Writing in Business Contexts

WRIT 250/3.0

This course focuses on the principles of business writing. Students analyze workplace contexts and identify writing strategies best suited to address business problems. Students research, organize, design, and create reader-centred documents and various electronic and print texts that relate to practical situations they will encounter in the business world.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Discover business writing as a specialized writing form  in terms of setting objectives, anticipating the readers’ questions, conducting research, planning documents, and communicating ideas to resolve problems and achieve outcomes;
  • Create documents which use various rhetorical modes such as persuasion, definition, and analysis;
  • Practice critical thinking when selecting a writing style and format best suited for the purpose and audience;
  • Conceptualize, draft, and revise documents of various length, detail, and visual design that incorporate the elements of business writing discussed in the course;
  • Participate in online collaboration and communication as a way to a peer-edit written submissions;
  •  Demonstrate increasing autonomy in reaching each of these goals.


  • Basic Principles of Business Writing
  • Researching and Writing in the Business World
  • Persuasive Writing
  • The Revising Process
  •  Writing in the Workplace
  • Communicating News
  • Document Design
  •  Workplace Reports
  •  Computers and Business Writing


This course focuses on the fundamentals of business writing in real-world business contexts. One of the main purposes of business writing is to define your communication objectives. This requires you to be aware of the three essential components of any written communication: the purpose, audience, and style. Creating business texts means clarifying your objectives early and revising your texts for usability and a reader-centered approach. The different business documents covered in this course provide you with a foundation for effective, clear writing structures.


Fall 2016
Course Dates: 
Sept 12 - Dec 2, 2016
Exam Dates: 


Formal AssingmentsValue
Short Report
Long Report


Wiki Assignments 

Option A:  Memo Wiki
Option B:  Letter Wiki



 Blogs/Group Discussions10%

 **Evaluation Subject to Change**


Professor Ilka Luyt (luyti@queensu.ca)

Instructor message

Portrait: Ilka LuytHello and welcome to WRIT 250 – Writing in Business Contexts. I am Dr. Ilka Luyt and I will be your instructor for this course. I did my doctoral research on rhetoric and composition in postsecondary contexts and I have been teaching writing courses for over a decade. No matter what profession you choose, being able to communicate is an essential skill. In this course you’ll discover how business communication differs from personal or academic communication. This course is designed to help you draft, revise, and edit commonly used business documents.  There will be plenty of opportunities for you to interact with your classmates, myself, and the Teaching Assistants throughout the course using the discussion boards.  I have divided the course into five modules that focus on the purpose, audience, and strategies of different yet routine business messages.  In each unit you will read chapters, view short video clips, review lectures, and complete assignments that focus on building your written and language skills.

Good luck with the course!

Dr. Ilka Luyt



Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 - 12 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

OnQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the OnQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2016-17 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $648.40; for a 6.0-unit course, $1296.80. See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.