Professional Writing Courses & Classes

An often overlooked but critical skill in today's workforce is the ability to write professionally. As more positions move to remote or partially remote, written communication within your team, other teams in your organization, and of course, for customers is becoming increasingly vital to running businesses efficiently. 

Writing may be overlooked as a crucial need when hiring, but professional writing is the foundation of an effective team.

Professional written communication increases productivity, and clear communication within your business eliminates misunderstandings and provides the tools to execute at the highest level.

Unfortunately, a lack of professional writing skills wastes time and money and can cause otherwise avoidable failures.

Taking the time to enroll in a writing course can help offset that.

What are some of the signs that your team could benefit from a professional writing course?

  • Communication gaps: Are your teams spending too much time asking questions about written material, including emails and reports? It may be that these emails and reports aren’t doing their job, which is a clear indicator that your team needs help to learn how to write more effectively.
  • Documents take a long time to prepare: Your team has the expertise to present the information, but it takes forever to provide the final copy. Having a solid understanding of processes, data, and stats is one thing, yet it can be another to translate that into a professional document that is easy to digest.
  • Your team is procrastinating: Are your teams spending too much time asking questions about written material, including emails and reports? It may be that these emails and reports aren’t doing their job, which is a clear indicator that your team needs help to learn how to write more effectively.
  • Editing and constructive criticism takes too long to implement and feels particularly painful: The extra time and pushback usually indicate a gap in skills, both in terms of giving productive feedback and implementing it.
  • Bad grammar and typos are common, even in the finished document: Blaming poor grammar and spelling are often blamed on a lack of time, but if your team has an innate grasp of how to write professionally, these errors tend to happen less.

Everyone in your business can benefit from professional writing training.

Much of the workforce, when it comes to professional writing, is self-taught and has learned through trial and error; very few have taken a professional course.

While experience can be one of the best instructors in the world, it also takes longer to master and can feel exponentially harder than working from a solid foundation.

Beyond that, most college graduates need more experience or training in everyday professional or business writing when they start their careers. That said, integrating a professional writing course into your training processes can benefit your bottom line and your teams' satisfaction and confidence.

Hurley Write can help your team improve their writing skills and writing confidence.

What kinds of courses & classes are there?

We offer a wide variety of writing courses for your team, both as instructor-led onsite and virtual or self-paced online courses and cater to diverse skill levels.

Our courses cover particular skills, such as technical or scientific writing, and courses that focus on foundational skills. While everyone on your team won't benefit from every course, it's essential to find one that will give them a solid foundation with experienced, passionate instructors.

At Hurley Write, you can choose how your team participates from our onsite, virtual, or online courses. Contact us to determine the best option.

Now that you know more about professional writing courses and why they are essential, let's take a closer look at precisely what a writing course is.

Professional Writing

For our purposes, professional writing means a type of writing that uses the appropriate style for your business. 

What is an example of professional writing?

While scriptwriters, technical writers, authors of science writing, and academic and technical writing are considered professional writers, in this context, we use professional writing to mean corporate communications, reports, policies, and internal communication in a work setting.

While there are many types of professional writing, including creative and academic writing, generally, professional writing aims at informing and often persuading the reader, thereby driving the reader to a predetermined outcome or conclusion.

Generally, professional writing is of four types.

What are the four types of professional writing?

1. Instructional

Instructional writing provides information to complete a task. The most important feature of instructional writing is the skill to clearly break down the steps in a process so that they are understandable and actionable.

To effectively provide this information, authors of instructional documents need to show their expertise by understanding what readers know (and don’t) and the scope of the task they’re addressing, including potential pitfalls and possible variations.

Examples of instructional writing include user manuals, specifications, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and work instructions. 

2. Informational

Informational writing considers that only some business documents your team creates will be actionable. Often your team will need to generate reference documents or reports.

Most organizations rely heavily on reports to communicate important information both internally and externally. Those documents require a high level of organization to ensure the writing is easily readable.

Examples of information writing include reports, minutes, and summaries.

3. Persuasive

Persuasive writing is usually most associated with business writing. Often business writing is associated with sales, but the goal is to clearly convince your readers of something, impress them, and guide them to the decision you’re looking for.

Examples of persuasive business writing are sales emails and business proposals.

4. Transactional

Transactional writing makes up the bulk of the writing that most teams do and, although it's incredibly important for a business to run smoothly, it's often not given much thought: day-to-day communication. Whether emails, minutes, or internal presentations, when done well, they create better communication, which leads to a team that runs more smoothly.

The most common example of transactional writing is business emails.

What are the main features of professional writing?

Professional writing is generally formal in tone and is meant to be easily read and understood.

For writing to be considered professional, it needs to be clear, concise, concrete, complete, courteous, coherent, and constructive.


Business Writing

What is business writing?

Consider the writing your team does as business writing; often, business writing and professional writing are terms used interchangeably. 

Business writing, more specifically, refers to written communication used in a professional setting, including internal and external reports, emails, and memos. The best business writing is clear and direct, and absorbed quickly. 

A professional or business writing course is a great foundation to help your team improve their business writing.

For more information about what your team can expect from a business writing course, learn more about Hurley Write courses here.

  • Emails: Emails are the most pervasive type of business communication, yet teams are often lax about ensuring their emails are professional and well-written. Because they’re so pervasive, your team should hone their email writing skills so that their emails are easily read and understood. 
  • Reports and White PapersYour team uses reports to communicate internally with colleagues and externally to clients and prospects, both of which require writing objectively and professionally. 
  • MemosBecause memos are generally short, they can be particularly tricky in a business setting, but must be professional.
  • HandbooksAlthough not all team members write guides, the ability to do so is an essential skill that requires precise, clear, instructional writing that balances readability with actionability.
  • Performance EvaluationsOn the surface, these may seem easy to write, but they can be difficult, especially when the writer must write several. A well-written performance evaluation is concrete and actionable.
  • Customer service responsesThese can be particularly tricky as they’re often in response to a complaint or concern. Such responses must be warm, professional, and error-free to enhance the customer’s confidence in your business and increase retention.


Writing Skills

A graduate degree isn’t necessary to write effectively in the workplace, but a specific set of skills is.  Professional writing aims to communicate to readers clearly without barriers between the written word and reader understanding.

  • GrammarProper grammar ensures the document is professional and makes the document easier to read and understand. 
  • Punctuation: Much like grammar, using the proper punctuation shows your level of professionalism and helps create a document that can be read and understood easily.
  • Spelling: Typos and spelling errors can make an otherwise well-organized document distracting and hard to read.
  • Vocabulary: Every industry has its own language or jargon; therefore, knowing when, how, and if jargon should be used is essential. 
  • Clarity: Lack of clarity in written communication is one of the most common things that derails a project. Misinterpretation due to a lack of clarity can create delays and mistakes.
  • Brevity: Time is a precious commodity; therefore, most professionals value brevity, which is the ability to get the point across quickly and keep the reader interested.
  • Engagement: Everything your team writes serves a specific purpose, whether that involves a response from a client or staying connected with prospects via a newsletter. Whatever the action is, your team needs to know how to approach their writing in a way that will foster that engagement.
  • Proofreading: Proofreading is the safety net for all of your teams' writing. Even the most meticulous writer can misplace a comma or have an embarrassing typo; therefore, your team should use tools to ensure a document that’s free of typos and other surface-level errors.
  • Revision: Organizations often get stuck in an endless loop of revisions, creating a longer than needed or expected writing and review process. Training your team of writers and reviewers to revise effectively will help them meet deadlines while ensuring their documents are polished and professional.

Beyond the skills your team needs to actually write, they also need to know how to strategize, plan, organize, and revise. Finding a professional writing course that covers these topics will help your team create their best work more quickly.

Professional Writing Program

How can my team learn to write professionally?

There are many ways to learn professional writing; as with learning any skill, practice makes perfect. The more professional writing you do, the better you will get.

The options and resources for self-guided learning are plentiful: physical books on grammar to websites teeming with writing tips.

The downside to these resources is that it can take a long time to deep dive through the resources, and if no coach or mentor is available, how does the team know it’s learning what will work best for them and their organization? 

The most effective way to increase your team's writing skills is to enroll them in a program or a course to help them build the foundation they need to be great professional writers.

How can your team improve their writing skills online?

Finding reputable online courses is the best way to improve your team's writing skills. They don’t need a degree or be a journalism student, nor do they need a certificate to be an effective business or technical writer.

Choosing the best course takes a little research. Visit the website and see if a preview of the courses and learning materials are available and if the program and the expertise of the instructors is described. Consider the goals of the team and ensure the company has a course that focuses on those specific goals.

You can find all of this information on Hurley Write's Business Writing Courses page, including a breakdown of what your team can expect before, during, and after the course.

What is the best course for writing?

The best writing courses teach how to strategize, plan, write, and revise and go beyond grammar to focus on: 

  • Identifying different types of documents and how to plan and write for each
  • Developing strategies to write more efficiently
  • Establishing goals and targeting readers
  • Creating a plan and breaking down complex information
  • Using language effectively
  • Organizing to create readable documents
  • Communicating effectively

An effective writing course also guides students through the proofreading and revising process.

Everyone can improve their writing to become confident, efficient, and effective.  Asking your team to create documents doesn't need to be fraught with insecurity, frustration, and missed deadlines.
Professional written communication increases productivity, and clear communication within your business eliminates misunderstandings and provides the tools to execute at the highest level.

Enroll your team in a course with Hurley Write today. We will address your team's writing and help them enhance their professional writing so that they can increase productivity, solve communication problems, and repair broken processes.