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Business Writing Vs Academic Writing

Business Writing Vs Academic Writing

Different kinds of writing formats call for different kinds of writing methodologies. Some formats require you to be formal; some formats work really well with an informal tone; some formats need an emotional tone; in some formats, emotion has to be strictly left out.

Every format of writing has its own needs and requirements and if you failed to abide by these diktats, your writing will not find an audience. This article is dedicated to showing you what is different and what is common between business writing and academic writing.

Business Writing

The primary purpose of business writing should be clarity and focus. Precise and unambiguous language is an absolute necessity here. While you do not need to be overly formal, you have to maintain a courteous and professional style of writing.

Clichés are best avoided totally whereas adjective and long, lengthy descriptions should be kept as minimum as possible. It is always better to use the active voice rather than the passive voice. Instead of saying, "What is missing in the company," it is better to say, "What the company lacks is.."

Sentences should be short and crisp. Words such as "maybe," "perhaps," "would be," "probably," add a sense of uncertainty to your writing and reduce the objectivity of your piece and hence should be avoided.

Use words that are action-oriented rather than thought-oriented. For example, instead of saying, "We believe this action plan might work," it is better to say, "We recommend this action plan because of the following reasons." Action-oriented words enhance active voice communication better.

Academic Writing

It is much better for any form of academic writing to be in the third person than the first person except when it involves presenting your personal experience or opinion. The third person point of view renders an objectivity to the article or essay that cannot be easily achieved through the first person perspective.

A formal approach is needed in academic writing too and should not include the use of slangs, abbreviations (unless recorded earlier in the paper), or jargon.

An example of an informal sentence would be: that man is a loser.

An example of a formal sentence would be: that man's wrong choices were responsible for his loss of money and fame.

An academic paper or essay or any writing piece requires a lot of thought and ideas. It is always better to strategize, brainstorm, make an outline, jot down notes as you read from different texts, etc before actually sitting down to writing your piece.

Most often, academic writing involves referencing and citing your sources wherein you give credit to the source(s) from where you borrowed your ideas. For this, you have to learn and master the various styles including APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, etc.

Each college and/or teacher would call for different referencing and formatting styles and your academic writing should meet this requirement unfailingly.

Business Writing Vs Academic Writing

Commonalities between the two include the following:

  • Both require well-thought out ideas

  • Both require communication in a clear and precise manner

  • The tones of both the formats are formal

  • Impeccable grammar and spelling are mandatory in both

Differences between business writing and academic writing - The differences can be categorized under the following heads:

Audience – In business writing, your target audiences include your colleagues, your supervisors, your subordinates or your business partners. In academic writing, your target audiences consist of your professors, journal readers, and maybe, your classmates.

Formats – Business writing formats include procedures, reports, proposals, explaining an outcome, explaining reasons for the failure of a project, press releases, executive summaries, resumes, etc. In academic writing, the formats include writing that represents your interpretations and your understanding, argumentative essays, research papers, projects, dissertations, etc

Differences in thought processes between writer and receiver of information – In business writing, the writer and receiver of information share common values of the industry they come from and understand the use of jargon. In academic writing, the person reading what you wrote need not share your values and principles. Additionally, there is no common jargon base you can use in your writing.

Length and context of the written pieces – Business memos, reports, etc are best read and understood if they are kept short and succinct. Hence, it is important to leave out contexts as the reader will already be aware of it. In academic writing, while the length of the piece could vary depending on many factors (the article should not be long for the sake of being long), it should include context, thought processes, background, your opinions etc. While providing information may be a common need in both business writing and academic writing, in the latter, information must be given based on a context.

The purpose of writing – The writers of the two realms have differing purposes. Business' basic purpose is to manufacture and market products. Hence, business writers write to propose new strategies, to store important information, to map out the future of the company, to track and monitor sales and marketing, to report profits/losses, to ensure the quality of products, etc. The audience of these writers is not interested in the growth of the writer.

Academic writers, on the other hand, have a deeper purpose that is to be achieved by their writing and that is to learn. Students who do academic writing do so to enhance their learning and their audiences who include professors and teachers are very keen on ensuring the growth of their writers.

Final Notes

While some of the differences mentioned in this article may appear clear and distinct, there are many gray areas. As you gain experience in writing, you will be able to discern the differences better and make appropriate changes to your content.

I would like to reiterate that it is imperative you keep in mind the following questions when you are writing anything:

  • What do you want to say?

  • Who do you want to say it to?

The answers to the above two questions will help you decide how your writing format and tone should be.

Our qualified experts at Prescott Papers have plenty of experience in the realm of academic writing and will be happy to coach and guide you through your college years. Do contact us for custom essays, assignments, projects, and more.

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