Writing@CSU Guide

An Introduction to Business Writing

Almost all business activities are envisioned, planned, implemented and analyzed in some form of the written word. These forms include reports, and report summaries, lettersmemos, and email, any document, in fact, that communicates something about business. Collectively, they are the hard-copy paper trails recording the proposals, activities and results of countless business transactions.

Public and private entities rely upon these documents to communicate vital information, both internally and externally, regarding the condition and conduct of their business. It is fundamentally important that they be written in a clear and concise manner. When they are, the risk of miscommunication is greatly reduced.

Poorly written business documents can produce unintended results and potentially disastrous consequences. Strong writing competencies can help reduce or avoid this all together. Well chosen words, well organized and well written, increase the likelihood of effective business communication.

That said, business writing is as simple as eating an elephant. Do it one bite at a time. Think strategically, divide and conquer. Writing is a process consisting of several interrelated steps:

These steps break the larger writing task into smaller ones. Proceeding through them one at a time will help you write successful business documents. Depending on the complexity of the writing task, they will be either more or less demanding. An annual report requires far more, for instance, than a memo.

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