Part 1 – The Fundamentals of Clear Communication

(A 6-Hour Program)

Many people who are good at talking make lots of careless errors when they are writing. These errors can range from stringing together sentences that don’t make sense to getting the wrong word in the wrong place to misunderstanding critical grammatical relationships.

Like successful athletes and accomplished musicians, good writers understand the importance of learning and practicing fundamental patterns.

In this foundational 6-hour program, we will look closely at the 12 language patterns (not rules!) that skilled professional writers and editors use to turn good ideas into good writing. People who develop the ability to be playful with the patterns of English will see a dramatic improvement in their ability to create well-organized sentences that are concise, direct, and easy to follow.

We will also focus on the key connecting words that good writers rely on to tie ideas together – and to create sentences that flow smoothly from one thought to the next. (Note: Overuse of words such as however, therefore, moreover, etc., will often produce long, rambling sentences. #Boring!) And what about punctuation? Learning how to apply professional punctuation practices (not … “put a comma where you hear a pause”) will lead to smart, consistent punctuation decisions.

For each participant, the 6-hour program (online or onsite) will include
two 90-minute videos and a copy of the 250-page Write Smart eBook –
plus access to dozens of brain-training Grammar Games.

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Part 2 – Writing and Editing Your First Draft … Carefully

(A 12-Hour Program: Creating Smart Sentences and Paragraphs)

For most people, understanding the fundamental organizing principles covered in Part 1 will take their writing skills to the next level.

In the 12-hour program, we will look at how to apply these principles to the process of creating sentences and paragraphs that spark the reader’s interest, command attention, and earn respect.

  • Getting started.
  • Getting to the point.
  • Putting the right words in the right place: mastering the complexities of English syntax.
  • Dealing with one idea at a time – more than one may confuse the reader.
  • Creating smooth transitions.
  • Cutting the message down to size: how to be your own editor.
  • Writing and editing effectively under pressure: shortcuts to help you get things done – on time!
  • Sharpening proofreading skills: learning how to catch common errors that your computer’s spell-check and grammar-check will miss.

For each participant, the 12-hour program (online or onsite) includes all of the learning tools provided in Part 1plus the 6-hour Good Grammar Perfect Punctuation Smart Sentences video and the 22-page Write Smart Stylebook for Writers and Editors.

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Part 3  –  Writing That Works:
Developing a Smooth, Persuasive Style

(The 18-hour Full Program)

Why is the typical magazine article easy to follow, while so many reports (letters, résumés, legal and technical documents, student compositions, etc.) are tedious and muddled? In Part 3 of the 18-hour Full Program, the emphasis will be on employing professional editing practices – essential ingredients in creating a writing style that is crisp and focused.

We will devote most of our time to reviewing and editing writing samples (submitted by the participants) or to editing the work of others. In the process, we will devise successful strategies for organizing sentences and paragraphs into a coherent, engaging narrative.

  • Breaking old writing habits and developing new ones.
  • Holding the reader’s interest.
  • Eliminating ambiguous language that may lead to misunderstandings.
  • Recognizing that creativity is about more than imagination and inspired self-expression; it’s about presenting ideas in language that the reader will find meaningful and interesting.
  • Shaping the organization of your message to fit the reader: learning how to think from the reader’s point of view.
  • Achieving a natural, conversational tone (simple, but not simplistic IM slang).
  • Using the right word: a review of the 100 most frequently misused words:
    who vs. whom / its vs. it’s / affect vs. effect / insure vs. ensure i.e. vs. e.g. / infer vs. imply / affect vs. effect / simple vs. simplistic /
    the list goes on!
  • Coming up with strong introductions and solid conclusions.
  • Making every word count.

For each participant … the 18-hour program (online or onsite) includes all of the learning tools provided in Parts 1 & 2plus the Reader-Focused Writing video, the 21st Century Standard Usage video, and the 25-page Write Smart Editorial Checklist.

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Practical Learning Tools Included

Everyone who participates in the Write Smart Full Program will be able to learn more about writing in a few hours than most people learn in four years of high school and four years of college. That’s because the Write Smart clear communication courses provide a greater number of educational resources and practical learning tools – at no extra cost – than any writing program in North America.

In addition to expert instruction in each class, all participants in the 18-hour Full Program will receive a copy of the the 250-page Write Smart eBook, with links to dozens of brain-training Grammar Gamesplus unlimited access to six online videos (10 hours of additional online training, divided into 40 learning units, approximately 5 to 20 minutes each).

For anyone who finds certain writing concepts difficult to grasp, unlimited access offers the opportunity to return to some units as many times as needed to understand and apply specific techniques.

Most of these learning tools are also available for participants in the 6-hour Fundamentals of Clear Communication and the 12-hour How to Write and Edit Your First Draft programs.

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The Write Smart Two-Semester Program

A comprehensive, step-by-step online program based on the fundamental writing patterns and practices used by skilled professional writers and editors in the publishing industry.

This program is designed to meet the needs of students at different stages in their educational development: high school, college, graduate school.

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