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Writing for Business Business style Types of business writing Formal reports , letters, e-mail, Types of business writing informal reports formal reports letters e-mail memos advertising (leaflets, posters, press releases) talks and presentations

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writing for business

Writing for Business

Business style

Types of business writing

Formal reports , letters, e-mail,

types of business writing
Types of business writing
  • informal reports
  • formal reports
  • letters
  • e-mail
  • memos
  • advertising (leaflets, posters, press releases)
  • talks and presentations

Business Skills Induction

why is business writing different
Why is business writing different?
  • Finding solution to problems is more important than discussing theory
  • Its purpose is to help decision making
  • Must be easy to be read quickly
  • Should contain necessary information only
  • It is usually written to a particular person (s)
  • Accuracy is of vital importance

Business Skills Induction

making it easy to read
Making it easy to read
  • Carefully planned structure
  • Numerous subheadings
  • Numbered paragraphs
  • Concise language
  • Tables and diagrams
  • Bullet-points
  • Business-like presentation

Business Skills Induction

writing objectively
Writing objectively
  • Provide facts and evidence
  • Give both sides of the argument
  • Give opinions based on facts not supposition
  • Be precise“People are taking sick leave far too often” “Last month an absence rate of 10% was reported by five departments. In the opinion of the CEO this is having a damaging effect on the company”

Business Skills Induction

writing formal reports structure
Writing formal reports - structure

1 - Title Page

2 - Contents list

3 - Executive summary

4 - Terms of reference

5 - Methodology

6 - Findings

7 - Conclusions

8 - Recommendations

9 - List of references


Business Skills Induction

formal reports
Formal reports -

1 - Title page:

  • title should communicate what the report is about
  • must include name of author(s) and person for whom report is written (‘addressee’)
  • should look ‘business-like’ (avoid pictures)

2 - Contents Page:

  • should include page numbers of all main sub-titles
  • needs separate contents for: text; tables; diagrams

Business Skills Induction

formal reports8
Formal reports -

3 - Executive summary:

  • a summary of the report’s key findings
  • so that readers can determine whether to read the entire report

4 - Terms of reference:

  • Who is writing the report?
  • Who requested the report and when is it due?
  • What is it about?
  • Why is it being written? (give the background to the problem)

Business Skills Induction

formal reports9
Formal reports -

5 - Methodology:

  • What you did to investigate the problemPeople you spoke to, library search, web-sites, research methods, questionnaires, interviews

6 -Findings:

  • Clear description of what you found out

Objective description of data, graphs, diagrams, etc.

  • This includes relevant theory you have identified
  • No opinions, just a neutral description

Business Skills Induction

formal reports10
Formal reports -

7 - Conclusions:

  • Summarise key points of your findings
  • Identify any further problems uncovered by your findings
  • Discuss the meaning and implications of the findings in relation to the original problem

8 - Recommendations:

  • List the action that should be taken to resolve the problems identified in your conclusions

(not always required)

Business Skills Induction

formal reports11
Formal reports -

9 - List of references:

  • Use Harvard format as for academic writing
  • Don’t forget to include references in the text where you have used other people’s ideas or data

10 - Appendices:

  • Only include if documents are referred to in main report
  • e.g. - questionnaires, letters, interview reports

Business Skills Induction

business letters
Business letters -

Use standard layout for business letters


  • Paragraph 1: State intention of the letter
  • Paragraph 2: Main body: provide information & present it in logical form
  • Paragraph 3: Conclusion: summing up & possible suggesting future action


  • variable between formality & informality. (Generally more impersonal than notes to friends!)

Business Skills Induction

e mail
  • Almost no style rules apply
  • Usually informal
  • Should be clear and concise
  • Start with the person’s name and finish with yours(but this is a matter of choice)
  • Must be accurate and legal(email may be forwarded to other people with your name on it)
  • Should not be personal business (many companies now routinely monitor staff use of e-mail)

Business Skills Induction

  • Types of business writing
  • Business writing style
  • Formal report structure
  • Letters and e-mails

Business Skills Induction