Business and Report Writing Introduction

Course 219 | 3 Days

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Business and Report Writing Introduction

You Will Learn How To:

  • Develop writing skills to convey a credible message
  • Compose concise messages using a structured writing process
  • Adapt your writing to your audience's needs
  • Fine-tune language to improve persuasiveness and impact
  • Enhance email communication by creating clear messages
Course participants applying a clear business writing process to develop more effective documents.

Hands-On Experience Includes:

  • Identifying your audience
  • Drafting for clarity and revising for conciseness
  • Constructing successful email communication
  • Creating a Prioritization Matrix
  • Writing an effective Executive Summary
  • Producing a report using an end-to-end writing process

About This Course: This course provides a solid foundation in business writing skills and the production of typical business management documents. Participants are given the tools to write better contract proposals, business plans, executive summaries, recommendation reports and internal business communications.

NEW! FREE After-Course Instructor Coaching - available after May 1, 2014.
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  • Course Info

    Course 219 Content

    Why Good Business Writing Matters

    • Key benefits for the business
    • Increasing your business effectiveness
    • Identifying key communication problems

    Supporting Business Objectives

    The benefits to the writer

    • Enhancing your professional image
    • Improving career choice

    The business writing process

    • Breaking writing down into a clear process
    • Scheduling tasks for completion

    Planning for Your Audience

    Adapting to audience needs

    • Contextualizing your writing
    • Eliminating barriers between you and your readers

    Leveraging different communication styles

    • Deciphering clues to style preferences
    • Responding and relating well to your readers

    Structuring Your Documents

    Identifying the macro structure of business documents

    • Handling the business document paradox
    • Classifying different types of business documents

    Developing the micro structure template

    • Recognizing key topics
    • Structuring raw material
    • Organizing information to highlight gaps

    Writing Reports that Address Business Problems

    Recognizing the business impact

    • Defining the criteria for a quality business document
    • Identifying the business impact of the problem
    • Demonstrating the value of confronting the situation

    Recommending solutions

    • Conducting effective research
    • Applying decision-making criteria
    • Tying your recommendation to the organization's mission

    Highlighting Benefits to Your Readers

    Facilitating your readers' understanding

    • Managing paragraphs using topic sentences
    • Incorporating your readers' words
    • Avoiding synonyms

    Ordering your information

    • Writing effective headings
    • Reducing inferential load
    • Structuring sentences to signal benefits

    Writing to Persuade Your Readers

    Honing your writing to improve persuasiveness

    • Tying your writing to the decision-making process
    • Making credible claims
    • Avoiding oversimplification
    • Influencing your audience to value your ideas
    • Creating an effective Executive Summary

    Presenting information

    • Improving bulleted lists by showing words in tables
    • Highlighting alternatives to aid rapid decision-making
    • Prioritizing business solutions
    • Countering opposition

    Saying What You Mean in E-mail

    Writing clearly

    • Prioritizing your subject
    • Optimizing word choice
    • Differentiating between active vs. passive voice
    • Eliminating pronouns and modifiers

    Writing concisely

    • Choosing a style appropriate for audience and context
    • Revising to heighten impact

    A professional approach to e-mail

    • Respecting readers' time, interest and ability to focus
    • Extinguishing flame wars
    • Crafting relevant subject lines

    Who Should Attend

    Professionals at all levels who want to improve their business-writing skills.

    Training Hours

    Standard class hours:
    9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Last day class hours:
    9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    Free optional course exam:
    3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Each class day:
    Informal discussion with instructor about your projects or areas of special interest:
    4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

  • More Course Info

    What is this course about?

    This course provides a solid foundation in business writing skills and the production of typical business management documents. Participants are given the tools to write better contract proposals, business plans, executive summaries, recommendation reports and internal business communications, such as e-mail.

    The course provides a complete process for planning, writing and revising documents, focusing on audience needs and perspectives. Development of a persuasive writing style is a particular focus of the course.

    Who will benefit from this course?

    This course is valuable for anyone who wants to improve their business writing skills, including managers at all levels or management track professionals.

    Policy writers, program directors, project managers, change managers, contracting officers and editors are just some of the business professionals who will benefit from this course.

    What background knowledge do I need?

    A strong proficiency in the English language as well as a basic knowledge of English grammar is needed for participation in this course. Experience with Microsoft Word is helpful.

    Do I need basic business-level proficiency in English communication and sentence construction?

    Yes. The course is not meant for those studying English as a second language (ESL). Business-level English speaking and writing skills are essential.

    Is this a grammar course?

    The course includes several short success builders, which provide refreshers on fundamental grammar and mechanics tools. These tools are then applied throughout the course, with the goal of writing persuasive documents for business planning and management.

    Why do I need business writing skills?

    Strong business writing skills allow you to convey your message with clarity and credibility. Professionally composed documents project a quality business image.

    What types of documents does this course cover?

    One of the main goals of the course is to give you the tools to write several types of business documents with skill and precision. The course covers such business documents as proposals, business plans, e-mail and formal reports. The persuasive writing style that you develop in this course can be applied to a wide variety of business documents.

    While the course touches on letter and memo writing as stepping stones to other more significant document production, the main emphasis of the course is on learning to use well written business communication to drive your organization.

    How is business writing different from other types of writing?

    The element of persuasion is what sets business writing apart from other forms of writing. Professional business writing convinces your audience to do what you want, even though there may be initial resistance.

    How does business writing differ from technical writing?

    One of the main differences between business writing and technical writing is the segmented nature of technical writing versus the more cohesive nature of business writing. Users of technical documents typically read selected portions of the document as needed. Business writing is focused on persuasion and communication of a particular idea from start to finish.

    Participants interested in technical writing should take Course 319, Technical Writing Introduction.

    What tools and techniques for persuasive writing are covered in this course?

    Persuasive writing is about assessing your customers' needs and responding directly to those needs. Audience analysis, brainstorming, outlining, establishing credibility, stating credentials, avoiding logical fallacies and appealing to intelligence are persuasive writing tools and techniques that are explored in this course.

    How much time is spent on each topic?

    Content Hours
    Why good business writing matters 1.5
    Supporting business objectives 1.5
    Planning for your audience 3.0
    Structuring your documents 2.0
    Writing reports that address business problems 3.0
    Highlighting benefits to your readers 1.5
    Producing winning proposals 3.0
    Saying what you mean in e-mail 1.5

    Times, including the workshops, are estimates; exact times may vary according to the needs of each class.

    How much time in this course is devoted to hands-on exercises?

    Approximately 55 percent of course time is spent performing hands-on exercises that provide practice in building solid business writing skills. Exercises include:

    • Identifying your audience
    • Drafting for clarity and revising for conciseness
    • Constructing successful e-mail communication
    • Mapping out the seven steps of proposal generation
    • Writing an effective Executive Summary
    • Producing a report using an end-to-end writing process

    As someone who already produces business documents, how will this course help me write more effectively?

    This course provides a standard writing process that helps you organize yourself, your time and your work. Implementation of this process helps you avoid eleventh hour crises and meet deadlines with ease.

    Does this course provide any writing materials or toolkits?

    Yes. You receive a CD of templates, checklists and job aids to help you get your documents started.

    Is this course applicable toward a Project Management Institute (PMI) certification?

    Yes. Though this course is not designed as preparation for an exam, it is beneficial to anyone working toward, or maintaining, a PMI certification. Most PMI certifications require a specific number of PDUs in order to obtain and maintain the credential. Completion of this course provides 17 professional development units (PDUs).

    Learning Tree offers several courses that help you prepare for PMI certifications, including Course 276, Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Prep, which prepares you for PMI's most popular certification. For more details on these courses and PMI certifications, please see the Learning Tree PMI Registered Education Provider Q&A.

    How does this course relate to other Learning Tree courses?

    The courses that most closely relate to this course are:

  • Certification/Credits

    Many Learning Tree courses provide college credit and industry continuing education credits. You can also earn a Learning Tree Professional Certification in your area of expertise and prepare for popular industry certifications. See below for continuing professional development credits associated with this course.

    College Credit – 1 Semester Hours This course qualifies for 1 semester hour of college credit as certified by the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT). Read More...
    CPE 17 CreditsThis course qualifies for 17 CPE credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy CPE program. Read More...
    PMI 17 PDUThis course is approved by PMI® for 17 professional development units (PDUs). For more on the Project Management Institute and a full list of courses approved for PDUs. Read More...
  • Tuition

    3-Day TuitionNew AttendeeReturning AttendeeNotes
    Commercial $2,490$2,240

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    Tuition payment is not required at time of enrollment.

    Government $2,213$1,992

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"The Learning Tree Course on business and report writing provided a safe place to get feedback on my writing, from my instructor and classmates."

– K. McGhee
Program Coordinator