For Groups and Individuals

Business Writing Courses

Available as instructor-led virtual, instructor-led onsite, and self-paced courses that include individual instructor feedback on writing. 

All courses can be customized for groups.
Effective Business Writing Techniques

Bedrock business writing training to write any typical document, including email, faster and with better results. Great for writers of all skill levels.

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Effective Business Writing for Non-Native Writers

For non-native English writers, learn how to effectively write common documents and email. Includes additional focus on grammar.

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Technical Report Writing Course

This practicum course teaches you the optimal planning and writing process to report technical and complex information effectively.

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Proposal Writing Course

Write proposals that win business through better audience focus, more persuasive writing, and a clear value proposition.

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Email Writing Course

Learn to improve both transactional and substantive email messages. Spend less time writing and get better results.

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Sales Writing Course

Improve your sales writing skills and reduce writing time to ensure all sales documents are clear, persuasive, and correct. 

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Executive Summary Writing Course

This course improves overall business writing skills with a focus on executive summary statements. Learn to extract what matters from complex information.

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Proofreading & Grammar Course

This course will streamline proofreading and provide a deep dive into correct grammar, punctuation, and format. Find all errors and master grammar.

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Advanced Business Writing Course + Coaching

This course + coaching model is an ideal way to master a major document, hone business writing skills, and receive individual business writing coaching.

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Customer Service Writing

Write requisite customer support documents more effectively that solve client problems, while conveying a competent and empathetic tone. This means more satisfied, retained customers.

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Custom Course

We can build a fully customized course to address specialized writing requirements. This option is available for companies both online, virtually, and onsite and is suitable for any size group.

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Not sure how to choose a business writing course?

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Download the article below as a PDF

How to choose a course to improve your business writing skills.

This is the most definitive guide online about how to choose a business writing course.

To be successful in business today you must be able to communicate clearly through written text. The ability to write clearly and convey complex information logically is a huge competitive advantage in any industry.

Bottom line? Individuals and teams that communicate clearly succeed at work.

After 19 years of teaching business writing courses, we wanted to create a guide to help you choose the right course. This guide details how to create a custom corporate writing program and how to choose a business writing course as an individual.

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Chapter 1

The Fundamentals of Choosing a Course

Choosing an online business writing course is not only a financial investment but an investment in your professional future. For this reason, we encourage you to scrutinize and vet each option. It’s critical to your success that you make the right choice.

Why are goals important?

The first step in choosing a course is to define your goals. It will be difficult to choose the best class if you do not identify the outcomes you want to achieve. Here are a few goals we often see for both individuals and businesses.

 
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Common individual goals:

  • Significantly increase writing speed
  • Convey complex information with more clarity
  • Professionally disagree and write more persuasively
  • Write in a professional and competent tone and voice
  • Improve proofreading skills
  • Write more efficiently
  • Improve written English communication as a non-native writer

Common organizational goals:

  • Reduce expensive communication mistakes
  • Clearly convey insights and business opportunities
  • Standardize the writing style across a division
  • Invest in employees growth and develop future leadership
  • Increase professionalism and persuasiveness of the sales department
  • Decrease employees’ time spent writing while increasing accuracy
  • Increase employee productivity and accuracy while decreasing cost
Bitmap-(2)..

Determine your starting point

You want to choose a course that helps you reach your goals. To do this, you need to understand your starting point. You probably already know you some of your weaknesses. We recommend taking a piece of paper and jotting down a quick list.

Quickly draw a “T" on a sheet of paper. On the top of the “T” write down the goals which you are looking to achieve. Then in the bottom left corner, write down your strengths or the strengths of your group. On the bottom right side, list out your weaknesses.
Chapter 2

How to Evaluate Courses and Providers

You will quickly learn that there are many options and configurations of business writing courses. This chapter will review what to look for when evaluating your options.

Important: The next two sections are dependent on if you are a company looking to provide a course to employees or an individual looking to take an online class.

Want to learn more about how to create a custom corporate program?

Are you an individual looking to choose an individual course?

Chapter 2.1

6 Steps to Create a Custom Corporate Program

Step 1

Create project brief

The first step is to outline what your objectives are for the program. The section above outlines how to identify your project goals, team’s weaknesses, and strengths. Expand on this to create your project brief. This brief should detail the requirements for your organization.

A project brief will help you clarify not only what you are looking for but help companies bidding to understand what you are looking for.

We know you have choices, but when the time comes, we hope you will contact us to review your project needs.

Step 2

Outline “unique requirements”

We find each custom program has what we call “unique requirements.” These are elements that are distinct to your project. Make sure to identify these beforehand and ensure the course is built to support these.

Step 3

Create evaluation criteria

The next step is to decide what criteria you will use to evaluate your training options. We have created a helpful rubric to aid in structuring your decision-making process. Notice we have chosen value instead of price. The lowest cost option does not always offer the best value.

Step 4

Interview, evaluate, and select

During the next stage, you want to use your unique evaluation criteria to review the course options. This is a time to talk with the provider and iron out details. Make sure to discuss outcomes, timeline, and budget. Once you have selected the training provider, they can start designing your custom program.

Step 5

Design course

The fifth step is for the company to create the training. They should work with you to ensure all project criteria are met. This phase should be collaborative between both parties.

Step 6

Kickoff and execution

Once the course development is complete, it is time to launch the program. You can start enrolling students and tracking results. Periodically it is important to evaluate the program and make updates where necessary.

Single enrollment vs. ongoing

Depending on your business, you may need just one enrollment period or an ongoing, staggered registration. This decision will be dependent on your size, timeline, hiring process, and budget.

Make sure to discuss what option is best for your business. Feel free to contact us to help design your custom program.

In-person workshops and classes

We also offer instructor-led in-person and live virtual workshops. These are highly interactive and focus on sample documents and exercises. Training can be taught in one day or multiple sessions, and can include additional post-training instructor feedback for each individual.

Learn more about our custom instructor-led virtual and onsite classes.

Chapter 2.2

Choosing an Online Course as an Individual

Tip 1

Ask for the outline

When looking at courses make sure to review the course outline. Make sure that it addresses all the weaknesses you have written down on your list. Look for a comprehensive course that uses multiple methods for teaching the content.

Tip 2

Review instructor interaction

Look for courses that allow individual interaction with an instructor. This will allow you to ask questions and gain more actionable feedback.

The instructor should not only provide feedback on your writing but also on your skills as a writer.

 

Tip 3

Course structure & quality

You won’t be able to view the course in its entirety before buying, but there are a few ways to evaluate the structure and quality. Chapter Four details how to review the structure of a course.

For quality, try to dig deeper than the course outline. Ask if you can watch a sample lesson, demo, or view a video that highlights parts of the course.

Tip 4

Interview, evaluate, and select

Review testimonials from the course. Look for individuals that hold similar learning goals as you. If they publish course reviews, read through both the best and worst scoring reviews.

Tip 5

Schedule a discussion

Scheduling a discussion can help answer any remaining questions. See if they have a phone number you can call or a link to schedule a call if you still need additional info. Make sure to create a list of questions before the call.

Tip 6

Choose a course

Make sure to review multiple courses to ensure you are choosing the right one. Providers often have multiple courses that address different learning objectives. In the next chapter, we review our business writing courses and detail the differences between each offering.

Chapter 3

Types of Courses

Effective Business Writing
Effective Business Writing

This course is our most popular online business writing course. It teaches you a process to write faster and more effectively. It covers all major documents in business writing.

Effective Business Writing for Non-Native Writers
Effective Business Writing for Non-Native Writers

This course has an increased focus on syntax and sentence structure that is used in business English and English grammar. It is offered for individuals and multilingual teams.

Business Writing Skills with Document Coaching
Business Writing Skills with Document Coaching

Master writing a major business document requirement with an accelerated online course. Includes live expert coaching specifically on your document.

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Grammar and Proofreading

This is an ideal complement to any of our other courses

report writing course-1-1-1 (1)
Report Writing Course

Participants at some of the world’s top companies have taken this course. It is a practicum course where participants work on an actual report from their job with guidance from their instructor.

Proposal Writing Course
Proposal Writing Course

This is a practicum course where participants plan and write an actual proposal from their job. They will receive instructor review and feedback while creating an actual work proposal.

Business Email Course
Business Email Course

Workplace email doesn’t have to be a huge time drain. Our online email writing course teaches methods to reduce the time you spend writing emails and make them more effective.

Chapter 4

Course Structure Analysis

Why is pedagogy important?

Pedagogy is the theory and practice of how to best teach. This is important because it dictates how your online course is structured.

You want to ensure courses are developed by experts in both the content and adult learning theories. As an adult, you learn differently than a child. Our courses are based on Robert Gagne’s theory of adult education. Our courses are designed for high-performance individuals in professional industries.

Below are the essential elements to look for in the structure of a course.

Onsite Course Classroom

Feedback

Instructor feedback is the most valuable part of an online course. It ensures that you get personalized feedback and support that will change the way you write at work. Make sure to carefully review the level of engagement that you will receive throughout your course.

Don’t assume all courses come with instructor feedback. Many courses do not offer detailed feedback.

Don’t accept merely submitting a document you’ve written at work for instructor feedback. That feedback will be language editing only. You want feedback that is more holistic, which addresses your ability to assess your audience, plan a document, present relevant content, organize it well, sequence it appropriately, extract what is truly important, and assess the words you use and the way you use them. You want more than mere editing.

Much better is receiving feedback on your writing based on a scenario. This will allow your instructor to assess your planning, organization, sequencing, and the words you choose and how you use them.

 
DEMAND A FULL, HOLISTIC REVIEW OF YOUR WRITING, NOT A MERE EDIT.

Instructors should also use this time to expand the lessons and include supplemental resources based on your writing.

Ideally, you are also receiving full support for the duration of your course.

Most importantly you want to look for a course that offers feedback to your goals and you as a writer. Verify that the course asks you to submit your course goals. To become an advanced business writer, you need feedback on your skills as a writer that are specific to your needs. Specific goals allow your instructor to provide feedback that will immediately improve your actual writing at work.

Individual feedback is one of the most important ways to hone your business writing skills, so make sure it’s meaningful.

Varied methods of instruction

These are the methods of instruction we include in our courses:

Video examples

Video walkthroughs show step-by-step the skills being taught.

Discussion

Discussion is an opportunity to test new ideas and explore complexities of the content.

Written text

Written text is used throughout the courses to teach major writing concepts.

Model writing

Mock writing allows you to apply new concepts in an optimal situation. This is an excellent way to practice new concepts.

Case studies

Pioneered at Harvard Business School, case studies allow students to reflect on the situation and explore alternatives.

Scenario-based exercises

These exercises focus on learning by doing. These exercises are practical and focus on solving real world problems.

Visual infographics

Graphics can aid the explanation of a concept that is difficult to understand through written text.

Document models

Annotated examples of typical documents can be used to illustrate challenges and improvements.

Presentations

Slide presentations allow information to be taught in a chronological manner with visual aids.

Current research

We provide links to current research and best practices published by educational institutions and colleagues we trust. This content augments the course material.

Annotated documents

Annotated documents help you get personalized feedback on your writing. These are key to identifying and correcting the mistakes you make in your writing.

Quizzes

Quizzes not only test that you understand a concept but help cement recently learned material. They also indicate if more help is needed.

Class size

It is important to ask the class size of the course you are taking.

All our online courses are individually paced and instructed. This allows you to progress at your preferred pace and interact as needed with your instructor.

Job aids

In addition to learning materials, some courses offer example materials to help you after the course. We call these job aid or resource documents. They are quick reference guides that you can print out and keep at your desk. They ensure you are reminded of key concepts taught during the course. Each of our courses comes with multiple job aids.

course overview resources

Post-training support

Your learning doesn't stop after the course is completed.

Our courses offer vetted support after the course. This ensures you successfully apply your new writing skills to your day-to-day work.

Ongoing support after our courses includes:
  • Monthly business writing newsletter for clients.

  • Client-only web form to submit ongoing business writing questions.

  • Access to exclusive webinars.

Course certificate (2)
How are the courses taught?

Online courses are delivered in our learning management system (LMS), which allows you flexible login access, and links to all integrated resources. This allows us to track, support, and assess your writing properly. Our online self-paced courses allow you or your team to train at any time, pace, or place.

Course certificate

After completing the course, you will earn a personalized certificate. You can display your certificate to the certification section of your LinkedIn profile, download it to print or mention it in your résumé.

In-person seminars and workshops structure
We offer onsite training for corporate groups. These allow you to train a group of individuals at the same time. We have presented customized workshops to companies around the world. If you are interested in onsite training, please see this page.

Chapter 5

Evaluating Instructors

The secret to the effectiveness of our courses is the instructors who teach them. An outstanding instructor is the difference between a good course and an outstanding course. The instructor's teaching and feedback will be key to your success. For this reason, it is important to evaluate the instructor you will be working with.

Our instructors

The requirements for our staff:

Theoretical and practical experience

It is important to us that our instructors have both a deep academic and professional background in writing generally and professional writing specifically. Many with university teaching experience. This ensures that they understand both the theory and the application of writing in business today.

Similar industry experience

Business writing differs depending on the application and industry. We look for instructors that have a diverse background of industry experience. This ensures we can staff business writing experts in all major industries. To see the industries we have worked with before please view our client list

Communication skills

The teacher must be able to organize and articulate their ideas clearly. They must be able to clearly answer questions and explain concepts through a variety of approaches. To be engaging, they must be passionate about the topic. And, they must be warm and caring.

Content knowledge

Outstanding instructors have a comprehensive understanding of their area of instruction. When we hire instructors, we look for successful college-level teachers.
Chapter 6

Questions You Should Ask Before Purchasing

Can you create a custom course for my business?

Pro Tip:

If you are choosing a custom course, make sure they can teach to industry-specific topics.

Our Answer:

We offer custom business writing programs that are available both online and onsite. We have worked with some of the largest companies in the world to develop business writing programs for their employees.

You can contact us about a custom program.

Can you scale courses for large corporations?

Pro Tip:

If you have a large company, make sure that the provider can scale the number of students enrolled without decreasing quality.

Our Answer:

We have worked with major companies to provide online courses to thousands of corporate participants with teams across the globe.

Have you worked with all the companies listed on your website?

Pro Tip:

Some companies list logos of companies when they’ve worked with an individual employee of that company only. This is misleading and does not mean they worked directly with the company. Make sure to ask if they have actually worked with all the companies listed on their website.

Our Answer:

Yes! We have worked with all the companies on our representative client list – and more – to offer custom business courses based on their unique goals.

Can I speak with a reference?

Pro Tip:

If you are signing up for an individual course, testimonials are probably enough to make your decision. If you are choosing a provider for a custom business program, then asking for comparable corporate references may be important.

Our Answer:

Yes, you can view our testimonials here or contact us to speak with a reference.

Can I see what your instructor feedback looks like?

Pro Tip:

You want to look for individual feedback that goes beyond proofreading your documents. Look for feedback that focuses on improving the writer, not just their writing.

Our Answer:

Yes, you can download and see our real instructor feedback. It includes both an objective and subjective review of your work. Download an example of instructor feedback here.

Can I call you with a question?

Pro Tip:

Not every company offers full support for their courses.

Our Answer:

You can call us before, during, or after your course with a question. Our number is 1-609-683-8100.

What other companies have you worked with?

Pro Tip:

Look for other businesses and case studies that are in your industry who have participated in the training.

Our Answer:

We've worked with an array of companies of various sizes across sectors. You can see our client list organized by industry here.

What resources do you offer after the course?

Pro Tip:

Your education shouldn’t end after the course. Make sure to ask if you will receive continuing resources after the course.

Our Answer:

We offer multiple resources for clients after their course is completed. You have access to our exclusive client-only monthly newsletter. It includes in-depth articles, writing tips, and further training.

As a client, you have the ability to request clarification on a particular writing topic for the next newsletter.

We also offer clients continuing question and answer support for one year after the course. This ensures your new skills are being fully transferred to your work.

About Instructional Solutions

We have been delivering online business writing courses since 1998, following optimal online and adult learning principles. We develop all content ourselves, based on our expert credentials and ongoing research. 

Key outcomes

  • Proven results from thousands of participants
  • Train anytime, pace, or place
  • Instructor feedback linked to course goals ensures improvement
  • Interactive, tracked training delivered to a global audience

Create custom employee group training

Whatever you write, Instructional Solutions teaches a proven process to synthesize and communicate complex information. For teams and individuals.