Business writing varies on the basis of intentions and thus business documents differ in type. For example, a report shows progress on a certain operation, and an instruction guide provides instructions for a specific process. All business documents are not written in the same tone. A specific writing style is adapted as per the requirements and objectives of a business document.
Business writing is a method of writing to professionally communicate with business workers, audience, and investors. Good writing is a building block of effective business communication. But what are the types of business writing? Should you write all technical business documents in the same tone? Find out.
What are the Types of Business Writing?
Business writing is a broad writing field. As per the writing styles and objectives of different business documents, you can divide them into four major categories.
The four main types of business writing are:
Each of these business types refers to a distinct business document written in a different style and tone, for example, persuasive type points towards writing project proposals in a persuasive tone, and instructional tone points towards writing instruction guides in an instructional writing tone. Detail for these business writing types is given here:
As clear from the name, the instructional writing style provides instructions to the reader for a specific task. This type of business writing directs the reader to take an action.
Instructional writing results in teaching the reader about work operations or processes. Instructional documents include a method for a worker to use equipment, a method for the customer to use a product, or a method for troubleshooting an equipment issue.
Choosing an instructional writing style is a privilege for business writers to win the trust of readers by providing information that helps and instructs the reader.
What are Tips to Focus on while Writing Instructional Business Documents?
Here are some tips to focus on while adapting to the instructional writing type for your business documents:
- Provide instruction in a clear and easily comprehendible form
- Break the steps into multiple sections and sub-sections
- Write in simpler words
- Keep the audience’s level of professionalism and expertise in your views while writing
- Mention the solutions of most common problems that customers/workers commonly encounter
Follow these tips to write instructional business documents.
What are Examples of Instructional Business Writing?
Instructional writing includes the instructions to teach a reader about a certain operation and process. This writing style is majorly used to write instruction guides and how-to articles. Here’s the list of instructional writing examples:
- Knowledge-based libraries
- Training materials
- How-to articles
- User manuals
- On-board instructions
Choose instructional writing style while drafting the above-mentioned business documents.
2. Informational Business Writing
As clear from the name, informational writing is used to provide information to the audience about some event or operation. This writing type is slightly similar to the instructional writing type, but the major goal of this type of writing is to inform the reader, provide insights and information about a distinct topic.
Informational writing style provides you a chance to prove your business as a voice of authority, and your business can become more trustworthy for the buyers, investors, and audience.
What are Tips to Focus on while Writing Informational Business Documents?
You can recall these tips while writing an informational business document:
- Provide the most relevant information
- Talk with facts instead of opinions and assumptions
- Write with a focus on the expertise of your audience
- Organize the provided information sequentially to make the most out of it.
- Provided information should be value-additive and insightful for the reader
What are examples of informational business writing?
You should adopt an Informational tone when your goal is to deliver important information to the intended audience. Examples of Informational business documents are listed here:
- Conferences papers
- White papers
- Educational material regarding a tool or equipment to potential and current customers
- Financial reports for the internal business employees
- Employee handbooks
- Quarterly reviews
- Business reports
While drafting the above-mentioned business documentation, keep your writing tone informative for the reader.
Day-to-day communications with the business employees, teammates, and workers fall under the transactional business writing type. This business writing category is majorly used for internal written business communication, but it has some external use-cases as well.
A message, business letter, and email are written with a transactional business writing tone. This business writing type is sometimes also referred to as conversational business writing tone.
What are the Examples of Transactional Business Writing?
Transactional business writing covers the below-mentioned business documentation types:
- Informal email
- Business Letter
- Contract documentation
- Checkout docs
The persuasive business writing style is adapted when you want to convince the target audience like a customer or an investor. This writing style should convince a reader to take action based on the provided facts and benefits. For a customer, this writing style lists the benefits of a service or equipment you want to sell, while for an investor, this type of writing style provides the list of benefits along with facts for making an investment. A persuasive writing tone convinces an investor to invest in your business.
Persuasive writing style can also embed informational, and instructional business writing type in it. Both these writing styles provide information and instructions, you can use them as evidence of your proposed arguments in the persuasive business document.
This writing style should be written in a convincing tone so that it urges the reader to make a decision in the support of your business.
What are Tips to Focus on while Writing Persuasive Business Documents?
As your major writing goal is to convince the reader to take action that's profitable for you, the following tips can be beneficial:
- Write from your audience’s perspective
- Shape your proposed arguments according to the priorities and requirements of the reader
- Provide facts and evidence to support your claim
- Write creatively as it always makes a positive difference
- Do efficient writing. Cut out the extra details that affect your evidence
Follow these tips for effective persuasive business writing.
What are Examples of Persuasive Business Writing?
A persuasive writing tone is adapted when you want to inspire and convince the reader to take action in your support. Here are some examples of persuasive writing:
- Project proposals
- Product copies
- Grant proposals
- Sales content
- Marketing content
When your target goal is to convince the reader, adapt a persuasive writing tone.
Choosing an appropriate writing tone while drafting your business documents and materials is the key to success. A mismatched tone can not only distract the reader but also reduce the chances to achieve your business goals. So, an effective business writing tone should be adapted depending on the objectives and goals of business documents.
What are Style Reminders for Different Business Writing Types?
Appropriate style selection for business writing leads to effective business communication. You should focus on the audience requirements, and the purpose of the document before choosing a writing tone. Such type of writing is called result-oriented writing, where your focus is on the target goals and outcomes.
While drafting a business document in each of the mentioned types, make sure that you are avoiding jargon and excessive use of technical terms. It is also necessary to write in an active voice. The frequent use of passive voice reduces the document value. In general, we can say that a professional document results through the use of active voice, and it improves the clarity of your document.
Another important factor is grammar and vocabulary. Effective communication is achieved only by avoiding grammatical mistakes, poorly structured texts, and in-accurate information/contents.
Choosing effective business writing styles will lead to greater work efficiency in business communications.
As the goal of business documents varies, so does the writing style. Business writing is divided into four categories of writing: instructional, informational, persuasive, and transactional. Adapt each writing tone depending on the document’s goals and the audience’s requirements.
Choose an appropriate business writing style, avoid common grammatical mistakes, prefer an active voice, talk with facts, and arrange the document in a way to enhance its meaning and goals. All these valuable tips will result in a professional business document that leads to effective communication.
If you are new to business writing and are looking to break in, we recommend taking one of our Technical Writing Certification Courses, where you will learn the fundamentals and advanced skills of business writing.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He had his first job in technical writing for a video editing software company in 2014. Since then, he has written several books on software documentation, personal branding, and computer hacking. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.