Top Tips for Business Writing in English

United College London - Business English

by UNITED COLLEGE LONDON – School of English.

One of the most difficult tasks for our professional students to accomplish is writing in business English. Most of them live permanently in countries where English is absolutely necessary in order to take their new venture into the next step and make their company differentiate from the rest. We have gathered some of the top tips that helped our business students to make the difference and stand from the crowd.

1)     Know what your aim is.

It is quite important to know what you are trying to achieve. There are times where the aim of your writing will be purely to inform others but some other times you will want to influence or even persuade someone. Focus on the expected outcome. Our advice: Be clear. Clarity will define whether your communication will be successful or will fail. Provide all the necessary details and request the exact response you need.

2)     Think about your recipients.

Who are the people that will receive your writing? What do they want to know? Do they have any idea about your subject? And if yes, what they need to know? Do they prefer a summary or they need more details? These questions will guide you through. There are many more you can ask yourself depending on your circumstances.

3)     Keep it simple. Use Simple words.

People nowadays are busy and generally they do not have time to read long documents. Your favourite words and phrases should be simple and clear. Avoid long, complicated sentences. If you will try to complicate your vocabulary just to seem more expert there is always the trap to use words you do not know well and in this case you lose more than you gain. Of course this should not be confused with the use of proper terminology to demonstrate your knowledge.

4)     Active Voice.

Always remember the golden rule. Subject – verb – object. In this way your sentences will be more effective, energetic and direct. Let’s not forget that by writing sentences in the active voice you are cutting unnecessary words, which improves your overall writing.

5)     Use paragraphs.

Your writing should be well structured and in order to achieve it you need to organise your thoughts into paragraphs. Paragraphs always confuse our students. How do I start a paragraph? How do I move from one paragraph to another? Maybe we’ll write another article focusing on how to write a good paragraph and maybe share some connection words and phrases. Please let know if that sounds interesting to you. For now, a well structured paragraph should contain: a) A lead sentence, b) the middle section, c) the last section.

6)     Use the right tone.

Your writing needs a balance in tone. General there are three tones: Formal, Friendly and Familiar. Your reports or even your written communication with someone you do not know should be formal while in general e-mails are friendlier. The familiar tone will only be used when you really know the person you are talking or writing to. Let’s say friends and colleagues.

7)     Care about your spelling and grammar.

You always have to check your spelling and grammar. If your writing will have that sort of mistakes then your credibility is getting decreased because the recipient will subconsciously think that your overall communication has mistakes and everything you were planning will fail.

8)     The last tip. Do a final check.

Usually no one does it. But especially to a new English language learner this is definitely a mistake. You have to check the meaning of your sentences and you have to check for errors. Once you have done it then your writing is ready to reach the recipient.

Mandy Evans M.A. – M.B.A.

Senior tutor


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