Mon 12 Aug 2019 - Mon 12 Aug 2019

09:00 - 17:00

1 Session
15 spots remaining.

Develop a sound understanding of the role, purposes and types of briefings and correspondence in the public sector. Using instruction, discussion, scenarios and case studies, explore the skills required to produce an effective oral or written brief. Examine the characteristics of different types of ministerial correspondence and discuss the techniques and processes used to meet the needs of executives and ministers.

Course Outline

  • The public sector environment – Ministers, Agency Executives and Agency officers – responsibilities, roles and relationships.
  • How to write an effective briefing
  • Briefing the executive
  • Ministerial correspondence and Parliamentary Questions

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course you should be able to:

  • Understand the key components of an effective briefing
  • Understand the purposes, importance and types of briefings and the differences between them
  • Understand the characteristics of well written Ministerial correspondence
  • Understand the Agency processes and resources that guide the response to Ministerial correspondence.

Who should enrol

Anyone wishing to understand ministerial briefings and correspondence in the public sector.

Thu 20 Jun 2019 - Thu 20 Jun 2019

09:00 - 17:00

1 Session
19 spots remaining.

Course outline

This course explores how to:

  • build rapport with, and win the respect of, readers
  • avoid word choices and sentence structures that cloud meaning
  • keep the relationship between ideas clear
  • focus on the necessary and eliminate the unnecessary
  • punctuate for clarity.

Learning outcomes

As a result of this course, you should be able to:

  • focus on how readers might receive and act on your message
  • craft sentences readers can understand
  • identify and eliminate ambiguity
  • choose precise words over vague ones
  • eliminate unnecessary information
  • punctuate for clarity.

Who should enrol

Public and private sector writers who want to write with greater clarity and impact.

Wed 26 Jun 2019 - Thu 27 Jun 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
14 spots remaining.

Tue 13 Aug 2019 - Wed 14 Aug 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
20 spots remaining.

Tue 24 Sep 2019 - Wed 25 Sep 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
20 spots remaining.

Tue 19 Nov 2019 - Wed 20 Nov 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
20 spots remaining.

All writers of non-fiction need thoughtful editors and rigorous proofreaders. This course takes you through practical examples showing how the professionals apply their skills to reports and other documents, conscious of their responsibility to the author, the reader and the language. It shows how to use house style, style sheets, and proofreading marks, and how to structure documents for maximum readability and minimum ambiguity. 

Course outline

  • Roles in publishing: who does what and why
  • Applying or creating a house style
  • Proofreading: capitalisation, punctuation, lists, common errors, using a checklist
  • Copyediting: fixing faulty grammar, ambiguities, mangled modifiers, smothered meanings and other barriers to readability
  • Structural editing: organising a report for maximum clarity and impact, whether the reader reads the whole thing or not

Learning outcomes

This course should enable you to:

  • understand the publishing process for print and the web
  • use house style and style sheets
  • avoid embarrassing errors in publications
  • use proofreading marks and symbols
  • produce shorter and clearer documents
  • methodically edit your own and other people’s writing.

Who should enrol

Workplace writers and editors who want to produce high-quality documents that meet readers’ expectations for clarity, conciseness, structure, punctuation, grammar, and attention to detail.

Tue 18 Jun 2019 - Wed 19 Jun 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
17 spots remaining.

Tue 20 Aug 2019 - Wed 21 Aug 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
14 spots remaining.

Mon 21 Oct 2019 - Tue 22 Oct 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
15 spots remaining.

The essential grammar for writers and editors course will take you beyond the ‘sounds good’ school of writing and editing to an understanding of the essential organising principles of language. Get to know your language better, not by memorising archaic ‘rules’ but by learning how language elements function. This course also offers tips on grammar and punctuation choices that produce coherent, meaningful writing.

Course outline

  • Module 1: word classes and how they function in sentences
  • Module 2: sentence elements such as subject, predicate, phrases and clauses
  • Module 3: sentence types and variety
  • Module 4: writing and punctuation tips aimed at improving clarity, conciseness and writing style

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course you should be able to:

  • make sensible decisions about English usage and punctuation
  • write with variety and style
  • make better use of dictionaries and style guides
  • speak and write with confidence and influence
  • justify, or understand, editorial changes
  • identify and correctly use word classes such as nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, determiners, conjunctions
  • use correct pronoun case
  • identify and use sentence elements such as subject and predicate, phrases and clauses
  • appreciate how grammar helps in understanding, analysing and discussing sentence structures.

Who should enrol

Office workers who wish to improve their oral and written communication skills, supervisors who edit written work and need to coach their staff in writing skills, and anyone interested in the good and the bad of the language we use every day. Suitable for those doing their first writing course.

Tue 06 Aug 2019 - Wed 07 Aug 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
19 spots remaining.

Tue 17 Sep 2019 - Wed 18 Sep 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
20 spots remaining.

Tue 12 Nov 2019 - Wed 13 Nov 2019

09:00 - 17:00

2 Sessions
20 spots remaining.

Learn proven techniques to produce clear, concise and persuasive reports, proposals, submissions and other documents.

Learn how professional project managers, writers, editors, proofreaders and indexers coordinate their work to develop reports that cut through to their readership, even when readers just ‘skim’ the document.

By discussing sample documents and doing some group writing and revising (on paper and on your laptop), you will be able to judge for yourself whether your documents are going to work and, if necessary, edit them so that they will.

Course outline

  • Preparing to write: who is it for and what is it for?
  • Understanding four essential bits of grammar to achieve coherence and flow
  • Using or imposing plain English principles
  • Establishing and using a style sheet
  • Project managing a collaborative report
  • Finding and assessing information
  • Writing the text and assembling non-text elements
  • Substantively editing and rewriting the text
  • Writing an executive summary: what to aim for and what to avoid
  • Copyediting the text and raising queries with writers
  • Proofreading at a professional level
  • Liaising with designers and verifying proofs

Learning outcomes

This course should enable you to:

  • define the purpose of your report and achieve that purpose
  • understand and perform the entire report production task, from researching and writing to revision and publication
  • understand and apply the principles of plain English
  • tailor content, structure and language to your readers
  • construct reports that are coherent and logical at all levels: sentences, paragraphs and sections
  • capitalise on up-to-date practices for drafting, revising and publishing documents
  • use particular functions of Microsoft Word to reduce the time taken to edit and proof long reports by around 20%
  • use professional checklists to ensure that no editing or proofreading task is missed or repeated.

Who should enrol

Project managers, editors, writers and others who want to improve the clarity, conciseness and persuasiveness of their reports, briefs, submissions and other documents.

Note: You will need to bring a laptop with Microsoft Word installed. If you want to do this course but do not have a laptop, contact ANU CCE beforehand.

James Dixon

James Dixon is a writer and an accredited editor who has worked in Canberra since 2001. He has written and edited for most government departments, many government agencies, large commercial consultancies and various think tanks, with a strong emphasis on plain English and readability.


Wed 16 Oct 2019 - Wed 16 Oct 2019

09:00AM - 16:30PM

1 Session
12 spots remaining.

Immediately boost your speechwriting skills. This practical course will offer techniques, tips, examples, exercises and expert feedback on your writing that can be applied in your next speechwriting task.

Course outline

The workshop provides a thorough exploration of how to prepare attention-grabbing speeches that blend the speaker's requirements with meaningful audience engagement to deliver influential and memorable policy messages.

During the course, you will gain insights and experience into a range of speechwriting activities:

  • applying principles for communicating with influence to speeches
  • drafting text for full speeches and speaking notes
  • understanding why and how to initiate and maintain audience engagement
  • tailoring speech content, style, and language to each occasion
  • incorporating policy messages so they are influential and memorable
  • exceeding the speaker's expectations
  • working effectively with speakers, subject experts, approvers, fact-checkers and event organisers
  • knowing where to tap into further learning materials and insights on speechwriting
  • being confident to write speeches for your own delivery.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course you should be able to:

  • research, plan and draft government speeches for a range of speakers and occasions
  • draft speeches that present government policy messages influentially and memorably
  • draft full speeches and speaking notes appropriate for the speaker and occasion
  • draft speeches that blend the speaker's requirements with effective audience engagement
  • apply specific speechwriting techniques that support influential communication
  • choose speech language and content that is meaningful to the audience.

Who should enrol

Anyone wishing to take their speechwriting ability up a level or refresh their skills. You will be able to choose and be guided through a range of examples and exercises, depending on skill level and experience.

Fri 09 Aug 2019 - Fri 09 Aug 2019

09:00 - 17:00

1 Session
20 spots remaining.

Mon 07 Oct 2019 - Mon 07 Oct 2019

09:00 - 17:00

1 Session
20 spots remaining.

This is the ideal, practical Writing a Winning Grant Application course for any Community and Not-for-Profit organisation seeking to attain funding by applying for grants. Using exercises to explore topics, it will encourage the writer to develop, direct and edit creative ideas in addition to giving an invaluable guidance on how to present work for submission.

This is an insightful and informative step-by-step grant writing course for grant writers. Aimed at first-time writers and those looking for guidance on the grant writing process, this course acts as an important introduction to the world of philanthropy, grant-making and grant-seeking.

If you’re a fundraiser, you know that raising money is the key to every non-profit’s success. But the competition for funds can be fierce and the obstacles many. This grant writing course provides you with the techniques that you need for a successful submission.

Course outline

The following topics will be explored:

  • Budget
  • Evaluation
  • Methodology
  • Grant Jargon
  • Project Rationale
  • Project Timing
  • Acquittal of Funding
  • Public & Private Sector Grants – What’s out there?
  • Community Capacity Building
  • Sustainability
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Practical Grants Writing Tips
  • Strategic, Visionary applications
  • Project Planning

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course you should be able to:

  • Describe and understand Grant Writing process.
  • Discuss Philanthropic and Funding Principles in both public and private sector.

Fri 21 Jun 2019 - Fri 21 Jun 2019

09:00 - 17:00

1 Session
5 spots remaining.

Thoughtful writers quickly grasp which facts meet readers’ needs, before presenting them in concise, well-structured documents that realise their defined purpose. This course highlights 10 practices for transforming wordy drafts into concise finals.

Course outline

How wordiness results from:

  • poor understanding of the writing task
  • prepositional phrases
  • unnecessary nouns
  • empty or overworked modifiers
  • redundant expressions
  • repetition
  • expletives
  • subordinate clauses
  • failure to distinguish between the relevant and the irrelevant
  • unstructured paragraphs

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course you should be able to:

  • evaluate the writing task
  • know when to delete for conciseness and when to retain for clarity
  • structure unified paragraphs that emphasise key ideas and avoid overwriting
  • provide better quality information to decision makers
  • recognise word patterns that create wordiness
  • appreciate the importance of good written communication skills in the workplace

Who should enrol

All workplace writers, especially government employees writing to meet the information needs of their readers when conciseness is a priority.