If you’ve ever received an email from a student, you likely know the horror.
Abbreviations and slang? Everywhere.
Emojis? At least half a dozen.
Proper formatting? Nowhere to be found.
Now, imagine if your students wrote an email that way in the workplace. Their chances of holding down a job for very long would be pretty slim.
As teachers, it’s imperative to make sure students master the basic rules of workplace written correspondence before they graduate.
Effective and professional written communication is essential for excelling at a job, but also for landing a job in the first place. More and more, employers in every field are stressing the importance of communication skills.
So where to begin? Below are the 7 business documents that all students should know before they graduate.
Block Style Letter
A block style letter may be the very first business document your students need to know.
Why’s that, you ask? Most well-composed cover letters use in block format.
So before your students have a chance at snagging the job of their dreams, they need to know the formatting and style of the block letter.
Despite workplaces becoming increasingly digital, there are still plenty of occasions when hard copies are the way to go.
And in those instances, students need to know how to format a business envelope.
Personal Business Letter
Less formal than a block letter, a personal business letter is essential for more casual correspondence in the workplace.
But wait! Just because it’s less formal doesn’t mean there’s room here for emojis or slang. Students need to understand the differences in tone, language, and formatting in a personal versus formal letter while still maintaining professional communication.
Even personal envelopes in the workplace should be created using a word processor. Students will love how easy this is to do once they know the basics.
There is likely no more commonly-used form of communication in the workplace than email.
Regardless of what field your students find themselves working in, they must know how to write a professional and to-the-point email with none of the slang or abbreviations that sneak their way into teenage text conversations.
While formal reports may be less commonly used than other forms of communication, these are still a must-know.
Whether sharing the results of a project or preparing a budget, basic knowledge of formal reports will save students a headache when they’re eventually asked to write one.
Although most business documents are used in written communication, presentations are the exception to the rule.
No matter how great a public speaker you are, if your slides are a mess, your presentation will fall flat.
And for those students who can’t imagine anything worse than speaking in front of a crowd? A well-prepared presentation can help remove much of the anxiety!
Teaching Business Documents to Students
Learning these different document formats involves more than just knowing where to put what on the page.
Students need to understand the subtle differences between them, when a business letter is a better option than an email, and what tone and language should be used in each.
Add to all of these skills the ability to proficiently touch type in order to produce these documents, and you’re looking at a lot to learn!
How can teachers integrate and teach all of these skills in the limited amount of time they have with students each day?
Consider using the Word Processing Curriculum now available through EduTyping. This resource is included for all EduTyping subscribers and includes 16 lessons that teach students both the technical and soft skills they need to become effective communicators in the workplace.
With the scope and sequence and planning done for you, you’ll be able to concentrate your time and effort on engaging students in meaningful discussions about professionalism and written communication.
Their future employers will thank you!