The University of

Professional English

Online Course

Overview of Professional English

Professional writing involves producing effective discourse for business and professional situations. 

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students will have gained an understanding of the role of communication, how non-verbal communication works in professional settings, how to organize data, how to proofread, how to write up agendas, minutes, and resumes, and ethical and legal responsibilities that are connected to writing.

Course Overview: 
This course contains eight units that will lead the student through the skills necessary to complete the course.  Each unit contains lessons and writing assignments that work in real life situations for different areas of study.

In the age of instant communication, your writing skills are more important than ever. You must be able to express yourself without the benefit of facial expression, voice tone, and/or body language. The message must be clear, easy to read and very interesting because people will quit reading a boring message much quicker than they will tune out a boring speaker. Although many will listen to you to be polite, don't count on such luck when it comes to reading your e-mail, your website content, or any other written material.

This is not talking about spelling and grammar only. While the mechanics are important for effective communication, of greater importance is how you say what you want to communicate. It is fairly easy to find someone who can correct your grammar.  Further, spell check is just a mouse-click away.  However, above all, you must take full responsibility for creating good content.

In writing, just like in speaking, what counts is focusing on communication with others rather than trying to impress them with your wit, knowledge, or experience. As in speaking, the more effective you are in writing, the more people trust you, like you, and are willing to do business with you.

Professional English Menu

Home Page
Required Work
Unit 1:  Eight Steps to Effective Writing
Unit 2:  Effective Business Letters / Format / Style / Organization
Unit 3:  Grammar and Style Review
Unit 4:  Resumes
Unit 5:  Proposals
Unit 6:  Business Information and Research
Unit 7:  Annual Reports

Other Resources

Business Week Online
New York Times
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Company Annual Reports
Report Gallery
Small Business Administration's Office of International Trade
Elements of a Grant Proposal
Search Engine

Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.
Instructor & Content Expert

Catherine Kerley, M.A.
Course Development