Excerpt from course description

Structured Writing for Effective Communication


Communication is central to business operations. Organizations are created, operated, and managed by actors who negotiate their role in the world through communicative processes that aim to achieve mutual understanding. 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 and 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? Business writing has many different needs, 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 skillfully written communication with customers, business associates, and prospective clients across spaces in given industries within the 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, and reports and working with social media. Students will develop their writing through language skills, working on specific grammar, punctuation, style, and usage needs. Focus will be given to structure, genre, formality, and specific language required for each genre presented and studied.

Course literature will focus on current research of the pragmatic and sociolinguistic backgrounds to the writing by reflecting on the audience and audience perception, how different cultures, genders, and backgrounds may interpret the same writing in different ways, and how to present yourself through your writing to 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 one-way communication (e.g., reports, memos, proposals) and dialogic writing (e.g., emails, letters, social media) and blending these concepts within genres.

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

Attendance is vital for successful learning outcomes and completion of the portfolio assessment.

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.