Professional Writing in Business

The ability to communicate effectively in writing is a highly prized professional skill:  it plays a key role in successful business planning, strategizing, and development; facilitates productive relations with internal and external stakeholders; and contributes significantly to the preservation of the organization's professional image and reputation.  This course provides an opportunity for current and future professionals to develop and practice the high-level written communication skills needed to enter and succeed in the professional workplace.

During this course you will draft key business documents—including reports, plans and proposals—for senior managers and other colleagues, clients, business owners, business partners, and investors. You will also engage in several in-class activities that focus on realistic business communication situations and allow for discussion and debate with your peers.  Grammar and mechanics will also be covered, along with techniques for honing your style and developing self-editing skills.  These assignments and activities will enable you to create professional and influential business documents using communication strategies to inform, persuade, and motivate others.

Dates: May 18 - July 6, 2017
Times: Thursdays, 6 - 9 p.m.
Location: McGill downtown campus
Fee: $895.00*
Alumni fee: $761.00*
* Fees for non-credit courses apply

Course duration: 24 hours in class plus approximately 16 hours of readings and assignments
Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 4


This course is part of the Professional Development Certificate in Project Management. For more information, click here.
This course is part of the Professional Development Certificate in Business Valuation. For more information, click here.

Current McGill students can register in Minerva.

If you wish to register for an individual course without being admitted to the program, please click here for registration instructions.


  • write effective business documents tailored to specific purposes, audiences, and contexts
  • prepare a variety of business documents (including proposals, business plans, and reports) using appropriate headings, layout, and format
  • use resources to research and compile data for written documents
  • write routine and non-routine business messages that meet readers' informational needs
  • learn how to build goodwill by using direct and indirect written communication strategies
  • communicate strategically in a variety of business situations: create and apply written communication strategies to inform, persuade, and motivate others
  • provide rational support for your claims or arguments, and judiciously evaluate the persuasive techniques used by others
  • collaborate productively with others to write and edit documents
  • use correct grammar, punctuation, and mechanics


  • analysing your audience
  • choosing channels and designing documents
  • the writing process: planning, composing, and revising
  • planning and composing business proposals, plans, and formal and informal reports
  • using graphics for impact and clarity
  • writing in teams
  • building goodwill to achieve your (and your organization’s) goal
  • controlling and clarifying your message: grammar, mechanics, self-editing

Who Should Attend

  • Supervisors, managers, and executives in all sectors:  business, industry, government, and not-for-profit


Richard Andrews has more than 30 years' experience as a professional writer and written communications instructor. At the McGill School of Continuing Studies, Richard teaches Communication in Management, Public Relations, and, through the McGill Writing Centre, courses in Journalism. As a professional writer, Richard includes among his many clients senior corporate executives, banks, industry groups, health sector directors, UN employees, foundations, and not-for-profit organizations.

An advocate of the “plain language” movement, Richard has extensive experience in drafting and analyzing a wide range of business documents for clarity, coherence, precision, and conciseness. As a practicing journalist and public relations instructor, Richard also brings to his communications teaching professional insight into the potential costs to businesses and corporations of poorly composed messages and documents.

Among his many other qualifications, Richard is professionally certified as a Corporate Writer with the Quebec Writers Federation, and as a registered Language Trainer with Emploi-Québec.


For information regarding tuition payment please refer to: Student Accounts

Third Party Billing

If you have an agreement with your employer whereby the company should be billed directly for your course fees, please refer here for instructions on initiating a Third Party Sponsorship.

Course Cancellation and Withdrawal Policy

1.  All cancellation requests must be made in writing to Pdregistrations [dot] conted [at] mcgill [dot] ca.
2.  Receive a refund, minus a $20 administration fee, if you withdraw from a course prior to the start of the second class.
3.  No refund will be issued if you withdraw from the course after the start of the second class, and a grade of “W” will appear on your official transcript.

Contact Information

For registration and payment inquiries:
Telephone: 514-398-6200
Email: pdregistrations [dot] conted [at] mcgill [dot] ca

For course content inquiries:
Telephone: 514-398-7109
Email: mwc [at] mcgill [dot] ca