ATWP 250: Genres of Business Communication

Effective business writing is both strategic and persuasive. In order to write strategically and persuasively in business contexts, you'll want to learn about the different types of audiences you will encounter and how to meet their needs. Some audiences might expect you to use specific terminology; others may require you to explain complex concepts in plain language; yet others may be impressed if you write casually or formally or somewhere in-between. All of this may seem complicated, but once you understand the art of persuasion (also known as rhetoric), you will be able to navigate most business writing situations.

You may have taken ATWP 135: Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing or a similar academic writing course, which taught you basic rhetorical concepts and writing skills. This course builds on these foundations by teaching you business-specific writing strategies and processes, such as

  • performing an audience analysis to assess your readers’ needs;
  • learning and, in turn, mastering the conventions of business genres, such as executive summaries and proposals;
  • practicing the rhetorical techniques and strategies that will enhance the persuasiveness of your writing  
  • giving effective feedback and writing collaboratively.

Expect to work both collaboratively and individually in ways that mirror writing practices in the field. The best writers, we believe, talk with one another extensively about their writing at every stage of composition, from the development of ideas to the final polishing of prose. Knowledge production is an inherently social activity: writers at all levels of experience and ability learn from one another. For these reasons, much of your work in this course will involve collaboration with your peers. You will learn to give useful feedback to your classmates, as well as to consider feedback from others as you revise your own writing.

Through collaboration and from your instructor, you will receive feedback at multiple stages as you develop and revise your writing projects. Some of the work you produce in the course can be used to supplement your job application portfolio and perhaps even provide you with networking opportunities.

For more information, please contact:

Sara Humphreys, Course Coordinator: