Top Five Principles of Good Business Writing

Top Five Principles of Good Business Writing

Writing well is one of the most important skills you can develop to be successful in the business world. Over seventy companies and thirty thousand students, from professional writers to new employees and from non-native English speakers to seasoned executives, have used the techniques in Business Writing to power their ability to communicate and launch their ideas.

This article will teach you how to apply the top five principles of good business writing to your work and how to deploy simple tools to dramatically improve your writing :



Nobody – especially a business person – wants his time wasted, so be sure your purpose is clear and that what you write is worth taking the time to read.


There is a time and a place for creative figures of speech and poetic turns of phrase, but rarely is a business letter that time or place.

The priority in business writing is the effective communication of specific information. Avoid wasting words and be precise with the ones you choose.


Know the audience you are writing to. It makes a difference whether you are communicating with a customer service representative, a long-time co-worker, or a potential new client.

Beware of phrases and expressions that could be misunderstood or offensive. Know what your reader needs and wants to hear, and allow that knowledge to shape your writing.


One tricky aspect of writing is that tone (the attitude of the writer toward his subject or audience) can easily be misinterpreted. Avoid sarcasm. Be aware that a letter can sound colder and more severe than you may intend. Pay attention not only to what is said, but how your words may be interpreted. Do not be overly informal or familiar.


Business letters, proposals, memos, and many other types of business writing require particular formats. Adhering to standard form eliminates confusion and helps the reader quickly identify the purpose of the document. Attention to details of form is more important in business writing than most other kinds of writing.


In many ways writing in a business setting is less demanding than other kinds of writing. You are using the written word for its most basic purpose: to communicate information. This, however, is not always as simple as you might think. Good business writing, like every skill, requires practice.