold and good grammar to provide you with specific tips that will elevate your language, infuse your writing with clarity, and amp up your ability to communicate your ideas effectively. Every lesson in this module is based on the principles you learned in Module One, and they form a checklist of techniques that you can apply to any business document to insure your ideas shine on the page. Short videos on emails and longer documents give you simple techniques for applying the lessons of this course to a broad range of your work....
Reading
15 videos (Total 50 min), 1 reading, 8 quizzes
Video15 videos
Check Your Scaffold1m
Keep It Simple4m
Brevity is the Soul of Wit5m
Dave on How Logo Design Reflects Brevity and Clarity5m
Always be Specific; Avoid Generalities and Jargon5m
The Power of Active Voice5m
Limit Crutch Verbs2m
Cut Prepositional Phrases2m
Don't Repeat Words1m
Always Proofreadm
A Word on Email3m
Long Documents, in Brief2m
In Conclusion4m
Time to Design: Dave Takes the Memo1m
Reading1 reading
Credits3m
Quiz8 practice exercises
Simplify Sentences6m
Edit Out Generalities and Jargon6m
Identify Passive Voice6m
Change from Passive to Active6m
Remove "to be" and "to have"6m
Edit out Prepositional Phrases6m
Finding Repeated Words6m
Final Editing Quiz25m
4.7
Career direction

67%

started a new career after completing these courses
Career Benefit

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By YSJun 12th 2017

It was an exceptional course with lots to take away from. It taught basic building blocks of business writing and then built upon it which provided a great way to self learn the content of the course.

By JSJan 10th 2018

Even if English is your first language, this course was a great refresher of how to apply writing skills to email and business documents. I would recommend to anyone looking to sharpen their skills.

Instructor

Avatar

Dr. Quentin McAndrew

Instructor
Department of English, University of Colorado Boulder

About University of Colorado Boulder

CU-Boulder is a dynamic community of scholars and learners on one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. As one of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), we have a proud tradition of academic excellence, with five Nobel laureates and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies....

About the Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation Specialization

Over seventy companies and tens of thousands of students worldwide have used Effective Communication to deliver ideas powerfully in the workplace. By taking Business Writing, Graphic Design, and Successful Presentation, you’ll hone your written, visual, and verbal business presentation skills. You'll learn to write well-organized, clear business documents; to design elegant presentation slides, reports, and posters; and to present and speak with confidence and power. In the final Capstone Project, you'll develop a portfolio of work—including a memo, a slide deck, and a presentation—to showcase your communication skills and represent your personal brand. The Effective Communication Specialization takes you on a journey of self realization. You’ll learn that excellence in communication involves the ability to express who you are—your best self—in everything you do. What our students say: "A life-changing specialization." "Simple yet powerful rules." "Essential for everyone."...
Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • A word processing program, like Microsoft Word, will be helpful for completing this course.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.