Communication: Fundamentals for the Workplace is a remixed, adapted version of the Seneca College edition of Communication @ Work licenced under a CC BY licence. Adapted for Seneca College by Tom Bartsiokas, Robin Potter, and Tricia Hylton from A College-to-Career Guide to Success (2019) Partially Adapted from Business Communication for Success (2015).


Welcome to your new communications textbook! Now, you may be feeling like communication classes should be behind you since you graduated from high school, but don’t worry. This is different. When you take a Communication course in college, it’s all about preparing you for the real, everyday tasks of writing and speaking in your chosen profession rather than reading literature and writing essays. Ask any professional in your field, and they’ll set you straight on the enormous importance of practical communication in the work they do. In fact, they’ll assure you that you won’t get far without workplace communication skills enabling you to apply the technical skills you’re learning in your other courses. Trust those professionals—they know what they’re talking about. You may not fully appreciate it yet, but you really need this guide to help develop those vital communication skills now and in the years ahead as you grow professionally.

A Note on Style

Whereas most commercial textbooks on communications maintain a high level of formality, this open textbook relaxes that a little to include contractions, colourful expressions, liberal use of “they” (rather than “he or she”) as a singular pronoun, and other characteristics of semi-formal or casual business writing. The idea is to model the style of a common email between work colleagues, which imitates a conversational business style of writing while still being grammatically correct. Notice in the previous sentence and section, for instance, that “email” and “internet” appear instead of the more formal, old-fashioned “e-mail” and “Internet” often used in other textbooks. For this, we take our cue from style guides in leading tech publications and international news organizations that trend towards lower casing and de-branding the terms.[1]

  1. Martin, K. C. (2016, April 5). Should you capitalize the word Internet? Retrieved from


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Communication: Fundamentals for the Workplace by Jordan Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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