Surrey Learn

Writing with Style - Online


Communication Skills


Introduction to Administration


Anyone wanting to  explore key techniques for writing documents that readers will actually want to read.


2 x 2 hours on-line delivered virtually (you must attend all sessions)

Delegate rate

Approximately £100 dependent on particpant numbers.

As a result of attending, you will be able to:

  • understand the key elements of effective writing style
  • construct effective paragraphs
  • manage your sentences
  • choose the right words
  • bring your writing to life
  • understand some of the key elements of good grammar
  • punctuate better and
  • improve your spelling

Part 1: the elements of good style

What makes for good style?

  • Compare and contrast: an exercise in first impressions
  • The core principles of good writing
  • Changes in a living language
  • A systematic approach to creating an effective style

Knocking your writing into shape

Constructing paragraphs – four golden rules:

  • unity
  • topic sentences
  • coherence
  • adequacy

Sentences: shaping and sequencing

  • subjects and verbs
  • who’s kicking whom?
  • exploiting the points of maximum attention

Choosing the right words

  • plain, fancy or accurate?
  • choosing the appropriate tense
  • tailoring your style to your audience

Bringing your writing to life

  • Saying what you mean
  • Being specific
  • Being positive
  • Removing blockages

Part 2: the grammar surgery

Common confusions and old chestnuts: the top ten

1 How do you use apostrophes (including its and it’s)?

2 Me or I? (between/with/from you and me/I?)

3 Fewer or less?

4 Can you put a preposition at the end of a sentence?

5 Can you use and, but or because to start a sentence?

(And what about however?)

6 How do you use commas?

(And what’s the difference between commas, colons and semi-colons?)

(And what about a comma before and, while we’re about it?)

7 That or which (or who)?

8 How do we use capital letters properly?

9 The firm/committee/team/group is or are?

10 What is a split infinitive, anyway?

The role of punctuation

  • Why punctuate?
  • The five most important punctuation marks

Your questions answered

Anything we’ve missed? Ask us now!

The Spelling Quiz

  • ‘i’ before ‘e’?
  • -ible or -able?
  • -ise and -ize
  • The top 20 misspelt words in English
  • UK and US spelling clarified
  • Words often confused
  • Quickfire spellings

Where to go for more

Books and other resources


18 July 2024 at 10:00

Delivered online. You must attend all the sessions.

Online sessions include usual breaks. Course link(s) are auto-sent from [email protected] a few days in advance of delivery. Full instructions and course handouts will also be sent in advance.

Please note you will be expected to use your camera and display your name on all training. If unable to comply, please ensure the trainer understands why and notes your name and authority for recording attendance.

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