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Business Writing

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Improving Business Writing

Why is writing important in business? Writing is essential in any form of business. We use writing in all types of communication such as: email, facsimile, letter writing, etc. Writing skills are important to the business professional because it prepares the workplace for well-written business communications. The three topics I will cover can serve as an outline for improving writing skills in businesses. The topics are principles of business writing, how to write an effective business letter, and how to improve business writing within the company. These topics will aid in examining and improving our company's employees writing skills.

First, there are "four principles of writing: Empathy, Persuasion, Tone, and Service Perspective. The first principle is Empathy which means to care for someone's feelings or ideas" (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1). When writing, you have to be sensitive to your audience. You should want your audience to know that you care about them. To write a good letter, think about the reader and try to anticipate his/her reaction to your comments. A letter with the right language lets the reader know that the writer is really interested in working together to solve a problem or discuss a concept. (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1).

The second principle of writing is Persuasion. The definition of persuasion is: "The act of persuading or the state of being persuaded" (Dictionary.Com, 2004). There are four principles of persuasion: 1) Tailored to fit the reader's reaction - As the writer, ask yourself how the reader would react to what you are writing. For example, if you know the reader doesn't take constructive criticism very well, don't include negative criticism in what you are writing. The key to persuasion is being persuasive in proving your point without offending the reader, 2) Write with the "you" attitude Ð'- giving emphasizes to the reader rather than the writer by using "you" and "your" often , 3) Know your audience and use the appropriate language. In writing a business letter, you don't want to send the same letter to every business. Why, because each company have different services and needs. You might have the opposite sex as a reader, so you wouldn't want to include any language that will offend the reader, 4) Lastly, in order for you to have an excellent paper, you have to write positively and with confidence. Being positive and having confidence are the elements that are needed in everyday life. Remember your work is a product of "you" and "your "attitude (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1)..

The third principle of writing is Tone. "Tone is the use of accent and inflection to express a mood or emotion in speaking or writing" (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1). The tone is what gets the reader's attention. Most business letters are produced in a formal tone (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1). The tone plays an intricate part in how the reader perceives you and your company. The writing guide of Colorado State have a few techniques that can be followed: 1) Refrain from using the "I" attitude. This causes you to put more emphasis on yourself than the reader, 2) Refrain from using humility, flattery, modesty, condescension- (definition - "the act of condescending; voluntary descent from one's rank or dignity in intercourse with an inferior; courtesy toward inferiors" (, 2004), and Conveying your ideas (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1)..

The fourth principle is the Service Perspective. This principle shows you can be of service to the reader. The service perspective not only shows that you are out to gain service, but it allows you to show you care about the service you are giving and are not profit driven (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1).

To start, our company employees need to learn how to write effective business letters. "The definition of a business letter is a document that is used as a form of communication between two companies or within the company itself" (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1). Chris Read of the Financial Times said, "The business letter is an essential tool in our economy and free-enterprises-system because it's the way companies communicate to buy, sell, and render services. It's also one of the most important nonverbal images people have ofÐ' company" (Read, 2004, p. 1). It is a widely accepted assumption that the business letter plays an intricate part in the way other businesses view and perceive your company.

When writing any form of written communication, it is best to have an outline or general format. Most companies have their own business format that they want their employees to follow . For example, "A company might have a particular way of presenting a salutation or they might use a specific letterhead" (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1). The letterhead or return address is the very first thing that goes on a business letter. This includes your name, address, phone number, and company logo/letterhead. A reader should always be able to quickly locate your contact information (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1). Following the letterhead is the inside address. This is the reader's full address that includes: the name, position, organization, and complete mailing address (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1). Next, is the attention line. We use the attention line when the letter is intended for a particular person even if the person is unavailable (Writing@CSU: Writing Guide, 2004, p. 1). For example, Attention: Human Resources. Beneath the Attention Line is the Subject Line which is a phrase that sums up the letter. Following the Attention Line is the Body. The body contains detailed information about the topic. The body includes the introductory paragraph, one or more body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Finally, there is the closing. The closing is usually ended with a complementary closing and signature. A list of examples include: Sincerely, Cordially, Best regards, and Yours very truly. Remember to capitalize the first word in the complimentary closing and end it with a comma. After the closing, there is a copy line. When the copy line is used, other people know who will be receiving a copy. The copy line usually includes



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