Advanced Writing Skills

This course maps to capability:


In this workshop you’ll learn how to build on what you know to transform basic writing skills into expertise. You’ll get an advanced toolkit for clear and effective writing and gain confidence in taking a fresh approach. During the session you will work on a sample of your current writing — you’ll get feedback and advice to help you rework and edit it. This is an opportunity for you to apply to your own writing what you have learned in the workshop.

Course Content

This is a hands-on practical workshop with individual and team writing exercises. You’ll get expert feedback on your writing and advice on how to identify and overcome the challenges you face. You’ll learn how to critique and edit your own work and that of other people. By the end you’ll see major improvements in your writing skills that you can take back to your workplace.

  • Practical steps to enhance your credibility and reputation when your writing goes into the public domain.
  • Understanding and putting into practice the new rules for formality and informality in professional writing.
  • Tone and style—writing clear, unambiguous and positive text in tricky situations.
  • What to bear in mind when you write for the screen rather than the page.
  • How to avoid numerous and time-consuming revisions.
  • How to identify and focus on your reader’s needs.
  • Using words to convince and persuade.
  • Advanced sentence structure—parallelism, paradox and more.
  • When and how to use technical language.
  • Punctuation—some straightforward techniques that will lift the level of your writing.
  • Using the Australian Government Style Manual and Web Publishing Guide.
  • How to apply Maslen’s S.M.A.R.T. rules to write effective correspondence

Questionnaire to complete before you enrol

Before you enrol for Advanced Writing Skills please take a moment to go through this questionnaire. It’s a brief checklist of what you’ll need to know if you want to benefit fully from the course. If you’re not sure about any of the below, we recommend that you take one or both of our introductory courses: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials and Writing with Style - The Power of Plain English. You’ll then be well prepared to tackle Advanced Writing.

  1. You can identify these parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and pronouns.
  2. You understand the basics of sentence structure, and what constitutes a sentence.
  3. You are able to distinguish active verbs from passive verbs.
  4. You know how to use correctly the basic elements of punctuation:
    • full stop
    • comma
    • semi-colon
    • colon
    • hyphen
    • dash
    • apostrophe
    • parentheses.
  5. You can construct and set out correctly bullet-point lists.
  6. You understand how to structure paragraphs for meaning and readability.
  7. You are aware of how to make your writing reader-centred.
  8. You know which Australian Government reference book to use to answer questions about correct usage, style and lay-out in professional writing.

Course Outcomes

  • Produce high quality documents across a variety of platforms
  • Understand and respond to the demands of writing for the screen as opposed to the printed page
  • Can help colleagues use shared criteria to rewrite and edit their work
  • Can adapt style and register to create documents for a range of readers.

Benefits to your organisation

  • Reduce time that managers spend editing and rewriting documents produced by their team
  • Create a shared understanding of what constitutes good writing
  • Project a consistently professional image through written material
  • Employees can work independently to create high quality documents for both print and digital media and for a range of readers.

Benefits to you

  • Increased ability to work independently
  • Increased confidence in writing and editing skills
  • Increased productivity in all aspects of writing and editing.