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


No dates are currently scheduled for this course.

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