Best Business Writing Examples 2022

Maybe you have been asked to write an application cover letter for a job or a scholarship. This type of cover letter is used to introduce yourself and explain why you are qualified for a given opportunity, and your objective is to catch the reader’s attention and convince them that you are a qualified candidate for the job. Although this type of letter has some unique considerations and conventions, it still follows the OABC organization pattern and is generally 3-4 paragraphs in length.

Business Writing

This handout explains principles in business writing that apply to many different situations, from applying for a job to communicating professionally within business relationships. While the examples that are discussed specifically are the application letter and cover letter, this handout also highlights strategies for effective business writing in general.

Business writing refers to professional communication including genres such as policy recommendations, advertisements, press releases, application letters, emails, and memos. Because business writing can take many forms, business writers often consider their purpose, audience, and relationship dynamics to help them make effective stylistic choices. While norms vary depending on the rhetorical situation of the writer, business writers and audiences tend to value writing that communicates effectively, efficiently, and succinctly.

If you have been assigned a genre of business writing for a class, it may help to think about the strategies business writers employ to both gather and produce knowledge. A business communicator or writer may use the following forms of evidence: statistics, exploration of past trends, examples, analogy, comparison, assessment of risk or consequences, or citation of authoritative figures or sources. Your knowledge of and relationship to your audience will help you choose the types of evidence most appropriate to your situation.

Who is your audience?

To communicate effectively, it is critical to consider your audience, their needs, and how you can address all members of your audience effectively. As you prepare to write, think about the following questions:

  • What are your audience’s priorities and expectations?
  • What does your audience need to learn from your document?
  • How will you grasp the attention of readers when you are competing for their attention?
  • How will you help your reader move through your document efficiently? When is it effective to use bulleted lists, visuals, boldface, and section headers to guide your reader’s attention?
  • What does your audience most need to know?
  • What is your audience expecting? Is your goal to satisfy their expectations, or do you want to surprise them with a new idea?
  • How will you communicate about setbacks? When is it appropriate to spin bad information with a positive outlook? How will stakeholders, customers, or employees respond to bad news?
  • In general, how can you tailor the organization and style of your writing to address your audience’s considerations and needs?

Title. Is it appropriate to address your audience by their first name, or is a salutation needed? Are you addressing someone who prefers to be addressed by a formal title such as Dr. or Professor? If you are writing about a third party, do you know what title and pronouns to use? When the name of the person you’re writing to is unknown, then it is customary to address your letter “To Whom It May Concern.” But this may be impolite if the person’s name is known or easily discovered. You can find more information on titles, names, and pronouns in our handout on Gender-Inclusive Language.

Language. If you’re writing in English, ask yourself: Is English the first language of all your audience members? Are you using idioms or other expressions that might not be clear to someone with a different background in English? For example, are you using expressions that require U.S.-specific cultural knowledge?

What is your purpose?

Business Writing Examples

1. Business Letters

A business letter is the most common business document that falls under the transactional business writing type. A business letter is a formal means of communication that an employee sends to their employer, or a student sends to a supervisor.

Hence, the contents can vary but it is customary to follow a custom letter format for professional business communications. The generic structure for a business letter format includes address, contact information, and subject at the start which are followed by the body and then closing statements.

Letters fall under formal communications, thus employees avoid using these in their writing process for quick communications. Some most common business letters are cover letters and resignation letters. The example includes official letters as well.

2. Press Releases

Press releases fall under the persuasive writing style. This example of business writing aims to deliver information to external business audiences. In addition to that, business workers use them to share news or business announcements.

A Press release is either published online or delivered through newspapers. Furthermore, if the company has an online website, then a press release is generally published on the website’s latest news page.

3. Emails

Professionals use emails regularly for day-to-day communications. But, keep in mind that emails also fall under the formal business writing category, thus these cannot be used for quick chats. But, in comparison to letters, emails are less formal. However, it is customary to adopt a professional format and writing tone.

In addition to that, emails are more general and common than letters. Consider a student as an example who sends an email to their professor regarding an academic project, or an employee who emails their employer to inquire about feedback or review.

4. User Manuals

User manuals fall under instructional business writing type. A user manual carries instructions for a new employee for a certain business process. The instructions can be on operating a machine or using the software.

In addition to that, user manuals aim to assist an employee in using a certain product or application. User manuals are technical writing documents, hence it is the responsibility of developers or technicians to draft them.

Each business can have its custom format for a user manual, and there is no hard and fast rule for its formatting. In addition to that, the writing tone is professional, and it must not include any technical jargon without its prior explanation.

5. Business Reports

Based on the report types, it is clear that writing reports are not a single person’s task. Instead, each department specialist also includes a technical writer who is responsible for preparing technical writing documentation for their respective departments.

A typical business report structure contains an executive summary, a table of contents, and an introduction at the start. Then later comes the body and a conclusion at the end. While the last section of the report contains references and an appendix.

6. Newsletters

Newsletters fall under both the persuasive and informational business writing types. There are separate newsletters for internal and external communications. For internal business communications, a newsletter falls under the informational writing type. On the other hand, for external business communications, newsletters fall under persuasive business writing types.

A newsletter provides information about the company to its readers. On the other hand, sometimes there are monthly and weekly newsletters. These scheduled newsletters keep the readers updated about the business, its products, and its services.

Internal newsletters are informal, thus the writing tone is friendly and relaxed to build a positive impression in the eyes of the reader. On the other hand, external newsletters are written in a casual yet appealing writing tone.

There is no hard and fast format for newsletters like emails and letters. Organizations can design their format. However, it is a good tactic to keep a consistent design format to maintain your brand voice.

7. Memorandums

8. Handbooks

Handbooks fall under the instructional business writing type. A handbook carries information on company policies. It is handed over to employees when they join an organization to assure that they familiarize themselves with the company policies.

Same like others, there’s no hard and fast rule for a handbook’s format. Sometimes, it may carry the company’s mission, time schedules, and dress codes. In addition to that, it can also carry the organization’s history. This way employees are empowered about the organization they work in.

9. Meeting Agenda

Nine business writing tips to improve your skills

1. Identify your primary goal in business communications

Either way, setting a primary goal is an important first step for gathering your thoughts into a coherent message. And it’s a major component to successful business communication and writing in general. If you’re clear about your primary objective, you can more easily stick to that point, avoid going off on tangents, and get your message across in a way that’s easily digested by the reader.

One way to quickly ascertain your goal is to sum up the purpose of your message in a single sentence. If it’s extremely short or can’t be contained in a single sentence, you may need to consider alternative methods, like a quick conversation or breaking up your content into more than one email.

2. Focus on your readers’ needs and professional goals

Your audience will dictate so much of how your message is conveyed, so you must understand who they are and what they need. Good writers focus on their audiences’ needs and wants rather than their own. That way, the reader has something to grab hold of, and act on, if that’s the goal.

If you’re writing an email to an employee about third-quarter business goals, the part they play in moving the company forward will be most relevant. In that situation, however, it would be easy to provide more context than is necessary. But providing too much information can make for a lengthy and less effective piece of writing that requires the reader to dig through the information that may not be relevant to them.

On the other hand, if you’re writing to a customer or client, you should aim to answer their questions about your product or service so that they can make an informed decision. Providing valuable context can mean the difference between a quick “yes” or a slow, drawn-out conversation that fades away. The easier you can make things for your reader in your own writing, the more inclined they’ll be to help you accomplish your business goals.

3. Cut to the chase in business writing: Focus on clarity over quantity

Clarity is easily muddled when it comes to the written word, but there are a few ways to easily and quickly address this aspect of business and professional writing (same goes for your personal writing too).

Avoid jargon and overusing acronyms

Jargon can easily creep into both your business writing style. And while it can make conversations a bit faster when speaking with others who are well-versed in your field, business jargon can create confusion with those who aren’t. Again, you have to be aware of whom you’re talking to, and make a judgment call. If you’re writing for someone new to your industry, use words that have a clear, universal meaning.

Shorten and simplify sentences

For better business writing, edit the length of your sentences to hone the clarity of your business communications. For example, you may write “as a result” when “because” is just as accurate. Keeping each sentence to one idea can also help you avoid confusing the reader with run-ons or convoluted compound sentences.

While you’re at it, be sure to look for holes in the context or message — like places where you took a logical leap, or forgot to include information about how something is relevant to the main topic. That way, each sentence and paragraph can support the others in creating a coherent message.

4. Streamline structure and organization

Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to begin with business communications, especially if you’ve got pages and multiple decks of business research, analysis, and creative ideas. In general, it’s best to focus on a primary idea or topic. This prioritization helps you set expectations for the reader and get to the point without delay.

As a baseline, you should include things like transitions from paragraph to paragraph, or sentence to sentence, to make the words themselves flow more easily. You’ll want to take a top-line approach to the organization, too, if you want your words to be more absorbable.

Break a lengthy email or document into smaller sections

Just as we’re doing in this blog post, we suggest organizing business writing into sections with subheadings and highlights of important information. Include formatting such as line breaks, headers, and short paragraphs to make lengthy copy scannable.

Visually friendly formatting is especially important when you’re talking to someone who doesn’t necessarily have to listen to you, like a prospective client who may not have a lot of time to devote to reading emails.

5. Fine-tune your tone and business writing style

Formal is not necessarily the same thing as professional

Both of these statements convey the same general message, but the tone is different, due to word choices and their connotations. The first statement relies on formal phrasing and potentially implies a difficult conversation ahead.

Five business writing examples

1. Marketing content

If you’re new to content marketing, you may need to spend time developing new skills in writing persuasive, relevant, and clear content. A key element is understanding your audience: you need to write content that resonates with them, e.g. offering solutions to their problems or insight they can’t get anywhere else.

Active voice in the main headline creates a sense of urgency for outdoor enthusiasts, encouraging them to explore nature. This is directly linked to the company’s products – you can’t explore the great outdoors without proper gear – which has been conveniently placed on the landing page so customers can shop straight away.

2. Help center

Picture this: a customer wants to use your product but they have a question that’s holding them back. They search for a FAQ or help center but you don’t have one. Thus, the customer journey ends because they can’t get the information they need to move forward.

Avoid losing customers with a well-written, user-friendly help center. They save your existing customers time from calling or emailing you. Instead, customers can find the answer to their problem in a few clicks.

The ‘Ask us anything’ search box creates a friendly tone that encourages the customer to seek help for their problems. The headings are concise and use keywords and a clear structure to make navigating to the right solution effortless.

3. Product content

A delightful onboarding experience makes new customers feel like they made the right choice by doing business with you. It also improves customer retention and lifetime value — and if there’s one thing we know about business, happy customers become your top referral source.

Oberlo breaks everything down and distributes the information slowly. Only asking new users to accomplish one task at a time and providing straightforward instructions on how to achieve it. Use your words to guide your customers every step of the way.

4. Emails

Wrong. It all counts towards the way you’re perceived as a professional. If you want clients, customers or colleagues to view you as competent, considerate, and businesslike, your emails (or business letters) need to be quality pieces of writing.

When writing business emails, use short and simple sentences to make your writing easy to digest. Busy professionals will most likely scan emails when they’re short on time. Make sure there are no grammar errors or spelling mistakes. And give the recipient clear instructions on what to do next, whether it’s responding to a proposal, booking a call, etc.

5. Press releases

If you have a new product or service in the works, you might want to write a press release to get the word out there. They need to be well-targeted with a newsworthy headline, a summary of the news in the opening paragraph, and a compelling quote. They are usually written in the third-person.

This is a great example of persuasive business writing. Amazon starts with an eye-catching headline that summarizes the story. Then clearly identifies the core product benefits and how it helps its customers. If you read the full press release, you’ll notice they also use testimonials from a customer who was given early access to the service—a great way to show the product works.

As a business writing exercise, write your own press release using these different narrative devices.It can be on unicorns or UFOs, the idea is to practice. Once you’ve finished your first draft, check to see if you’ve followed the correct hierarchy of information.