Business and Technical Writing


English classes in business and technical writing will teach you how to create documents for the work world.

What courses are available?

Business Writing (English 304)

English 304 will teach you how to analyze and produce typical office documents, such as letters, memoranda, presentations, proposals, and reports. Through individual and collaborative projects, you will develop purpose-driven messages that reflect the needs of professional audiences and the physical, stylistic, and social constraints of various media, genres, and situations.

Technical Writing (English 305)

English 305 is designed to improve the communication skills and career prospects of three groups: (1) science and engineering majors preparing for technology-focused careers, (2) humanities majors interested in exploring career options in technical communication, and (3) students of any major who want to enhance their marketability by learning about workplace writing. Typical projects include revising fact sheets according to plain language principles, developing clear instructions, and conducting and reporting on usability tests.

You do not need extensive background in science, technology, or writing to do well in this course.

Special Topics in Professional Communication (English 405)

The goals of English 405 vary depending on the special topic.  Recent topics have included writing about the law and writing about science.  Be sure to read the course descriptions before registering for one of these classes. 

Why should you take these classes?

Generally, students take classes in professional communication for one of three reasons:

They don’t feel ready to write for the work world. 

Courses in professional writing can help you make the transition from academic writing to workplace writing.  By studying and producing the kinds of documents used on the job, you will develop the communication skills valued by employers.


The classes fulfill specific program requirements. 

English 304 fulfills the third-level writing requirement for some majors, including the Fashion and Retail Studies program.

English 304 and English 405 count toward the CSTW’s Minor in Professional Writing. 

All English Department courses in business and technical writing can fill the non-literature requirement for the English major.  Note: If you take English 305 before the switch to semesters, you may complete the English major or minor with two fewer credits. 

They are considering a career in professional writing.

If you’ve thought about writing for a living after graduation, you should take a course in business or technical writing.  You’ll have the chance to hone your craft while learning about profitable genres.  Ask your advisor which course will best match your career plans.


What other OSU resources can help you start a career in professional writing?

If you want to pursue a career in professional writing or if you just want to develop your professional credentials, consider the Minor in Professional Writing administered by the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing.  This program provides additional training in workplace communication and will place you in a professional writing internship.  For more information, visit the CSTW website.



For further information on Business and Technical Writing courses in the Department of English, please contact the Course Director or Administrative Staff.  

Jonathan Buehl, Course Director