Skip to content

Business Writing

Notes on a business writing course.


  • Skim and scan looking for whats important for them
  • Readers want to find what they need right away, 5 seconds
  • Readers want to make decisions, what is the purpose?

What is the purpose of a text?

  • Benefits
  • Steps
  • Recommendations
  • Risk

What is good writing?

  • Quick: Information designed for speed
  • Organized
  • Easy: to find and understand


  1. State purpose:
    - Clearly stated subject line
    - Signal word (e.g. procedure, request for, warning about, proposal to, …)
    - Do, why, know
  2. List key points:
    - Support purpose
    - Provide more information
    - Start with a verb
    - Write “headline style”
  3. Expand key points
    - only if needed
    1. Restate purpose
    • if text is long, no new information
    • contact information if needed


  1. Clear
  • Follow Structure
  1. Concise
  • Use lists
  • Use active voice, e.g. staff attended meeting vs was meeting attended by staff
  • Use simple, strong verbs
  • Avoid wordy and redundant phrases, e.g. as matter of fact vs in fact
  1. Correct
  • Use autocorrect
  • Don’t trust spell checks


These notes are unpolished collections of thoughts, unfinished ideas, and things I want to remember later. In the spirit of learning in public, I'm sharing them here. Have fun exploring, if you want!
© 2020 by Adrian Philipp