You might also be interested in a list of courses in business writing.

How to Choose the Most Effective Online Technical Writing Course

When you choose an online technical writing course, look for the following qualities.

The online technical writing course has writing evaluations by a qualified instructor.

Many businesspeople have patterns of writing that they have gained over years in school and college. Some of these patterns make the technical writing unclear and frustrating for readers. To identify these ineffective patterns, the course must have an instructor involved who evaluates the technical writing and helps the writer revise the writing until it is high-quality, effective technical writing.

The instructor has a background in technical writing.

Instructors have various backgrounds. Most have degrees in English, but business writing is very different from academic writing. Technical writing requires clarity over clever wording. The technical writer has readers who benefit from headings, bulleted lists, shorter sentences, straightforward wording, and examples of the technical content. Choose an instructor who has had experience in doing technical writing on the job. For example, Dr. Robert Hogan, instructor with the Business Writing Center, managed a software documentation company, was a senior writer with Applied Science Associates consulting with companies about their technical writing, and has been a professor in the College of Business, Illinois State University.

The technical writing course includes a number of writing samples the instructor evaluates.

A course in technical writing must include writing practice activities the instructor evaluates. The instructor must then help the trainee revise the writing using the skills in the course. As a result, the trainee can see the quality his or her technical writing will have as a result of learning the skills taught in the course. The Business Writing Center’s Technical Writing course, for example, has extensive examples, a number of practice activities the instructor comments on, and five full writing samples the instructor coaches the trainee through perfecting.

The focus of the technical writing course is on clear English writing.

Some technical writers learned early in their business careers to write using long sentences and complex wording. They saw others using that style and felt that must be good technical writing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Long sentences and complex, difficult wording cause misunderstanding and confusion for readers. The course in technical writing must help writers use technical jargon in ways that communicate easily to readers.

The technical writing course allows for training in grammar, punctuation, spelling, word usage, and sentence structure.

The technical writing instructor must look for skills in language usage each trainee needs and provide the coaching that will help the trainee write with correct usage.

Recommended Courses in Technical Writing

Technical Writing

The Business Writing Center Technical Writing course will teach you how to prepare reports about subjects that require technical explanations, analyses, data presentation, and information understood by technical readers. The Technical Writing course teaches the technical writer how to present information to technical readers so they understand the concepts and can apply them in their work.The online lessons contain clear explanations and many examples. Trainees go at their own pace and submit assignments when they are ready. The instructor evaluates the activities and examinations, comments on skills learned and skills that still need polish, coaches trainees through learning the skills, and certifies trainee competence. Trainees receive a graduation certificate at the end of the course. More . . .

Writing Technical Explanations for Non-technical Readers

The Writing Technical Explanations for Non-technical Readers course teaches the skills required to produce clear technical writing for readers who are not specialists in the subject and do not know the technical subject jargon. The course teaches how to structure and write the technical report so it is well organized and easy to follow and understand.The online lessons contain clear explanations and many examples of technical report writing. Trainees go at their own pace and submit assignments when they are ready. The instructor evaluates the activities and examinations, comments on skills learned and skills that still need polish, coaches the trainee through learning the skills, and certifies the trainee’s competence. Trainees receive a graduation certificate at the end of the course. More . . .

Writing Specialized Reports

The Writing Specialized Reports course teaches the skills required to write clear, well-organized business reports of a special type, such as a special technical writing report. The five writing examinations in this course ask trainees to submit technical reports they write as part of their normal technical report writing activities. Their instructor helps them apply the general skills of technical report writing to the specialized technical reports they write. The instructor writes detailed notes in trainee reports, helps the trainee revise them, and coaches the trainee through learning any technical writing skills the trainee needs to learn.The online lessons contain clear explanations and many examples. Trainees go at their own pace and submit assignments when they are ready. The instructor evaluates the activities and examinations, comments on skills learned and skills that still need polish, coaches you through learning the skills, and certifies the trainee’s competence. Trainees receive a graduation certificate for framing at the end of the course. More . . .

Business Writing Skills

The Business Writing Skills course teaches the best practices businesspeople must know to be able to write clear, effective, professional business documents, including email, memos, letters, and reports. It teaches a structured approach to writing that makes writing easier and guides readers through the content. Graduates report that they receive high praise for their writing, and other employees begin to copy their style.
The course contains twelve practice activities and four competency examinations. The online lessons contain clear explanations and many examples. Trainees go at their own pace and submit assignments when they are ready. The instructor evaluates the activities and examinations, comments on skills learned and skills that still need polish, coaches the trainee through learning the skills, and certifies competence. Trainees receive a graduation certificate at the end of the course. More . . .
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Writing Coaching by Senior Instructor Dr. Robert Hogan

Business Writing InstructorDr. Robert Hogan teaches the coaching, tutoring, and individualized business writing courses. Dr. Hogan has been training writers for 40 years in universities, colleges of business, consulting companies, and professional writing companies. He has been a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County College, and Illinois State University College of Business. He was manager of communications in a telephone billing company and owner of a company writing documents on contract for government agencies and corporations.

More about Dr. Hogan and his courses you may take…

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Corporate and Government Training

Corporate discounts are available. Send an email to the Business Writing Center for more information: Email…

Government agencies and companies may purchase courses at the end of the fiscal year and defer registration of individuals in the courses for up to 12 months. Request information…

Dr. Hogan delivers workshops at company sites in general business writing, writing email, business report writing, writing letters, and principles of usage (grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentences, and word usage). More…

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6,600 Clients Worldwide

The Business Writing Center has trained staff from a broad range of organizations:

Companies – 5,768
Nonprofit organizations – 495
Military/government – 234
Colleges/universities – 143

See a sample list of the most recent 1,000 companies and agencies.

Writing Training Awards

Awards and Recognition

The Business Writing Center has been evaluated and has received awards or recognition from a number of organizations and media:

  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Department of Defense
  • National Association of Legal Assistants
  • HR-Wire
  • Florida Department of Health
  • Investor’s Business Daily
  • TechRepublic

See the list of awards