What you will learn

  • Planning

    The 7 questions to ask yourself before you write anything. These questions easily help you write faster and craft more effective messages by preparing your brain to choose language for your purpose and audience.

  • Sentence Strategies

    Sentences form the basis of our written communication. You'll learn 9 strategies for crafting clearer, more concise, and nicer sentences: 4 things to avoid, 3 things to consider carefully, and 2 things to do.

What the course includes

  • Videos and interactive exercises

    Each chapter in this course includes videos explaining the concepts, handouts to accompany the video content, reflections to integrate course material into your experience, and quizzes to practice your skills.

  • Expert feedback

    Submit up to 750 words of writing you do for work so you can find out what you are doing well and where you can improve!

  • Downloadable guidebook

    Our downloadable guidebook provides an easy reference to all the concepts introduced in the course.


Jenny Morse is the founder and CEO of Appendance, Inc, which provides business writing training to professionals working at companies along the Front Range and around the country. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Bowdoin College in Maine, her Master’s in Creative Writing at the University of Colorado—Boulder, and her PhD in English at the University of Illinois—Chicago. As a freelance writer and editor, she has written website copy, crafted award speeches, and ghostwritten for a few CEOs, publishing articles in Forbes, Inc., and Wired. Her articles about common grammar errors, writing habits, and entertaining writing stories can be found at appendance.com/blog.

Jenny Morse, PhD

President, CEO, and Lead Trainer

Course curriculum

  1. 01
    • Welcome to the course!

    • What you will learn

    • Learning objectives and course outline

    • Get Feedback on Your Writing

    • Business Writing Basics Guide

    • Set your goals

    • Initial Assessment

  2. 02
    • Planning: The first step to becoming a more efficient and more effective business writer

    • Why do you need a plan? - Handout

    • Why do you need a plan? - Video

    • Purpose and audience: The first 5 questions - Handout

    • Purpose and audience: The first 5 questions - Video

    • Medium and Approach: The last 2 questions - Handout

    • Medium and Approach: The last 2 questions - Video

    • Consider purpose, audience, medium, and approach

    • Reflect on the planning process

    • Practice planning with these scenarios

  3. 03
    • 9 strategies you can use now to improve your writing

    • 4 Things to Avoid - Handout

    • 1. Avoid Wordy Phrases - Video

    • Practice Writing Without Wordy Phrases

    • 2. Avoid Indefinite Starters - Video

    • Practice Avoiding Indefinite Starters

    • 3. Avoid -ly Words - Video

    • Practice Avoiding -ly Words

    • 4. Watch Out for Word Choice Errors - Video

    • Practice Watching Out for Word Choice Errors

    • 3 Things to Choose Carefully - Handout

    • 1. Avoid No/Not - Video

    • Practice Avoiding No/Not

    • 2. Avoid Passive Voice - Video

    • Practice Using Active Voice

    • 3. Think About Voice: I, You, We - Video

    • Practice Altering Voice

    • 2 Things to Do - Handout

    • 1. Write Short Sentences - Video

    • Practice Writing Shorter Sentences

    • 2. Ask Questions - Video

    • Practice Asking Questions

    • Practice Writing Using these Strategies

    • Reflect on these 9 strategies

  4. 04
    • Final Assessment

    • Thank you for your participation in the Business Writing Basics course!

    • Provide feedback for the course

    • More courses to improve your business writing!

Get expert feedback from an expert!

Find out exactly what is working--and what isn't--in your writing for work. This course includes written and video feedback on your writing--up to 750 words--so you learn how to improve your own skills. For best results, your writing sample should illustrate the writing you do at work. Message content is confidential and feel free to redact any proprietary information.
Two professionals pointing at a laptop screen

How do you know if this course is for you?

  • You have to write for your job and you are not sure that you are doing it right or well.

  • You don't always get the response you want to your writing. The people you write to don't always do what you want or understand what's supposed to happen next.

  • You haven't thought about writing since college and you're not sure you're doing it right anymore.

  • You have to say things that are not very nice and you want to know how to do that better.

  • You admire people who write well and want to know how you can do that, too.

What our customers say

“I'm a lot more aware of the messages that I'm sending and I find myself looking at the messages that I receive to try to improve them.”

Melissa P.

“The 7 questions for planning your writing will be helpful for all future correspondence and professional writing. The key to step away for 15 minutes after writing before reviewing your own writing. ”

Jenna B.

“I feel empowered and able to resolve the writing challenging messages more quickly. Business writing has always been enjoyable for me and it is all the more fun with some new tools! ”

Steve H.


If you purchase our Email Excellence and Business Writing Basics bundle, you'll get both courses and *two* opportunities for expert feedback on your writing: a $199 value all yours for $159.

  • Email Excellence and Business Writing Basics

    Get all the content from our Business Writing Basics course AND our Email Excellence course. With Email Excellence, learn keys for subject lines, greetings, closings, and signature blocks as well as how to organize and write emails that are easy for your audience to read and respond to. And get even more expert feedback on your writing!


    Yes, I want both courses!

Earn credit for our courses

We are a certified SHRM Recertification Provider

  • SHRM Recertification Provider Badge

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