Efficient Writing

Develop your writing and communication skills. Learn to write with intent, create clean copy and more. Useful for copywriters, editors, advertising writers, and more.

Course Code: AWR102
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Develop your Writing and Communication Skills.

Writing is essential to every day life. We use it for grocery lists, paying bills, sending work emails, and more. In this course, you'll learn to:

  • organise your thoughts effectively
  • write clear, clean copy
  • always keep to the main point
  • write to a brief.

    Working with your assigned academic, you'll learn to express your thoughts with greater confidence, improve your communication, and grow more comfortable with the written word.

    Student Comment:

    "I am glad I did the course and wish to do another one."   M. Tanzi

    Lesson Structure

    There are 6 lessons in this course:

    1. Introduction
      • Scope of writing -where is writing used
      • What is effective writing
      • Good writing is direct
      • Good writing is objective
      • Variety is good in writing
      • Understanding human communication
      • The communication process
      • Types of communication (verbal, non verbal, etc)
      • Communication channels
      • Communicating efficiently
      • Writing for a purpose
      • Understand your reader
      • Content
    2. Basic Writing Skills
      • Parts of speech
      • Types of nouns -proper, common, collective
      • Purals
      • Possessive nouns and pronouns
      • Types of verbs: regular, irregular etc.
      • Adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions
      • Common grammatical errors: comma splices, fragmented sentences, dangling modifiers, etc
      • Sentence construction
      • Types of sentence: declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, etc
      • Sentance structure
      • Constructing sentences
      • Combining sentences
      • Expanding basic sentences
      • Adding modifying words, phrases or clauses.
      • Linking words or phrases
    3. Clear Wording
      • Introduction
      • Common causes of confusion: homophones, malopropropisms, etc
      • Ambiguity
      • Making meanings clear: Illustrative context, glossing, etc
      • Informative language
      • Persuasive language
      • Imaginative language
      • Other types of language: colloquial, formal, informal, etc
      • Simplicity
      • Building a paragraph
      • General guidelines for effective writing
    4. Concise Wording
      • Conciseness
      • Circumlocution
      • Condensing your writing
      • Common problems contributing to lack of conciseness
      • Active and passive voice
      • Condensing text: how to Precis
    5. Punctuation and Accuracy
      • Punctuation purpose
      • Semi colon, colon, dash, comma
      • Spelling
      • American or English spelling?
    6. Planning what you write
      • Business formats
      • Business letters
      • Planning what you write
      • Writing a media release
      • Writing an answer or an essay
      • Academic writing, verbs, quotations
      • Unpack the question
      • Research
      • Referencing

    Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


    • Define the nature and scope of writing.
    • Discuss the way written sentences and paragraphs are properly structured.
    • Develop an increased capacity to write clearly.
    • Develop improved conciseness in writing.
    • Develop and improve punctuation skills.
    • Apply basic writing skills more efficiently in a range of situations.

    What is the Difference between Good and Bad Writing?
    Good writing does not just happen - it takes application and skill to do well. It must be purposeful, meaningful, relevant, and appropriate to its intended readers. It must also be easy to understand.  In order to satisfy all of these criteria, the writer must first answer several questions:

    • What do I want this writing to achieve? (What is its purpose?)
    • Who will read it?
    • What will be the content of the writing? (What might the anticipated readers need to know, want to know, and like to know?) 
    • How can I best communicate this information to achieve my purpose? (What language, layout and format will be most suitable?)

    The purpose of your writing is often given to you by someone else, such as a teacher or employer, who asks you to write something. That person, however, may not clearly state the reasons behind their request. Your first task, therefore, is to ask what that person wants you to achieve with your writing. 

    Possible goals include:

    • To report
    • To explain
    • To clarify
    • To gather information
    • To find out exactly what they want
    • To correct misinformation
    • To persuade
    • To apologise
    • To justify.

    Also consider what you want to gain from the writing task. Do you want to:

    • Impress your employer or teacher
    • Demonstrate your writing skills 
    • Demonstrate your knowledge on a certain topic
    • Get a promotion or good grades
    • Improve your reputation
    While sentences are the starting blocks of writing, they need a framework to hold them together. This framework is a paragraph. A paragraph is a group of sentences revolving around a single subject. We use paragraphs to order and structure our writing, so that the individual sentences form a coherent narrative or story when placed next to other related sentences. 

    Logical, free flowing paragraphs are essential for compelling writing, yet many novice writers struggle with this basic writing skill.  Just imagine for a moment what your writing would be like without paragraphs!  It would be like listening to someone talking nonstop who never takes a breath, and struggling to make sense of their words. Paragraphs help order a writer's thoughts so that information can be clearly communicated.

    A typical paragraph begins with a statement of the central idea. This is called the topic sentence. The following sentences in the paragraph explain, support or develop that statement with details, examples and evidence. The central idea of this paragraph, for example, is the central idea of a paragraph; thus it is introduced in the first sentence of the paragraph. 

    Writers use various methods to organise their ideas within paragraphs. The most common is to work from the general to the specific or from the specific to the general. Or in other words, generally a writer will either begin with an overarching statement and then fill in all the details, or begin with a specific detail and work their way out to a general statement.



    What if Your Readers are not all the same?

    Often the same writing is read by more than one person. For instance, you might write a memo to your department, but it might also go to your boss. Therefore, you should identify likely readers of your document, and consider what they want and expect, and how they might interpret your message.

    Like all forms of behaviour, writing is governed by certain cultural and social expectations. For example, in most countries, business writing is expected to be more objective, formal and factual than creative writing, or writing for magazines. It must also be formatted according to standards established in that country. In an increasingly global economy, business writing must also meet international expectations. Students must also be able to meet international standards.

    Despite these international standards, however, different cultures might have quite different ideas about what is acceptable or expected. For instance, in some countries, direct requests, statements and refusals are acceptable, while in other countries, directness may be considered rude and immature. Different cultures might have quite different formal ways of starting and ending a letter. For example, in some English-speaking countries, it is polite to complement the reader and to wish them good health. In others, it is acceptable to simply address the reader as Dear Mr. X , then get straight to business. In yet others, it is common to use the reader’s first name and to sign with your first name after the first communication between you.

    It is important to meet the expectations of your intended audience regarding what is appropriate. Until you become more familiar with your reader and his/her way of communicating, the safest action is to be more formal.


    Why do we Write?

    We write for many purposes including: enjoyment, business, to achieve goals, to get others’ cooperation, support or approval, to express our thoughts and ideas, to promote ideas or encourage change, to correct perceived misinformation, to make a name for ourselves, to sell products, to change others’ opinions, to keep in touch with friends, family and others, to demonstrate knowledge, to impress, to criticise or complain, to initiate change or a course of action, to learn, to help us remember things …There is no end to possible reasons for writing.

    This home learning course helps you improve your writing, so that you can communicate faster, more clearly and with fewer words.

    Who will benefit from this course:

    Administrators, office staff, managers and others who have to write often in any aspect of daily life.

    Amateur and aspiring writers seeking to build confidence in their abilities, or improve their fundamentals.

    English as a second language speakers looking to improve their written fluency and work/study communication skills.

    At the end of this course you will:

    • Know the difference between parts of speech
    • Understand the fundamentals underpinning good writing
    • Be able to analyse any piece of writing and describe what works and what doesn't
    • Write everyday material with ease, from general emails to work reports.

    Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
    Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
    ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
    ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
    Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
    Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

    How can I start this course?

    You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

    Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
    If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
    registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

    Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

    You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

    You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

    Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
    We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

    What do I need to know before I enrol?

    There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
    If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

    You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

    We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
    We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

    You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

    Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

    We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
    If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

    This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

    Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

    Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

    This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

    It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

    The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

    Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

    Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

    There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

    Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

    We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

    Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

    We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

    Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

    Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
    More information is here

    There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

    When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

    You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

    Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

    Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

    ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.

    Who are ACS Distance Education?

    ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

    We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
    We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
    We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
    You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
    We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

    Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

    Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

    How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

    Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

    We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

    We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

    Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

    What if I have any more questions or need more information?

    We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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    Course Contributors

    The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

    Rachel Syers

    Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affairs, and agriculture.
    Her current role is Fashion Editor, features writer and features sub-editor with The Gold Coast Bulletin. She has co-authored a successful biography "Roma: From Prison to Paradise" about former prisoner-of-war turned yoga guru, Roma Blair, as well as freelanced as a writer, reviewer and researcher for Australian music and celebrity magazines such as WHO Weekly, Rave, Australasian Post and New Idea.
    Rachel has a B.Journalism.

    Rosemary Davies

    Businesswoman, Journalist, Editor, Broadcaster, Teacher, Consultant for over 30 years.

    John Mason

    Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner.
    John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

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