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Working at CSU

'Winning at Writing' classes developed to assist staff use consistent writing guidelines

October 11, 2010

Training and Organizational Development is offering free writing workshops to help staff polish their skills and become more familiar with the University's Writers Style Guide.

"Winning at Writing"

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010 (Participants can attend either or both workshops)

  • The Mechanics of Business Writing, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Style and Organization: Writing Effective and Easy-to-Read Workplace Documents, 1:30-5 p.m.

Presenter: Sally Robinson (WorkSmart, USA)
Location:   Training & Organizational Development Classroom, Room 129, Johnson Hall

Description: This free course is designed around the Colorado State University Writers Style Guide, which addresses editorial questions specific to the University. This training provides a comprehensive refresher for experienced writers on basic business writing mechanics, organization, style, and formatting skills, and will improve the writing abilities of Colorado State employees with less experience.

Both workshops are highly interactive and include individual work as well as small and large group exercises. Workbooks provide ample opportunity for practice, contain an answer key, and can be kept as a reference manual for future use.

The Mechanics of Business Writing

  • Basic grammar rules will be explained and practiced including recognizing and using parts of speech correctly, choosing who/whom stress-free every time, checking for complete sentences, using correct subject-verb agreement and active voice, and formatting lists in parallel structure;
  • Punctuation tips and exercises will cover the correct use of capital letters, colons, semicolons, commas, dashes, parentheses, apostrophes, and quotation marks;
  • Word choice exercises help participants distinguish between confusing pairs or sets of words;
  • Proofreading tips and exercises will help Colorado State employees ensure document accuracy before distribution;
  • Spelling tips will help participants catch errors that computerized spell check programs miss;
  • A revising and editing checklist is included.

Style and Organization: Writing Effective and Easy-to-Read Workplace Documents

  • Training content will include writing as a problem solving process; idea generation techniques; outlining and organizing; planning, drafting, and revising; writing style and flow; common style mistakes to avoid; and reader-friendly writing and formatting tips.
  • The course will also help participants create clear and focused emails, memos, reports, job descriptions, business letters, response letters to customer complaints, meeting records, and informal and formal process change or funding proposals.
  • Easy-to-use templates are included for future use.

This class is free, and pre-registration is required. To register, please visit: and select the “Register for Workshops” link.

Training and Organizational Development’s schedule for the Fall 2010 session is available online. Additional information can be found at: and on our Events calendar.

If you’d like to join the Training and Organizational Development listserv, or have other questions, please contact Ellen Audley at 491-1376 or Ellen.Audley@ColoState.EDU.

Training and Organizational Development classes are offered to explore and improve communication, leadership, supervisory skills, and personal effectiveness. Most workshops are free of charge. They are open to CSU faculty and staff. Pre-registration is required. The complete class listing is online at

Contact: Ellen Audley
E-mail: Ellen.Audley@ColoState.EDU
Phone: (970) 491-1376