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Writing for Business Short Course

Key information

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Covid-19 update: The learning doesn’t have to stop, join our online community. We will be delivering courses remotely until further notice. Live tutor support and virtual lessons will take place during advertised teaching hours. The classes are taught in small groups, so you’ll get lots of support from your tutor. Book now.

The ability to write clearly, confidently and consistently is a fundamental skill in any workplace. Good quality writing, whether in reports, presentations, marketing materials or online is essential to convey messages clearly and reflects on the organisation and the writer.

Why choose this course?

Our Writing for Business short course enables business professionals to enhance their corporate document writing skills across a range of business functions. Students will learn various styles of writing and how to tailor their writing for different audiences, improving their skills and confidence.

Our 10 weekly evening classes, tutored by experienced writers and editors will help students to improve their writing skills and learn best practices for business writing.

Tuesday evenings are taught by Maggie Richards. For more information on the tutors please scroll down.

Course overview

Please note this is a course for delegates already having fluent English and working within a business environment.

This course is not suitable for those wishing to improve their English.

This evening course is for business professionals who want to improve their writing for business skills. It is a highly practical course suitable for anyone whose job involves writing corporate documents, or who wants their business writing to stand out in a crowd.

Topics covered in this Writing for Business short course include:

  • How to write marketing texts;
  • Mission statements;
  • Press releases;
  • USPs and corporate documents for external, in-house web and blog use;
  • How to conduct interviews;
  • How to edit documents;
  • How to write speeches;
  • How to write for the digital market.
  • “ Maggie has run the Writing for Business course in a thoughtful and engaging way, her welcoming demeanour making the weekly sessions a pleasure to be part of. I appreciate her feedback and openness to responding to specific questions on writing well. Her techniques on short titles and calls-to-action have already crept into my work - even my colleagues have adopted these rules. Maggie has done a brilliant job of running a very good course online. ”

    Rishi Raithatha

    Former student

  • “ The Writing for Business course has so far been very helpful, even with the limitations of remote learning. It has both introduced me to new formal writing concepts that I can apply in my own writing, and refreshed me on things I already knew but had forgotten! Less than half way through the course I already feel like I'm a better writer and critical reader. ”

    Daniel Buckley

    Former student

  • “ Maggie had a kind approach to everything, which allowed everyone to express their opinions without hesitation. I especially enjoyed the in-class exercises. They were extremely beneficial in helping me think instinctively. ”

    Aya Doyle

    Former student

  • “ The course was instrumental in confirming my strengths as a writer and allowed me to get a book deal with a major industry publisher. ”

    Sid Jandu

    Former student

  • “ Clear guidelines for improving one’s writing, helping to develop a nuanced approach to future written assignments ”

    Jasper Watkins

    Former student

  • “ I did the course in spring 2019 and the 10 weeks changed how I write. This is a great course that will give you the tools you need to communicate clearly and effectively with clients and colleagues. ”

    Tony Mulvahil

    Former student

  • “ Maggie is incredibly personable and friendly. She’s really talented and clearly has lots of knowledge to share. ”

    Shivani Shah

    Former student

  • “ A lot of insight into what I need to write better...the course tutor put a lot of effort and time in and I really appreciated him. ”

    Maria Reiso Mir

    Former student

  • “ Thank you so much for your knowledge, professionalism, humour and warmth ”

    Rachel Robinson

    Former student

  • “ It’s been one of the best courses and I would highly recommend it to colleagues and friends ”

    Maria James

    Former student

  • “ The ten week course has served as a useful introduction to various styles of writing and a timely revision of those with which I was already familiar. ”

    Clare Roberts

    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Over the course of 10 weekly evening classes on the Writing for Business short course, you will learn:

Week 1

Background:

  • Group aims/interests
  • Different types of business writing, from technical to informal, long to short
  • Building confidence, assessing your skills, writing under pressure
  • Finding the story: summarisation, angles and ideas
Week 2

Understanding your reader:

  • What readers are looking for: who are they?
  • Identifying their hotspots: what do and don’t they care about?
  • Personalising your target reader
  • Tone, style, register, voice: finding your individual voice
Week 3

Planning, research and interviewing:

  • Project managing: planning and resources
  • Information sources
  • Interviewing: a key discipline for obtaining first hand information
  • Briefs and timelines
Week 4

Effective sales documents:

  • Emphasising the why: highlighting benefits
  • The five-step persuasive structure
  • Calls to action and effective conclusions
  • PowerPoint
Week 5

Press releases and marketing:

  • Press releases: is it newsworthy? What’s the hook? Why now?
  • Mission statements/USPs
  • In-house/CEO newsletters
  • Repurposing content
Week 6

Style and structure:

  • Structure and layout
  • Clarity and accuracy
  • Vocabulary – jargon, buzzwords and fluff
  • What is ‘correct’? Grammar, usage and style
Week 7

Writing emails people want to read:

  • Key email principles and practice
  • Common myths and mistakes
  • Titles, starts and ends
  • Practical management
Week 8

Going digital:

  • Brevity, story and structure: avoiding disengagement
  • Social media
  • Blogs and website copy
  • SEO and readability
Week 9

Editing:

  • Editing and proofreading
  • Style guides, automated tools and testing for sound
  • Self-editing tips/techniques
  • Copyright, plagiarism
Week 10

Presentation skills and self-marketing:

  • CVs/bios and speeches
  • Self-marketing, building relationships and cold calling
  • Brand vision and business advice

Eligibility

Eligibility

Prerequisite knowledge

No specific qualifications are necessary but students should be working within a business environment and have a desire to improve their written skills within this context.

This course is not suitable for those wishing to improve their English.

English requirements

Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

Students will be set homework and class exercises each week and tutor feedback will be given throughout the course.

Students will be expected to share written work with the group as well as with the tutor, and give and receive feedback in class.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

  • Leith, Sam (2018) Write to the Point, Profile

Tutor information

  • Maggie Richards

    Maggie Richards is a freelance journalist, copywriter and author who empowers others to communicate with clarity and confidence.

    Honed over 20 years, her commercial writing excellence has supported the success of all kinds and sizes of business, from sole traders to global giants, such as Harrods, Shell and Marks & Spencer.

    A former celebrity interviewer for The Times, The Times Educational Supplement, and The Guardian, Maggie has a degree in English Language & Literature (Leeds), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism (Cardiff).

    With Cher Chevalier, she co-wrote meditations that launched Calm, iTunes App of the Year 2017. A coffee table book she ghostwrote was featured on ITV’s This Morning.

    Maggie has enjoyed teaching and uplifting diverse groups in the UK and abroad for over a decade.

    Read her work here: http://www.theenglishwriters.com/

  • Jenny Stallard (Tuesdays)

    Experienced journalist and author Jenny Stallard has worked with and for national newspapers, magazines and websites producing short- and long-read features for national digital and print brands. Her clients have included The Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Grazia, Red, Stylist, TI Media, the BBC and the Press Association. She has also published a novel with Penguin, and is working on her first book of non-fiction based on her freelance life.

    Jenny is the founder of the platform Freelance Feels: Wellbeing for humans who work for themselves, a blog, podcast and newsletter which looks at mental health in the self-employed world.

    You can find her work at jennystallard.com and freelancefeels.com / @freelance_feels

Next steps

This freelance writing short course is aimed at those interested in writing as a journalist.…