A Complete Introduction to Business Writing

Business writing is a broader term used for content that is written in a professional setting and serves the purpose of communicating with customers, clients, and general readers. This type of writing requires clarity, conciseness, and efficiency. It mostly includes client proposals, reports, memos, emails, and important notices.

Students of business schools are mostly given assignments of business documents in order to represent their skills in a professional setting. If you are looking for a way to start your assignment, then check out this ultimate guide on how to start business writing.

What is Business Writing?

Writing is also an essential skill to learn in business because communicating with clients, customers, and employees is crucial. Business formal writing helps in advertising the products or services that one business is offering. Learning the concept of writing in business is very important because it is going to represent your message and the main aim of business. Efficient writing in this aspect helps in developing better communication with the employees and customers.

Students in business school are often given the task of generating pieces of writing in order to evaluate their analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills in a professional setting. These pieces of writing give us an insight into how things are done in the professional world and how to make it better enough to be successful.

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Types of Business Writings

Writing in business is a broader term, and it can serve multiple purposes. There are four major categories of business writing that define the content tone, approach, and audience. If you’ve been given the assignment of business formal writing, pick a category from the types below:


As the name suggests, Instructional writing serves the main purpose of giving instructions and guiding anyone reading it. It consists of steps or outlines for completing a task. Businesses follow instructional approaches to provide user guides for their customers. It is also used to convey the outline to the employee, asking them to complete the task by following certain steps. Memos, user guides, and notification emails fall into the category of instructional writing.


Informational writings aim to spread information regarding the business. It ensures to record business information concisely and accurately in order to convey information within the firm or outside of it. Documents falling into this category are written to inform others of the important functions and products or services the business offers.

Informational writing also includes documenting the essential functions of the business for tracking growth, making plans, and acting in accordance with the legal jurisdictions. Informational writing includes the company’s financial statement, minutes of meetings, and reports of meetings or ongoing projects.


Persuasive pieces of writing serve the purpose of influencing the Reader’s mind and convincing them to make a relevant decision. Businesses use persuasive writing approaches to provide information regarding products and services and convince readers to purchase them. These are significant pieces of writing that help develop a strong relationship with customers as well as establish a strong brand image.

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Transactional writing includes day-to-day communications in a business setting. It generally consists of email marketing, official letters, change in policies, forms, instructions regarding deadlines, conveying information about new projects, and invoices.

Principles in Business Writing

Writing in business is a very significant process because it establishes the brand image in the eyes of customers and strengthens the relationship with not only the customers but vendors, suppliers, employees, and business partners. Just like every writing process, writing in a business setting also has some basic principles or business writing tips to follow in order to get a perfect piece of writing.

Know The Purpose

First of all, you need to be very clear about the purpose you are writing for. It’s very important to know why you are writing and to whom the document may concern. Being clear about these two things helps in producing a piece of writing that doesn’t go off track and generates an expected response. The structure and flow of writing are different for every audience, that’s why it is clear who is going to read your writing and what it should convey.

Be Direct

You are required to be straightforward and to the point in your writing. Because in business settings, lengthy and wordy writing pieces are not encouraged. That’s why, for whatever category you are writing, just be very clear about the significance of the message you are going to convey in your essay. Make your outline short and less structured to eliminate any repetitiveness in the content.

Be Relevant

Make sure to provide all the relevant, accurate, and up-to-date information. In a day-to-day business, writing overview of business activities need to be accurate and updated on a daily basis. Writers should gather the latest information about the new products and services of the business and update the user manual.

This also applies to the students writing business assignments. Select a category you are going to write about, and then go on explaining all the updated and relevant information regarding that topic. If you are given a task to overview the writing process in an organization, kindly ensure that your information about that business is up-to-date.

Avoid Complex Language

Try to avoid all the complex jargon in your writing and make it something easier to understand. Most buyers aren’t familiar with industry-specific words or acronyms, and that’s why those terms should be avoided. Businesses tend to make communication easy, persuasive, and understandable because that increases the chances of their purchases. Students writing business assignments should also avoid using complex language and jargon to make the content easy and understandable.

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Read and Revise

Once you are done writing your document, read and revise it several times before publishing or submitting it. Ensure that you are following the standard format and guidelines given to you by the officials. Revising helps eliminate any mistakes or blunders that you might have made in the first draft. Don’t hesitate to share your writing with your colleagues to get their feedback. Always welcome constructive criticism from the readers because it helps you grow as a writer and also gives you an idea of what mistakes to avoid in the future.

The revision part is here because of the importance of business writing. As it can be judged from the fact that it builds the overall image of your business. So after reading it thoroughly you must know how to overcome the business writing challenges. It has to be professional, concise, accurate, and formatted. That’s why the writer must go through the revision part.

Business Writing Format

Business writing has a professional format to follow in order to ensure consistency and accuracy in business documents. The main purpose of writing in business is to address someone and make them aware of something important. The letters or documents must have a format in order to stay relevant and professional. Below, we have discussed the main points in the format of any business documentation..

Sender’s information

First of all, you need to mention your name, designation, and address at the top of the documents. Most businesses use already-designed letterheads that save them from typing their address every single time. The sender’s information indicates who sent that letter and where they are situated.


Then comes the date when the document is written and mention it below the sender’s information. If you’ve completed the document over multiple days, mention the last date when you completed it. American and British have different date formats. That’s why use the proper date format according to your client’s location.

Inside address

This address refers to the recipient’s address. Kindly mention the title, designation, and proper address of the person you are writing the letter or document. It’s always recommended to write the recipient’s address because it will help your document reach in the right hands.

If you are writing to someone who works in a big firm or a part of a large business, you must mention the inside address to convey the message to the specific individual only. Also, mention the title and full name of that individual, whether it’s a marketing manager, an accountant, or anyone you want to address. It will help your business document to reach the desired person.


The main body of your document will have the actual message you are delivering. Always keep your message precise and direct so that the Reader can easily understand your intentions and act upon them. You need to discuss the main point, the importance of the main point, justification of the main point, supporting details, and request for the action desired from that specific recipient.


Close your letter or document with a warm closing statement. It is always recommended to value the time of the recipient. End it with writing the sender’s name, designation, and signature.

Core Requirements For Business Writing Skills

Business documentation is a form of professional writing, and there are some core requirements for every writer who opts to write business papers. Following are some important skills for business writing.

Fundamental Computer Skills

One should have the fundamental computer skills to perform the day-to-day business operations. It’s quite obvious that you need to learn computers in order to survive the digital business era where operations are handled online.

Impressive Grip on the English Language

English is the international language of the world. Almost all professional communications are carried out in American or British English. That’s why you need to learn the language and practice it frequently to develop a good command of the language.

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Knowledge of the Code of Ethics

There are some codes of ethics that you need to follow while communicating in the business world. Those codes of ethics serve the purpose of building not only your reputation but also the image of the brand.

Communication Skills

One needs to have great communication skills because, in a business setting, you are required to carry out conversations with all kinds of people in an effective way. You should be able to convey your message accurately with the help of good communication skills.

Market Knowledge

You won’t be able to survive in a business where you are unfamiliar with the market you are operating in. You need to stay up to date with the market trends and other technological advancements in order to apply them in your writing. Always adapt to changes and make yourself relatable to the world.

How to Improve Business Writing Skills

If you are struggling with writing your business reports, letters, emails, or other formal documentation, you should go through the following tips on how to improve your writing of business documentation.

Identify Your Primary Goal

You need to identify the main purpose of writing that specific business document. You will never be able to deliver an impressive piece of writing if you are unaware of the goal of that paper. You should know what you must say to convey the message effectively. Setting a primary goal before writing will lead you to write what is needed from you and what is the best way to put words together.

To make your writing specific, you can sum up the purpose of your in a single line. That will save your time and make your writing digestible and understandable on the readers’ end.

Focus on the Reader’s needs.

Business documents are audience-specific. You should be able to modify your writing according to what your audience requires from you. For example, suppose you are writing official notices to the suppliers or vendors. In that case, your content tone and approach will be different than that of the document, which is directed toward the employees in your business.

You need to convey the message properly to meet the needs of readers. Write what people want to read and identify words or phrases that will influence them the most. The main purpose of business writing is to give readers something to act upon. That’s why be very clear about what they need from you. You will get your desired outcome only when the message is delivered properly.

Clarity over Quantity

Always cut to the chase in business documents because no one is there to read the long context and old stories. Don’t make it lengthy because it will immediately take away the interest of the reader. Make it precise, accurate, and to the point. Your paper should be clear of what purpose it has to serve.

Make a list of what you want to convey in a business document and then only discuss those points you want reader’s action upon. Avoid using jargon or acronyms that may confuse the readers. Using simple and quick sentences will not only help improve your writing but also help in saving a lot of your time.

Follow the Structure

Just like different writing forms, business documents have a standard structure that needs to be followed in order to deliver the message with proficiency. It doesn’t only enhance the clarity of the content but also makes the writing process easy for everyone. It also helps in keeping you up to date with the current trends in writing formats.

It might not be easy to get a grip on business communication. Structured writing will make everything easier for you by leading you step by step toward your goal. If you are following the structure, it will help you effectively discuss all important points without any delay and eliminate any errors.

Use Active Human Voice

If you’ve ever read a novel or a book, you might feel the voices of characters in your head as you read the dialogue. That’s your brain’s reaction while connecting and communicating with the book. Same in the way of business writing, you need to write in an active voice so the Reader can relate with you and listen to your voice and command.

Write in an active manner instead of a passive voice because an active voice will underline the realest aspects of the action you are demanding. For example, an active voice, ‘I want you to submit the reports by Friday,’ is much better than a passive voice, like ‘the reports should be submitted by you till Friday.’


How Business Writing Different From Other Forms of Writing

You might be wondering what makes business writing different from other types of writing. Well, the biggest difference is the purpose they serve. Other forms of academic writing aim to test and evaluate the research, analysis, problem-solving, and comprehensive skills of the writers. On the other hand, Business documents and writings aim to carry out communications between the people related to a business. It doesn’t entirely evaluate the writer’s skills but aims to get the desired outcome from the recipient.

The audience is also another big difference in both writings. For other forms of writing, the audience might be professors, the general public, or literary agents. While writings in business aim to target the relevant people like employees, customers, partners, or suppliers. That’s why the tone of content, structure and format, designing of documents, and writing process are different for these two forms of writing.

In business documentation, legal considerations play an important role. Since the business operates and deals with legal procedures, policies, and money, the business documentation must be written according to the legal boundaries and jurisdictions. In comparison, other forms of writing don’t require much consideration of legal boundaries because they are written for literary and research purposes.

Common Examples of Business Writing

Following are some of the most common examples of business writings that you might encounter at a workplace:

Business letters

Business letters are the common types of writing that you might have seen or even experienced. These writings are transactional business types of communications common internally or externally in a firm. These letters include:

  • Business proposal letters

  • Recommendation letters

  • Interview follow-up letters

  • Offer letters

  • Resignation letters.


Emails are the major mode of communication in every workplace. It connects business with its clients, customers, and employees. Emails are usually written to deliver a brief single message, requesting an outcome in return.

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Memos are instructional writings that are brief and informational. Memos are written for mass communication, and to deliver a message to a wide audience. For example, a memo of change of policy for every employee in the organization. Memos are focused, direct, and authoritative.


Handbooks are the brochures or manuals by the business about their services and products. These also include user guides and other instructional documents to let the Reader understand the company’s policies and procedures. Handbooks can also be directed toward a new employee in order to inform them about their responsibilities and policies of the company.

Business Reports

Business reports are informational business documents containing the progress reports of certain projects, financial statements of the company, data regarding the investments and success of business projects, and investigation reports. These business documents provide important data that helps managers, employees, shareholders, and other partners to have a clear picture of how the company is performing.


This is all you need to know about business writing. There are a set of skills that are essential to make your business documentation seen and appreciated. You are required to follow the proper structure of the formal business papers in order to stay trendy, relative, and up-to-date.

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