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The Anatomy of a Professional Writing Course for Teams That Guarantees Results: 5 Key Lessons Learned in The Field

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Posted Feb. 20, 2024

Effective communication is a cornerstone of success in the business world. Recognizing this, organizations are increasingly investing in professional writing courses for their teams. However, not all courses are created equal. A course that guarantees results must be meticulously designed. But how can you separate the wheat from the chaff in a world that’s overflowing with writing programs and courses? Our decades of experience have resulted in a finely honed understanding of what makes a successful professional writing course for teams. Here’s what you need to look for:

1. Real-World Writing Needs Over Academic Assignments

First and foremost, the course must be grounded in real-world writing scenarios, moving away from theoretical or academic exercises. This means focusing on the types of documents and communications that participants use daily, such as reports, proposals, and client correspondence. To be effective, the curriculum must be tailored to address the specific and unique writing challenges and objectives of the organization.

In other words, any professional writing course should draw its assignments, writing samples, and instructional themes directly from the work the learners actually do. In a professional environment, good grammar is only the start. In the real world, writing output is just a means to an end. So, any writing course needs to help students learn how to strategically link their writing with the organization’s larger professional objectives.

2. Personalized Instruction Tailored to the Organization

Personalization is key. The course should be tailored to the organization and to individual participants. Instructors should use actual samples of participants’ writing to illustrate how their documents can be enhanced and to provide a realistic context. Writing prompts, reflective of the participants’ everyday writing needs, can serve as practice exercises, ensuring that the learning is directly applicable.

For example, for most of our clients, we develop a workshop-style writing course and workbook that uses real-life examples from their own work. We have them work in small groups to consider the concepts taught and how those concepts can be applied to their writing samples. That way, everyone has the opportunity to give feedback on how to improve and rethink how to approach the documents they write.  

3. Flexible Delivery Formats

Personalization isn’t limited to the content of the course; even the format of the course must be adaptable to the needs of the organization. This means offering various formats such as in-person sessions, virtual classes, workshops, or traditional classroom lectures. The choice of format should depend on what best suits the organization’s size, structure, and work culture.

For example, for one client we might design a custom live webinar. “The live webinar seemed a lot more personal and feedback-friendly than prerecorded modules,” one client told us, “and Hurley Write custom-tailored the modules to examples we provided.”

The format should depend on the needs of the learners and their writing course must fit their needs.

3. Interactive and Engaging Learning Experience

An interactive learning environment fosters engagement and deeper understanding. The course should encourage participants to ask questions, engage in discussions, and participate in group exercises, all of which make the learning process more enjoyable while reinforcing the concepts taught.

“Anyone could throw out ideas or answers without judgment,” one of our clients commented. Successful training requires an open and communicative atmosphere where participants can voice opinions, ask questions, and give feedback. Participation is key to mastery and participation relies on interactivity.

5. Beyond Writing: Strategic Issues and Writing Processes

Effective writing is not just about stringing words together; it involves strategic thinking and a structured approach. Thus, writing instruction needs to incorporate critical thinking and problem-solving. An effective course should cover how to plan, draft, and revise documents strategically. This includes teaching participants to do a deep dive into understanding their readers and what those readers need and expect, know what action they want their reader t take, and emphasize information appropriately.  The workshop also should also help participants establish a consistent, repeatable writing process that they can apply in their daily work.

For example, we emphasize that stellar content is 80% planning and only 20% writing. But what does that mean? What planning process should students follow? That needs to be as much a part of the training as the writing instruction itself.

Ultimately, an effective  professional writing course is much more than a series of lectures on grammar and syntax: it’s a comprehensive program tailored to the specific needs of an organization and its teams that focuses on practical applications, strategic thinking, and continuous improvement. Such a workshop enhances the writing skills of the participants and contributes significantly to an organization’s overall effectiveness and success.

To access the full range of professional writing courses and resources aimed at different business segments and needs, contact Hurley Write for a custom, no-obligation consultation.

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The Anatomy of a Professional Writing Course for Teams That Guarantees Results: 5 Key Lessons Learned in The Field

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Prefer to chat? Call us at 877-249-7483
Prefer to chat? Call us at 877-249-7483

(503 Reviews)