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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Business and Professional Communication

Write clearly and concisely 

  • Avoid extra information or off-topic sentences.

  • Avoid wordy sentences that contain unnecessary words, phrases, or expressions.

  • Exhibit flow in your professional writing by using cohesive devices (e.g., transitions).

  • Write in a straightforward manner that expresses your key points. 


Poor sentence: For most people, and to most students as well, having student resources is an important part of a university.

Better sentence: For most people, having student resources at a university is important. 

Use appropriate tone, style and register 

  • Avoid overly informal or casual language. Instead, use a professional register.

  • Use a courteous or polite tone in professional contexts.

  • Use a formal or academic style in your writing or ongoing style if you have an established relationship with the reader. 


Unprofessional sentence in style, tone and register: Hey! I can’t do this project right now with my classmates, I am super busy with lots of stuff. Sorry!

Professional sentence in style, tone and register: Good afternoon. I am unable to collaborate on this project at the moment. I am quite busy with numerous projects and work. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation

  • Be mindful of incorrect or missing punctuation (e.g., commas, periods, semi-colons).

  • Carefully proof-read your professional writing or use software tools to review your grammar for mistakes.

  • Review your spelling in your professional writing.


Poor grammar, spelling and punctuation: Due to the amount of homeworks I has, I am quite tried however I will finish the assignment on time.

Better grammar, spelling and punctuation: Due to the amount of homework I have, I am quite tired. However, I will finish the assignment on time. 

Organize your writing 

  • Avoid suddenly shifting topics in the middle of a paragraph. This can make it harder to read your text.

  • In professional writing contexts (e.g., emails and cover letters), generally organize your sentences into short paragraphs with a single topic sentence or idea to make it easier for the reader to understand. 


Poor organization in professional writing: There are several concerns with the timing of the event. First of all, it is very early in the morning before the campus is busy. Next, I am busy today. Also, I am hungry right now.

Better organization in professional writing: There are several concerns with the timing of the event. First of all, it is very early in the morning before the campus is busy. Next, the event is happening during the exam period. In addition to student timing concerns, I have been overloaded with work. To explain, I have about six projects currently under development. 

Know and consider your audience 

  • Avoid using words or terms that may not be known by your reader (e.g., jargon, acronyms). 

  • Use language that is generally neutral unless expressing opinions or taking a position on a topic. 

  • Understand that when you send professional communication it is considered an official document that can be referenced later.


Poor consideration of the audience: I cannot attend the conference as I have a night course for my NPPE test. The test makes me angry, but I have to do it. I will contact you about the conference next year. 

Better consideration of the audience: I cannot attend the annual Student Association conference as I have a course preparing for the National Professional Practice Exam to be a certified engineer. I will perhaps come to the conference next year if I am free.

For information on how to write professional emails and cover letters, review the Business and Professional Writing tip sheet.