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Mel Ashworth
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Writing for business

First Class - Learning and Development

Putting pen to paper at work may be a thing of the past but we still have to create and respond to written communication. Seems easy at first sight until we realise that the picture we give the reader isn’t what we wanted or does not help the Company image.

By the end of the workshop you will have:
• the principles for writing clear correspondence – emails, letters and reports
• tips on writing “plain English”



Welcome, outcomes and programme outline

What is the purpose of your correspondence?
- Introducing learners to the 4 “i”s – instruct, inform, influence and interpret. They will do an exercise looking at the letters they write and identifying their purpose.

The 7 C’s of written correspondence
- The rest of the programme will cover the following 7 principles – courteous tone, consistent layout and format, comprehensive, concise, clear space around the text, checked, correct facts and figures.

The framework of a letter
- This use an exercise comparing two letters and learners will main principles for professional letter layout. In small groups they will then write different types of letter in the format. These will then be used throughout the day to apply other principles covered.

The joys and pitfalls of email!
- A short exercise will highlight the need to take care when replying to email and to think before you send!
The group will develop a protocol for emails by first identifying their pet hates. The facilitator will ensure that they are also guided to include the organisations requirements for email.

Report writing
- Introduction to formal and informal report formats and the when each would be appropriate.

Getting started! - Using mind maps to help in the planning stage of writing letters, reports or emails

Choosing your words carefully
- Several short small group exercise will be used to highlight the following. At each stage the groups will then put theory into practise by reviewing one of the letters written earlier against the principle they are looking at.
Principles are from the Campaign for Plain English – short words, favouring active over passive verbs, using shorter sentences, use of punctuation.
At each stage feedback from the groups will check learning.

Correct use of English
- Exercises to show the importance of professional writing avoiding misused and misspelt words.

Before you send it...
- Check for correct facts and English. Proof read before you send

Pulling it all together – final practice
- Review of letters and suggested amendments made during the day. Checking learning.


Group and individual review exercises



Delivered in 2008 regularly for Stagecoach UK Bus and Arriva Southern Counties

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