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CMNS 1291: Introduction to Professional Writing

Students study the theories and practice of professional organizational communication, learning the importance of effective communication to meeting goals, developing and maintaining relationships and the overall facilitation of work. Students develop skills in evaluating communication scenarios, designing communication strategies that meet goals and audience need, including requests, information sharing and persuasion. In addition, students learn to employ writing techniques and editorial skills relevant to professional communication contexts.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Write with grammar and style suitable to a professional context.
  • Analyze communication scenarios and design appropriate professional communication documents that are responsive to goal, context and audience need.
  • Explain the best practice strategies for producing rhetorically and stylistically effective communication documents.
  • Explain the purpose of and produce different communication strategies, including request, response, information sharing, and persuasion.
  • Explain best practice strategies for and produce effective visual support for professional communication documents.
  • Explain the purpose of and produce properly formatted emails, memos, letters and short reports.

Course topics

CMNS 1291: Introduction to Professional Writing includes the following 10 modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Professional Writing
  • Module 2: The Writing Process
  • Module 3: How to Write Clearly and Effectively
  • Module 4: Straightforward Messages
  • Module 5: Delivering Unwelcome News
  • Module 6: Persuasive Messages
  • Module 7: Graphics and Visuals
  • Module 8: Informal Reports
  • Module 9: Proposals
  • Module 10: Formal Reports

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. Meyer, C. (2017). Communicating for results: A Canadian student’s guide. (4th edition) Oxford University Press.
    Type: Custom Reprint ISBN: 9780199016730

Note: This Custom Reprint is an exact copy of the original textbook ISBN: 978-0-19-902304-2.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Writing Exercises Part One 5%
Assignment 2: Writing Exercises Part Two 5%
Assignment 2: Effective Writing 5%
Assignment 3: Straightforward Messages 10%
Assignment 4: Appropriate Responses 15%
Assignment 5: Short Report 10%
Assignment 6: Proposal 10%
Assignment 7: Formal Report 20%
Final Exam (mandatory) 20%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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