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Unformatted text preview: The Key Forms of Business Writing
What are the key forms of business writing?
Different situations and messages call for different forms of writing. The forms listed below
address the primary writing needs of anyone involved in business. Courses in the Write
Program provide timely, research-based instruction for creating each of these forms.
Instructions Description includes e-mails, memos, and letters—essential forms of day-to-day
share the information needed for businesses to prosper.
lay out plans to meet a business’s needs, from developing a new
market to solving a problem.
provide the how-to documents that help a business and its clients
carry out their work. http://www.upwritepress.com/writing_resources © 2009 Sebranek Inc. Copying is permitted. Key Form: Correspondence
Why correspond in writing?
Members of any business must regularly correspond, either in person, by phone, or through
writing. Written correspondence is preferred when
• your message is complicated and detailed,
• you and your reader need a written record of the communication,
• you have a large and scattered audience, and/or
• you do not need immediate feedback. What makes correspondence effective and productive?
To get results, correspondence must be positive, clear, orderly, and prompt. After all, the purpose
of corresponding is to communicate with individuals or groups to accomplish something. Characteristics of Effective Communication
Characteristics Examples Effective correspondence . . . • addresses a person whenever Dear Sarah or Dear Ms. Falwell possible, not a title or department.
• opens with an informative subject line or opening sentence. Subject: Promotion of Mona Vail to Full-Time
Graphic Artist • stresses benefits to the reader. An updated shopping cart would reduce customer
frustration and increase sales. • uses “you” in positive situations but I appreciated your workshop at the Radisson,
especially your explanation of . . . avoids it in negative ones.
• assumes a team approach. We offer our customers a line of safety equipment
unmatched in the industry. • includes lists, short paragraphs, and We’ll discuss these items:
1. Shawn Greer’s internship.
2. His last two evaluations.
3. His letter of recommendation. headings for easy reading. • avoids business jargon. Let’s rethink our fall catalog.
The corporation ought to redeploy marketing
initiatives vis a vis the end-year selling vehicle. • is timely, but never sent in anger. http://www.upwritepress.com/writing_resources Thank you for meeting with me last week at the
national sales meeting. © 2009 Sebranek Inc. Copying is permitted. Key Form: Reports
Why write reports?
Reports offer businesses and organizations the information they need to produce, evaluate,
and carry out their work. Reports, long and short, help businesses by . . .
• creating a record for routine and special activities;
• documenting details related to incidents, projects, and studies;
• checking results of work, plans, and production; or
• evaluating options and making decisions. What are the common types of reports?
The chart that follows identifies the main types of reports, along with their goals.
To determine which type of report to use, you need to identify your purpose,
your reader, and his or her expectations. Types of Reports
Type Examples Writer’s Goal Incident accident, breakdown, error, or stoppage Examine a situation to determine
causes, effects, and solutions. Periodic weekly, quarterly, or annual; evaluation,
department, or status Provide information at regular time
intervals so work can be tracked. Progress initial, interim, completion, or follow-up; activity,
campaign, project, or grant Provide details about how a project
or job is progressing. Trip conference, convention, customer service,
field, inspection, sales trip Share results of activities that
happened away from the workplace. http://www.upwritepress.com/writing_resources © 2009 Sebranek Inc. Copying is permitted. Key Form: Proposals
Why write proposals?
The noun proposal means “plan.” Whenever an individual in a business or organization puts
forth a written plan, he or she is developing a proposal. Proposals are critical to a business’s
success because they suggest action, innovation, and problem solving. To write a strong
proposal, make sure that you . . .
• know your audience,
• make clear the benefits of your plan,
• sound reliable and credible,
• provide examples of past success stories, and
• present an eye-appealing, easy-reading final draft. How should I plan a proposal?
Effective proposals are carefully planned because they are important pieces of writing,
intended to promote a new product, to sell a service, to establish a new business relationship,
and so on. Answering the 5 W’s and H (who? what? when? where? why? and how?) can be
an effective planning strategy. http://www.upwritepress.com/writing_resources © 2009 Sebranek Inc. Copying is permitted. Planning a Proposal
Answer these questions to help plan a proposal. Give careful thought to each one before
writing an answer.
1. Who is the intended audience? 2. What is the purpose of the proposal? 3. When do I need to complete the proposal? 4. Where w ill I find information to use in my proposal? 5. Why is this proposal necessary? 6. How should I proceed? http://www.upwritepress.com/writing_resources © 2009 Sebranek Inc. Copying is permitted. Key Form: Instructions
Why write instructions?
Instructions help businesses and organizations and their clients carry out their work. Plant
workers need instructions to use equipment, lab technicians need safety guidelines, managers
need protocol for employee reviews, and so on. Effective instructions are clear, complete,
chronological, and current. What else do I need to know about the style of instructions?
Write your instructions in direct, active sentences. (Turn the cash register key to the left, rather
than The cash register key should be turned to the left.) Also use strong command verbs (remove,
apply, rinse, and so on). Common Command Verbs
In instructions, use precise command verbs that the reader will understand:
address dig insert pour scan tip align download inspect press scroll total begin drag lift print select transect boot up drain load in pull send trim call up drill lock push shift turn change drop loosen raise shut off twist check ease lower remove slide type choose enter make replace start unhook clean fasten measure reply state unplug click fill move review switch use clip find notify rinse take ventilate close flip oil roll tear verify connect follow open rotate test wash cut identify place save tighten wipe delete include plug saw tilt wire http://www.upwritepress.com/writing_resources © 2009 Sebranek Inc. Copying is permitted. ...
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- Spring '10