How to Learn Business Writing

Explore the many options available for learning business writing, from traditional in-person classes to online self-paced courses. With such a wealth of resources, it's easy to find the right program that fits both your learning style and your schedule.

Key Insights

  • Business writing, which relies on concision and clarity, is an invaluable workplace skill in today's email-dominated communication landscape.
  • Learning business writing not only enhances your professional image but also aids in organizing your thoughts for oral presentations and improves your writing skills in general.
  • There are multiple ways to learn business writing, such as in-person classes, live online training, free online courses and tutorials, and on-demand classes.
  • Choosing the right learning method depends on your personal preferences, your current skills, and practical considerations like schedule and location.
  • Noble Desktop offers in-person and online business writing classes with experienced instructors, hands-on exercises, and a free retake option.
  • While business writing classes are generally brief and not too expensive, they can significantly improve your professional skills and career prospects.

As the Finnish woman said while wiping the table with a cat, there are more ways than one to do something – and that certainly applies to learning business writing. From books to video tutorials to classes with live teachers, options abound, and you may be unsure as to where you might best start. Here is a guide to your options that will enable you to make an informed choice among all the possibilities at your disposal.

What is Business Writing?

Business writing is a specialized writing style for written communication, both internal (inside your own company) and external (as with a client.) It’s a very different discipline than academic writing (let alone any other writing in which personal style is paramount), substantially limited in the creativity department, and designed to make practical points as quickly and straightforwardly as possible.

The qualities upon which business writing today most depends are concision and clarity. Learning to express oneself within those confines is an invaluable workplace skill, given that email has become the preferred inter-office communication method. There’s no office worker who doesn’t have to read and write emails; a study quoted by GreggU calculated that the average businessperson has to deal with a whopping average of 80 emails daily. And that’s just email: there are business letters, memoranda, reports, and proposals that all need to be written in business language as well.

Read more about what business writing is and why you should learn to do it.

What Can You Do with Business Writing?

Business writing is, in today’s commercial landscape, inescapable. Consider its most frequently encountered application, the email. A generation ago, people made internal calls for quick inter-office communication. They used to have secretaries who could return calls at the recipient’s convenience. Today, those calls have all but been replaced by internal email. Whether or not you perceive that as faster or slower, it’s an inevitable fact of life. Suddenly, people must be able to write in the language of business.

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Above and beyond, emails, memoranda, reports, and client proposals all call for business writing that can impress the recipient. Little can make you look better today than being able to write well in the idiom of commerce. Learning how to write a good piece of business English has several other advantages. It will teach you how to organize your thoughts, which, in turn, will help you when it comes to oral presentations. You’ll also become a better writer in general: your social media posts will improve in quality and correctness, and who knows? You may even be able to write a convincing love letter that will capture the person of your dreams.

In-Person Business Writing Training

Learning in a classroom setting is likely second nature to pretty much everyone in a developed country. It is an excellent way to learn everything from organic chemistry to business writing. This would be a very short essay if that’s all there was to it, but live teaching involves a few potential drawbacks to be considered. The most obvious of these is the expense of tuition and the issue of getting to a school that teaches a class in what you want to learn in the first place: there may not be a school that teaches business writing anywhere near where you live. So the matter isn’t as cut-and-dried as all that.

To complicate matters further, you’ll also discover that many schools teach business writing, and if you’ve decided upon live instruction, you’ll have to choose from these. Your choices will be more abundant in major metropolitan areas, so you’ll find live classes from New York City (schools like Noble Desktop and NYIM Training Centers) to Los Angeles (where schools include Sonic Training and Academy X). Classes are also to be found in smaller places. For instance, Central Wyoming College in Riverton offers many in-person courses in business communication.

Live Online Business Writing Training

A highly valid alternative to a live in-person class is a live online one. You may not be within commuting distance of a school that teaches classes in the subject, or you may just not be interested in trudging to school for an evening class after a hard day at work. There’s a lot to be said in favor of being able to learn in the peace and quiet of your own space as opposed to a classroom which comes with the inevitable distractions that come with putting a group of people (more or less motivated) in a room together. Mix that all together, and you discover that the online class is the best of both worlds.

The success of the live online teaching modality is borne out by the wide variety of live online business writing classes from which you will be able to choose. With the world as your campus, there is an extensive selection of schools since you can take one from anywhere. Different classes have different spins, depending on the type of writing covered: emails, letters, reports, and even grammar brush-ups. You’ll also encounter classes for beginners and some for people who need to polish up skills they already have. The selection may strike you as enormous, but the bright side is that if you do a little research (and weed out the classes in languages you don’t speak), you’re very likely to come up with a class that is precisely suited to your needs.

Free Online Courses & Tutorials

If you’re teetering on the verge of taking a business writing class but aren’t quite sure about taking the leap, you might want to consider a free online course. You can’t complain about the price and have nothing to lose. Udemy, for instance, offers a free “Better Business Writing in 35 Minutes” video that is designed to improve your skills quickly (and to tempt you to take one of Udemy’s more in-depth paid classes). Coursera offers an audit-type free option for its writing classes as well.

Those are only the tip of the iceberg. Type “business writing” into the YouTube search box, and you’ll come up with a modest plethora of videos that range in duration from a few minutes to an hour and a half. Some of these are better than others: with some of them, you get what you pay for, and with others, you can come away with a lot of good practical advice that might make you decide to take a more structured class. 

Read more about free business writing videos and online tutorials.

On-Demand Business Writing Classes

Another way to learn business writing – a modality that has served quite a few students very well – is the on-demand, self-paced or asynchronous type of class. This is a modern spin on the old “how to learn X in ten easy lessons” correspondence courses of yore, with the ten (or however many) lessons conducted on your computer. Essentially, you’re looking at a series of video lectures you can play (and playback) at your own pace. 

Some on-demand classes come with a teacher who will monitor your progress and, in some cases, correct tests to ensure you’re learning everything you should be. Others leave you entirely to your own devices, which some people (tired of traditional schooling) might find less annoying than having an instructor hover over their progress. On the other hand, some people may lack the self-discipline to keep up with an on-demand course and may be more prone to thrive if they have to attend class at a particular time. 

One thing is true; there’s no shortage of this type of on-demand business writing class. You’ll likely have heard of Udemy or Coursera: their entire teaching empires consist of on-demand learning. From behemoths like that down to Western Wyoming Community College, you’ll have a wide variety of classes from which to choose if you decide on asynchronous learning.

Which Learning Method is Right for Me?

The most likely human reaction to the embarrassment of riches of business writing classes is confusion and a degree of frustration that, with so much from which to choose, you won’t know where to start making an intelligent and informed decision. What you need to tease out first is which teaching modality is likely to suit you best. You’re the one with the self-knowledge to determine whether you will do best sitting in a classroom, following a live instructor from the comfort of your own space, or learning more or less entirely on your own, wherever and whenever you want. An advantage to taking charge of your education is that you don’t have to stick with something that doesn’t work for you.

In addition to finding the class type that suits you best, you’ll also have to consider practical matters as well. If you’re already close to overwhelmed with your responsibilities at work and home, selecting a class that requires you to be repeatedly in place X at time Y will be a terrible idea. You’ll get overwhelmed and probably won’t end up learning anything (and have wasted some money in the process.) As a result, the super-busy individual will probably do much better with a self-paced class. Those with more time on their hands, especially those who thrive best when in a structured environment, ought to consider gravitating towards a live course, be it in-person or online.

Why Learn Business Writing?

Learning effective business writing will help you in your career like practically no other skill. Ironically, written communication is more important to commerce today than it was a generation ago, largely because email is the preferred communication between businesspeople today. Every time you send one, you’re exposing your capabilities. Supervisors and managers will judge you based on what you’ve written, and you can make even a great idea look bad if you can’t write it up properly.

If, on the other hand, you get a reputation for being a good writer, you may find that it works like an Open Sesame to further opportunities in the workplace. You’ll find yourself entrusted with greater responsibilities and be asked to write things that are more important than just emails. You’ll come off as professional, educated, and capable, three characteristics that can only help earn you advancement in the workplace.

Read more about why you should learn business writing.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Learning to write for business can be relatively easy or relatively difficult. The question is what kind of a writer you are in the first place: business writing classes are generally brief affairs that don’t leave a lot of time for teaching the basics of English grammar and syntax. If you’re already an acceptable writer (and most corporate email hasn’t set that bar very high), you should be able to quickly pick up business English conventions.

On the other hand, if your writing skills aren’t all they should be, you will have to put some energy into improving them before you tackle a business writing class. There’s no shortage of resources for that, but it does mean you’ll have to put in some extra effort if you want to reach your goal.

Because business writing classes are generally brief, they will not set you back thousands of dollars. Given the pervasive nature of business writing in today’s workplace, they're also one of the best investments you can make in your future. Moreover, class tuition is pretty much the only expense you’re going to have. Of course, you need a computer with an email and a word-processing program, but that’s really all. That’s one more reason why business writing classes represent a good use of your education dollar.

Read about how difficult it is to learn business writing.

Learn Business Writing with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

An excellent way to learn business writing is to take an in-person course such as those offered by Noble Desktop, a tech and IT school in New York City that offers in-person and online classes. Noble provides its students with expert and experienced instructors who are always ready to answer students’ questions, whether they’re posed in the physical classroom or online. 

Noble Desktop’s classes offer several features, including small class sizes that guarantee you’ll receive ample attention from the instructor. The curriculum is hands-on, meaning that you’ll be making practical use of what you’re being taught while you’re still in class with exercises that allow your instructor to check on your progress. There is also a free retake option that enables you to repeat the class at no charge within a year of your first taking it. Far from just a means for those who fell behind to catch up, the free retake option makes it possible to cement what you’ve learned firmly in your mind. Classes are fast-paced, and you’re likely to discover that there’s some handy detail you missed the first time around.

Noble offers a Business Writing Bootcamp that begins by reviewing key points of grammar over which people are wont to stumble today. The course then delves into the hows and whys of written business communication in the contemporary world, be it for emails, reports, or other essential documents. And be aware that business writing is only one aspect of the business training classes offered by Noble Desktop.

Key Insights

  • There are three ways to learn business writing: the traditional in-person live class, the more modern online live class, and a range of other options (self-paced, on-demand, asynchronous) that leave you to your own learning devices rather than having a teacher captain the pedagogical ship.
  • The choice of one of these teaching modalities over the others depends on your learning style and how your brain best absorbs information. 
  • You also need to consider your schedule and obligations when choosing which type of class you intend to follow.
  • If you decide upon a live class, you can find it through Noble Desktop’s business writing classes.

How to Learn Business Writing

Master business writing with hands-on training. Business writing consists of written communication in emails, memos, reports, and other business documentation.

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