Writing for Business

Published 28 Sep 2017

Writing for the academic environment is usually a matter of accomplishing or completing a task for class or for a specific subject. The end result will be to fulfill or satisfy some scholastic requirement, in order to successfully pass the class or course. Another result of such a writing is for the professor or the instructor to know how much you understand the subject, or for him of her to gauge your level of competence. On the other hand, when one writes for the professional or business environment, the result will be to fulfill a job or task that has been assigned to a person by reason of his or her specific position or job designation. A professional or business communication may be a simple memo, a report, or could be a complex and sophisticated presentation of technical and analytic data. For example, a performance report may be issued by the company to its employees, stating how the former perceives the work done by the latter. One result of a professional or business writing would be that the company is able to function and perform its primary tasks. Such writings aid the various employees of the company in order to properly coordinate and work together, since each unit or employee will be able to know what the other is doing. Also, business writing may be addressed to clients and customers. Here, the key is to know the perspective of the specific audience you are addressing. This will ensure that what you are writing is clear and will be able to easily get your massage across.

In the academic setting, the writing audience may be one’s professor or instructor, or even peers and fellow students. For the professional setting, the audience may be a boss or a superior, fellow workers or employees, or sometimes it can be one’s customers or clients. The occurrence of writing for multiple audiences may vary depending on the purpose of the writing or communication. For example, in both the academic and the professional setting, a presentation one has made may be viewed or addressed to several persons, thus making the writing available to multiple audiences. Lastly, the purpose of the writing or the communication will determine why the academic audience or the professional audience will read the specific document one has written.

The sources of evidence for an academic work would depend on the nature of the task or assignment. For example, a research paper’s sources could include academic books, journal articles, statistical data, and other published works. An accounting student who needs to complete a balance sheet will need perhaps ledgers or books of account to be able to do the computations needed. On the other hand, the sources of evidence for writings for work may include other reports or communications from colleagues, presentations, marketing data, and even office memos and instructions. Of course, the sources of evidence would still depend on the kind of writing one has to do.

There are several organizational patterns one can use in writing, and these are: order of importance, classification, chronology, persuasion, compare and contrast, process analysis, cause and effect, problem-solution and spatial order. All of these may be used both for academic and professional or work-related writing; it would all depend on the specific kind of writing one is making, on the purpose of such, or on the target audience. An academic writing may use compare and contrast, as when one needs to compare different accounting methods to find out the most efficient and effective tool to use. A work-related writing may use the process analysis, as when a company would like to find out the efficiency of its factory or plant operations.

The format of the writing is very important because it is the first thing the reader or audience will see; the visual appearance of the writing may or may not capture your audiences’ attention, making the writing either successful or unfortunately a failure. There are several format methods for the academic writing. The type of format one can use will depend, once again, on the kind of work being done, on the purpose, and on your target audience. Some examples of these format methods are the American Psychological Association Style (APA), the Modern Language Association Style (MLA), the Turabian Chicago Style (Turabian), the Oxford Reference Style, and the Harvard Reference Style. A research paper or a thesis paper will ordinarily require that the writer follow one of the formatting styles listed above. On the other hand, essay home works, or an opinion or a commentary may not require the strict and rigid methods of the one’s above. Of course, any academic writing will still need to follow specific instructions or requests given by the professor or instructor.
For a professional or work-related writing, there is no specific formatting or writing styles to be followed. However, common practice in the business world has dictated some acceptable way of preparing and writing professional communications. One typically starts with a header which contains to whom the writing is addressed and the purpose of such. Next, there will be an opening paragraph, which is considered as the first power position, since this will be the part which may or may not grab the audience or reader’s attention. It is then followed by the body, containing the bulk of the work, and which may also contain what is referred to as the “burial ground”, which are technical things or jargon which need to be part of the writing but may be too boring to catch the readers attention. This is then followed by the closing paragraph, which is the second power position, which summarizes your writing and emphasis key points.

Writing for class or for an academic setting would ordinarily depend first on the subject of the class, and second on the instructions of the professor or instructor. For the professional setting, the writing will depend on the task or job given, the purpose and the target audience. An academic writing almost always will follow one of the writing styles or formats listed above; while a professional writing will usually be the common memo or report, similar to what was outlined in question #5. An academic writings’ audience may be limited to the professor or instructor, and sometimes peers and fellow classmates; while a professional writing’s may include superior, other co-workers, or your customer or clients.


  • Sheila C Crowell; Ellen Kolba “The essay” New York : Educational Design, 2001.
  • Ricky W Griffin; Ronald J Ebert “Business” Toronto : Pearson Canada, 2014.
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