Business writing can be defined as writing that takes place in or for the workplace. Personal writing is writing for any other purpose that fulfils the writer’s needs. The style, format, tone and vocabulary may be similar, but the intention and composition will differ. Academic writing is different again. Business writing is done for [...]
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When you are speaking to someone, you automatically adjust your tone and words to be sure you are being understood. So when writing a business document, you need to do the same. You need to think about your intended reader, who they are and what will encourage them to read your document. Identifying your intended [...]
Have you ever read a document at work and found you have to re-read it several times to properly understand the meaning? Have you written a document which was clear to you but not, it turned out, to your readers? There may be factors in such documents which act together to reduce how readable they [...]
An area of business writing that can be very daunting is the writing of technical documents. With the right approach, however, the problems are easily overcome. Good technical writing is purposeful and is directed towards the reader. It provides specific information on a technical subject to particular readers for a specific reason. The style of [...]
First impressions count for a lot. When people read a substantial document such as a report or business case, one of the first things they will see is the executive summary. It is no exaggeration to say that the effectiveness of this can determine the success, or otherwise, of the document. There are a few [...]
What is the most common form of written business communication today? The answer, of course, is email. What is a form of business writing where things can really go off-track? Again, the answer is email. It pays to give great attention to our emails. They have taken over from letters in many cases, as well [...]
Grammar and punctuation are often seen as difficult to understand for many people. There appears to be too many rules and so it can be intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be, it is something that can be learnt. Grammar refers to the type of words we use, for example: verbs, nouns, adverbs and adjectives. [...]
Using Plain English means to use words that are familiar, clear and concise. It means employing a conversational tone and even, on occasion, personal pronouns such as ‘I, we and you’. These can be useful in business writing as they convey a more human image of the writer. It is tedious and time consuming to [...]
Why is it important to plan a document, report or email before you write it? It’s important to know before you start why you are writing the document. You want your document to be concise, clear and readable. You need to decide what behaviours and attitudes you hope to obtain from your reader. Decide who [...]
Over my career I have read many emails, letters and webpages that make no sense, are confusing, or are repetitive and cluttered. I wonder if it’s because no one is taught at school or university to write for business? There are several key differences between writing in an educational environment and effective business writing. For [...]