Crisp Composition

When you send off business documents that you have written, what do you think the recipients--your readers--hope for? Do they want to plow through long-winded documents that never get to the point? Do they want to waste time puzzling out what your convoluted sentences mean? Do they want to send back numerous requests for clarification? Do they want to pull out an unabridged dictionary just to understand your document? Of course not. Your readers hope that you will work hard to write clearly and concisely. If you do so, your readers can spend their time considering what you have to say, not wondering what you really mean. If you're concerned that your writing does not meet the needs of your readers for clarity and conciseness, then this course will help you remedy these problems. You'll learn to recognize and repair the common errors that prevent your writing from being as effective as you would like it to be.

Target Audience
All professionals for whom work-related writing is both required and challenging

Expected Duration
4.5 hours

Lesson Objectives:


  • recognize the benefits of writing clearly.
  • calculate a Fog Index and use it to assess the readability of a hypothetical business document.
  • apply the principles of plain English in a hypothetical business document.
  • apply transitional words and phrases to clarify the specified connections between sentences.
  • identify sentences that apply principles of writing precisely.
  • Conciseness

  • recognize the importance of writing concisely.
  • use precise verbs to revise business documents to make them more concise.
  • identify examples of the use of active and passive voice.
  • use active and passive voice effectively for a given document, audience, and purpose.
  • replace pretentious words with unpretentious words to produce an effective business document.
  • identify examples of cluttered writing.
  • Course Number: COMM0014