Best Business Writing Courses - Q1 2023

Business writing is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in a professional setting. Being an effective business writer can help you get a job, receive a promotion, and achieve your goals at work. In fact, LinkedIn listed communication and persuasion - both strongly related to business writing - as two of the top in-demand skills for employers.

Our Expert Picks

There are literally hundreds of Business Writing courses available across dozens of online learning platforms. How to find the best course for you? Campus.com partners with industry experts to review the best courses based on rigorous criteria, including content coverage, lecture quality, quiz quality, assignment quality, and certification brand.

A fountain pen on a journalGo to Training
on Coursera's website
Campus.com Rating
4.6
/5

Time to Complete:

4 weeks @ 4 hours per week

# Enrolled:

141,985

Content Coverage:

5.0 rating

Lecturer Quality:

5.0 rating

Quiz Quality:

5.0 rating

Exercise Quality:

3.0 rating

Our Expert Review

Content Coverage (5/5)

This beginner’s course is structured in four, 1-week modules.  Each module contains video lectures, quizzes, and assignments.  The scope includes most of the topics we consider to be essential.  These include fundamentals of writing, organization of ideas, making your written communication as short as possible, engaging your audience, what is bad writing, and organizational formula.

Lecture Quality (5/5)

Both of the instructors are extremely professional and knowledgeable on the topic.   The videos are of professional quality, well-structured, and edited.  The lectures include conceptual graphics and animations to convey complex ideas, such as scaffolding.  An interesting real-life example is where the instructors brainstorm and organize a pitch to Coursera for the course.  Watching a business document evolve from brainstorming to final product is a particularly effective way to teach Business Writing.

Quiz Quality (5/5)

Brief quizzes and written assignments are interspersed throughout each lesson to frequently reinforce the concepts that are taught in lectures.  Quizzes include multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions that are well-written with plausible answer choices.  Learners must earn a score of 65% or higher to earn credit for the quizzes.  They receive immediate feedback on incorrect answers and are able to retake quizzes if they do not earn the minimum score.  One downside to the essay questions is that they are scored as correct regardless of what the learner answers.

Assignment/Excercise Quality (3/5)

The quizzes provide essay questions that can be considered assignments.  The written questions often require the student to rewrite a poorly structured paragraph.  However, learners do not receive any meaningful feedback on the assignments.

Certificate Branding (5/5)

This course is offered by the University of Colorado Boulder through Coursera.  The university has an outstanding reputation for a number of different disciplines.  CU is a public research university and was founded in 1876 even before Colorado was a state.  This course can be taken for academic credit as part of the CU Boulder’s Master of Science in Data Science.

 

A man tying on a computer. Another man speaking to a woman in a business settingGo to Training
on Coursera's website
Campus.com Rating
4
/5

Time to Complete:

4.5 weeks @ 4 hours per week

# Enrolled:

16,007

Content Coverage:

3.0 rating

Lecturer Quality:

5.0 rating

Quiz Quality:

3.0 rating

Exercise Quality:

4.0 rating

Our Expert Review

Content Coverage (3/5)

The course is sequenced into 4 weeks, each week containing lectures, readings, exercises, and quizzes. The instructor presents concepts in a logical sequence that is easy to understand.   While the curriculum did lack some of the more complex concepts covered in other courses, our experts felt that the coverage was more than adequate.  Some of the topics covered are personal communication, sentence and paragraph structure, use of jargon, and writing with a team.

Lecture Quality (5/5)

The instructor, Dr. Gayle Moran, was knowledgeable and confident.  The course is designed in a side-by-side view, with one side showing the instructor while the other side displays slides and graphics to illustrate the concepts being covered. The instructor uses well-designed conceptual graphics with animations to explain more complex concepts.  During some videos, pop-up questions or tips appear to test the learner’s knowledge of what has been covered.  This breaks up the videos in an engaging way and provides an opportunity to test your knowledge.

Quiz Quality (3/5)

Each module is concluded with a quiz containing multiple choice and true/false questions that adequately cover the topics in the module.  There are also a few practice quizzes interspersed in more complex lessons. The quizzes are computer-graded, which allows learners to receive immediate feedback on questions they’ve answered incorrectly.  Learners must earn a score of 80% to gain credit for the quiz, but are able to retake the quiz if they receive a lower grade.

Some of the questions are a bit obvious and there are no essay questions.

Assignment/Excercise Quality (4/5)

Several written assignments are offered at the end of each module.  The assignments are well-designed to allow the learner to practice the concepts learned.  However, no feedback is provided by the instructor for assignments.

Student discussions are also included in this course.  Discussions allow students to share their life experiences that relate to the topics being covered in class.  Discussions also allow students to comment on each other’s posts, making the course interactive and more interesting.  There are several self- and peer evaluations within the course.

Certificate Branding (5/5)

Rice University sponsored this course through Coursera.  The university is a well-known private research university located in Houston, TX.  Coursera is a well-known online learning platform.  Both of these credentials are sure to make a certificate stand out to employers.

Men and women meeting in a business settingGo to Training
on Coursera's website
Campus.com Rating
4.1
/5

Time to Complete:

8 weeks @ 4 hours per week

# Enrolled:

41,647

Content Coverage:

3.5 rating

Lecturer Quality:

4.0 rating

Quiz Quality:

5.0 rating

Exercise Quality:

3.0 rating

Our Expert Review

Content Coverage (3.5/5)

This course is in a 6-week format.  Each week contains video lectures, readings, and quizzes.  Some of the topics covered in this course include visual communication strategies, social media marketing, group dynamics, brand loyalty, presentations, and influential language.  If you are looking for a basic business writing course, this is not for you. However, this is an outstanding intermediate course specifically directed at learners seeking to learn more about sales and marketing communication.

Lecture Quality (4/5)

There are 4 Arizona State University professors who serve as instructors for this course.  Having several presenters gives a wide variety of delivery and perspectives.  All of the instructors are knowledgeable, confident, and clear in their delivery.  Lectures are well produced but tend to be “talking heads” augmented by stock footage or very simple graphics.

There are also many scripted vignettes that act out or demonstrate aspects of communication.  The vignettes are not terribly realistic and the actors are not convincing.  This type of training can come off as “fake” to learners.

Quiz Quality (5/5)

There are many practice and graded quizzes in this course.   The quizzes include true/false and multiple-choice, multiple-select, and short-answer questions to test learners’ knowledge.  Questions adequately cover the topics preceding each quiz.

The quizzes are automatically graded and provide immediate feedback on questions answered incorrectly. Learners must earn a grade of 75% or higher in order to gain credit for the quiz but can take the quizzes multiple times if they do not receive a passing grade.  It’s worth noting that short-answer questions are answered correctly regardless of the answer that the student provides.

Assignment/Excercise Quality (3/5)

Each week includes discussion assignments that students submit.  There are a limited number of submitted assignments that are ‘graded’ by peer review.  The value of this type of grading is dependent on how conscientious peers are in grading.

Certificate Branding (5/5)

The course is offered by Arizona State University through Coursera.  The university is a research institution and has an excellent reputation for several disciplines.  The university has an outstanding reputation within the academic world. Coursera is a leading online learning platform with a strong reputation.  Both of the credentials are sure to make an impact on employers.

Two women smilingGo to Training
on Coursera's website
Campus.com Rating
4.4
/5

Time to Complete:

3.5 weeks @ 4 hours per week

# Enrolled:

79,475

Content Coverage:

3.0 rating

Lecturer Quality:

5.0 rating

Quiz Quality:

5.0 rating

Exercise Quality:

4.0 rating

Our Expert Review

Content Coverage (3/5)

This introductory business writing course is structured into 4 week-long modules.  Each module contains video lectures, discussion prompts, quizzes, and peer-reviewed writing assignments.  The scope of this course includes, but is not limited to written communication, personal voice, sentence structure, business writing, subject verbs, grammar, and the writing process.  While the course is thorough, it lacks some of the topics required for a comprehensive business writing course.  Information that is missing includes the organization of ideas; keeping it plain, simple; and direct; using powerful words, and knowledge of your audience.

Lecture Quality (5/5)

The professor for this course is Ms. Amalia Stephens, a lecturer at Georgia Tech Language Institute.  Ms. Stephens is a confident and knowledgeable presenter who uses slides, conceptual graphics, and animations to explain concepts.  The lectures are well-organized and written. They use real-world examples and compare various writing examples to underscore topics.

Quiz Quality (5/5)

There are both practice quizzes and graded quizzes interspersed throughout the course.  The questions cover the information preceding each quiz, and the questions are extremely well written.  Quizzes are automatically graded and learners must receive a score of 80% or higher to gain credit for the quiz.  Learners are provided immediate feedback on questions answered incorrectly and can retake the quizzes if necessary.

Assignment/Excercise Quality (4/5)

There is a peer-reviewed writing assignment in each module.  The writing assignments include refresher content and clear rubrics by which the assignments should be graded.  Peer review of other learners is also considered an assignment in this course.  This type of review can be a very effective learning tool if taken seriously by learners.  However, there is no supervision of this peer review, so feedback may not be valuable if the reviewer is not conscientious.

There are also reading assignments in each module that link out to relevant Internet resources.  Completion of these assignments is on the “honor system.”

Finally, there are well-designed discussion prompts in each module.  Participating in discussions is not required and the number of learners who had participated was very low.

Certificate Branding (5/5)

This course is offered by Georgia Institute of Technology through Coursera.  Georgia Tech is a prestigious public research university and was established in 1885.  Some of the more recognized disciplines include computer science, engineering, and business.  Coursera is one of the leading online learning platforms.

hands typing on a laptop with a journal to the sideGo to Training
on Udemy's website
Campus.com Rating
3.8
/5

Time to Complete:

1 week @ 4 hours per week

# Enrolled:

2,172

Content Coverage:

5.0 rating

Lecturer Quality:

5.0 rating

Quiz Quality:

3.0 rating

Exercise Quality:

3.0 rating

Our Expert Review

Content Coverage (5/5)

This course has a total of 9 sections, each of which includes video lectures, exercises with solutions, and quizzes.  The scope of this course includes, but is not limited to basic business writing, the importance and effectiveness of communication, the writing process, proofreading, misused words, grammar, writing e-mails, and other business written communication.  The scope of this course is outstanding if you are interested in the basics of business writing.  The sequence of the information delivered flows well.

Lecture Quality (5/5)

The instructor for this course is Michaele Downey, a leadership skills and performance coach.  An excellent comprehensive student workbook is included with the course that includes reflections, tips for better business writing, steps to effective business writing, and rules for writing.  Ms. Downey refers to the workbook throughout the course and makes it interactive.  Well-designed conceptual graphics and real-world examples are used in many of the lectures to explain more complex concepts.

Quiz Quality (3/5)

While there is one quiz per module, each quiz only contains a few multiple-choice and true/false questions.  The answers to the questions tend to be very obvious.  The quizzes are automatically graded and learners receive immediate feedback on incorrect answers.  Learners can retry any question they answer incorrectly.  Learners must answer every question correctly in order to earn credit for the quiz.

Assignment/Excercise Quality (2/5)

There are reading assignments in the course that include links to articles.  There are also real-world exercises that ask learners to apply what they’ve learned.  The exercises are not submitted for feedback, but there are solution videos that demonstrate solutions to the exercises.   The lack of feedback limits the quality of learning a student achieves in a course.

Certificate Branding (3/5)

The course is sponsored by Udemy. While this is one of the leading online learning platforms, the quality of courses on the platform tends to vary widely.  The instructor is also not well-known in the business writing community.

A cartoon drawing of a person writing on a report with a journal and graphs around themGo to Training
on EdX's website
Campus.com Rating
4.8
/5

Time to Complete:

6 weeks @ 4 hours per week

# Enrolled:

81,336

Content Coverage:

5.0 rating

Lecturer Quality:

5.0 rating

Quiz Quality:

5.0 rating

Exercise Quality:

4.0 rating

Our Expert Review

Content Coverage (5/5)

This comprehensive business writing course is set up in 6 modules.  Modules contain a combination of readings, relevant examples from the Internet, video lectures, short quizzes, discussion prompts, video interviews with experts, and peer-reviewed assignments.  This course covers all of the required material for a business writing course using a variety of modalities to keep learners engaged.  Topics are also scaffolded in a way that allows the learner to build their knowledge as they progress through the course.

Lecture Quality (5/5)

The instructor, Marlisse Silver Sweeney, is a lecturer in law and business communications at the University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business.  There are 2 other co-faculty members that have lectures in this class. Having several presenters gives a wide variety of delivery and perspectives. The lectures usually are preceded by a real-life business communication example from the internet.  However, we found that several of these examples had broken links.

The lectures also include “in the field” interviews with experts from the world of business communications, which provide good context for learners.

Quiz Quality (5/5)

The course includes practice quizzes that are directly related to the information shared in the course.  The quiz questions cover the information discussed in the course delivery and readings. Quizzes are automatically graded and students receive immediate feedback on questions answered incorrectly.  Students can attempt quizzes up to two times to earn credit.

Assignment/Excercise Quality (4/5)

This course includes pre-activities and a variety of writing activities.  These assignments include reflection on real-life experiences.  There are several peer-graded assignments where students grade each other’s work.  This approach can be helpful to students, but the downfall is that the instructor does not comment on any student assignments.  Student discussions are included in this course.  Discussions allow students to share their life experiences that relate to the topics being covered in class.  Discussions also allow students to comment on each other’s posts, making the course interactive and more interesting.

Certificate Branding (5/5)

This course is offered by the University of British Columbia on the EdX Platform.  The University of British Columbia is a well-respected university and EdX is one of the leading online learning platforms.

…..

Topics To Look For in a Business Writing Course

The following are the topics that our experts feel should be covered in an Emotional Intelligence Course.
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Fundamentals of Writing
  • Formality in Writing
  • Written Presentation
  • Organization of Ideas
  • Organizational Formula
  • Organizational Knowledge
  • Keeping it Plain, Simple and Direct
  • Powerful Use of Words
  • Writing Process
  • Writing Clarity
  • Communing Your Ideas
  • Purpose of the Communication
  • Knowledge of Your Audience
  • Sentence & Paragraph Creation / Structure
  • Creating Powerful Memos and E-mails
  • Creating Powerful Business Documents
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Credibility in Writing
  • Personal Branding
  • Grammatical Errors
  • Proper Grammar
  • Proofreading

…..

The Major Online Learning Platforms

Each online learning platform is unique.  Some specialize in certain types of content, some partner with major universities or corporations to develop content, and some have special learning features.  While not exhaustive, the list below includes the major online platforms whose courses we feature.

Pros / Cons

Pros: Certificates often are offered from major universities or corporations.

Cons: The quality of course content and features available varies dramatically between courses.

Cost

$$$

Pros / Cons

Pros: Courses are very similar to those offered in colleges.

Cons: The quality of content and features offered varies dramatically between learning programs.

Cost

$$$$

Pros / Cons

Pros: A focus on microlearning with consistently high-quality content.  Consistent use of quizzes throughout all courses.

Cons: Pricing is skewed toward annual subscriptions, which is far more content (and cost) than most learners need within a year.

Cost

$$$

Pros / Cons

Pros: Labs offer a means of gaining practical experience in technical skills.

Cons: There are no incremental quizzes or ways to test learners on specific topics.

Cost

$$$$

Pros / Cons

Pros: Udemy tends to be one of the more affordable options for individuals looking to learn specific technical skills.


Cons:
Highly inconsistent quality between courses.

Cost

$

Pros / Cons

Pros: Consistent, high-quality micro-content that focuses on practical exercises.

Cons: The catalog is somewhat limited compared to other vendors on this list.

Cost

$$$

Pros / Cons

Pros: Many free online classes are offered. Live online classroom experiences are offered for some of their courses.

Cons: Variable quality of courses, with some courses having relatively low quality.

Cost

$$$$$

Pros / Cons

Pros: Skillshare has a large library of courses related to creative skills.

Cons: Most courses are just a series of lectures with no interactivity, quizzing, or opportunities to practice concepts.

Cost

$$$

For more information, check out our detailed post on the best online course platforms.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Business Writing?

Business writing is writing that occurs in a professional environment. Examples include emails, memos, presentations, speeches, and business reports. Ultimately, the goal of business writing is to communicate in a clear and effective manner.

What is the purpose of improving your business writing?

In the Fall of 2022, LinkedIn Learning listed communication as one of the top in-demand skills for employers. Improving your business writing can help you get hired or promoted. As important, improving your business skills can improve how your peers, employees and supervisors perceive you. Getting your message across can also help you accomplish your goals at work.

Is business writing a soft skill?

Yes – business writing is considered a soft skill. In fact, LinkedIn Learning listed communication and persuasion as two of the top in-demand soft skills for employers in 2022.