Writing for Publications

Marketing Institute of Singapore - Executive Development

Course introduction

In an effort to provide more value-added services and retain loyal customers, increasingly, organisations are publishing newsletters, magazines, online articles and even books to accompany the products or service they sell. However, if the content of such publications are not well-planned or well-written, the initiative can backfire and customers' goodwill could be lost. Often, the task of writing content for such publications falls on the marketing communications or corporate communications personnel who double up as writers. Such writers need to be versatile. They need to be able to write feature articles showcasing a person or product. They need to write informative pieces, giving advice or "how to" tips. They need to write analytical or persuasive commentaries to sway their readers to a course of action, a change of mindset or simply to accept something as a fact. This course will focus on the whole writing process, from brainstorming ideas, planning the outline, writing a draft to revising and proofreading the final draft. Participants will also be introduced to the different writing styles for the different genres of feature writing, information pieces and analysis/commentaries. The course will focus primarily on print publications, though the top-down approach taken can also be applied to online articles.

Course Benefits

  • Understand the differences between the different writing styles – instructional, informative, descriptive, analytical and persuasive – and how to use the styles to fit the purpose of the article
  • Learn how to do pre-writing planning including crafting an outline
  • Organise ideas in different ways according to chronology, spatial aspects, importance, or general/specific
  • Pick up tips on how to revise to get rid of clichés, redundant phrases and monotonous writing
  • Be aware of the importance of the collation of words and word choice
  • Apply proofreading strategies to correct typos and grammatical errors
*A laptop is essential for this course as participants are required to write three articles over two days. Participants should also be prepared to write individually and work in groups, and have their work critiqued by both fellow participants and trainer.

Target Audience

Marketing communications and corporate communications personnel who need to write articles or who are in charge of their organisation’s newsletters and magazines and those tasked to produce information sheets, educational materials will find this course beneficial.

Course Outline

Day 1

  • The writing process: Macro to Mirco
  • Pre-writing: Thinking about Subject, Audience, Purpose
  • Different writing styles: instructional, informative, descriptive, analytical and persuasive
  • Pre-writing: What is your main idea?
  • Pre-writing: Planning an outline
  • Writing skill: achieving chronological order and phrasing instructions
  • Writing: Instructional / “how to” articles
  • Writing skill: top-down approach, showcasing “what’s in it for me” aspects for the reader
  • Writing: Informative / descriptive press releases
  •  Be Simple, Be Brief: respecting the word limit
  •  Titling your articles
Day 2
  • Writing Skill: Be specific and concrete, be concise, be creative
  • Writing Skill: Parts of speech, word choice, word collation
  • Writing Skill: Organising ideas spatially; chunking information
  • Writing: Feature articles
  • Writing: Blog and Facebook posts
  • Writing Skill: rhetorical balance – logos, pathos and ethos
  • Writing Skill: avoiding fallacies
  • Writing Skill: persuading on fact, value and action
  • Writing: Persuasive articles
  • Post-writing: Editing for structure and organisation
  • Post-writing: Revising for language – sentence structure, fragments and Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Post-writing: Proofreading for grammar, spelling and typos

Available Course Sessions

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Trainer Profile

Gael Lee/Hart Lai

Gael Lee conducts training in communications skills for tertiary students and working adults. A book editor and copywriter by profession, Gael has worked in the book publishing industry for a decade before setting up her own copywriting/training business. Her clients range from public service agencies and banks to interior design companies.

Gael holds a Master of Arts Degree (Language Studies) awarded by the National University of Singapore. As a copywriter, Gael has written feature articles, informative texts and analytical content for both print and web platforms for a number of organisations. A corporate trainer specialising in written communications, Gael has conducted several workshops including E-mail Writing, Writing for Social Media, Writing for the Web and Copywriting.

Hart Lai has been conducting training workshops to a variety of participants since 2010. She has trained teachers, parents as well as administrative staff in various areas such as Oral and Written Communication, Emotional Quotient (EQ), Brain Training, Phone and Email Etiquette and Sales Techniques. Hart started out as a teacher and then ventured to pursue a career in book editing and copywriting. Later, she opened and managed a brain-based training centre for four years before being a lead trainer for a company dealing with cutting edge learning technology based on neuroscience.

Hart has a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in English language, from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She has also received training in Interactive Training Strategies by Dr Thiagi.

Currently, she is an adjunct lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic in the Language and Communication programme while taking up various writing and editing jobs. Her existing projects include developing a new English programme for I Can Read, editing educational books and writing for Motherhood magazine, both printed and online versions. She has also been writing blog posts on education and parenting, amongst other topics, since 2005.