Professional Business Writing Standards

business writing standards

Business Writing Standards for Effective Communication

The Art of Communicating Well

Clarity is “the most” important factor of any kind of communication. Be it communication within friends, family members, among social circles or professional environment. Clarity will always be the key element of any form of communication, written, spoken, or recorded.

Producing Standard Operating Procedures

Business writing standards overly emphasize on this aspect of clarity along with concise language training, professional etiquettes and use of standard structures for better grasp and acknowledgement in business communication.

Recognize the following key steps in this respect:

  1. Understand your purpose
  2. Know your audience
  3. Determining the outcome and how to get there

Guide for Professional Documentation

Apart from the above mentioned three steps are the building blocks in all forms of business writing.

Define Your Purpose Explicitly

You need to understand the purpose of your writing. Maybe you want to launch a new set of products, you need training issues addressed in a certain department, or maybe you need to approach another business entity to build up business relationships.

These can be a few examples of understanding the purpose, and naturally bring you to consider your audience, their needs and their understanding. The last building block determines possibilities of the outcome and finally leads you into the writing process. Here, you execute your plan via newsletters, training manuals, memos, or business letters etc.

Research and Organize Your Material

  • The ideas should proceed in an orderly manner.
  • Each paragraph focuses on the main ideas.
  • The “most” important part information in your document is easily identifiable.
  • Quote enough examples to support the main idea.

Highlight Important Ideas

  • Main ideas go as an opener, build on that.
  • Use shorter sentences to state your main purpose, refrain from flashy language and be blunt and short as possible. 
  • Descend from general to specific and support your statement with evidence
  • Reiterate the main idea for it to be embedded into the reader’s mind.
  • Use descriptive words, like “ideally”, “particularly”, “most importantly” etc. try and avoid repetition of these descriptive words. Build your vocabulary.

Develop your Business Writing Tone

  • Be polite and courteous, try and leave out “yourself” from the document as much as possible. Your readers will respond better this way.
  • Do not discriminate or use such language. All business writing should be free of any bias relating to race, sex, religion, and politics.
  • Knowing your audience really helps formulation of your sentences. Most newspapers are written at a junior high reading level. Tailor your writing skills according to your audience.
  • Refrain from using slang language, as it can be devastating as per business writing standards.

Structure your Documents

  • Newsletters, memos, business letters, they all follow a standard format. Do not deviate from that format.
  • Use proper formatting; there is nothing more distracting than a poorly formatted document.
  • Proof read a number of times and pick on grammatical mistakes before you run the final copy out.

How to Develop Professional Business Writing Skills?

You can consult the following resources to develop effective business writing skills:

Technical Documents

Just remember, your writing practices will become a reflection of you and your organization. Make it a lasting one. Business writing standards allow no room for mistakes and ambiguities. If you do make those mistakes and cater ambiguities in your business writing, consequences can be disastrous.