10 tips for better business writing

Whether you’re writing an email or a corporate newsletter, it’s important to remember these tenets of good communication.

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Writing in a business environment is an activity with associated norms, challenges and opportunities. Keep the following points in mind as you craft communication for your company or organization.

1. Clarity

Be clear. Clarity is the primary goal of all communication. And in business writing, the degree of transparency in one’s message can determine whether one succeeds or fails in a venture, whether you’re transmitting a report or closing a deal. State your message’s intent, provide the necessary details, and request the precise response you need or want.

2. Active voice

Employ active construction (subject-verb-object). “This report was sent to me by John Smith” is not wrong, and it’s probably the best choice if you want to distinguish one report from another, but consider whether “John Smith” should be the subject of the sentence. The active syntax is more vigorous, and usually more appropriate.

3. Direct language

Construct concise, declarative statements. Your goal is to provide or invite information, or to persuade or be persuaded. Your time is valuable, but the recipient(s) of your communication also have constraints and deadlines. Take the time to express yourself with economy and directness.

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