Excerpt from course description

Structured Writing for Effective Communication


Communication is central in business operations. Organizations are created, operated, and managed between actors who negotiate their role in the world through communicative processes that aim to achieve mutual understandings. Skillful communication is recognized as being a critical success factor in business operations. Regularly appearing as the top three qualities that major employers look for in business school graduates are “written communication,” alongside “critical thinking” and “verbal communication” skills.

In 2020, 306.4 billion emails were delivered daily, and by 2025, it will be 376.4 billion emails. Business communication in the 21st century is transnational, multicultural and is conducted largely via email. How masterful are you in your writing skills? How competent are you in concise, effective written communication within a professional multidimensional multinational environment? Do you find yourself sending five emails when one properly written email would have sufficed?  How do you best use social media in today’s business environment? There are many different needs for business writing, starting with initiating job applications and requests for references and continuing with industry appropriate correspondence and communication on the job. In this class, we will craft skillful written communication with customers, business associates, and prospective clients across spaces in given industries within proper format, language, and pragmatics (word choice and meaning). 

This course will help you to develop the writing skills required in modern global business. Through the analysis of realistic business models, students will work on techniques for writing effective emails, letters, memos, proposals, reports, and working with social media. You will use your own writing to develop language skills, working on the specific grammar, punctuation, style, and usage needs. Focus will be given to structure, genre, formality, and specific language required for each of the different genres presented and studied.

Weekly readings will focus on current research of the pragmatic and sociolinguistic backgrounds to the writing, by reflecting on audience and how others perceive your writing; how different cultures, genders, and backgrounds may interpret the same writing in different ways; and how to present yourself through your writing to clearly communicate within this complex social backdrop. Within this context, we will also consider the role of English as a lingua franca and what that may mean for your writing.

You will develop your writing through the prism of each weekly genre (e.g., email, report, letters) and sociolinguistic focus (i.e., how genders communicate; how the communication styles are perceived by others; communicating across cultures) to become more sensitive to the sociolinguistic landscape underpinning your writing. Students will work with both one way communication (e.g., reports, memos, proposals) and dialogic writing (e.g., emails, letters, social media) and the blending of these concepts within genres.

This is a practical learn-as-you-do course designed to develop students writing structure, grammar, punctuation, and mastery of pragmatics and meaning through intensive writing, individual feedback, and editing. 

Course content

  • Weekly written assignments
  • Weekly in-class writing tasks
  • Peer feedback and self-assessment
  • Learning through the writing process: write, edit, revise
  • Written communication analysis
  • Technology’s role in writing
  • Writing for appropriate situations and media
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving in writing
  • Writing for different audiences
  • Writing styles and genres
  • Considerations in writing – culture, medium, and purpose
  • Professional writing errors and blunders
  • Maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of written communication
  • Metacognition communication
  • Small group activities


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.