Professional writing is a style of written communication used in a workplace environment that allows professionals (e.g. businesspeople, professors, doctors, lawyers, etc.) to make informed decisions. Professional writing typically has a formal tone and differs from written text that is considered literary or artistic, which generally seeks to entertain and/or convey a philosophical truth.
Professional Writing is designed to provide adult learners with the basic skills they need to write effective documents in the workplace. In this course, you will learn how to analyze your audience so that you can write prose that is both clear and persuasive. You will practice writing common business documents, such as emails, memos, proposals, and presentations. You will also learn how to effectively edit these documents for maximum impact.
This course is part of the Professional Development Program (PRDV), which is designed especially for adult learners who are ready to gain and apply skills demanded by today’s employers.
Knowing the audience for a particular write up is important because it determines the content that will appear in the writing. The content of a write up that has a specific topic will vary depending on the intended audience. In other words, having a focused topic is important, but having a specific audience is equally important.
For example, let’s say you are writing an expository (informative) essay on the most important practice techniques in becoming a better tennis player. If your audience is beginning tennis players, or players who know little about the game, the techniques needed to get better are different than if you are writing to intermediate players who want to become good enough to enter and/or win tournaments. In the first example, the steps would be more basic, while in the second example they would obviously be more advanced. Either way, the topic of the essay, becoming a better tennis player, is the same, but because the audiences are different, the information in each essay will be different as well. The same is true of an argument or persuasive essay. If you are arguing for a change to occur, identifying the level at which you want this change to occur and/or the people you want to persuade to help create this change (audience) is important. For example, an essay about the need for a change to Aims’ grading system can have different audiences. One potential audience may be the students who attend Aims, in which case explaining how this change would benefit students with more accurate grading becomes important. Another audience could be the Aims senior management, in which case the benefits to enrollment and student retention become important points to address.
Upon successful completion of this Course, you will be able to:
- Identify the most common forms of professional writing;
- Distinguish between professional writing and writing in a non-professional context;
- Describe the common attributes and expectations of professional readers;
- Develop a main point that will motivate your reader; and
- Explain how to create a document outline that supports your main point, and perform this task.