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Effective Business Writing: Top Principles and Techniques

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For example, if you simply send a letter to employees about attending a conference on a Sunday and reiterating that it is a requirement, a portion of your workforce might resume to work with worries in their heads because they have religious obligations to meet on Sundays. If you can tailor your letter without touching any religion, culture or sensitive issue in an uncomfortable way, work would be much smoother and solidarity among the people will remain intact.

In fact, when it comes to my whole business, details are everything. I hire people who care about those details. Hence, there is a need to prevent grammatical errors and inappropriate writing in business communication. There should be less jargon—unless it is a technical document—and more specific words and brief yet strong phrases.

Be as definite and as clear as possible. Headings and bullets — Headings are used to underscore the main points, form white space, and make it easy for readers to scan the document. Bullets, on the other hand, are often for series of items. Tables — These are used when subjects or options are being compared or contrasted to one another. These tools will avoid the repetition of the company names and categories throughout the text.

There would be less words because the data no longer needs extensive explanation. Maps, flowcharts, and diagrams — These are for more complex data or connections of data that text alone can no longer detail substantially.

These also aid in presentations, saving more time and other resources. Bold face and italics — To emphasize specific points to readers , you can put the words in boldface or in italics. The Miami University gives pointers for acknowledging sources in business documents, especially those that present proposals:. This will also give the impression that you have a solid grasp of the evidence for your proposals. This will make your document more reliable and convincing.

Ideas in your business should flow in a logical manner to keep the whole discussion smooth and all thoughts cohesive. The Purdue University has guide questions for reviewing professional papers.

Barbie Carpenter of Demand Media, a digital marketing agency, in an article , shares the four types of business communication:. This type of correspondence encourages people, especially those in the office, to take actions or follow specific instructions. An example of this is a memo with the weekly goals of a team.

It is expected to be motivational to produce solid results. Some documents are eyeing a goal, but some are simply to inform the audience. For example, an email can be about a change in a policy, a help manual for a particular program or facility, or changes in the organizational structure.

These papers are expected to be clear to avoid misinterpretation. There are inevitable events in the workplace that may not be pleasing to everyone.

Writing about them requires careful planning. Construct a decision matrix. A decision matrix should be a simple way to determine which decisions can be made, and which people are part of the decision-making process. The final step in some decision matrices is an executive-level endorsement or confirmation of a decision made at lower levels.

Part 2 Quiz True or False: A simple introduction to the document can explain background information as to why the process is important to the overall operation of the company. The target audience can be identified, as well as the overall scope of the work.

This can also include a statement of what happens if this process is not completed, or completed poorly. If there is pertinent industry terminology pertinent to the process, there can be a section that covers abbreviations and terminology. This introduction provides pertinent background data and justification for improving the flight record-keeping within Blackhawk Inc. At Blackhawk Inc, improvement of the flight record-keeping is mandatory, and this process will ensure standardization.

Outline your document with consistent notation and symbols. Using whatever notes and outlines you have, write a step-by-step guide to how the process is completed. This is the meat of the BPD. When constructing your process model, be sure to adhere to whatever format you have chosen clearly and consistently throughout the model. At this stage, the model should be created using process modeling software or another type of software so that a polished final product can be created. Assign the roles related to specific processes.

The decision-makers are people directly responsible, those who are involved in checking quality control, and even those who provide the final approval. Resolve any conflicts when there are multiple people with redundant or conflicting roles. If possible, identify the amount of time each process requires. Pilots shall fill out post-flight form XYZ, and note any irregularities Pilots shall place form XYZ in the maintenance inbox, signing the check-in form Maintenance shall sign-off form XYZ when all irregularities are inspected and corrected.

Maintenance shall turn over form XYZ to flight record clerical staff for proper filing Link job titles to roles. Identify the individuals who will be involved in each of the processes.

Define each worker's individual role. Rather than specific named individuals, it's better to identify job titles for this. Excluding specific names ensures the document remains relevant when an employee moves on from the company, and re-emphasizes the process over the person. Johnson in Office will separate and file documents. Flight record clerical staff will separate and file documents. Add an exceptions and emergencies management section.

There needs to be a basic guideline for how to complete the process when unexpected factors come into play. This section should also explain which people are permitted to request changes, those who can permit the changes, and who will ultimately implement whatever change is approved. If changes are approved on a wide-scale, include whatever suggestion form is being used to accept changes. When pilot tempo does not permit timely completion of form XYZ, co-pilots can fill out the form.

When you've completed your business process document, you'll need to check to see that you've accurately depicted every possible eventuality and gotten the sequence of actions right.

To test it, have your team use the model to carry out a demonstration of the business process under a variety of real-life conditions. Doing so will help you weed out inaccuracies, endless loops, or missing pieces in your model. Part 3 Quiz Why is it important to use job titles instead of names in your business document? In case of role overlap. You still know who to refer to in case of emergency. To emphasize the process. Style of a business process document is generally determined by the organization.

Some included many more details than others. Certain types are formatted to include specific fonts, borders, and other pertinent details. Not Helpful 3 Helpful 3. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other.

Tips In some cases, especially if compiling an employee manual, you may also want to format the business process document to make it more attractive and easy to read.

A good employee manual reads like a textbook, complete with diagrams and illustrations, while a document for internal auditors needs only the simple text. Reports cover a variety of topics, such as safety compliance, sales figures, financial data, feasibility studies and marketing plans. They may include statistics, charts, graphs, images, case studies and survey results. Some reports are published for the benefit of investors. If a report is periodic, such as a monthly sales report, a template is used for convenience and to enable comparison with previous reports.

A company uses documents to transact business with its clients. To save time, these documents may be formatted as a form, such as an order form, transmittal page, invoice or receipt. The types of transactional documents used vary somewhat by the nature of a business. An insurance agent, for example, generates insurance applications and policies, while a lender uses loan applications and mortgage documents.

A business uses financial documents to stay within its budget, prepare budget proposals and file tax returns. These documents include receipt records, payroll reports, paid bills, bank statements, income statements, balance sheets and tax reporting forms.

A business owner uses these documents to determine the financial success of the company and to identify areas that are unproductive. A department head might use financial documents to prepare a budget proposal. Janice Tingum has been writing professionally since

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You are here: Home / Style Guide / Effective Business Writing: Top Principles and Techniques. Elements to Consider Before Writing A Business Document. 1) The Purpose. This will serve as the direction, the reference, and the path of your details. This will set the tone, the style, and structure of your letter. Writing business documents is a topic we get a lot of enquiries about, so I hope you will find this useful. Nearly every job requires you to write, even if it is just email.

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