What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? Ashcans and unobtainable dollars!
All effective writing communicates something important clearly and concisely to its audience. At the same time, given the social-discursive-rhetorical nature of all writing, business writing does differ significantly from academic writing insofar as business organizations differ from academic research organizations.
The writing within these organizations serves different purposes, addresses different audiences, and arises in response to a very different set of problems.
Since you are more familiar with student versions of academic writing rather than the kinds of writing your professors produce within their professions, the summary below covers some of the key differences between classroom writing and business writing.
Students write to learn. Academic and non-academic contexts for writing differ immensely. Schools and universities exist to produce and disseminate knowledge and to help students do the same. The writing you produce in academic settings can best be described as "writing to learn" and "writing to demonstrate what you have learned.
The writing you submit to your professors gives them a glimpse of the way your disciplined mind works when confronted with a significant topic in a particular field of study.
Your instructors want to see that you are learning to think like persons trained within this field. Business writers write to get work done — to recommend actions. Business organizations exist to produce and distribute products, whether that product is steel, a WEB browser, or an opera.
In the increasingly competitive, global marketplace, businesses must constantly evolve. Rarely do business writers write to learn, to communicate what they know, or to give a glimpse of how their mind works.
Instead they write to solve problems, to propose new strategies, to store vital information, to negotiate new contracts, to map out the future direction of the company, to track quality control benchmarks, to report earnings to stakeholders, etc.
Audiences for business writing — managers, employees, customers, engineers, regulatory agencies, lawyers, stockholders, etc.
They want to know what to do or what the company is going to do next. Therefore, writing within non-academic, business contexts can best be described as "transactional" or as "writing to do.
Below you will find a very brief overview of some of the differences between classroom and business writing that emerge from differences in the contexts within which these kinds of writing are produced.
Prompt Students write because their instructors require them to write. Instructors design the assignments.
Business Writers write either at their own initiative or because someone in the organization expects them to write. Professionals often create and define their own tasks. Purpose Students write to learn and to demonstrate what they know.
Business Writers write to make things happen. Audience Students often write for one reader, their instructor. Business Writers often write for large and complex groups of people, various stakeholders who have different needs and interests.
Genre Students write exams, essays, journals, term papers, oral reports, etc. Business Writers write memos, letters, proposals, reports, performance evaluations, business plans, marketing plans, audit reports, sales presentations, manuals, handbooks, contracts, etc Ownership Students are graded individually and own their own writing.
Business Writers write for the company. The company owns the documents, which often include proprietary or confidential information. Constraints Students have as much time as they want to devote to an assignment. They can write alone, choose the environment within which they write, and largely say what they want to say within the framework of the course.
Business Writers meet more urgent deadlines dictated by their employers and the needs of their companies.A formal research report is completed to see if a potential project will succeed, while a business proposal is written with the intention of starting a new product.
Although different, the two. Formal and informal language each serve a different purpose. The choice of words, the tone and the way that each word is strung together will vary depending on the situation and the level of formality.
Formal language is, for all intents and purposes, far less personal than informal writing. Different flavors of Essays include but are not limited to: academic, narrative, and philosophical. The academic essay is common at the collegiate level. This type of essay commonly includes a literature review.
The literature review is an evaluation of information that is read. It should describe, summarize, evaluate and clarify the chosen piece.
The difference between formal and informal writing is the difference in style, tone, and syntax. This started with a tweet. I’m embarrassed how often that happens.
Frustrated by a sense of global mispriorities, I blurted out some snarky and mildly regrettable tweets on the lack of attention to climate change in the tech industry (Twitter being a sublime medium for the snarky and regrettable).
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