Written Communications: Being Heard and Understood

Join a renowned professional writing instructor to gain tools, tips, and techniques that will elevate your professional and personal communication style.
Written Communications: Being Heard and Understood is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 11.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from One of the Worst After the few lectures, I found myself yelling at the teacher for her incercity and constant repitition. I find this teacher intolerable and her presentation style unprofessional.
Date published: 2021-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Written Communications: Being Head and Understood I found this course very valuable. The trainer is easy to understand and covered the topic with great expertise.
Date published: 2020-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Although the aim of this course is to improve written communications (e. g., memos, email, reports) in a business context, it actually generalizes well and is helpful for any form of writing including poetry and song lyrics. The course traverses three general topics: prescriptive grammar (Lectures 2-6); Analysis, Crafting the Document, and Editing the Document (ACE) Framework (Lectures 7-9); and putting these principles to use (Lectures 10-12). DO NOT BE PUT OFF BY LECTURE 1, which came across to me like a bad infomercial; the rest of the course is well worth it. Dr. Friederichs has an easy-to-listen-to style. It was rather refreshing that she did not use one football illustration, although she did use illustrations about fashion, decorating a house, and shoes. I used the video version but audio-only (e. g., while jogging) was just fine.
Date published: 2020-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Course I was surprised that the focus of this course is emails, memos, and business reports. I would have appreciated it being more stressed in the description. However, I'm glad I did take the course! The information applies to many types of writing and Prof. Friederichs presents it in a cheerful, easy-to-understand format. I would definitely recommend this course in business writing.
Date published: 2020-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The director needs to re-do the filming... Whoever the director of filming was needs to be red-flagged in that the professor doesn't follow the camera when the camera changes to another camera--major no-no and major distraction in the presentation. How did they miss that?
Date published: 2020-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Practical and Useful Straightforward and practical in this approach to impactful business writing. Useful to return to periodically for a refresher course
Date published: 2020-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you take it, you'll make it. I’m glad I’ve bought this course: it’s engaging as much as it’s insightful. Driven by self-development goals, I’m always on the lookout for courses on writing and communication, a field so crucial for both professionals and academics. After completing the course, I gained a much deeper understanding of the nuts and bolts of written communication. This is a truly multifaceted course. It brims with valuable and commonsensical guidelines on a wide range of topics: grammar, punctuation, voice, to name a few. Owing to this course, those who are good at written communication may fill in their knowledge gaps, while those who are not so good can dramatically improve it. Additionally, I wish the course had highlighted some discourse or pragmatics issues (e.g. Grice’s maxims, Austin’s speech act theory); however, its 12-lecture format, understandably, dictates some space restrictions. Dr. Friederichs is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable expert, who provides excellent explanations and gets to the point. If available, I’d take more of her courses. I strongly recommend the course and intend to revisit it in the future.
Date published: 2020-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course! I found the material covered in this course very helpful. I wish she covered the use of preposition in detail as I struggle with it. I would love to see more courses by Dr. Friederichs :)
Date published: 2020-08-30
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Discover the secrets to sharpening your written, oral, and interpersonal communications skills In 12 rewarding lectures. With humor and enthusiasm, along with dozens of tools, examples, and exercises, Professor Friederichs will teach you how to select the right words; ensure proper grammar and punctuation; and analyze, craft, and edit your message-all while using a reader-centric lens.


Allison Friederichs
Allison Friederichs

I’ll show you how impactful communication isn’t about you, it’s about your reader.


University of Denver

Allison Friederichs is an Associate Teaching Professor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Denver, University College. She earned her PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Denver. Dr. Friederichs has taught communications courses for more than 20 years and has earned the University College’s Master Teacher designation for continued professional development.


In the academic sector, Dr. Friederichs serves as a curriculum design consultant. She delivers keynote presentations and workshops on how the adult brain learns, brain-based learning for teaching and curriculum development, and brain-based learning for improved communication. Her keynote, workshop, and curriculum design clients have included the University of the Pacific, the Montana University System, the Association for Graduate Enrollment Management (NAGAP), and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Dr. Friederichs has also been published in academic and trade publications, including UNBOUNDTD magazine, and The Chronicle of Higher Education


In addition to her role in academia, Dr. Friederichs provides training to private-sector companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations on how the adult brain learns, focusing on training, business writing, and communication skills. Her current and former clients include the Denver Public Library, Pinnacol Assurance, American Innovations, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the government of Douglas County, Colorado. Dr. Friederichs also served her community through her position on the board of directors for Freedom Service Dogs of America.

By This Professor

Written Communications: Being Heard and Understood


Impactful Writing

01: Impactful Writing

Get an introduction to what makes your writing matter and learn how to employ empathy in order to shift your perspective, so you are focusing on your reader not your message. Professor Friederichs provides engaging activities to help you improve your writing skills.

30 min
How Language Mirrors Culture

02: How Language Mirrors Culture

Starting with an overview of the descriptive/prescriptive debate, Professor Friederichs examines how language has changed and evolved—and why knowing about these changes matters when you write—highlighting the importance of syntax.

27 min
The Importance of Word Choice

03: The Importance of Word Choice

Continuing the discussion of language and words, Professor Friederichs reviews the two levels of meaning that every word has: denotation and connotation. She provides a framework called “The Four C’s” to help you select the right word, so your message is correct, concrete, clear, and contextually appropriate.

34 min
Mastering Punctuation

04: Mastering Punctuation

Proper punctuation may seem challenging, but as Professor Friederichs notes, it can make or break your professional message. She provides clarity for the most misunderstood rules of punctuation, including issues around commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and dashes, as applied to Edited Standard American English (ESAE).

41 min
Mastering Noun and Pronoun Grammar

05: Mastering Noun and Pronoun Grammar

Professor Friederichs moves from commonly misunderstood components of grammar to more formal rules, including capitalization issues with proper nouns, subject-verb agreement, pronouns, possessives, and dangling and misplaced modifiers.

31 min
Mastering Verb and Adverb Grammar

06: Mastering Verb and Adverb Grammar

Grammar can also help determine the mood of your communication. Professor Friederichs demonstrates how as she covers verb usage, including passive and active voice, tense, and adverbs. You’ll see how mastering these seemingly small components can have a big impact on the success of your message.

33 min
Analyze: What Your Reader Needs to Know

07: Analyze: What Your Reader Needs to Know

Professor Friederichs introduces you to the business-writing process called ACE, which stands for Analyze, Craft, and Edit. She details the analysis phase of ACE—including a checklist—to help you organize your thoughts and write with purpose.

30 min
Craft: Building the Bones of Your Document

08: Craft: Building the Bones of Your Document

Examine the best practices for drafting a document as Professor Friederichs introduces additional checklists to help you transcribe your purpose statement, craft the body of your message, and draft your conclusion. She provides a helpful toolkit of eight best practices that will help you craft a well-written draft.

30 min
Edit: Perfecting Your Prose

09: Edit: Perfecting Your Prose

Learn how the editing step of the ACE process does not mean proofreading, but instead ensuring you are analyzing your document to confirm it says what you want it to say, in a structured, clear, and concise manner. A checklist for editing helps you review your document for organization, clarity, proper word choice, grammar, and punctuation.

34 min
Applying the Analyze-Craft-Edit Process

10: Applying the Analyze-Craft-Edit Process

Using two common, real-life examples, Professor Friederichs demonstrates ways to practice applying the ACE process. As she takes you through the construction of business memos and newsletter articles, you’ll put all your previous lessons into practice.

30 min
Developing Your Professional Voice

11: Developing Your Professional Voice

As you move closer to mastering the fundamentals of professional communications, Professor Friederichs provides ways to help you develop your professional writing voice. She provides a list of ideas that can help you achieve consistency in your writing, as well as activities to help you utilize the tools and practice the skills you’ve gained.

33 min
Building Relationships through Writing

12: Building Relationships through Writing

Professor Friederichs demonstrates how you can build strong relationships through your communication—including the importance of your responses to another person’s writing. You’ll learn how to build strong professional relationships by being a good listener and utilizing a collaborative approach in writing.

30 min