Effective Business Writing

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Effective business writing is most often writing that communicates its points efficiently and with a minimum of personal style. Most writing guides stress the importance of removing oneself from the process of composition as if to suggest that business writing might simply generate itself. The truth of the matter is that one can never totally suppress his or her personality, even in the most mundane documents.

The reason for this is that style impinges on every facet of writing from word choice to sentence structure. Even rote and seemingly methodical forms of writing require their authors to consciously choose some words instead of others and craft sentences that suit their tastes. Divorcing personal style from writing is like trying to separate whiteness from snow.

Some Keys to Effective Business Writing

It takes practice to stride the line between creative and formal in effective business writing, a line that may be negotiated according to the specific document. A mission statement or business plan, for example, should convey their authors' unique personality, as these are documents that aim to sell the people behind the business as much as the business itself. A hiring policies statement, on the other hand, ought to be formal and restrained--the epitome of business-like. After all, it's meant to instill a sense of confidence in its prospective (and current) employees.

How does effective business writing juggle these seemingly competing trends? By choosing a tone that's suited to the intention of the document. Additionally, that document should contain no punctuation or grammatical errors no matter what. Business writing, even when it's lively, is still clean writing and is therefore easily plagued by poor spelling, word choice, and organization.


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