How to Sharpen Your Business Writing Skills

By Nan Levinson | Go to book overview

3
Types of
Business Writing

Learning Objectives
By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
Set up a business letter in the correct format.
Name the main parts of a memorandum.
Describe what the minutes of a meeting are used for.
Cite the main purpose of written proposals and reports.
State eight tilings to be explained in the body of a proposal.

As we've said, a main purpose of business writing is to communicate ideas so that some action will occur. There are other ways to do this, of course, and you may not always select writing as the best form of communication for your purposes. Writing leaves a record, even when it is sent from computer to computer. Written communication is generally more formal than conversation and less personal than a phone call, and it doesn't allow for the backand-forth exchange that is particularly useful when you're batting an idea around or considering a strategy. E-mail is a kind of in-between communication: less formal man something on paper, but no less faceless and, at times, more anonymous. It allows for a quick and simple exchange, though, which may be exactly what you need in some circumstances.

Many situations require written communication, however. It may be important to create a lasting record, or the complexity of your message may make it more efficient to put it on paper, where it can be reread and reconsidered at the reader's pace. Other times, courtesy, custom, or the delicacy of a situation demand that you take the time to compose your thoughts carefully and observe the etiquette of the culture in which you work. All of these factors go into deciding what form of communication is best suited to your message.

-39-

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How to Sharpen Your Business Writing Skills
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • About This Course xi
  • How to Take This Course xiii
  • Pre-Test xv
  • 1: Writng for Your Reader 1
  • 2: Getting Organized 19
  • 3: Types of Business Writing 39
  • 4: Effective Writing 57
  • 5: The Right Word: Appropriate Language 75
  • 6: Language That Works 91
  • 7: Direct and Forceful Writing 105
  • 8: Write and Rewrite: Punctuating and Revising 121
  • 9: Research: Fact-Finding Missions 137
  • 10: Plugging In: Computers and Business Communication 155
  • Bibliography 169
  • Post-Test 171
  • Index 177
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