Business & Technical Writing

The typical academic text begins with a thesis or position, followed by paragraphs with evidence, which are followed by a conclusion that offers a summary of the evidence that supports the original thesis; often the conclusion serves to guide readers to areas that need more research. In contrast, business and/or technical writing takes on forms that serve the needs of specific audiences. For example, where an academic paper might be written for researchers or in a particular field; a press release may be written for a new product with a general audience in mind.

academic, business, & technical writing: a comparison:

  • Thesis or hypothesis initiates the text
  • Cited evidence serves as the body of the text
  • Conclusion of summation and ideas for further research closes the text

In business writing, prose and lists come together to give the reader the main points on a particular topic. In technical writing, prose and lists come together a) to provide easily accessible information and/or b) to give the reader a series of steps to follow to complete a desired task. Brevity, conciseness, and accuracy are critical components of both business and technical writing.

Academic Writing Business & Technical Writing
Prose is primary writing mode. Lists, bullets, and short paragraphs are primary writing mode.
Thesis is in opening paragraphs. Thesis is in paragraph, phrase, or heading.
Ideas are divided by paragraph. Ideas are divided by paragraphs, lists, or sections.
Sources are a permanent record. Sources are only as permanent as the message.
Paragraphs are preferred over lists. Lists are preferred over paragraphs.
Sentence diversity is valued. Parallelism and repeated patterns are valued.

With these basic similarities and differences among these three genres outlined, the reality is that all three genres may be a part of life for today's writer attaining higher education: for the scholar–practitioner. Academics are enriching the knowledge pool with their scholarly writing, but academics are also writing in the genres of business writing and technical writing as practitioners in the commercial world in which they work and live. Becoming fluent in all three genres gives the writer a voice in all three genres.

We will focus here on offering basic definitions for business and technical writing and offering samples of some of the basic writing tasks within these genres. Thus, while coursework may or may not require the use of business or technical writing, the outside world often necessitates the use of these genres.

  • What is Business Writing?
  • What is Technical Writing?
  • A Visual Look at Business and Technical Writing
    Examples:
    • Business Letter
    • Memo
    • Sales Report
    • Press Release
    • Business Plan and Executive Summary
    • Case Study
    • White Paper

business and technical writing

Business And Technical Writing

Review this module to build your knowledge of business and technical writing.

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