Business Report Writing

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Business Report Writing

Business Report Writing


Writing for a business audience is usually quite different than writing in the humanities, social sciences, or other academic disciplines. Business writing strives to be crisp and succinct rather than evocative or creative; it stresses specificity and accuracy. This distinction does not make business writing superior or inferior to other styles. Rather, it reflects the unique purpose and considerations involved when writing in a business context.

When you write a business document, you must assume that your audience has limited time in which to read it and is likely to skim. Your readers have an interest in what you say insofar as it affects their working world. They want to know the "bottom line": the point you are making about a situation or problem and how they should respond.

1. Business writing for a specific audience

The purpose of business writing is to convey information to someone else or to request information from them. To be effective writing for business, you must be complete, concise, and accurate. Your text should be written in such a way that the reader will be able to easily understand what you are telling or asking them.

A lot of writing for business is sloppy, poorly written, disorganized, littered with jargon, and incomplete. Often it is either too long or too short. All these attributes contribute to ineffective business writing.

Whether you are writing a sales proposal, an email to your department, or an instruction manual for a software package, there are certain steps you need to follow to create effective business writing. You need to:

1. Organize your material

2. Consider your audience

3. Write

4. Proofread

5. And edit your text.

The emphasis on each step may vary, depending on what you are writing, but the steps will be the same.


First, organize your material. When writing an email announcing a staff meeting, this may be as simple as collecting your thoughts. On the other hand, you may need to write out a multi-level outline of the material when writing up the results of a pharmaceutical trial. Without an appropriate level of organization, you can't be sure you will include everything or that you will give prominence to the most important topics. Omissions or incorrect focus can make your business writing less clear.


Before you start to write, think about your intended audience. For example, a presentation about your company's new 401(k) program may have the same outline when given to your CFO or to all employees, but the level of detail in various areas will differ. A quick email to your team, reminding them of the company's security procedures, won't have the same tone as your department's section of the company's annual report.

Also remember that you will be more effective writing to your audience if you focus on what you want them to hear rather than on what you are going to say.

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Good writers have different styles of writing. Some prefer to write everything out and then go back and edit. Others prefer to edit as they go ...
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