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How to Learn Business Writing Online

Explore the world of business writing and learn how it can enhance your career prospects. Discover various online methodologies available for learning this essential skill, including live online classes, self-paced courses, and even free tutorials.

Key Insights

  • Multiple online platforms offer a wide range of learning opportunities for business writing, which includes live online classes, self-paced e-learning classes, and video tutorials.
  • Live learning, whether in-person or online, offers the invaluable aspect of human interaction and real-time response to queries.
  • While convenient and typically more affordable, on-demand learning lacks the real-time feedback and engagement that live classes provide.
  • To successfully learn online, it's crucial to find a quiet and distraction-free space. Maintaining a level of comfort is necessary, but avoid overly relaxed settings that may lead to distractions or sleepiness.
  • Noble Desktop, a New York-based tech and IT school, provides high-quality live online business writing classes with experienced instructors, small class sizes, and a hands-on curriculum.
  • There's a wide variety of career opportunities that require business writing skills, which include writing emails, reports, and essential business documents.

The impulse today, more automatic than it is overwhelming, is to turn to the internet when you want to know something, such as the meaning of pons asinorum (lit.: “bridge of donkeys”; the point at which many learners fail) or the recipe for a cheesecake on a sponge cake base (the pons asinorum of which is properly folding in the egg whites.) If you’re going to do it for a cheesecake, you can also do it when it comes to learning a new skill for your career. Indeed, the internet can make an excellent teacher. Your options – from free tutorials to live classes – are outlined below.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Free Intro 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.

Comparing Online Methods with In-Person Learning 

When all the options for learning business writing are properly sorted, you’ll have three piles in front of you: Live and in person, live online, and self-paced. 

The fact is that little can improve upon live learning, be it in-person or online. These are far more engaging than on-demand learning because there’s a human being teaching the class with whom students can interact. You can ask questions in real time and get real-time answers in response. A wise teacher can also adapt the lesson to the rate at which the students appear to be assimilating the information and take note of (and, one hopes, help out) someone who looks especially lost. Other advantages include the ability to interact with fellow students so that you can help each other with the material covered in class, for networking opportunities, or even just socially.

On the other hand, some people may find the idea of having to sit in a classroom again to be mildly infantilizing. Others may worry about the commute, especially after work in rush hour in large urban centers. Others still may balk at the distractions that come with a live classroom: you can have someone distracting sitting next to you (you need to come up with something better than gum-cracking this time around), or not be someone who can sit comfortably in a plastic school chair. The live online class is an excellent option for people who cannot attend an in-person course. You get to study in your own comfortable space, which can be a relief at the end of a long day. 

Although it lacks the human engagement of live teaching, on-demand learning does have some advantages. It’s usually more affordable than a live class, which can be a deal-breaker for many. It also has a convenience factor that can’t be beaten, something that people with multiple commitments (work, family) are sure to appreciate. On the other hand, sticking to a self-paced learning program is notoriously difficult. You need a lot of self-discipline to keep up with it, and it’s very tempting for a mind to wander while looking at a lesson recorded by a teacher who knows how long ago. 

That brings up another problem with video tutorials (especially those on YouTube): there’s no way to keep them up-to-date, and while business writing doesn’t evolve as quickly as, say, software, you still want the latest advice with which to go forward. Perhaps the best place for on-demand learning and video tutorials is for those seeking to get their feet wet with business writing and testing the waters before committing time and money to a live class.

Tips to Succeed when Learning Business Writing Online

The key factor for successful online learning is the space you choose to make your classroom. It has got to be quiet and free of interruptions. Kids are great, but you don’t want them walking in while you’re trying to get a stubborn point of grammar straight in your head. One solution is a lock or a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. That may involve a serious discussion, especially if your class will be at a time when many people will be at home, but it can be done. Many people (young and old) have had experience with online learning situations these days, so it might be easier to get people to respect your Do Not Disturb than you think.

As to the inside of the room, make sure that it has enough light to see your computer screen without having to strain your eyes, and if you have to appear on other people’s screens, make sure people will be able to see you. Don’t turn off your camera; it’s not cool, and it’s a sure way to get the teacher to ignore you. You’re learning, so you’re much better off sitting at a table or desk than lying on a couch. Take advantage of the fact that you can wear comfortable clothing, but do remember to wear pants, just in case you need to stand up while on camera. By the same measure, take your shoes off, and make sure your chair is comfortable enough to sit in for a couple of hours straight.

A few other things can help you get the most out of your online class. Have a pad of paper and some sharpened pencils to hand: you’ll probably want to take notes at some point. And have both a coffee (if you drink coffee) and a bottle of water to hand as well: you may get thirsty, weary, or both. Don’t have a snack, though: you wouldn’t start eating a five-course banquet in the middle of an in-person class, so you shouldn’t do that at home. Food is a distraction and should be saved for either after class or at least for break time.

Many of these rules apply as much to asynchronous learning as they do to live online classes. The last thing you want to do is to try to read an Elearning lesson on your laptop while propped up in bed (that is, unless you’re trying to overcome insomnia.) You should take on-demand learning seriously if you’re to get anywhere with it, which means working in the same sort of quiet, distraction-free space you’d secure if you were taking a live class.

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

  • Opportunities for learning business writing online abound through live online classes, self-paced Elearning classes, or simply through video tutorials on platforms such as YouTube.
  • Little can compare with the human engagement that comes with a live class, in-person or online.
  • While it does have some advantages in its own right, on-demand learning doesn’t measure up to a live, human-driven learning experience.
  • Learning online requires finding a quiet, distraction- and disturbance-free space where you can learn without interruption. Make yourself comfortable, but not so comfortable that you risk falling asleep.
  • An excellent purveyor of live online business writing classes is New York-based Noble Desktop.

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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