Writing skills are extremely important regardless of the position you hold. Writing skills are important not only for personal correspondence but also for preparing reports, business letters, etc. Besides, the writer has to know what writing style is appropriate for one situation but inappropriate for another. Technical writing and business writing style are among the most popular ones.
What is technical writing? What is business writing? We will try to answer these questions using our technical writing guidelines.
Technical Writing Guidelines
Many people wonder how the two styles are different? Are they different at all?
It should be noted that even the two have certain similar features, they cannot interchange each other. Each of them has its peculiar features, roles, and purposes. Our article will help you understand when to use each of them and how not to mix them up.
In general, two writing styles are centered on the reader. Nevertheless, business writing is a little bit broader term. This writing style includes interpersonal writing and even technical. The latter becomes a part of business writing when a business person needs to get or provide information on some technical issues. For example, business letter from Human Resource Department regarding some internal issue is not a technical writing, while a report sent by IT specialist explaining how to use a new device can be regarded as technical writing.
Similarity of Business and Technical Writing
If you check different technical writing samples, as well as examples of business writing, you will see that both of them are specific in their nature and use direct, concise and formal language. This is the feature that makes it difficult for people to distinguish between them. One more similar characteristic is a format of both writings. They usually use simple structure with bullet-points or numbered lists to make the access to information easier.
Tone of Writing
What is technical writing? The other issues that can help answer this question is a tone of writing. Considering that business writing is most often directed at specific audience, it can adjust to it and take a different form depending on a situation. On the contrary, technical writing uses specific tone regardless of the audience as it is directed at presenting information in a form understandable for everyone.
At the same time, the tone of business writing depends on its goal. For example, if a person needs to describe the aspects of some bid, persuasive tone should be used. If the memo is written, formal voice should prevail. In case a business person writes an external letter to a client, either professional writing manner or a bit informal communication can be used depending on a purpose. Regardless of the situation, a writer should be clear and write in a coherent manner.
Without doubt, business writing can include elements of technical writing but it is more flexible in its nature and is concentrated on both intent and content.
Regarding clarity, technical writing is more specific than business writing. The deal is that its main goal of technical writing is to explain some information to the readers in an understandable manner. That is why it uses simple words, clear structure and specific language.
If you take any technical writing example, you will see that it contains information that can be used only in specific case. The information provided in texts of this kind is not a general knowledge and is not needed for people in their daily activities. The example of technical writing is a manual for blender or oven. You will not use these documents if you do not possess specific devices but when you do, the manuals will help you use them more effectively.
There are different types of technical writing. However, not matter what type you choose, you should always stick to neutral tone of writing. Technical writing is performed with the only thought in mind: to make the writing understandable.
Choosing Writing Style
If you ask yourself: What is technical writing? And if you are not sure how to distinguish two writing styles, put a simple question: What is the purpose of your writing: instruct the readers on something or tell about your intentions. The answer to this question will help you understand what writing style to choose.