Samples of the Course Format You May View

See the Tutorial for the Lessons

You may view the format for the lessons by clicking on "Tutorial" in the left column.

  Active and Passive Voice Tests and Training

You may view the go through the sample lesson for active and passive voice sentences by clicking on "Lesson 2" in the left column. The lesson includes the pre-test, lesson, and post-test.

  Commas Tests and Training

You may view the commas tests and lesson by clicking on "Lesson 9" in the left column. The sample lesson for commas includes the pre-test, lesson, and post-test. The remainder of this page is as it appears the training materials.



Welcome to the Basic Business Grammar self-instructional training course. The course contains four sessions with 17 lessons. We suggest you complete the course within a week or two, but you may complete it more quickly or slowly if you wish. The lessons teach the following skills:

  1. Proofreading
  2. Spelling
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Word division
  5. Number expression
  6. Avoiding omissions, additions, and typos
  7. Capitalization
  8. Punctuation
  9. Number accuracy
  10. Subject/verb agreement
  11. Pronoun reference and agreement

You will see a strong focus on proofreading in the training. The reason is that most errors in business people's writing result from not proofreading carefully. Everyone writes a first draft that contains errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentences. We write as we think, so our focus isn't on being perfectly correct. You must then edit and proofread carefully to create a final draft with no errors.

For that reason, this course begins with training in proofreading and each lesson contains instructions about how proofreading can help you avoid errors in the usage taught in the lesson.


Practice and tests

The course is highly interactive. You will do more than simply read about grammar and punctuation skills. You will practice them and then apply your knowledge to writing tasks.

You will learn by applying yourself to learning. The course can teach you, but only you can learn. Practice the skills conscientiously. If you have difficulty with a skill, spend time studying it again.

NOTE: When you type information into an answer blank on a lesson page, you must click on the "Submit" button before going to another page. That sends a copy of the results to your in-box. If you go to another page before clicking "Submit," the information you have typed on the page will be lost.

The lessons you have clicked on in the menu to the left will become gray to help you track your progress.


Recommended usage textbook

The Business Writing Center recommends the Simon and Schuster Handbook for Writers by Lynn Troyka and Douglas Hesse as the ideal desktop reference in grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and citations.


Sessions and lessons

The course is divided into four sessions, which you should complete in two to four weeks. Each session requires approximately two hours of work, but you may spend more time with a session if you wish. Complete each session in one sitting, if possible, by allowing two hours to be "in class."

Each lesson has a "Guidelines" column and "Detail" column. You may read through the entire course looking at the Guidelines column only, or you may read only the Detail column. You may switch back and forth between the guidelines and detail as much as you wish.

The course also includes practice exercises. You may just read the practice exercises and look at the correct answers, or you may fill out the exercises to test your knowledge.


Pre-tests and post-tests

Each lesson has a pre-test and post-test. The pre-tests are intended to give you an idea of how much you know before you read through the lessons. You are not required to pass pre-tests. However, you will need a score of at least 70% to pass a post-test. After you click the "Submit" button at the end of each quiz, you will see the results of your test on your screen immediately. The scores will be e-mailed to you automatically so you have a record of your scores and progress.


Technical and procedural assistance

For technical and procedural issues, you may send an e-mail to

When you are ready, click on the lesson links in the left column to start through the course.