Ultimate Resume Writing Online Bundle, 10 Certificate Courses

Appreciate this resume writing workshop

Ultimate Resume Writing Online Bundle, 10 Certificate Courses

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Get Resume Writing, Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search, Effective Communication, Writing Essentials, Fundamentals of Technical Writing, Effective Business Writing, Workers' Compensation, Professional Sales Skills, Understanding the Human Resources Function and Research Methods for Writers in this Bundle

1. Resume Writing: Appreciate this resume writing workshop

This Certificate in Resume Writing Workshop Online Course will lead you through a self-assessment series so you will have extensive knowledge about the product you are marketing YOU! Learn different resume formats and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Write an employment objective that shows potential employers that you have direction. Make the most of your work experience. Know what to reveal in a resume, and what to keep to yourself. Learn to overcome gaps in work history and age discrimination. Discover how to use references to your advantage. This course includes the use of online resumes and Internet Resume Secrets. This course is invaluable for anyone who wants to create their own resume, or learn how to write resumes and cover letters for profit.

2. Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search: Discover the twelve steps to a successful job search

Get the job you want quickly and easily and in any economy.

In this Certificate in Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search Online Course, a world-renowned author and career advisor will help you identify the job that is best for your needs. You'll then be given complete step-by-step instructions on how to get that job, regardless of your level of expertise or state of the economy. You will learn how to build rapport with any interviewer, both verbally and non-verbally, while mastering the six phases of a successful job interview. This motivational course will increase your confidence, help you feel great about yourself, and provide you with the foundation you need to get the job you want

3. Effective Communication: Understand the keys to effective communication

If you often find yourself at a loss for words or lack confidence in your communication abilities, you'll appreciate this Certificate in Effective Communication Online Course.

With the help of a patient instructor and a supportive community of your fellow students, you'll work step by step through the process of becoming a great conversationalist.

You'll learn to use communication to build rapport and create environments of trust, warmth, and respect.

Become more confident, create a great first impression, get along well with others, and create more and better personal and professional relationships.

4. Writing Essentials: Learn writing essentials

In this Certificate in Writing Essentials Online Course, you’ll learn how to express yourself clearly online, and take your creative literary talents to a new level. 

Whether you’re hoping to get a better job, write for a blog, or publish your short story, this course will give you the writing tools you need for success. It’s also a perfect choice for students who speak English as a second language.

You’ll gain confidence right away as you practice free writing and discover how to create solid drafts. You’ll improve your writing skills by learning to select strong and persuasive words, spell correctly, and choose the right punctuation. Then you’ll find out how to put it all together by crafting well-written sentences, building effective paragraphs, and organizing your material logically. And finally, you’ll explore ways to make the most of e-mails and other forms of electronic communication.

With the knowledge and hands-on practice you gain from this course, you’ll be able to express yourself clearly and persuasively in writing—both in your personal life and in the business world.

5. Fundamentals of Technical Writing: Learn fundamentals of technical writing

Do you have a knack for explaining complex subjects in a way that makes them easy to understand? If so, you should consider entering the well-paying field of technical writing.

This Certificate in Fundamentals of Technical Writing Online Course will teach you the skills you need to succeed as a technical writer. You will learn how to translate complex information into easily understood language, and how to become a wizard at marrying the art of publishing with the science of technology.

You'll learn the secrets of successful technical writers, including technical writing conventions, interviewing skills, desktop publishing and formatting techniques, key tips for developing graphics and templates, documentation management, and how to publish documents both on paper and electronically.

You'll also learn how to get your first job as a technical writer, plus tricks of the trade that enable you to create high-quality documentation with less work.

6. Effective Business Writing: Learn Effective Business Writing

Do you have a nagging suspicion that a small improvement in your writing skills might also improve your career prospects?

Don't let small gaps in your business writing skills prevent you from reaching your full potential!

It doesn't matter whether you're a clerical worker, an engineer, or an executive. If you communicate with others in writing, you need this Certificate in Effective Business Writing Online Course to help you identify and eliminate problem areas.

By the end of this Effective Business Writing Online Course, you'll know the secret to developing powerful written documents that immediately draw readers in and keep them motivated to continue until your very last, well-chosen word.

7. Workers' Compensation: Knowing the ins and outs of workers' compensation

Anyone considering a career as a paralegal should have a firm understanding of workers' compensation law. The reason is simple: You're far more likely to be involved in workers' compensation cases than criminal law cases, intellectual property cases, or even business disputes. The only types of cases that are more common are personal injury or medical malpractice, both of which have very strong ties to workers' compensation law. 

Knowing the ins and outs of workers' compensation is an absolutely essential skill for any paralegal. Having a solid foundation in this field of law is also a great way to land a job with a private law firm or local, state, or federal governments. 

This course presents workers' compensation in a straightforward and enjoyable manner. It follows up on other courses taught by a popular legal instructor who has created criminal law and legal nurse consulting courses that have earned strong praise from students. 

8. Professional Sales Skills: Learn how to develop a sales plan, and more!

Today, there are no shortages of opportunities for skilled salespeople. In good times or bad, companies never stop looking for sales representatives that can help them meet their financial goals. If you've always dreamed of becoming successful in sales, this course is exactly what you need. You'll learn how to turn prospects into buyers, how to provide proper customer service, how to develop a sales plan, and more!

9. Understanding the Human Resources Function: Learn about understanding the human resources function

No matter what role we play in an organization, we are all affected by human resources. This Certificate in Understanding the Human Resources Function Online Course is designed to help people without experience in human resources to understand this very vital link in the organizational chain. It will prepare both managers and business owners to handle basic human resource functions in a way that will ensure the best possible result. In particular, attention is given to the hiring process, including ways to locate quality employees in a competitive labor market. Employee rights and the legal side of the human resource field are also covered.

This program/course is a good choice for those looking for project management experience and those aspiring to obtain a PMI credential.  It's also an excellent choice for existing PMI credential holders looking for an approved activity for PMI's continuing certification PDUs. At the end of this course, you'll receive a certificate indicating your completion of PDUs equal to the number of hours of this course through ed2go, R.E.P. #3213. Please visit pmi.org to learn more about PMI's credentials and how they may fit into your continuing education plans.

The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

This program has been approved for 24 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

10. Research Methods for Writers: Discover research methods for writers

This six-week Certificate in Research Methods for Writers Online Course teaches the best methods for mounting a search on any subject.

You'll take a virtual guided tour of the library and how to maximize its precious resources, and you’ll discover how to access public records, conduct successful Internet searches, and explore other similar treasure troves of information. 

Personal interviews, public reports, surveys and polls, and historical research are introduced and dissected. A special lesson on Guerilla Research reveals secrets for the undercover researcher. As a plus, detailed instructions are offered for getting organized before embarking on research and getting the most out of information once it’s gathered. 

This course will give you the tools you’ll need to successfully gather and incorporate all the information any polished and professional writing project requires

For comprehensive information on units of study click the units of study tab above.

This is an incredible opportunity to invest in yourself and your future, sharpen your training skills and learn what it takes to create your own success with Courses For Success Today!

Course Fast Facts:

  1. This course is delivered 100% on-line and is accessible 24/7 from any computer or smartphone
  2. Instructors lead each course and you will be able to interact with them and ask questions
  3. You can study from home or at work at your own pace in your own time
  4. You can download printer friendly course material or save for viewing off line
  5. You will be awarded a certificate at completion of this course

How to study online course?

Upon enrolment an automated welcome email will be sent to you (please check your junk email inbox if not received as this is an automated email), in order for you to access your online course, which is Available 24/7 on any computer or smart mobile device. New courses start every month to ensure that we have the correct ratio of students to tutors available, please ensure you select a starting date when you go through our shopping cart, at checkout. The course is easy to follow and understand.

Recognition & Accreditation

All students who complete each course receive a certificate of completion per course, with a passing score (for the online assessment) and will be issued a certificate via email.

Resume Writing 10 Course Bundle includes the following courses, below is a summary of each course: 

Course 1 - Resume Writing

Components of a Resume
In our first lesson, we're going to discuss what a resume is and why you need one. Then we'll go over the six sections of a resume: Heading, objective, education, work experience, special skills, and references, and you'll learn how job seekers utilize each one to market themselves to prospective employers. We'll finish up the lesson by discussing some other resources on the Internet where you can look over sample resume headings and objectives.

Self-Assessment
Today, we'll outline the skills that you've developed in five areas of your life—work, education, internships, volunteering, and extracurricular activities. Then we'll edit those skills down to the ones that are most relevant to employment, and choose an important skill for each area. Next, we'll come up with personality traits, and narrow those down to the ones that are useful in a business setting. I'm going to ask you to list the three accomplishments that you're most proud of, and the skills that you used to make these goals come to fruition.

Rules of Resumes
In this lesson, we're going to cover the rules of resumes. For instance, a resume should be only one page, and it should be laser-printed or typeset by a professional printer, and it should be printed on bond paper. You're also going to learn what not to include on your resume, and why it's perfectly acceptable to use the word "I" on your resume if you so desire. We'll conclude the lesson with a discussion about Truth in Resume Writing. Through example, I'm going to demonstrate how to portray job duties in the best possible light without getting yourself into trouble.

Chronological Resumes
In Lesson 4, you'll learn about the most popular style of resume—the chronological resume. In this type of resume, you'll list work experience in reverse chronological order. Your current or last position is listed first in the work experience section of your resume. We'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this type of resume. You'll also learn how to minimize a gap in work history. Although many people will have a few small gaps in work history, too many gaps, and gaps that are too large will put prospective employers on alert.

Functional Resumes
In this lesson, we're going to go over the other two resume formats—the functional resume and the hybrid—the combined resume. Although not as popular as the chronological resume, these resume formats do fulfill a need for some job seekers. Employees who are following a new direction in their career, or who don't have much experience for a particular position, may choose a functional format. You'll learn the differences between functional resumes and chronological ones, and as part of the lesson, we'll look at four people's chronological resumes and practice converting them into functional and combined resumes.

A Look at Your Resume
In this lesson, we're going to concentrate on your resume. We'll discuss how to set up the heading of your resume and the options you have available to you when you're doing so. Then we'll look at some sample resume headings. You'll learn how to write a persuasive objective for your personal resume, and then we'll discuss career profiles and summaries of qualifications. We'll also go over examples of objectives, career profiles, and summaries. Finally, we'll look at the education section of your resume and discuss what's included in an honors section.

References
In this lesson, we're going to discuss references. We'll begin by looking at examples of two reference letters written by two different individuals. Then, we'll discuss how to request a reference letter, and take a look at a sample dialogue of this. We'll discuss the different people you could request a letter from, and take a look at the difference between a regular reference and a sealed reference. Later, we'll look at a sample reference sheet that you can use as a model to construct your own. We'll finish up with some examples of how you can refer to your references on your resume.

Work Experience
In today's lesson, you'll learn how to turn job descriptions into advertising copy. Your resume is an advertisement for a product, and you are the product, and your potential employer is the customer. You need to express the features (actual description of your product) and the benefits (how it will help or aid the customer) of the product. You must be as persuasive and specific as possible when describing your features and benefits. Finally, we'll discuss company job descriptions and why they're important to you.

Technical Resumes
In today's lesson, you'll learn all about technical resumes (resumes for engineering, data processing, and other technical and management careers). We're going to discuss how these resumes differ from traditional resumes. You'll learn about buzzwords, and find out how to use them effectively on a technical resume. Then you'll learn some writing tips for technical resumes, and we'll go over a recommended technical resume format. We'll finish up the lesson by looking over some examples of technical resumes—one chronological and one functional.

Online Resumes
In this lesson, you'll learn the three methods that employers use to locate a job candidate on the Internet. We're going to discuss resume banks, search engines, and newsgroups. I'll explain what you need in order to get Internet access, and the three versions you'll need in order to post your resume on the Web. We'll go over keywords and other online resume tips, and I'll explain why you need to protect yourself on the Internet, as well as ways to accomplish this. We'll finish up with a discussion about how to post your resume

Cover Letters
In Lesson 11, you're going to learn how to write an effective cover letter. I'll explain what a cover letter is, and when you'll need one. Then we'll go over the different parts of a cover letter, and look at several examples of them. Finally, we'll discuss the follow-up sentence that you might include in the closing of your cover letter and why it's important in your job search.

Formatting Resumes
Our final lesson is all about the new resume that you've been working on throughout this course. We're going to take one final critical look at it: Is your name centered at the top of the page? Is it highlighted by a larger font, bolding, or underlining? Is your objective highlighted, along with your education, college, and work experience? Were you consistent with font sizes, capitalization, spacing, and punctuation? Is everything lined up vertically? The left-hand side of your resume should be lined up vertically, but the right-hand side should be ragged. Is your resume perfect with no typos or spelling errors? By the time you finish today's lesson, your resume will be ready to present to prospective employers.

Course 2 - Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search

Developing & Maintaining A Positive Attitude Throughout Your Job Hunt.

Lost your job or frustrated in your existing occupation? A job search can be challenging and a real blow to your psyche. Due to the economy or the uniqueness of the opportunity you want, looking for a job can be difficult and emotionally draining. But don't let circumstances get you down. If you're down in the dumps and not feeling confident, you'll convey that energy in your interviews. In our first lesson, you'll learn how to develop and maintain a positive and winning attitude throughout your job hunt so you can be prepared for any challenges ahead.

Identifying Key Selling Points That Differentiate You From Your Competition.

One of the best ways to build a solid foundation for your job search is to identify your core strengths and competencies. In today's lesson, you'll learn how to identify those aspects of your personality and experience that will differentiate you from your competition and give you a winning edge throughout your job search.

Defining Your Ideal Job.

Would you ever go on vacation by just jumping in a car and driving without knowing where you're going? Most likely not, but that's how many people approach their job search. Before you can get a job, you first have to decide what job you really want. Many job-hunters say, I just want any job. That attitude won't cut it in today's economy. If you don't know what you want, how are you going to get it? In this lesson, I'll guide you through step-by-step exercises that will help you define the job you really want.

Creating a Powerful Message - How To Write Eye-Catching Resumes & Cover letters.

Advertising is one way companies promote their products. When job hunting, you are the product, so you'll need a solid message. Your advertising materials will be your cover letters and resumes. In this lesson, we'll look at how to create a winning message so companies want to interview you. We'll also explore scores of sample resumes and cover letters.

Networking and Finding Job Opportunities.

Jobs rarely show up and fall in your lap. Sometimes you have to go out there and create your own opportunities. In today's lesson, we'll talk about where and how you can network to find the best job opportunities for you.

Convincing A Company To Hire You Even When No Jobs Are Available - Creating Your Personal Business Case.

In today's economy, companies aren't hiring like they used to. Sometimes you have to convince a company to create a position that might not currently exist. In this lesson, we'll look at ways you can demonstrate the value you can add to a company, and how to develop a message that can make companies want to create a position for you.

Selling Yourself to get the Interview.

There are many ways to find job opportunities. But just finding the opportunity isn't enough. You have to convince the hiring manager that you should be considered. This lesson will show you how to sell yourself so companies want to grant you an interview.

Preparing and Practicing for the Interview.

Once you've secured the job interview, your work has just begun. Now you have to be prepared to shine during your interview so managers want to hire you. In today's lesson, we'll talk about how to practice and prepare for any job interview. We'll also look at over 50 of the interview questions that are asked most often so you can practice and prepare your responses.

Knowing the Traits Interviewers Want in their Ideal Candidates.

Knowing what interviewers want is one of the keys to winning the interview. In this lesson, we'll identify the top qualities and characteristics that interviewers look for in ideal job candidates.

Mastering The 3 Phases of a Successful Interview.

You can prepare all you want for the interview, but the ultimate test is the interview itself. The interview is what ultimately makes or breaks your chances of winning the job. In today's lesson, we'll break the interview down into three phases and learn how to master the skills of communication and personal selling so managers can't wait to hire you.

Following-Up After the Interview.

The job-hunting process doesn't end with the interview itself. To really make yourself stand out from the crowd, you'll need to have solid follow-up after the interview. In this lesson, you'll learn the proper way to maintain communication after your interview so you can secure the job offer.

Accepting, Rejecting, and Negotiating Job Offers.

If you've followed the first 11 lessons, hopefully, you'll be flooded with job offers. Once you get these offers, what should you do? In this lesson, we'll discuss the ins and outs of accepting, rejecting, and negotiating job offers so that you can be delighted with your eventual outcome—landing the job you want at a salary you desire!

Course 3 - Effective Communication

Introduction to the Keys to Effective Communication

In our first lesson, you'll learn the qualities that make someone a great communicator. I'll teach you the five components of achievable goals and how to create win-win situations. You'll benefit from setting your own communication goals in clear steps that are easy to reach. You'll be able to apply the new skills you learn to your own life, and I'll be right here to guide you in the Discussion Area to help you build your confidence and learn to communicate more powerfully.

Rapport

Building rapport is the first great key to effective communication. Great communicators know how to get and keep rapport with others. In today's lesson, you'll learn how to build rapport with almost anyone. The potent tools are easy to understand and use. And after this lesson, you'll become a better listener and know how to keep respect alive in your conversations. You'll also learn the art of reflective listening, and I'll give you lots of examples and stories of how others turned frustrating communications into successful ones.

Pacing, Linking and Leading

Today you'll learn how to pace and lead your conversations toward win-win outcomes. You'll learn how to contain a conversation, keeping it on track and moving toward your goals. You'll understand how and when to use different styles of communication, and you'll learn how to contain a conversation so things go smoothly. Interrupting gracefully and breaking rapport are skills you'll learn to use in uncomfortable situations. I'll give you lots of examples on how this works so you'll learn quickly.

Mastering Learning Style

In this lesson, you'll master the three learning and communication styles. You'll uncover your own learning style and learn to spot the communication style of others. These skills will help you share your views with anyone, even those you previously found difficult to communicate with. You'll learn how your brain works, and we'll go through an exercise to help you mobilize your brain power. This lesson is always a student favorite!

Regaining Lost Rapport

Today, you'll learn some great ways to regain lost rapport and keep conversations positive. When we lose rapport, disagreements flourish, but a skilled communicator can regain lost rapport. You'll also learn how to acquire flexibility in your communication style, enabling you to stay in great rapport with all types of people.

Mastering Motivation

In this lesson, you'll learn some useful motivation strategies. People motivate toward pleasure and away from pain. When you understand how to motivate yourself and others, you get more done. So today, you'll find out how to inspire coworkers and family members toward mutual outcomes. As you master your motivation skills, other things fall into place. Relationships heal and communication improves. You'll develop a strong sixth sense about the people you come in contact with. These practical hands on skills are something you can use for the rest of your life.

Group Presentations

Today, we'll explore presentation skills. An effective presenter knows how to communicate fluently and has a sense of the atmosphere in a room. An effective presenter creates win-wins so that everyone is happy with the outcome. After finishing this lesson, you'll understand how to use first, second and third-person perspective to increase your awareness and understanding. I'll also show you ways to feel comfortable in many kinds of group situations.

Communication in Leadership and Teamwork

Imagine that you're a part of a team in which the leadership is genuine. Imagine knowing how to step into the shoes of a true leader. In today's lesson, we'll explore leadership and teamwork. You'll learn how to build a great work or family team where each team member gives one another equal value and respect. You'll see how a great leader can elicit and set the goals for his or her team and develop the vision for the group. The leader uses the knowledge and capabilities of each person, and places team members so each person performs optimally. Effective leaders inspire, guide, and bring out the best in each and all.

Communication with Children

In today's lesson, you'll learn how to communicate effectively with children. Guiding children is a huge responsibility. Children are very open, and our words go in deeply. You'll learn why the early years of a child's life are so important. This information is relevant at any age, but especially important with young children. Information about brain development and early literacy dovetails beautifully with the other wonderful things you'll learn in this course.

Subconscious Communication

Your subconscious mind is your deeper mind—it's the part of your mind that's beneath your conscious awareness. When you understand how to talk to your subconscious, you understand how to work with yourself and others to create greater success. In today's lesson, you'll find out how to use affirmations effectively. You'll understand how your subconscious mind works, and you'll learn more about non-verbal communication, which is 96% of communication. I'll also teach you how to apply the strategies to your personal situations.

Managing Stressful Communication and Anger

Anger is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to healthy relationships. Learning to manage and control your anger makes you a more powerful communicator and keeps goodwill strong. In this lesson, we'll focus on centering and tools to use when you're stressed or angry. You'll understand how to manage transition times so that change is graceful. You'll learn how to hold efficient, productive, and fun family meetings. Family meetings reduce the stress in your home and increase the communication among the members of your household. You'll also find out how to apply these techniques to any group.

Review of the Keys to Effective Communication

In each of our lessons, the material has been building up to this point, and today is the grand finale. In our final lesson today, we'll pull together and review everything you've learned. We'll go back and take a look at your communication goals to see how far you've come, and you'll set new goals to help you effectively apply your skills to your life after the course. You'll gain further insight, enabling you to move past your stuck spots and into being a very effective communicator. You'll use these strategies for the rest of your life!

Course 4 - Writing Essentials

Writing: Your Dynamic New Tool

Welcome to Lesson 1, where you’ll learn important concepts to help you write better today!  You’ll learn a strategy that will free up every bit of your existing writing skills and help you gain confidence when you write. Practice begins now with a new technique that will help you get your thoughts out onto the page so you can work with them.  It’s a great way to start on your goal of becoming a confident, accomplished writer.  Whether you need to write on the job or you’re eager to write for publication, this lesson will help!

Words: Picking the Right One

Prepare yourself for some major upgrades on your ability to choose effective words!  In this lesson you'll learn to recognize what kinds of word choices work and why.  You’ll come away with an understanding about word choices that cause your readers to feel confused or uninterested.  You'll have the pleasure of discovering how to find the word you want and also how to goof around with words so you enjoy writing more.  Finally, you'll practice, practice, practice.  It’s fun, so feel free to dive in and splash around!

Spelling: Tips and Practice

It’s time for spelling practice. Not only will you review problem words, but you’ll get acquainted with 10 helpful rules and five helpful tips to make you a better speller so you can spell better from now on. You’ll identify your own particular spelling demons and learn a strategy to cope with them once and for all.  This lesson is filled with the kinds of resources and spelling practice you’ve been looking for.

Usage: Which Word Goes Where

Here’s your chance to get acquainted with common word usage difficulties and master them. You’re about to learn to pick the right word at the right time and put it in the right place in your sentence.  You’ll practice choosing between similar sounding words that have different meanings.  You’ll get helpful explanations—at last!—about tricky usages that may trip you up daily.  Feel free to delve into an information-packed lesson that will add to your knowledge of correct word usage.

Sentences: Writing Them Effectively

Your writing ability is building after the first four lessons!  In Lesson 5 you’ll integrate all you’ve learned so far—how how to capture your thoughts, choose effective words, spell correctly, and master word usage—by mastering techniques that will help you write effective sentences.  Here you’ll practice constructing sentences that have energy and precision by learning four simple tips, deciding which words to take out, and communicating your ideas logically.

Ending Punctuation: When, Where, and Why

Whisk through a handy review of the three main punctuation marks used to end sentences: the period, the question mark, and the exclamation point.  But that’s not all.  You’ll benefit from practicing how to identify and fix run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and the overuse of dashes and ellipses.  Round out your exploration with the challenge of combining quotation marks with the ending marks.  You’ll get a fine update on what works and what doesn’t with this first of three full lessons on punctuation.

Commas: Mastery at Last!

Commas!  Yes, you can master their use.  Lesson 7 is designed to give you confidence in your comma placement.  You’ll learn how to use commas to create energy and precision in your writing.  Instead of memorizing an intimidating list of rules, you’ll learn by listening, clarifying, and practicing.  You’ll realize that you’re in charge of your commas rather than being a passive victim.  You’ll get answers to all your lingering doubts about using commas here. 

Semicolons, Colons, and All the Rest: A Quick Review

It’s likely been a long time since your school days, and your knowledge of the correct use of all the punctuation marks may be a bit vague now.  Lesson 8 to the rescue!  The emphasis here will be on how to use punctuation marks like semicolons, colons, dashes, parentheses, ellipses, apostrophes, quotation marks, italics, and hyphens.  You’ll acquire a new understanding of the way these marks help you.  You’ll gain this understanding by discovering, through practice, how to punctuate for clarity and how to help your readers hear the way you want your words to sound.

Paragraphs: How They Help You Communicate

You’re building your knowledge brick by brick, and now it’s time to tackle the most powerful organizing tool of all writing—the paragraph.  Here you’ll find tips on how to organize a paragraph, where to break one paragraph and start another, and how to sequence paragraphs for optimum understanding.  As always, you’ll get to practice these skills as you go, solidifying your knowledge and gaining new confidence.  Dive in!

Formatting: Tools and Tips to Help Your Content Shine

Now it’s time to find out how to put all your good writing into the right format so you can communicate with power and precision.  Formatting appeals to the eye of your readers and draws them into your content.  It’s a powerful tool and one that involves some creative choices on your part.  Get ready to learn about your choices for overall form, as well as how to use basic and specific formatting tools to make your writing highly readable.

Writing for Electronic Media: Quirks and Characteristics

Learn how to write effectively in today’s electronic world. Explore how the techniques of writing various types of electronic media such as e-mail, instant messages, and text messages, for example, differ from the techniques used to prepare messages that will be read on paper. It’s a new world, and new rules are necessary to help you communicate well. This lesson will help you discover what works and what doesn’t in these exciting and evolving media.  You’ll gain a new understanding of how to write powerful e-mail, since it’s the most common of all electronic message systems.

Putting It All Together: Writing Well!

Time to wrap up all you’ve learned!  Lesson 12 will help you practice using your new skills, working from freewriting to a finished document.  You’ll practice how to use both your creative and your critical skills while writing.  You’ll find out what kind of attitude will help you use your new skills and what good habits will help you continue to improve each time you write.  You’ll focus on revision, work with a revision checklist, and review good tips on proofreading.  You’ll put together all you’ve learned so your writing continues to improve from this point forward.

Course 5 - Fundamentals of Technical Writing

Technical Writing Overview
Technical writing is a relatively new profession, but people have been writing technical documents for centuries. In our first lesson, you'll learn the fascinating history of technical writing, plus how the instructor (and many others) became technical writers and how technical writing employs both the logical and creative sides of your brain.

Preparing to Write
Technical writing requires preparation. In this lesson, you'll learn the basics of project management for your documentation project (including average amounts of time you should dedicate to different writing activities), key questions to help you analyze your reading audience, and how to organize the information you gather. 

Gathering Information
In today's lesson, you'll learn powerful communication skills that will help you get the information you need. You'll find out how to develop your listening skills and use body language that keeps you alert and encourages the people you're interviewing to talk with you. You'll also learn how to ask questions that help you get the answers you need more efficiently, and how to apply principles of adult learning when you're analyzing the information you've gathered.

Writing Skills
Do you ever get writer's block? Most writers do! Today you'll learn how to shut off your internal editor and give yourself permission to write your first draft more quickly and easily. You'll learn tips that will help you keep writing even when you realize you don't have all of the information you need, plus you'll have more confidence after you finish the grammar and punctuation review in this lesson, which includes tips about how to make your writing more interesting. 

Tech Writing Conventions
Every profession has rules and conventions that separate the novices from the pros. In this lesson, you'll learn all about time-honored technical writing conventions, such as using parallel structure, an inverted pyramid style of writing, effective headings, and lists.

Graphics
Should you save your graphics as bitmaps, gifs, or jpgs? In this lesson, we'll go over the difference between the most popular graphics file formats and guidelines for using each. You'll also learn about a new file format called PNG, and how to create screenshots on your PC, then manipulate your shots in Windows' Paint, saving you the expense of far more costly graphics programs. 

Document Formatting
Formatting your document can be critical to its success. In this lesson, you'll learn how to choose the typeface or typefaces you want to use and principles for using type effectively in your document. You'll learn about the things you need to keep in mind when laying out your pages. We'll take a look at some layouts that are commonly used in technical documents, then we'll discuss how to achieve those layouts using Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word's Paragraph Styles
Microsoft Word has nearly a 93-percent market share for PC-based word processing—it's the de facto standard for most corporations and government agencies. So chances are high that you'll use it at some time in your technical writing career. In fact, most companies require that you be proficient with Word when considering you for technical writing positions. So in this lesson, you'll learn how Microsoft Word is different from other word-processing applications and how to use, modify, and create Word's paragraph styles. 

Document Templates
When companies use Microsoft Word for their documentation, they expect you to know how to use and create Word templates. In this lesson, you'll learn quick ways to build templates, plus you'll learn some Word skills that will help you dazzle potential employers, such as recording macros, customizing your toolbar, and using cross-references, AutoText, and captions.

Creating Indexes
Did you know that indexes are the most widely read section in any technical document? In today's lesson, we'll review indexing conventions, and I'll provide a few tips on building a great index for your document. You'll also learn how to use Microsoft Word to make indexing a bit easier. 

Editing and Proofreading
To polish your document and make it the best it can be, you need to proofread it and edit it. In today's lesson, you'll learn tips from professional proofreaders and editors, as well as ways you can use Microsoft Word to help you check your spelling and grammar.

Publishing Your Document
Publishing your document is an exciting time. All of your hard work is almost done—or is it? In our final lesson, you'll learn about different printing options and how to work with printers. You'll also learn about future trends in publishing and how your documents may be distributed in the future. Last, we'll talk about different ways you can use your technical writing skills in the job market, and a four-step plan for getting your first job, as well as some ideas about freelancing. Questions are always encouraged!

Course 6 - Effective Business Writing

Writing as Problem Solving

In this first lesson, you'll learn a brainstorming technique that will help make writing easier and more fun for you right away. You'll learn how to disentangle the efforts of your creative and critical sides, and you'll come to understand why both sides are important components of good writing. You'll also learn why writing is one of the best problem-solving tools around. 

Why Write and Who is Your Reader?

Here's where you'll learn a helpful system for organizing your writing, whether it's an e-mail, a formal letter, or a companywide memo. You'll start by picking out a document you have to write anyway so you can begin to put your new writing knowledge to use right away. You may as well get some work done while you're learning, right? Next, you'll nail down why you're writing this particular document and who your reader is. A second brainstorming technique will help you have fun thinking through these two questions. 

Benefits You Can Offer Your Reader

In this lesson, you'll learn to make your readers do what you want. Your readers will be happy, too, since they'll get what they want in this win/win system. You'll learn the seven basic benefits you can offer your reader and how to write the crucial first sentence of your document. You'll learn one more brainstorming technique that will help you capture good ideas, words, and phrases.

Sequencing Your Ideas and How to Write Your Ending

Master seven strategies for putting your ideas in order and learn how poor sequencing can sabotage your efforts. You'll also discover the best way to end any document. It's an idea that may surprise you! 

Revising, Formatting, Editing, and Proofreading

Revising, formatting, editing, and proofreading may all sound similar, but they're four distinct activities. In this lesson, you'll learn how revision is a process of exploration and discovery. You'll learn formatting strategies that will invite your reader in. You'll also learn to be a ruthless editor and professional proofreader.

What Words to Take Out

In this lesson, you'll learn how to write clearly and concisely. You'll explore three mistaken notions that lead business writers to use lots of convoluted phrasing and needlessly long words. You'll examine the pitfalls of using business clichés, jammed modifiers, trendy words, jargon, foreign words, redundancies, and hedging adjectives.

What Words to Put In

In the last lesson you learned what words to remove from your document. In this lesson, you'll learn what words you should include to make your business writing more compelling. You'll learn the four parts of the written communication process. You'll find out why the verbs and nouns you choose make a major difference. You'll also learn more ways to make the task of writing more enjoyable for you.

Strategies for Good Spelling and Punctuation

Today, we'll look at strategies for good spelling and punctuation. Everyone needs this review! To keep it fun, you'll get to deal with the topics of spelling and punctuation by taking some easy quizzes. It's a chance to learn by doing. See how good your spelling and punctuation skills really are. You'll learn that punctuation is not a tyranny of rules, but an evolving protocol to help you communicate. Finally, you'll capture your weak areas on a Tips Card. 

One Easy Grammar Lesson

Why do you have to bother with grammar? You'll find out why in this lesson. Take the Grammar Blitz Quiz to discover your grammar strengths and weaknesses. It will help you fill in the gaps that remain after years of boring grammar classes. You'll learn why using the active instead of the passive voice can be a demonstration of your integrity. You'll also explore the traps pronouns set for those of us sensitive to gender issues.

Getting the Tone Right

Getting the tone right in business writing can be tricky, especially in e-mail. In this lesson, you'll get to tackle your worst moods with one more brainstorming technique. You'll learn how to defuse any negative emotions that might get in the way of your problem solving. You'll also learn how your attitude toward your reader, your topic, and your own needs determines your tone. As you go through the lesson, you'll learn two easy ways to eliminate unintentional tone mistakes.

Getting the Tone Right

In this lesson, you'll learn why being able to say “no” with grace is a crucial business skill. A five-part format will give you a solid strategy for writing documents that say “no” while retaining the goodwill of your reader. You'll learn how to keep bad news letters, memos, and e-mails positive and helpful. 

On E-Mail

All about e-mail: Here's an up-to-date review of all the ways e-mail is different from other kinds of business writing. You'll learn tips on how to write e-mail that gets the job done. You'll find out some of pitfalls of using e-mail, including its legal status in court. You'll also discover how to manage the tone of your e-mail so that it doesn't accidentally offend your reader.

Course 7 - Workers' Compensation

What Is Workers' Compensation?

In our first lesson, we'll go over the basic concepts in workers' compensation. You'll learn how your chances of being involved in a workers' compensation case—either as employee, employer, paralegal, or human resource coordinator—are much higher than you might expect. Every year, hundreds of thousands of claims are filed. In this lesson, we'll review how the system works, how claims are filed, and why it's so vital for you to know and understand the basic workers' compensation system.

Workers' Compensation Benefits

Would you like to know exactly what benefits an injured worker is entitled to receive? Not sure what terms like temporary total disability, permanent total disability, temporary partial, and many of the other terms used to describe workers' compensation benefits really mean? In this lesson, we'll take the mystery out of them all. We'll go through each type of benefit, avoiding the legal jargon to provide a down-to-earth explanation of the benefit system in the workers' compensation system.

Federal Workers' Compensation

Today, we'll examine the workers' compensation system that covers all federal employees. This is a huge and multilayered bureaucracy, but we'll go through it step by step to show you how the federal system, which covers hundreds of thousands of federal workers, is both similar to and different from the state systems. We'll also examine some of the new initiatives created to track workers' compensation fraud and to prevent government agencies from making double or triple payments for the same injuries.

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

How do Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid interact with workers' compensation benefits? We'll answer that question in this lesson. We'll begin with an overview of these three systems. Then we'll proceed to a discussion about how these agencies work with state and federal workers' compensation agencies to provide different levels of payments and benefits. If you've ever been injured on the job, are close to retirement, are pregnant, or are in any way disabled, then you need to know how all of these systems work together, as well as what types of benefits you can receive from each.

Employers' and Employees' Roles

So far, we've focused on the workers' compensation system, from benefits to the relationships between other government agencies. In this lesson, we'll get specific about who is covered under workers' compensation statutes. What, for instance, qualifies a person as an "employee?" Are business owners covered by workers' compensation? How many employees must you have before you're legally obligated to make payments to the state workers' compensation fund? We'll answer these and many other questions in this lesson.

What Qualifies as an Injury?

What types of injuries are covered under workers' compensation? We all assume that if you slip and hurt yourself on the job, your injury will be covered. But is it? What about other types of injuries, such as repetitive stress injuries or psychological trauma? Are they covered as well? In today's lesson, you'll learn how injuries are classified under workers' compensation systems and the rules that employees must follow in determining which injuries are covered and which are not.

Medical Benefits

It's time to get specific about medical benefits provided under workers' compensation. How much is the injured employee obligated to pay out of pocket? How many treatments may the employee receive? What about physical therapy or chiropractic care? We'll address these questions in today's lesson, and we'll also take a look at some less traditional remedies. Just what types of treatment will the workers' compensation system pay for and what types will they force the employee to pay for?

Disability Benefits

In this lesson, we'll talk about the amount of money an injured employee will receive for different types of injuries. You'll learn the precise details about the dollar amounts an injured employee can expect to receive, and we'll break this down by the classification of benefits as temporary or total temporary disability. We'll also go over how injuries are reclassified as permanent and what that means for the benefits paid out. Finally, we'll explore how benefits are actually paid and the possibilities of lump-sum payments.

Hearings

In this lesson, we'll focus on what happens when an injured employee comes into conflict with his or her employer about benefits. Suppose that the employer wants to terminate benefits? What recourse does the employee have? The employee can request a hearing for a judicial decision about benefits. So today we'll examine how these hearings are scheduled, what evidence can be brought up at a hearing, the function of administrative law judges, and how attorneys get paid to represent people at workers' compensation hearings.

Jurisdiction and Awards

How are workers' compensation awards paid out? Can an injured employee opt for a lump sum instead of a regular monthly payment? How do workers' compensation boards enforce their judgments against employers and insurance companies? These are just a few of the questions we'll answer as we examine the issues surrounding obtaining an award. Finally, we'll also explore the power that workers' compensation boards have to enforce their regulations, not only against employers, employees and insurance companies, but also against doctors and other medical professionals.

Insurance and Workers' Compensation

Most employers don't pay workers' compensation benefits from their own budgets. Instead, they obtain workers' compensation insurance. In this lesson, we'll examine all of the issues surrounding how workers' compensation insurance works, from issuing the policy to paying out claims. Along the way, you'll learn how insurance companies make money from issuing policies and specify certain types of injuries that justify the insurance company from refusing to pay a claim. We'll also examine the role of the insurance defense attorney, who is hired by the insurance company to represent companies in workers' compensation hearings.

Appeals

In our final lesson, we'll follow a workers' compensation case through the appellate process. What powers do appellate courts have in workers' compensation cases? Can they modify the award of benefits or completely terminate them? What is the procedure that an employee must follow to bring an appeal when his or her benefits have been terminated? We'll answer these questions and explore the role of higher courts in workers' compensation cases.

Course 8 - Professional Sales Skills

Overview    
During our first lesson, we'll unlock the secret to your success as a sales professional. There's no magic in this procedure, and you're not predestined for success or failure. Good sales reps aren't born that way. This course will guide you to success in your sales efforts via planning, hard work, feedback, and practice.

Time management
In this lesson, we'll examine three major components of a successful time management program: setting priorities, planning your time, and using commercially available time management tools. Mastering those concepts will enable you to build a meaningful time management system and integrate it into your schedule. Granted, many people have demands on their time that don't allow them all the flexibility they would like, so we'll spend some time discussing that, too.

Marketing
Your sales process begins with marketing. So in this lesson, we're going to sharpen our skills in basic marketing techniques. We'll talk about how to get off to the right start, and then we'll build on that by examining cost versus benefits. Finally, we'll explore tactics associated with tracking the results of your marketing efforts.    

Prospecting
Most new sales reps are intimidated by the thought of prospecting. In today's lesson, you'll gain the basic tools that you need to excel at the art of prospecting to help you become the best prospector in your company. There are a variety of ways to prospect, including using the phone, direct mail, faxing, e-mails, and old-fashioned cold calling. We'll discuss the basic components of each in this lesson, and you'll learn how to maximize your time while prospecting. After today's lesson, I hope you'll see that prospecting isn't just easy to do—it can also be quite enjoyable!    

Pipeline management
In this lesson, we'll address the challenge of pipeline management by exploring three important areas. First, we'll discuss how to create your first pipeline management system. Next, we'll go further into the details of a prospect database—the core of your pipeline management system. Finally, we'll identify and define the key components of your system.

The Initial Call
In this lesson, we'll focus on an innovative approach in the sales world, called the "initial call." If you must select a single lesson in this course to master, this would be the one! As we go through this lesson, we'll begin by studying the structure of your first call. Second, we'll talk about a unique approach called a "site study" that will help move you toward closing the sale. Finally, we'll talk about preparing for the next step in the sales process.

Proposals
Today's topic is intended to give you the material you need to separate you from the majority of your competition by helping you with the art of executing a professional proposal. The first step is creating the proposal. There's a methodology to professional proposal creation, and in this lesson, you'll learn all the information you need to know to develop top-notch proposals. Proposal refinement and delivery are also important parts of, the process, and we'll go over those in detail, too.    

Presentations
A lot of sales professionals say that presentations are the most enjoyable part of the sales cycle. When you hire into a new company, this may be what they teach you first. Everyone is (or should be) proud of their product or service, and so they're excited to share it with others. In today's lesson, we'll go over how to develop the most effective presentation techniques—the ones that will give you the greatest chance of winning the sale. We'll start by discussing presentation options, then we'll move on to the structure of your presentation. Finally, we'll examine some of the presentation tools available to you.    

Negotiating
This lesson will focus on the art of negotiating in the sales process. Sales negotiations are quite different from standard negotiations because you, the sales representative, are always doing a fine balancing act, trying to sell your prospect while negotiating a win-win-win situation. Sometimes the negotiating process can cause conflicts, so in this lesson, we'll discuss how to identify and deal with these conflicts.    
Closing the account
If you were to ask professional sales reps about the aspect of sales they dread the most, a good percentage would respond, "Closing the sale!" However, if you were to ask the same professional sales reps about the aspect of sales they enjoy the most, an equal percentage may very well reply, "Closing the sale!" Why is there such a difference? The answer can be summarized in three words: training, confidence, and technique. By the time you finish this lesson, you'll be equipped with all three.    

Account management
The greatest resource any sales representative will ever have is a current list of customers. The company probably expended a great deal of effort and expense into acquiring these clients, so it makes sense that you should put a good deal of effort into retaining these clients. In this lesson, we'll discuss how to protect this valuable asset. Most people think of their clients in the singular sense of people who are currently using their products. You should try to expand this thinking to include all people who have used your products or services. If they made a decision to buy your product at some time in the past, they remain your odds-on favorites to buy again in the future.    

Putting your Sales Plan into action
In our final lesson, we'll go over the major components of your secrets to sales success. If you've paid close attention to all the basics that we covered in the previous lessons, you already know these secrets. By developing a comprehensive action plan that incorporates these strategies into your daily activities, you'll ensure your long-term success in the world of sales.

Course 9 - Understanding the Human Resources Function

The History of Human Resources

Do you ever wonder why the field of human resources is the way it is? How it has evolved? In our first lesson, we'll travel through history to explore the roots of human resources. You'll see how the modern human resource function has evolved from trade guilds, through the industrial revolution, to modern times.

Human Resources Functions in Today's Organization

What exactly does the human resource professional do on the job? In this lesson, we'll take a look at the variety of vital activities that are frequently included in the human resources function. This variety can include everything from recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees, to labor management relations and workplace safety and training.

The Hiring Process: Part 1

How does someone go about finding and hiring a new employee? The initial preparation for hiring is often done in the quiet of an office, which may make it seem like new employees just magically appear. Today, we'll explore what goes on in that quiet office to ensure that the employee who appears is the right one for the job. We'll focus on preparing advertisements and application forms, how to review and screen applications, conduct interviews, and verify information to ensure that it's correct.

The Hiring Process: Part 2

Interviews and background checks are key components of the hiring process. The interview is your chance to evaluate the job applicant in person to see how well his or her skills match your job requirements. So today, we'll look at each part of the interview—from how to set it up and what approach to take to rating the person after the interview.

Finding Employees in a Competitive Labor Market

How do you get someone to apply for a job? Solid recruiting practices using both traditional and nontraditional techniques will ensure that you have a large pool of applicants from which to pick and choose. Traditionally, many companies simply run a classified job ad when they need a new employee, but in this lesson, we'll explore other alternatives that may be equally effective in recruiting.

Retaining Quality Employees

What motivates a quality employee to stay on the job? What can you do to keep employees happy and working? In this lesson, we'll analyze job satisfaction and the factors that keep employees happy. Then we'll look at some unique programs that provide incentives for employees to stay on the job a long time.

Respecting Employee Rights

What rights do employees have? What are moral rights and how can the company protect them? What is the difference between a moral and a legal right? This lesson explores both moral and legal rights and how they can be used to benefit employees. We'll also take a look at what to do if an employee complains that either moral or legal rights are not being protected.

Laws Relating to Human Resources

What legal responsibilities does a company owe its employees? Today's lesson provides an overview of the many laws that impact the workplace. We'll examine laws that govern union-management interactions, prohibit discrimination, set wage and hour requirements, and set benefit and safety standards. I'll also point out some Internet resources that will help you easily stay up to date as these laws change.

Policy Making

Do you have a policy manual at work? What policies are included in the manual? How does anyone ever decide what policies to include? In this lesson, we'll take a look at policy manuals—what they should include, what policies are most common, and what you should do to ensure that your policies comply with the law.

Employee Communications

How can workplace communication be effective? What should you do to ensure that communication is taking place on a regular basis? Today, we'll focus on the need for effective communication programs at work and how to implement them. You'll find out how to keep communication running smoothly throughout the organization.

Administration of Employee Benefit Programs

What should a strong employee benefit program include? What is involved in putting a benefit package together? Benefits are a great way to attract and keep employees. So today we'll take a look at such common employment benefits as insurance and retirement. We'll cover how to put together a benefit package, and options for including free benefits that are attractive to employees.

Human Resources—A Source of Quality

Have you ever wondered what makes a human resource professional successful? In our final lesson, we'll take a look at eight habits that successful professionals adopt. You'll leave with the insight and ability to achieve excellence at work

Course 10 - Research Methods for Writers

Research: The Foundation of Writing

In this introductory lesson, you’ll learn why good research skills are necessary for effective writing. You’ll unleash your creativity with the exciting “Mind Mapping” tool to identify your subject—in both a general and specific way—to help refine your research before you even begin. You’ll also learn the importance of understanding jargon and technical terms specific to your subject, which will leave you much better prepared to begin your project.

Let's Make a Plan

You probably already know that much time can be wasted if research is conducted in a disorganized manner. In this lesson you’ll learn how to organize a plan for your research and how to keep organized once your research is underway. We’ll identify the first steps of research, including choosing between academic and anecdotal research, primary and secondary sources, and which resources will be the most productive for you in the early stages of research.

The Library: A Virtual Field Trip

The library is still the most all-inclusive resource for research, but many people aren’t aware of the treasure trove of information residing within its walls. This lesson will take you on a virtual field trip through the many library sections and departments, introducing and reviewing the materials available, including periodicals, microfilm records, Lexis-Nexis, rare books, reverse directories, government reports, maps, old telephone books, and many others. You’ll discover resources that you never knew existed.

The Personal Interview

One of the most productive resources for researches is the personal interview, but it can be intimidating. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to find experts and how to prepare for an interview. You’ll learn the keys to formulating questions designed to get the very best from your subject. By the time you finish this lesson, you’ll feel confident and competent to approach your interview subjects with ease.

Getting the Most out of Reports and Studies

Perusing reports can seem about as much fun as a root canal, but it’s worth it when you find nuggets of information essential to your research. This lesson will introduce you to numerous valuable reports, including census reports, public company reports and a multitude of government reports. You’ll learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff, winnowing out the pertinent information, and how to assess a report not only for its content but also for the reliability of its source. As a bonus, you’ll be given some guidelines for turning statistics into prose.

History: Fact or Fiction?

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to incorporate history into your writing, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction. You’ll discover what you’ve probably suspected all along: the truth of history is often shaped by the perspective of the historian. This lesson will teach you how to evaluate different perspectives, how to spot “rewritten history,” and how to zero in on fact versus mythology.

Public Records: A Treasure Trove of Information

Today’s lesson will introduce you to the numerous public records that are waiting to reveal information about persons, places, and things. Real estate records, birth, marriage and death records, civil and criminal trial records, bankruptcy filings, construction records, and political campaign information are but a few of the many records available to the public. By the end of this lesson, you’ll know what’s out there and how to get to it.

The Internet: A Researcher's Best Friend

Conducting research on the Internet can be a valuable time-saver. It can also allow researchers to fall into the trap of believing everything they read. This lesson will discuss Internet reliability: what you can trust and what you should mistrust. You’ll also learn skills for effectively using search engines for your research, for both general and specific topics. You’ll find many useful research links, and we’ll discuss issues such as when you should and should not pay for your information. The Internet has as many pitfalls as benefits, and this lesson will show you how to avoid the pitfalls.

Creating Your Own Information

Some researchers can’t resist the lure of using information that has never before existed. This lesson discusses the value of collecting your own data by way of surveys, studies, interviews, polls, and questionnaires. You’ll learn how to effectively create these instruments of data-gathering, and you’ll learn the difference between valid statistical sampling versus informal, nonscientific results, and when the use of each is appropriate.

Guerrilla Research

Have you ever had difficulty finding cooperative sources of information? This lesson will reveal the secrets of Guerilla Research; i.e., how to get answers when the questions are being evaded. You’ll learn techniques for gaining the confidence of reluctant interview subjects, as well as methods for digging and snooping. In other words, you’ll learn how to get what you want when the direct approach isn’t working.

Attribution: Giving Credit When Credit Is Due

Once your research has been compiled, much of it will be quoted or paraphrased within your manuscript. In today’s lesson we’ll discuss the importance of proper attribution as well as the technical methods for crediting your sources. You’ll learn how to painlessly create a bibliography, and you will also learn how to decide between citations, footnotes, and endnotes for your work. You can easily avoid copyright violations by gaining a basic understanding of copyright law, along with the fundamentals of fair use and permissions. Writers know how important it is to protect themselves, and in this lesson you’ll learn how.

Pulling It All Together

Your research is complete, your facts are gathered; now what? In this final lesson, you’ll learn what to do with all the research materials you have accumulated. You’ll learn how to identify what is valuable and what should be discarded. You’ll gain insight on both the writing and the editing process, and as a bonus, you’ll learn how to avoid some of the most common word-usage mistakes. This lesson will give you the final skills you need to produce a well-researched, polished manuscript.


Entry requirements

Students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Minimum education

Open entry. Previous schooling and academic achievements are not required for entry into this course.

Computer requirements

Students will need access to a computer and the internet. 

Minimum specifications for the computer are:

Windows:

  • Microsoft Windows XP, or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Internet Explorer 8 or later, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

MAC/iOS

  • OSX/iOS 6 or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

All systems

  • Internet bandwidth of 1Mb or faster
  • Flash player or a browser with HTML5 video capabilities(Currently Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Students will also need access the following applications:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

About this Course

Get Resume Writing, Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search, Effective Communication, Writing Essentials, Fundamentals of Technical Writing, Effective Business Writing, Workers' Compensation, Professional Sales Skills, Understanding the Human Resources Function and Research Methods for Writers in this Bundle

1. Resume Writing: Appreciate this resume writing workshop

This Certificate in Resume Writing Workshop Online Course will lead you through a self-assessment series so you will have extensive knowledge about the product you are marketing YOU! Learn different resume formats and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Write an employment objective that shows potential employers that you have direction. Make the most of your work experience. Know what to reveal in a resume, and what to keep to yourself. Learn to overcome gaps in work history and age discrimination. Discover how to use references to your advantage. This course includes the use of online resumes and Internet Resume Secrets. This course is invaluable for anyone who wants to create their own resume, or learn how to write resumes and cover letters for profit.

2. Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search: Discover the twelve steps to a successful job search

Get the job you want quickly and easily and in any economy.

In this Certificate in Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search Online Course, a world-renowned author and career advisor will help you identify the job that is best for your needs. You'll then be given complete step-by-step instructions on how to get that job, regardless of your level of expertise or state of the economy. You will learn how to build rapport with any interviewer, both verbally and non-verbally, while mastering the six phases of a successful job interview. This motivational course will increase your confidence, help you feel great about yourself, and provide you with the foundation you need to get the job you want

3. Effective Communication: Understand the keys to effective communication

If you often find yourself at a loss for words or lack confidence in your communication abilities, you'll appreciate this Certificate in Effective Communication Online Course.

With the help of a patient instructor and a supportive community of your fellow students, you'll work step by step through the process of becoming a great conversationalist.

You'll learn to use communication to build rapport and create environments of trust, warmth, and respect.

Become more confident, create a great first impression, get along well with others, and create more and better personal and professional relationships.

4. Writing Essentials: Learn writing essentials

In this Certificate in Writing Essentials Online Course, you’ll learn how to express yourself clearly online, and take your creative literary talents to a new level. 

Whether you’re hoping to get a better job, write for a blog, or publish your short story, this course will give you the writing tools you need for success. It’s also a perfect choice for students who speak English as a second language.

You’ll gain confidence right away as you practice free writing and discover how to create solid drafts. You’ll improve your writing skills by learning to select strong and persuasive words, spell correctly, and choose the right punctuation. Then you’ll find out how to put it all together by crafting well-written sentences, building effective paragraphs, and organizing your material logically. And finally, you’ll explore ways to make the most of e-mails and other forms of electronic communication.

With the knowledge and hands-on practice you gain from this course, you’ll be able to express yourself clearly and persuasively in writing—both in your personal life and in the business world.

5. Fundamentals of Technical Writing: Learn fundamentals of technical writing

Do you have a knack for explaining complex subjects in a way that makes them easy to understand? If so, you should consider entering the well-paying field of technical writing.

This Certificate in Fundamentals of Technical Writing Online Course will teach you the skills you need to succeed as a technical writer. You will learn how to translate complex information into easily understood language, and how to become a wizard at marrying the art of publishing with the science of technology.

You'll learn the secrets of successful technical writers, including technical writing conventions, interviewing skills, desktop publishing and formatting techniques, key tips for developing graphics and templates, documentation management, and how to publish documents both on paper and electronically.

You'll also learn how to get your first job as a technical writer, plus tricks of the trade that enable you to create high-quality documentation with less work.

6. Effective Business Writing: Learn Effective Business Writing

Do you have a nagging suspicion that a small improvement in your writing skills might also improve your career prospects?

Don't let small gaps in your business writing skills prevent you from reaching your full potential!

It doesn't matter whether you're a clerical worker, an engineer, or an executive. If you communicate with others in writing, you need this Certificate in Effective Business Writing Online Course to help you identify and eliminate problem areas.

By the end of this Effective Business Writing Online Course, you'll know the secret to developing powerful written documents that immediately draw readers in and keep them motivated to continue until your very last, well-chosen word.

7. Workers' Compensation: Knowing the ins and outs of workers' compensation

Anyone considering a career as a paralegal should have a firm understanding of workers' compensation law. The reason is simple: You're far more likely to be involved in workers' compensation cases than criminal law cases, intellectual property cases, or even business disputes. The only types of cases that are more common are personal injury or medical malpractice, both of which have very strong ties to workers' compensation law. 

Knowing the ins and outs of workers' compensation is an absolutely essential skill for any paralegal. Having a solid foundation in this field of law is also a great way to land a job with a private law firm or local, state, or federal governments. 

This course presents workers' compensation in a straightforward and enjoyable manner. It follows up on other courses taught by a popular legal instructor who has created criminal law and legal nurse consulting courses that have earned strong praise from students. 

8. Professional Sales Skills: Learn how to develop a sales plan, and more!

Today, there are no shortages of opportunities for skilled salespeople. In good times or bad, companies never stop looking for sales representatives that can help them meet their financial goals. If you've always dreamed of becoming successful in sales, this course is exactly what you need. You'll learn how to turn prospects into buyers, how to provide proper customer service, how to develop a sales plan, and more!

9. Understanding the Human Resources Function: Learn about understanding the human resources function

No matter what role we play in an organization, we are all affected by human resources. This Certificate in Understanding the Human Resources Function Online Course is designed to help people without experience in human resources to understand this very vital link in the organizational chain. It will prepare both managers and business owners to handle basic human resource functions in a way that will ensure the best possible result. In particular, attention is given to the hiring process, including ways to locate quality employees in a competitive labor market. Employee rights and the legal side of the human resource field are also covered.

This program/course is a good choice for those looking for project management experience and those aspiring to obtain a PMI credential.  It's also an excellent choice for existing PMI credential holders looking for an approved activity for PMI's continuing certification PDUs. At the end of this course, you'll receive a certificate indicating your completion of PDUs equal to the number of hours of this course through ed2go, R.E.P. #3213. Please visit pmi.org to learn more about PMI's credentials and how they may fit into your continuing education plans.

The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

This program has been approved for 24 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

10. Research Methods for Writers: Discover research methods for writers

This six-week Certificate in Research Methods for Writers Online Course teaches the best methods for mounting a search on any subject.

You'll take a virtual guided tour of the library and how to maximize its precious resources, and you’ll discover how to access public records, conduct successful Internet searches, and explore other similar treasure troves of information. 

Personal interviews, public reports, surveys and polls, and historical research are introduced and dissected. A special lesson on Guerilla Research reveals secrets for the undercover researcher. As a plus, detailed instructions are offered for getting organized before embarking on research and getting the most out of information once it’s gathered. 

This course will give you the tools you’ll need to successfully gather and incorporate all the information any polished and professional writing project requires

For comprehensive information on units of study click the units of study tab above.

This is an incredible opportunity to invest in yourself and your future, sharpen your training skills and learn what it takes to create your own success with Courses For Success Today!

Course Fast Facts:

  1. This course is delivered 100% on-line and is accessible 24/7 from any computer or smartphone
  2. Instructors lead each course and you will be able to interact with them and ask questions
  3. You can study from home or at work at your own pace in your own time
  4. You can download printer friendly course material or save for viewing off line
  5. You will be awarded a certificate at completion of this course

How to study online course?

Upon enrolment an automated welcome email will be sent to you (please check your junk email inbox if not received as this is an automated email), in order for you to access your online course, which is Available 24/7 on any computer or smart mobile device. New courses start every month to ensure that we have the correct ratio of students to tutors available, please ensure you select a starting date when you go through our shopping cart, at checkout. The course is easy to follow and understand.

Recognition & Accreditation

All students who complete each course receive a certificate of completion per course, with a passing score (for the online assessment) and will be issued a certificate via email.

Resume Writing 10 Course Bundle includes the following courses, below is a summary of each course: 

Course 1 - Resume Writing

Components of a Resume
In our first lesson, we're going to discuss what a resume is and why you need one. Then we'll go over the six sections of a resume: Heading, objective, education, work experience, special skills, and references, and you'll learn how job seekers utilize each one to market themselves to prospective employers. We'll finish up the lesson by discussing some other resources on the Internet where you can look over sample resume headings and objectives.

Self-Assessment
Today, we'll outline the skills that you've developed in five areas of your life—work, education, internships, volunteering, and extracurricular activities. Then we'll edit those skills down to the ones that are most relevant to employment, and choose an important skill for each area. Next, we'll come up with personality traits, and narrow those down to the ones that are useful in a business setting. I'm going to ask you to list the three accomplishments that you're most proud of, and the skills that you used to make these goals come to fruition.

Rules of Resumes
In this lesson, we're going to cover the rules of resumes. For instance, a resume should be only one page, and it should be laser-printed or typeset by a professional printer, and it should be printed on bond paper. You're also going to learn what not to include on your resume, and why it's perfectly acceptable to use the word "I" on your resume if you so desire. We'll conclude the lesson with a discussion about Truth in Resume Writing. Through example, I'm going to demonstrate how to portray job duties in the best possible light without getting yourself into trouble.

Chronological Resumes
In Lesson 4, you'll learn about the most popular style of resume—the chronological resume. In this type of resume, you'll list work experience in reverse chronological order. Your current or last position is listed first in the work experience section of your resume. We'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this type of resume. You'll also learn how to minimize a gap in work history. Although many people will have a few small gaps in work history, too many gaps, and gaps that are too large will put prospective employers on alert.

Functional Resumes
In this lesson, we're going to go over the other two resume formats—the functional resume and the hybrid—the combined resume. Although not as popular as the chronological resume, these resume formats do fulfill a need for some job seekers. Employees who are following a new direction in their career, or who don't have much experience for a particular position, may choose a functional format. You'll learn the differences between functional resumes and chronological ones, and as part of the lesson, we'll look at four people's chronological resumes and practice converting them into functional and combined resumes.

A Look at Your Resume
In this lesson, we're going to concentrate on your resume. We'll discuss how to set up the heading of your resume and the options you have available to you when you're doing so. Then we'll look at some sample resume headings. You'll learn how to write a persuasive objective for your personal resume, and then we'll discuss career profiles and summaries of qualifications. We'll also go over examples of objectives, career profiles, and summaries. Finally, we'll look at the education section of your resume and discuss what's included in an honors section.

References
In this lesson, we're going to discuss references. We'll begin by looking at examples of two reference letters written by two different individuals. Then, we'll discuss how to request a reference letter, and take a look at a sample dialogue of this. We'll discuss the different people you could request a letter from, and take a look at the difference between a regular reference and a sealed reference. Later, we'll look at a sample reference sheet that you can use as a model to construct your own. We'll finish up with some examples of how you can refer to your references on your resume.

Work Experience
In today's lesson, you'll learn how to turn job descriptions into advertising copy. Your resume is an advertisement for a product, and you are the product, and your potential employer is the customer. You need to express the features (actual description of your product) and the benefits (how it will help or aid the customer) of the product. You must be as persuasive and specific as possible when describing your features and benefits. Finally, we'll discuss company job descriptions and why they're important to you.

Technical Resumes
In today's lesson, you'll learn all about technical resumes (resumes for engineering, data processing, and other technical and management careers). We're going to discuss how these resumes differ from traditional resumes. You'll learn about buzzwords, and find out how to use them effectively on a technical resume. Then you'll learn some writing tips for technical resumes, and we'll go over a recommended technical resume format. We'll finish up the lesson by looking over some examples of technical resumes—one chronological and one functional.

Online Resumes
In this lesson, you'll learn the three methods that employers use to locate a job candidate on the Internet. We're going to discuss resume banks, search engines, and newsgroups. I'll explain what you need in order to get Internet access, and the three versions you'll need in order to post your resume on the Web. We'll go over keywords and other online resume tips, and I'll explain why you need to protect yourself on the Internet, as well as ways to accomplish this. We'll finish up with a discussion about how to post your resume

Cover Letters
In Lesson 11, you're going to learn how to write an effective cover letter. I'll explain what a cover letter is, and when you'll need one. Then we'll go over the different parts of a cover letter, and look at several examples of them. Finally, we'll discuss the follow-up sentence that you might include in the closing of your cover letter and why it's important in your job search.

Formatting Resumes
Our final lesson is all about the new resume that you've been working on throughout this course. We're going to take one final critical look at it: Is your name centered at the top of the page? Is it highlighted by a larger font, bolding, or underlining? Is your objective highlighted, along with your education, college, and work experience? Were you consistent with font sizes, capitalization, spacing, and punctuation? Is everything lined up vertically? The left-hand side of your resume should be lined up vertically, but the right-hand side should be ragged. Is your resume perfect with no typos or spelling errors? By the time you finish today's lesson, your resume will be ready to present to prospective employers.

Course 2 - Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search

Developing & Maintaining A Positive Attitude Throughout Your Job Hunt.

Lost your job or frustrated in your existing occupation? A job search can be challenging and a real blow to your psyche. Due to the economy or the uniqueness of the opportunity you want, looking for a job can be difficult and emotionally draining. But don't let circumstances get you down. If you're down in the dumps and not feeling confident, you'll convey that energy in your interviews. In our first lesson, you'll learn how to develop and maintain a positive and winning attitude throughout your job hunt so you can be prepared for any challenges ahead.

Identifying Key Selling Points That Differentiate You From Your Competition.

One of the best ways to build a solid foundation for your job search is to identify your core strengths and competencies. In today's lesson, you'll learn how to identify those aspects of your personality and experience that will differentiate you from your competition and give you a winning edge throughout your job search.

Defining Your Ideal Job.

Would you ever go on vacation by just jumping in a car and driving without knowing where you're going? Most likely not, but that's how many people approach their job search. Before you can get a job, you first have to decide what job you really want. Many job-hunters say, I just want any job. That attitude won't cut it in today's economy. If you don't know what you want, how are you going to get it? In this lesson, I'll guide you through step-by-step exercises that will help you define the job you really want.

Creating a Powerful Message - How To Write Eye-Catching Resumes & Cover letters.

Advertising is one way companies promote their products. When job hunting, you are the product, so you'll need a solid message. Your advertising materials will be your cover letters and resumes. In this lesson, we'll look at how to create a winning message so companies want to interview you. We'll also explore scores of sample resumes and cover letters.

Networking and Finding Job Opportunities.

Jobs rarely show up and fall in your lap. Sometimes you have to go out there and create your own opportunities. In today's lesson, we'll talk about where and how you can network to find the best job opportunities for you.

Convincing A Company To Hire You Even When No Jobs Are Available - Creating Your Personal Business Case.

In today's economy, companies aren't hiring like they used to. Sometimes you have to convince a company to create a position that might not currently exist. In this lesson, we'll look at ways you can demonstrate the value you can add to a company, and how to develop a message that can make companies want to create a position for you.

Selling Yourself to get the Interview.

There are many ways to find job opportunities. But just finding the opportunity isn't enough. You have to convince the hiring manager that you should be considered. This lesson will show you how to sell yourself so companies want to grant you an interview.

Preparing and Practicing for the Interview.

Once you've secured the job interview, your work has just begun. Now you have to be prepared to shine during your interview so managers want to hire you. In today's lesson, we'll talk about how to practice and prepare for any job interview. We'll also look at over 50 of the interview questions that are asked most often so you can practice and prepare your responses.

Knowing the Traits Interviewers Want in their Ideal Candidates.

Knowing what interviewers want is one of the keys to winning the interview. In this lesson, we'll identify the top qualities and characteristics that interviewers look for in ideal job candidates.

Mastering The 3 Phases of a Successful Interview.

You can prepare all you want for the interview, but the ultimate test is the interview itself. The interview is what ultimately makes or breaks your chances of winning the job. In today's lesson, we'll break the interview down into three phases and learn how to master the skills of communication and personal selling so managers can't wait to hire you.

Following-Up After the Interview.

The job-hunting process doesn't end with the interview itself. To really make yourself stand out from the crowd, you'll need to have solid follow-up after the interview. In this lesson, you'll learn the proper way to maintain communication after your interview so you can secure the job offer.

Accepting, Rejecting, and Negotiating Job Offers.

If you've followed the first 11 lessons, hopefully, you'll be flooded with job offers. Once you get these offers, what should you do? In this lesson, we'll discuss the ins and outs of accepting, rejecting, and negotiating job offers so that you can be delighted with your eventual outcome—landing the job you want at a salary you desire!

Course 3 - Effective Communication

Introduction to the Keys to Effective Communication

In our first lesson, you'll learn the qualities that make someone a great communicator. I'll teach you the five components of achievable goals and how to create win-win situations. You'll benefit from setting your own communication goals in clear steps that are easy to reach. You'll be able to apply the new skills you learn to your own life, and I'll be right here to guide you in the Discussion Area to help you build your confidence and learn to communicate more powerfully.

Rapport

Building rapport is the first great key to effective communication. Great communicators know how to get and keep rapport with others. In today's lesson, you'll learn how to build rapport with almost anyone. The potent tools are easy to understand and use. And after this lesson, you'll become a better listener and know how to keep respect alive in your conversations. You'll also learn the art of reflective listening, and I'll give you lots of examples and stories of how others turned frustrating communications into successful ones.

Pacing, Linking and Leading

Today you'll learn how to pace and lead your conversations toward win-win outcomes. You'll learn how to contain a conversation, keeping it on track and moving toward your goals. You'll understand how and when to use different styles of communication, and you'll learn how to contain a conversation so things go smoothly. Interrupting gracefully and breaking rapport are skills you'll learn to use in uncomfortable situations. I'll give you lots of examples on how this works so you'll learn quickly.

Mastering Learning Style

In this lesson, you'll master the three learning and communication styles. You'll uncover your own learning style and learn to spot the communication style of others. These skills will help you share your views with anyone, even those you previously found difficult to communicate with. You'll learn how your brain works, and we'll go through an exercise to help you mobilize your brain power. This lesson is always a student favorite!

Regaining Lost Rapport

Today, you'll learn some great ways to regain lost rapport and keep conversations positive. When we lose rapport, disagreements flourish, but a skilled communicator can regain lost rapport. You'll also learn how to acquire flexibility in your communication style, enabling you to stay in great rapport with all types of people.

Mastering Motivation

In this lesson, you'll learn some useful motivation strategies. People motivate toward pleasure and away from pain. When you understand how to motivate yourself and others, you get more done. So today, you'll find out how to inspire coworkers and family members toward mutual outcomes. As you master your motivation skills, other things fall into place. Relationships heal and communication improves. You'll develop a strong sixth sense about the people you come in contact with. These practical hands on skills are something you can use for the rest of your life.

Group Presentations

Today, we'll explore presentation skills. An effective presenter knows how to communicate fluently and has a sense of the atmosphere in a room. An effective presenter creates win-wins so that everyone is happy with the outcome. After finishing this lesson, you'll understand how to use first, second and third-person perspective to increase your awareness and understanding. I'll also show you ways to feel comfortable in many kinds of group situations.

Communication in Leadership and Teamwork

Imagine that you're a part of a team in which the leadership is genuine. Imagine knowing how to step into the shoes of a true leader. In today's lesson, we'll explore leadership and teamwork. You'll learn how to build a great work or family team where each team member gives one another equal value and respect. You'll see how a great leader can elicit and set the goals for his or her team and develop the vision for the group. The leader uses the knowledge and capabilities of each person, and places team members so each person performs optimally. Effective leaders inspire, guide, and bring out the best in each and all.

Communication with Children

In today's lesson, you'll learn how to communicate effectively with children. Guiding children is a huge responsibility. Children are very open, and our words go in deeply. You'll learn why the early years of a child's life are so important. This information is relevant at any age, but especially important with young children. Information about brain development and early literacy dovetails beautifully with the other wonderful things you'll learn in this course.

Subconscious Communication

Your subconscious mind is your deeper mind—it's the part of your mind that's beneath your conscious awareness. When you understand how to talk to your subconscious, you understand how to work with yourself and others to create greater success. In today's lesson, you'll find out how to use affirmations effectively. You'll understand how your subconscious mind works, and you'll learn more about non-verbal communication, which is 96% of communication. I'll also teach you how to apply the strategies to your personal situations.

Managing Stressful Communication and Anger

Anger is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to healthy relationships. Learning to manage and control your anger makes you a more powerful communicator and keeps goodwill strong. In this lesson, we'll focus on centering and tools to use when you're stressed or angry. You'll understand how to manage transition times so that change is graceful. You'll learn how to hold efficient, productive, and fun family meetings. Family meetings reduce the stress in your home and increase the communication among the members of your household. You'll also find out how to apply these techniques to any group.

Review of the Keys to Effective Communication

In each of our lessons, the material has been building up to this point, and today is the grand finale. In our final lesson today, we'll pull together and review everything you've learned. We'll go back and take a look at your communication goals to see how far you've come, and you'll set new goals to help you effectively apply your skills to your life after the course. You'll gain further insight, enabling you to move past your stuck spots and into being a very effective communicator. You'll use these strategies for the rest of your life!

Course 4 - Writing Essentials

Writing: Your Dynamic New Tool

Welcome to Lesson 1, where you’ll learn important concepts to help you write better today!  You’ll learn a strategy that will free up every bit of your existing writing skills and help you gain confidence when you write. Practice begins now with a new technique that will help you get your thoughts out onto the page so you can work with them.  It’s a great way to start on your goal of becoming a confident, accomplished writer.  Whether you need to write on the job or you’re eager to write for publication, this lesson will help!

Words: Picking the Right One

Prepare yourself for some major upgrades on your ability to choose effective words!  In this lesson you'll learn to recognize what kinds of word choices work and why.  You’ll come away with an understanding about word choices that cause your readers to feel confused or uninterested.  You'll have the pleasure of discovering how to find the word you want and also how to goof around with words so you enjoy writing more.  Finally, you'll practice, practice, practice.  It’s fun, so feel free to dive in and splash around!

Spelling: Tips and Practice

It’s time for spelling practice. Not only will you review problem words, but you’ll get acquainted with 10 helpful rules and five helpful tips to make you a better speller so you can spell better from now on. You’ll identify your own particular spelling demons and learn a strategy to cope with them once and for all.  This lesson is filled with the kinds of resources and spelling practice you’ve been looking for.

Usage: Which Word Goes Where

Here’s your chance to get acquainted with common word usage difficulties and master them. You’re about to learn to pick the right word at the right time and put it in the right place in your sentence.  You’ll practice choosing between similar sounding words that have different meanings.  You’ll get helpful explanations—at last!—about tricky usages that may trip you up daily.  Feel free to delve into an information-packed lesson that will add to your knowledge of correct word usage.

Sentences: Writing Them Effectively

Your writing ability is building after the first four lessons!  In Lesson 5 you’ll integrate all you’ve learned so far—how how to capture your thoughts, choose effective words, spell correctly, and master word usage—by mastering techniques that will help you write effective sentences.  Here you’ll practice constructing sentences that have energy and precision by learning four simple tips, deciding which words to take out, and communicating your ideas logically.

Ending Punctuation: When, Where, and Why

Whisk through a handy review of the three main punctuation marks used to end sentences: the period, the question mark, and the exclamation point.  But that’s not all.  You’ll benefit from practicing how to identify and fix run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and the overuse of dashes and ellipses.  Round out your exploration with the challenge of combining quotation marks with the ending marks.  You’ll get a fine update on what works and what doesn’t with this first of three full lessons on punctuation.

Commas: Mastery at Last!

Commas!  Yes, you can master their use.  Lesson 7 is designed to give you confidence in your comma placement.  You’ll learn how to use commas to create energy and precision in your writing.  Instead of memorizing an intimidating list of rules, you’ll learn by listening, clarifying, and practicing.  You’ll realize that you’re in charge of your commas rather than being a passive victim.  You’ll get answers to all your lingering doubts about using commas here. 

Semicolons, Colons, and All the Rest: A Quick Review

It’s likely been a long time since your school days, and your knowledge of the correct use of all the punctuation marks may be a bit vague now.  Lesson 8 to the rescue!  The emphasis here will be on how to use punctuation marks like semicolons, colons, dashes, parentheses, ellipses, apostrophes, quotation marks, italics, and hyphens.  You’ll acquire a new understanding of the way these marks help you.  You’ll gain this understanding by discovering, through practice, how to punctuate for clarity and how to help your readers hear the way you want your words to sound.

Paragraphs: How They Help You Communicate

You’re building your knowledge brick by brick, and now it’s time to tackle the most powerful organizing tool of all writing—the paragraph.  Here you’ll find tips on how to organize a paragraph, where to break one paragraph and start another, and how to sequence paragraphs for optimum understanding.  As always, you’ll get to practice these skills as you go, solidifying your knowledge and gaining new confidence.  Dive in!

Formatting: Tools and Tips to Help Your Content Shine

Now it’s time to find out how to put all your good writing into the right format so you can communicate with power and precision.  Formatting appeals to the eye of your readers and draws them into your content.  It’s a powerful tool and one that involves some creative choices on your part.  Get ready to learn about your choices for overall form, as well as how to use basic and specific formatting tools to make your writing highly readable.

Writing for Electronic Media: Quirks and Characteristics

Learn how to write effectively in today’s electronic world. Explore how the techniques of writing various types of electronic media such as e-mail, instant messages, and text messages, for example, differ from the techniques used to prepare messages that will be read on paper. It’s a new world, and new rules are necessary to help you communicate well. This lesson will help you discover what works and what doesn’t in these exciting and evolving media.  You’ll gain a new understanding of how to write powerful e-mail, since it’s the most common of all electronic message systems.

Putting It All Together: Writing Well!

Time to wrap up all you’ve learned!  Lesson 12 will help you practice using your new skills, working from freewriting to a finished document.  You’ll practice how to use both your creative and your critical skills while writing.  You’ll find out what kind of attitude will help you use your new skills and what good habits will help you continue to improve each time you write.  You’ll focus on revision, work with a revision checklist, and review good tips on proofreading.  You’ll put together all you’ve learned so your writing continues to improve from this point forward.

Course 5 - Fundamentals of Technical Writing

Technical Writing Overview
Technical writing is a relatively new profession, but people have been writing technical documents for centuries. In our first lesson, you'll learn the fascinating history of technical writing, plus how the instructor (and many others) became technical writers and how technical writing employs both the logical and creative sides of your brain.

Preparing to Write
Technical writing requires preparation. In this lesson, you'll learn the basics of project management for your documentation project (including average amounts of time you should dedicate to different writing activities), key questions to help you analyze your reading audience, and how to organize the information you gather. 

Gathering Information
In today's lesson, you'll learn powerful communication skills that will help you get the information you need. You'll find out how to develop your listening skills and use body language that keeps you alert and encourages the people you're interviewing to talk with you. You'll also learn how to ask questions that help you get the answers you need more efficiently, and how to apply principles of adult learning when you're analyzing the information you've gathered.

Writing Skills
Do you ever get writer's block? Most writers do! Today you'll learn how to shut off your internal editor and give yourself permission to write your first draft more quickly and easily. You'll learn tips that will help you keep writing even when you realize you don't have all of the information you need, plus you'll have more confidence after you finish the grammar and punctuation review in this lesson, which includes tips about how to make your writing more interesting. 

Tech Writing Conventions
Every profession has rules and conventions that separate the novices from the pros. In this lesson, you'll learn all about time-honored technical writing conventions, such as using parallel structure, an inverted pyramid style of writing, effective headings, and lists.

Graphics
Should you save your graphics as bitmaps, gifs, or jpgs? In this lesson, we'll go over the difference between the most popular graphics file formats and guidelines for using each. You'll also learn about a new file format called PNG, and how to create screenshots on your PC, then manipulate your shots in Windows' Paint, saving you the expense of far more costly graphics programs. 

Document Formatting
Formatting your document can be critical to its success. In this lesson, you'll learn how to choose the typeface or typefaces you want to use and principles for using type effectively in your document. You'll learn about the things you need to keep in mind when laying out your pages. We'll take a look at some layouts that are commonly used in technical documents, then we'll discuss how to achieve those layouts using Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word's Paragraph Styles
Microsoft Word has nearly a 93-percent market share for PC-based word processing—it's the de facto standard for most corporations and government agencies. So chances are high that you'll use it at some time in your technical writing career. In fact, most companies require that you be proficient with Word when considering you for technical writing positions. So in this lesson, you'll learn how Microsoft Word is different from other word-processing applications and how to use, modify, and create Word's paragraph styles. 

Document Templates
When companies use Microsoft Word for their documentation, they expect you to know how to use and create Word templates. In this lesson, you'll learn quick ways to build templates, plus you'll learn some Word skills that will help you dazzle potential employers, such as recording macros, customizing your toolbar, and using cross-references, AutoText, and captions.

Creating Indexes
Did you know that indexes are the most widely read section in any technical document? In today's lesson, we'll review indexing conventions, and I'll provide a few tips on building a great index for your document. You'll also learn how to use Microsoft Word to make indexing a bit easier. 

Editing and Proofreading
To polish your document and make it the best it can be, you need to proofread it and edit it. In today's lesson, you'll learn tips from professional proofreaders and editors, as well as ways you can use Microsoft Word to help you check your spelling and grammar.

Publishing Your Document
Publishing your document is an exciting time. All of your hard work is almost done—or is it? In our final lesson, you'll learn about different printing options and how to work with printers. You'll also learn about future trends in publishing and how your documents may be distributed in the future. Last, we'll talk about different ways you can use your technical writing skills in the job market, and a four-step plan for getting your first job, as well as some ideas about freelancing. Questions are always encouraged!

Course 6 - Effective Business Writing

Writing as Problem Solving

In this first lesson, you'll learn a brainstorming technique that will help make writing easier and more fun for you right away. You'll learn how to disentangle the efforts of your creative and critical sides, and you'll come to understand why both sides are important components of good writing. You'll also learn why writing is one of the best problem-solving tools around. 

Why Write and Who is Your Reader?

Here's where you'll learn a helpful system for organizing your writing, whether it's an e-mail, a formal letter, or a companywide memo. You'll start by picking out a document you have to write anyway so you can begin to put your new writing knowledge to use right away. You may as well get some work done while you're learning, right? Next, you'll nail down why you're writing this particular document and who your reader is. A second brainstorming technique will help you have fun thinking through these two questions. 

Benefits You Can Offer Your Reader

In this lesson, you'll learn to make your readers do what you want. Your readers will be happy, too, since they'll get what they want in this win/win system. You'll learn the seven basic benefits you can offer your reader and how to write the crucial first sentence of your document. You'll learn one more brainstorming technique that will help you capture good ideas, words, and phrases.

Sequencing Your Ideas and How to Write Your Ending

Master seven strategies for putting your ideas in order and learn how poor sequencing can sabotage your efforts. You'll also discover the best way to end any document. It's an idea that may surprise you! 

Revising, Formatting, Editing, and Proofreading

Revising, formatting, editing, and proofreading may all sound similar, but they're four distinct activities. In this lesson, you'll learn how revision is a process of exploration and discovery. You'll learn formatting strategies that will invite your reader in. You'll also learn to be a ruthless editor and professional proofreader.

What Words to Take Out

In this lesson, you'll learn how to write clearly and concisely. You'll explore three mistaken notions that lead business writers to use lots of convoluted phrasing and needlessly long words. You'll examine the pitfalls of using business clichés, jammed modifiers, trendy words, jargon, foreign words, redundancies, and hedging adjectives.

What Words to Put In

In the last lesson you learned what words to remove from your document. In this lesson, you'll learn what words you should include to make your business writing more compelling. You'll learn the four parts of the written communication process. You'll find out why the verbs and nouns you choose make a major difference. You'll also learn more ways to make the task of writing more enjoyable for you.

Strategies for Good Spelling and Punctuation

Today, we'll look at strategies for good spelling and punctuation. Everyone needs this review! To keep it fun, you'll get to deal with the topics of spelling and punctuation by taking some easy quizzes. It's a chance to learn by doing. See how good your spelling and punctuation skills really are. You'll learn that punctuation is not a tyranny of rules, but an evolving protocol to help you communicate. Finally, you'll capture your weak areas on a Tips Card. 

One Easy Grammar Lesson

Why do you have to bother with grammar? You'll find out why in this lesson. Take the Grammar Blitz Quiz to discover your grammar strengths and weaknesses. It will help you fill in the gaps that remain after years of boring grammar classes. You'll learn why using the active instead of the passive voice can be a demonstration of your integrity. You'll also explore the traps pronouns set for those of us sensitive to gender issues.

Getting the Tone Right

Getting the tone right in business writing can be tricky, especially in e-mail. In this lesson, you'll get to tackle your worst moods with one more brainstorming technique. You'll learn how to defuse any negative emotions that might get in the way of your problem solving. You'll also learn how your attitude toward your reader, your topic, and your own needs determines your tone. As you go through the lesson, you'll learn two easy ways to eliminate unintentional tone mistakes.

Getting the Tone Right

In this lesson, you'll learn why being able to say “no” with grace is a crucial business skill. A five-part format will give you a solid strategy for writing documents that say “no” while retaining the goodwill of your reader. You'll learn how to keep bad news letters, memos, and e-mails positive and helpful. 

On E-Mail

All about e-mail: Here's an up-to-date review of all the ways e-mail is different from other kinds of business writing. You'll learn tips on how to write e-mail that gets the job done. You'll find out some of pitfalls of using e-mail, including its legal status in court. You'll also discover how to manage the tone of your e-mail so that it doesn't accidentally offend your reader.

Course 7 - Workers' Compensation

What Is Workers' Compensation?

In our first lesson, we'll go over the basic concepts in workers' compensation. You'll learn how your chances of being involved in a workers' compensation case—either as employee, employer, paralegal, or human resource coordinator—are much higher than you might expect. Every year, hundreds of thousands of claims are filed. In this lesson, we'll review how the system works, how claims are filed, and why it's so vital for you to know and understand the basic workers' compensation system.

Workers' Compensation Benefits

Would you like to know exactly what benefits an injured worker is entitled to receive? Not sure what terms like temporary total disability, permanent total disability, temporary partial, and many of the other terms used to describe workers' compensation benefits really mean? In this lesson, we'll take the mystery out of them all. We'll go through each type of benefit, avoiding the legal jargon to provide a down-to-earth explanation of the benefit system in the workers' compensation system.

Federal Workers' Compensation

Today, we'll examine the workers' compensation system that covers all federal employees. This is a huge and multilayered bureaucracy, but we'll go through it step by step to show you how the federal system, which covers hundreds of thousands of federal workers, is both similar to and different from the state systems. We'll also examine some of the new initiatives created to track workers' compensation fraud and to prevent government agencies from making double or triple payments for the same injuries.

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

How do Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid interact with workers' compensation benefits? We'll answer that question in this lesson. We'll begin with an overview of these three systems. Then we'll proceed to a discussion about how these agencies work with state and federal workers' compensation agencies to provide different levels of payments and benefits. If you've ever been injured on the job, are close to retirement, are pregnant, or are in any way disabled, then you need to know how all of these systems work together, as well as what types of benefits you can receive from each.

Employers' and Employees' Roles

So far, we've focused on the workers' compensation system, from benefits to the relationships between other government agencies. In this lesson, we'll get specific about who is covered under workers' compensation statutes. What, for instance, qualifies a person as an "employee?" Are business owners covered by workers' compensation? How many employees must you have before you're legally obligated to make payments to the state workers' compensation fund? We'll answer these and many other questions in this lesson.

What Qualifies as an Injury?

What types of injuries are covered under workers' compensation? We all assume that if you slip and hurt yourself on the job, your injury will be covered. But is it? What about other types of injuries, such as repetitive stress injuries or psychological trauma? Are they covered as well? In today's lesson, you'll learn how injuries are classified under workers' compensation systems and the rules that employees must follow in determining which injuries are covered and which are not.

Medical Benefits

It's time to get specific about medical benefits provided under workers' compensation. How much is the injured employee obligated to pay out of pocket? How many treatments may the employee receive? What about physical therapy or chiropractic care? We'll address these questions in today's lesson, and we'll also take a look at some less traditional remedies. Just what types of treatment will the workers' compensation system pay for and what types will they force the employee to pay for?

Disability Benefits

In this lesson, we'll talk about the amount of money an injured employee will receive for different types of injuries. You'll learn the precise details about the dollar amounts an injured employee can expect to receive, and we'll break this down by the classification of benefits as temporary or total temporary disability. We'll also go over how injuries are reclassified as permanent and what that means for the benefits paid out. Finally, we'll explore how benefits are actually paid and the possibilities of lump-sum payments.

Hearings

In this lesson, we'll focus on what happens when an injured employee comes into conflict with his or her employer about benefits. Suppose that the employer wants to terminate benefits? What recourse does the employee have? The employee can request a hearing for a judicial decision about benefits. So today we'll examine how these hearings are scheduled, what evidence can be brought up at a hearing, the function of administrative law judges, and how attorneys get paid to represent people at workers' compensation hearings.

Jurisdiction and Awards

How are workers' compensation awards paid out? Can an injured employee opt for a lump sum instead of a regular monthly payment? How do workers' compensation boards enforce their judgments against employers and insurance companies? These are just a few of the questions we'll answer as we examine the issues surrounding obtaining an award. Finally, we'll also explore the power that workers' compensation boards have to enforce their regulations, not only against employers, employees and insurance companies, but also against doctors and other medical professionals.

Insurance and Workers' Compensation

Most employers don't pay workers' compensation benefits from their own budgets. Instead, they obtain workers' compensation insurance. In this lesson, we'll examine all of the issues surrounding how workers' compensation insurance works, from issuing the policy to paying out claims. Along the way, you'll learn how insurance companies make money from issuing policies and specify certain types of injuries that justify the insurance company from refusing to pay a claim. We'll also examine the role of the insurance defense attorney, who is hired by the insurance company to represent companies in workers' compensation hearings.

Appeals

In our final lesson, we'll follow a workers' compensation case through the appellate process. What powers do appellate courts have in workers' compensation cases? Can they modify the award of benefits or completely terminate them? What is the procedure that an employee must follow to bring an appeal when his or her benefits have been terminated? We'll answer these questions and explore the role of higher courts in workers' compensation cases.

Course 8 - Professional Sales Skills

Overview    
During our first lesson, we'll unlock the secret to your success as a sales professional. There's no magic in this procedure, and you're not predestined for success or failure. Good sales reps aren't born that way. This course will guide you to success in your sales efforts via planning, hard work, feedback, and practice.

Time management
In this lesson, we'll examine three major components of a successful time management program: setting priorities, planning your time, and using commercially available time management tools. Mastering those concepts will enable you to build a meaningful time management system and integrate it into your schedule. Granted, many people have demands on their time that don't allow them all the flexibility they would like, so we'll spend some time discussing that, too.

Marketing
Your sales process begins with marketing. So in this lesson, we're going to sharpen our skills in basic marketing techniques. We'll talk about how to get off to the right start, and then we'll build on that by examining cost versus benefits. Finally, we'll explore tactics associated with tracking the results of your marketing efforts.    

Prospecting
Most new sales reps are intimidated by the thought of prospecting. In today's lesson, you'll gain the basic tools that you need to excel at the art of prospecting to help you become the best prospector in your company. There are a variety of ways to prospect, including using the phone, direct mail, faxing, e-mails, and old-fashioned cold calling. We'll discuss the basic components of each in this lesson, and you'll learn how to maximize your time while prospecting. After today's lesson, I hope you'll see that prospecting isn't just easy to do—it can also be quite enjoyable!    

Pipeline management
In this lesson, we'll address the challenge of pipeline management by exploring three important areas. First, we'll discuss how to create your first pipeline management system. Next, we'll go further into the details of a prospect database—the core of your pipeline management system. Finally, we'll identify and define the key components of your system.

The Initial Call
In this lesson, we'll focus on an innovative approach in the sales world, called the "initial call." If you must select a single lesson in this course to master, this would be the one! As we go through this lesson, we'll begin by studying the structure of your first call. Second, we'll talk about a unique approach called a "site study" that will help move you toward closing the sale. Finally, we'll talk about preparing for the next step in the sales process.

Proposals
Today's topic is intended to give you the material you need to separate you from the majority of your competition by helping you with the art of executing a professional proposal. The first step is creating the proposal. There's a methodology to professional proposal creation, and in this lesson, you'll learn all the information you need to know to develop top-notch proposals. Proposal refinement and delivery are also important parts of, the process, and we'll go over those in detail, too.    

Presentations
A lot of sales professionals say that presentations are the most enjoyable part of the sales cycle. When you hire into a new company, this may be what they teach you first. Everyone is (or should be) proud of their product or service, and so they're excited to share it with others. In today's lesson, we'll go over how to develop the most effective presentation techniques—the ones that will give you the greatest chance of winning the sale. We'll start by discussing presentation options, then we'll move on to the structure of your presentation. Finally, we'll examine some of the presentation tools available to you.    

Negotiating
This lesson will focus on the art of negotiating in the sales process. Sales negotiations are quite different from standard negotiations because you, the sales representative, are always doing a fine balancing act, trying to sell your prospect while negotiating a win-win-win situation. Sometimes the negotiating process can cause conflicts, so in this lesson, we'll discuss how to identify and deal with these conflicts.    
Closing the account
If you were to ask professional sales reps about the aspect of sales they dread the most, a good percentage would respond, "Closing the sale!" However, if you were to ask the same professional sales reps about the aspect of sales they enjoy the most, an equal percentage may very well reply, "Closing the sale!" Why is there such a difference? The answer can be summarized in three words: training, confidence, and technique. By the time you finish this lesson, you'll be equipped with all three.    

Account management
The greatest resource any sales representative will ever have is a current list of customers. The company probably expended a great deal of effort and expense into acquiring these clients, so it makes sense that you should put a good deal of effort into retaining these clients. In this lesson, we'll discuss how to protect this valuable asset. Most people think of their clients in the singular sense of people who are currently using their products. You should try to expand this thinking to include all people who have used your products or services. If they made a decision to buy your product at some time in the past, they remain your odds-on favorites to buy again in the future.    

Putting your Sales Plan into action
In our final lesson, we'll go over the major components of your secrets to sales success. If you've paid close attention to all the basics that we covered in the previous lessons, you already know these secrets. By developing a comprehensive action plan that incorporates these strategies into your daily activities, you'll ensure your long-term success in the world of sales.

Course 9 - Understanding the Human Resources Function

The History of Human Resources

Do you ever wonder why the field of human resources is the way it is? How it has evolved? In our first lesson, we'll travel through history to explore the roots of human resources. You'll see how the modern human resource function has evolved from trade guilds, through the industrial revolution, to modern times.

Human Resources Functions in Today's Organization

What exactly does the human resource professional do on the job? In this lesson, we'll take a look at the variety of vital activities that are frequently included in the human resources function. This variety can include everything from recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees, to labor management relations and workplace safety and training.

The Hiring Process: Part 1

How does someone go about finding and hiring a new employee? The initial preparation for hiring is often done in the quiet of an office, which may make it seem like new employees just magically appear. Today, we'll explore what goes on in that quiet office to ensure that the employee who appears is the right one for the job. We'll focus on preparing advertisements and application forms, how to review and screen applications, conduct interviews, and verify information to ensure that it's correct.

The Hiring Process: Part 2

Interviews and background checks are key components of the hiring process. The interview is your chance to evaluate the job applicant in person to see how well his or her skills match your job requirements. So today, we'll look at each part of the interview—from how to set it up and what approach to take to rating the person after the interview.

Finding Employees in a Competitive Labor Market

How do you get someone to apply for a job? Solid recruiting practices using both traditional and nontraditional techniques will ensure that you have a large pool of applicants from which to pick and choose. Traditionally, many companies simply run a classified job ad when they need a new employee, but in this lesson, we'll explore other alternatives that may be equally effective in recruiting.

Retaining Quality Employees

What motivates a quality employee to stay on the job? What can you do to keep employees happy and working? In this lesson, we'll analyze job satisfaction and the factors that keep employees happy. Then we'll look at some unique programs that provide incentives for employees to stay on the job a long time.

Respecting Employee Rights

What rights do employees have? What are moral rights and how can the company protect them? What is the difference between a moral and a legal right? This lesson explores both moral and legal rights and how they can be used to benefit employees. We'll also take a look at what to do if an employee complains that either moral or legal rights are not being protected.

Laws Relating to Human Resources

What legal responsibilities does a company owe its employees? Today's lesson provides an overview of the many laws that impact the workplace. We'll examine laws that govern union-management interactions, prohibit discrimination, set wage and hour requirements, and set benefit and safety standards. I'll also point out some Internet resources that will help you easily stay up to date as these laws change.

Policy Making

Do you have a policy manual at work? What policies are included in the manual? How does anyone ever decide what policies to include? In this lesson, we'll take a look at policy manuals—what they should include, what policies are most common, and what you should do to ensure that your policies comply with the law.

Employee Communications

How can workplace communication be effective? What should you do to ensure that communication is taking place on a regular basis? Today, we'll focus on the need for effective communication programs at work and how to implement them. You'll find out how to keep communication running smoothly throughout the organization.

Administration of Employee Benefit Programs

What should a strong employee benefit program include? What is involved in putting a benefit package together? Benefits are a great way to attract and keep employees. So today we'll take a look at such common employment benefits as insurance and retirement. We'll cover how to put together a benefit package, and options for including free benefits that are attractive to employees.

Human Resources—A Source of Quality

Have you ever wondered what makes a human resource professional successful? In our final lesson, we'll take a look at eight habits that successful professionals adopt. You'll leave with the insight and ability to achieve excellence at work

Course 10 - Research Methods for Writers

Research: The Foundation of Writing

In this introductory lesson, you’ll learn why good research skills are necessary for effective writing. You’ll unleash your creativity with the exciting “Mind Mapping” tool to identify your subject—in both a general and specific way—to help refine your research before you even begin. You’ll also learn the importance of understanding jargon and technical terms specific to your subject, which will leave you much better prepared to begin your project.

Let's Make a Plan

You probably already know that much time can be wasted if research is conducted in a disorganized manner. In this lesson you’ll learn how to organize a plan for your research and how to keep organized once your research is underway. We’ll identify the first steps of research, including choosing between academic and anecdotal research, primary and secondary sources, and which resources will be the most productive for you in the early stages of research.

The Library: A Virtual Field Trip

The library is still the most all-inclusive resource for research, but many people aren’t aware of the treasure trove of information residing within its walls. This lesson will take you on a virtual field trip through the many library sections and departments, introducing and reviewing the materials available, including periodicals, microfilm records, Lexis-Nexis, rare books, reverse directories, government reports, maps, old telephone books, and many others. You’ll discover resources that you never knew existed.

The Personal Interview

One of the most productive resources for researches is the personal interview, but it can be intimidating. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to find experts and how to prepare for an interview. You’ll learn the keys to formulating questions designed to get the very best from your subject. By the time you finish this lesson, you’ll feel confident and competent to approach your interview subjects with ease.

Getting the Most out of Reports and Studies

Perusing reports can seem about as much fun as a root canal, but it’s worth it when you find nuggets of information essential to your research. This lesson will introduce you to numerous valuable reports, including census reports, public company reports and a multitude of government reports. You’ll learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff, winnowing out the pertinent information, and how to assess a report not only for its content but also for the reliability of its source. As a bonus, you’ll be given some guidelines for turning statistics into prose.

History: Fact or Fiction?

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to incorporate history into your writing, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction. You’ll discover what you’ve probably suspected all along: the truth of history is often shaped by the perspective of the historian. This lesson will teach you how to evaluate different perspectives, how to spot “rewritten history,” and how to zero in on fact versus mythology.

Public Records: A Treasure Trove of Information

Today’s lesson will introduce you to the numerous public records that are waiting to reveal information about persons, places, and things. Real estate records, birth, marriage and death records, civil and criminal trial records, bankruptcy filings, construction records, and political campaign information are but a few of the many records available to the public. By the end of this lesson, you’ll know what’s out there and how to get to it.

The Internet: A Researcher's Best Friend

Conducting research on the Internet can be a valuable time-saver. It can also allow researchers to fall into the trap of believing everything they read. This lesson will discuss Internet reliability: what you can trust and what you should mistrust. You’ll also learn skills for effectively using search engines for your research, for both general and specific topics. You’ll find many useful research links, and we’ll discuss issues such as when you should and should not pay for your information. The Internet has as many pitfalls as benefits, and this lesson will show you how to avoid the pitfalls.

Creating Your Own Information

Some researchers can’t resist the lure of using information that has never before existed. This lesson discusses the value of collecting your own data by way of surveys, studies, interviews, polls, and questionnaires. You’ll learn how to effectively create these instruments of data-gathering, and you’ll learn the difference between valid statistical sampling versus informal, nonscientific results, and when the use of each is appropriate.

Guerrilla Research

Have you ever had difficulty finding cooperative sources of information? This lesson will reveal the secrets of Guerilla Research; i.e., how to get answers when the questions are being evaded. You’ll learn techniques for gaining the confidence of reluctant interview subjects, as well as methods for digging and snooping. In other words, you’ll learn how to get what you want when the direct approach isn’t working.

Attribution: Giving Credit When Credit Is Due

Once your research has been compiled, much of it will be quoted or paraphrased within your manuscript. In today’s lesson we’ll discuss the importance of proper attribution as well as the technical methods for crediting your sources. You’ll learn how to painlessly create a bibliography, and you will also learn how to decide between citations, footnotes, and endnotes for your work. You can easily avoid copyright violations by gaining a basic understanding of copyright law, along with the fundamentals of fair use and permissions. Writers know how important it is to protect themselves, and in this lesson you’ll learn how.

Pulling It All Together

Your research is complete, your facts are gathered; now what? In this final lesson, you’ll learn what to do with all the research materials you have accumulated. You’ll learn how to identify what is valuable and what should be discarded. You’ll gain insight on both the writing and the editing process, and as a bonus, you’ll learn how to avoid some of the most common word-usage mistakes. This lesson will give you the final skills you need to produce a well-researched, polished manuscript.


Entry requirements

Students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Minimum education

Open entry. Previous schooling and academic achievements are not required for entry into this course.

Computer requirements

Students will need access to a computer and the internet. 

Minimum specifications for the computer are:

Windows:

  • Microsoft Windows XP, or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Internet Explorer 8 or later, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

MAC/iOS

  • OSX/iOS 6 or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

All systems

  • Internet bandwidth of 1Mb or faster
  • Flash player or a browser with HTML5 video capabilities(Currently Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Students will also need access the following applications:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

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Course Summary

Course ID No.: 007rww10CB
Delivery Mode: Online
Course Access: 6-8 Weeks Per Course
Time required: 240 Hours
Assessments: Yes
Qualification: Certificate of Completion

Start Dates

This course is available to begin on the following dates

  • 16 October
  • 13 November
  • 11 December
  • 15 January

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