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Business Writing

Business writing course This detailed business writing course lasts two days. It covers writing, editing and proofreading, giving you all the skills to create successful documents. You will find it invaluable if you work in a role that demands that you write well.

Under the guidance of a professional writer you will learn key techniques, try them for yourself and receive feedback. You will discover how to plan and structure documents, how to choose an appropriate style and how to write clear, accurate English, even under pressure.

You will also gain valuable editing and proofreading skills, to help you improve your documents and ensure they are free from errors. In short, you will get everything you need to write well at work.

We will continue to help you after the course too, because we always provide our students with a year of extra support. So you will be able to ask your tutor further questions and get more advice, all without charge.


  Objectives     Programme     Client comments     Open course     In-house course  

Learning objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • plan and structure reports, proposals, emails and other key documents
  • write in a clear, professional style
  • communicate in plain English
  • choose the best words and use them accurately
  • hold your reader’s interest
  • edit and improve your draft documents
  • use grammar and punctuation with confidence
  • proofread effectively.

Writing skills


  • How do we define it?
  • Barriers to effective written communication - what can stop it being clear, accurate and successful?
  • The key stages: planning, writing, editing and proofreading

Planning before you write

  • The importance of planning
  • Defining the scope and purpose of the document
  • Knowing your reader and understanding their needs
  • Being clear about how you want the reader to respond
  • Preparing an outline

Structuring your document

  • Why structure matters
  • Essential principles - don’t bury the message; create a logical sequence
  • Models for structuring: proposals, reports, emails, press releases and letters
  • Using a template
  • Finalising the outline

Writing powerful headlines

  • What makes a good headline?
  • Tips for creating headlines

Making a strong start

  • Writing opening sentences

Achieving plain English

  • What do we mean by plain English? Dispelling the myths
  • Key plain English techniques and how to apply them

Good business style

  • Adapting your style to the needs of the reader and the document
  • Choosing an appropriate tone and level of formality
  • Selecting the best words

Guidelines for three key documents

  • Writing effective emails
  • Preparing marketing messages
  • Responding to complaints

Coming to a good end

  • Techniques for strong endings


  • Creating an attractive, reader-friendly document

Editing skills

The role of the editor

  • How editors improve documents
  • The difference between editing your own and someone else's text
  • Approaches to editing

Making sense

  • Removing ambiguity

Avoiding the inappropriate

  • Cliché
  • Jargon
  • Management-speak

Improving clarity

  • Headings and sub-headings
  • Bulleted lists
  • Tables and diagrams

The good grammar guide

  • Recognising and correcting errors, including:
    • Collective nouns
    • Subject/verb agreement
    • Pronoun problems
    • That v which
    • I v me
    • Misused capitals

Fixing the punctuation

  • A review of the rules, including:
    • Commas
    • Colons and semicolons
    • Question marks
    • Apostrophes
    • Hyphens and dashes
    • Punctuating bullet lists

Proofreading skills

The role of the proofreader

  • The importance of proofreading
  • The limitations of spell checkers

The art of proofreading

  • Learning a new way of reading
  • Developing an eye for detail
  • Knowing when to intervene

Consistency and corporate style

  • Why consistency matters
  • Alternative spellings
  • Numbers and dates
  • Capitals and abbreviations
  • Italics and bold
  • Quotation marks

Tips for effective proofreading

  • Improving your technique
  • Things to look for - common errors

Further development

  • Reference sources
  • Post-course support

More information

The Business Writing course is available both as an open course and as an in-house course, which we would run at your premises.

For further details about open Business Writing courses, including pricing and a list of venues and dates of upcoming courses, click here. For more information about the in-house Business Writing course, click here.

“An excellent course. Both the professional manner in which it was run and the content were superb. I have been recommending it to everyone who passes my desk.”

Kate Watts
Marketing Assistant

“What a great day! A course that delivered the subtleties of producing quality written communication combined with the back-to-basics of plain English, grammar and punctuation. We all went away much the wiser, eager to use our newly acquired skills.”

Neil Thompson
Senior Risk & Compliance Manager
Swinton Insurance

“I received very good feedback from staff, with many people saying they would recommend Stephen Lloyd Training for any future writing or editing training.”

Denise Halton
HR Manager
Institute of Physics


  • 2 days
  • 9.30am to 4.30pm daily
  • Small groups
  • Certificates
  • A year of free support
  • £690.00 + VAT
  • 20% discount for registered charities

Venues and dates

Please call for course dates

The Business Writing course calendar

To book a course on-line simply click the date that interests you.

January 2018

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018


May 2018

June 2018

July 2018

August 2018


Course will be held in London

Course will be held in Manchester

Course is fully booked

Course will be held in Bristol

Course will be held in Exeter

Running the Business Writing course in-house

The Business Writing course can be run as in-house training anywhere in the world. If you have a group of staff who need the same skills, this option is convenient and cost-effective. It is powerful too, because we can provide a course that is specifically designed to achieve your objectives.

Tailored to your needs

The standard two-day programme is available as in-house training, but you may prefer us to tailor it to match the needs of your staff and your organisation. Tailoring can include:

  • designing a shorter programme
  • adding or removing topics
  • using your documents as examples and exercises
  • incorporating your templates
  • taking account of your style guide and tone of voice.


An in-house course is fully flexible. Tell us what you want to achieve and we will work with you to design a course to match. Tell us when you would like to run the course and we will find a date that suits you.

Free support

Every course we run comes with a year of free support for each participant. We recognise that people do not think of every question on the day of the training. Our support service gives them the opportunity to ask their tutor an unlimited number of questions in the year following the course. In this way they continue to build their skills and confidence.

Ask us for a quotation

The cost of an in-house course depends on a number of things, including its length, its location and how much preparation we need to do. We can readily give you a quotation, so please contact us to discuss your needs.


Open course


  • 2 days
  • 9.30am to 4.30pm daily
  • A year of free support
  • £690.00 + VAT
  • 20% discount for charities

Venues and dates

Please call for course dates

In-house course

This course is also available as in-house training. The length and content of the programme can be tailored to match your needs.