Skip to main content

Barbara Shwom

Professor of Instruction in Writing Emerita, The Cook Family Writing Program

PhD, Northwestern University, English

Barbara Shwom directed The Writing Place, Northwestern’s peer tutoring center for writers and also taught courses in business communication, expository writing, design thinking, and engineering communication. In addition, she served an adviser for first-quarter students in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Her most recent advising seminar — “How to Become an Expert in Roughly 10 Weeks” — helped students transition from being high school level to college level researchers, writers, and presenters. At Northwestern, she has been recognized for teaching excellence by being named a Charles Deering McCormick University Distinguished Lecturer.

A nationally recognized leader in business communication, Barbara Shwom has served as president of both the Association for Business Communication and the Association of Professional Communication Consultants. She has recently published the 4th edition of her business communication textbook: Business Communication: Polishing Your Professional Presence (Pearson, 2018), co-authored with Lisa G. Snyder. She also co-authored Graphic and Visual Communication for Managers, published by Cengage. Shwom works professionally in business communication as the managing principal of the consulting firm Communication Partners; and at Northwestern, she co-developed and teaches “Writing and Speaking in Business,” a course that is required of all minors in the Business Institutions Program. Her research interests include leadership communication, visual communication of data, and writing processes within organizations.