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Professional Writing for Brevity and Clarity

Today, much of a business professional’s communication is accomplished through writing (memos, emails, letters, reports, documents, processes, procedures and instructions). Unsurprisingly, surveys show the most sought-after skill in today’s business arena is “the ability to communicate clearly, correctly, and concisely.” Most people don’t have time to read long, wordy emails or memos with grammatical errors. Business writing that leaves a powerful and meaningful impression lets others know you’re an intelligent, competent business professional. But this kind of writing requires special consideration and thought.

In this five-week online course, students will engage in independent activities (readings, videos, and two writing assignments) and interactive ones (discussion boards, peer editing and feedback, virtual class sessions). At its conclusion, students will be able to:

  • write simple direct prose that says precisely what it needs to say
  • write well organized and grammatically correct communication
  • communicate complex ideas, clearly and concisely
  • meet their reader’s needs
  • empower their messages and make them stand out

Topics may include

  • Prewriting
  • Freewriting
  • Delivering bad news through memos, business letters, and emails
  • Tone
  • Creating “must-read” reference lines
  • Transitions
  • Formal reports like standard operating procedures, employee handbooks, and training programs
  • Rewriting
  • Grammar and mechanics

August 19 – September 22, 2019

*Discounts available for PLU alumni and current students. Contact Continuing Education prior to registering for the discount code.

Delivery Method:
Online with some live virtual class sessions

Credit Type:
1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Non-credit

Meet Our Instructor

Cosette Pfaff (PLU School of Business)

Headshot of a white woman with short blonde hairCosette Pfaff brings 25+ years of business practitioner experience, working on both the revenue generating and operational side of business and has a passion for growing healthy organizations. She specializes in performance coaching and training with individuals and teams in the areas of revenue generation, customer service/retention strategies, interpersonal communications, leadership skills, organizational behavior, management and supervision, and behavioral change through methods that provide sustainable results, not the motivational “quick fixes” typical of seminar based trainings.

Her diverse background includes executive management in engineering, manufacturing, telecom, HVAC and running a business incubator; company composition ranged from Fortune 500 to national, multi-site and multi-division, to small, single entity start-ups. Her client base ranges from banking to big toys; the dental industry to ditch digging and other construction related activities; retail to restaurants; car repair to chiropractic; local, state governmental agencies and non-profits.

In addition to “Visiting Instructor of Business” at PLU (2017-19), teaching Organizational Behavior and Global Management, Cosette is the current South Sound Group Leader for Excell Puget Sound and President of Fast Forward Your Success. Previous academic work includes: Adjunct Professor at Pacific Lutheran University teaching Sales & Sales Management and Business Writing; Adjunct Professor at Highline Community College teaching Professional Selling, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Human/Labor Relations, Principles of Management & Supervision and Business Ethics & Sustainability.

Cosette holds a Master of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Economics, both from the University of Idaho.