Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre Blog

Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre Blog

Business writing principles:

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on Monday, 20 October 2014 in Skills Centre Blog

Business writing is a type of written communication. In every organization's communication plays an important factor. The communication methods mostly used by an organization’s are emails, memos, new policies, presentations, research and development, and marketing research.

Due to poor business writing an organisation can lose money and it can also lead to disastrous events. Bad business writing can lead to a loss of a client or employees due to misunderstandings via an email or presentation. Poorly written materials can lead to an undesirable impression of the organisation.

Before one can start with a business document, certain elements needs to be taken into consideration:

1) The purpose: The purpose will serve as a road map, reference or path to follow for writing business documents. This will set the tone, style and structure of your letter. By knowing your purpose you will be able to do things right the first time. Make sure you know the purpose behind the business document. Is it:

1. To inform

2. To persuade

3. To make an inquiry

4. To reject or approve


2) The audience: Know to whom you are sending the documents to. It should be aimed at them. It will be pointless writing a document and your colleague or client does not understand the message. Take also religion and culture into consideration when composing a business letter.


Business language:

It is important that all the employees, be it top management or staff, edit their documents and proof read it. When it comes to proofreading the grammar and spelling needs to be checked and corrected. There are many software and apps that can help with grammar and spelling (e.g. office has a build in grammar and spelling checker).Bad spelling can lead to a loss in business or even a misunderstanding among colleagues. Punctuation errors are also the main causes for business plans or presentations failing. Concise writing also plays an important role when it comes to writing an effective business letter. The business language needs to be understood as clearly as possible. By doing things right the first time it will save everyone time, money, prevent confusion and promote logical thinking.

When writing a business document one needs to consider one’s wording. The approach that should be followed will be determined by the situation itself. Types of approaches will be serious, humorous, rational and emotional approach.

By knowing the difference between objective and subjective statements one can write a professional business letter. Objective statement deals with “outward things, exhibiting actual facts uncolored by feelings or opinions”. Subjective statement depends on one’s “individual point of view, not producing the effect of literal and impartial transcription of external realities”. (The concise Oxford English dictionary (1975:1285))

To conclude it is important that the business document is neat, easy to understand and not ambiguous. Also ensure that you use all the right phrases and clauses in the business document. To make things easier when setting up a business document make use of the 7’c:

i. Correctness

ii. Clarity

iii. Coherence

iv. Completeness

v. Conciseness

vi. Courtesy

vii. Considerateness



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