top of page
Effective Writing courses face-to-face & online
26-27 Nov 2024 in Canberra & online
Persuasive Presentations courses
10 & 12 Dec 2024 in Canberra & online

In partnership with 



To enquire or register, please click here:

The Classic Course


Dr James Hanson's Effective Writing for Defence is a two-day writing course designed for members of the Defence, national security and intelligence communities, as well as defence industryThis Defence writing course uses argument mapping as a planning technique to write well-reasoned documents that are clear, concise, compelling and persuasive.   

Writing clearly about simple issues may be easy, but writing clearly about complex problems and solutions is much harder.  Clear writing requires clear thinking which is not always easy when dealing with complex or technical topics.  Argument mapping helps us to clarify our thinking, as we plan our writing, and to zoom in on the essentials of the message we are trying to send.  With argument mapping, we can write much shorter documents, not by dumbing down our message, but by focusing in on the essentials.  This saves time for writers and readers alike and reduces the risk of misinterpretation and miscommunication.


The course focuses on writing clearly and concisely about complex topics, writing persuasively in the face of contestability and writing strategically when the stakes are high. 


Participants who complete this course successfully will be able to use argument mapping to critique and improve their own reasoning and the reasoning of others.  They will also be able to plan and write documents that are clear, concise, well-reasoned and strategically-focused. Their writing process will be more efficient and productive and the documents they produce will be more effective and more useful for end-users, such as senior decision makers in corporations and government.

Customised Courses


We can also design customised courses to address your own organisation's specific writing challenges.  Dr Hanson is a national award-winning course designer with a doctorate in professional education.


 Who should do this course?

This course is best suited to writing in complex workplaces. The techniques taught in the course are applicable to any complex workplace or industry and everyone is welcome to attend, but most of the examples and exercises used in this specific course have a Defence, national security and intelligence theme.  Since 2009, the course has attracted many participants from:
Attorney-General's Department (D Branch)
Audit & Fraud Control Division
Australian Army
Australian Government Security Vetting Agency - AGSVA
Australian Intelligence Corps
Australian Signals Directorate - ASD
Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group - CASG
Capability & Technology Management College - CTMC
Capital Facilities and Infrastructure Branch - CFI
Chief Information Officer Group - CIOG
Civil Aviation Safety Authority - CASA
Defence Finance Group - DFG
Defence People Group - DPG
Defence Science & Technology Group - DSTG
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water - DCCEEW
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - DFAT
Downer Professional Services
ECLIPS Logistics Engineering
Ernst & Young

Headquarters Joint Operations Command - HQJOC
Nova Systems Pty Ltd.

Office of the Defence Seaworthiness Regulator
OilSearch Ltd.

QinetiQ Ltd
Royal Australian Air Force - RAAF
Royal Australian Navy - RAN
Special Air Service Regiment - SASR


Phone:  1800 811 795

Effective Writing for Defence

Management Development Pty Ltd

PO Box 1941

Canberra ACT 2601




Launch of our new Persuasive Presentations course


Our new Persuasive Presentations course combines argument mapping for rational persuasion, storytelling techniques for audience engagement and information design for creating powerful graphics, as well practical tips for low-stress public speaking.  The course will be offered in both face-to-face and virtual modes. The course outline is available here.

Screenshot (727).png


James Hanson's Effective Writing for Defence course will now be offered through edVirtus Professional Education


James Hanson has announced that his company Management Development Pty Ltd will partner with edVirtus Professional Education to continue delivering his well-known Effective Writing course to Australia's Defence, Intelligence and broader national security communities. Courses will continue to be delivered by Dr Hanson, himself, in both face-to-face and live online formats.

James Hanson portrait.jpg


James Hanson farewells UNSW and ADFA

After 18 years of service at ADFA, Dr James Hanson has relinquished his academic position at UNSW Canberra to focus on delivering professional education courses.  His Effective Writing for Defence courses will no longer be offered via the UNSW Professional Education Program.  

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
bottom of page