Business Writing Style Guide
John Morris, Oregon State University
Julie Zwart, Oregon State University
Copyright Year: 2020
Publisher: Oregon State University
Conditions of Use
This text covers all aspects of the writing process from brainstorming to revision to formatting, with an emphasis on the writing specifically needed for business students in order to write business reports. The TOC is very complete, including... read more
This text covers all aspects of the writing process from brainstorming to revision to formatting, with an emphasis on the writing specifically needed for business students in order to write business reports. The TOC is very complete, including links for every section so that the student can easily jump to whatever is needed or assigned. One aspect that I especially appreciated was making the connection between essay writing, which the student might already be familiar with, and business report writing, the subject at hand. In particular, there was a chart included with comparisons of style and formatting between academic writing and business writing. Although business writing includes many other types of products, such as memos and letters, the concepts and practices included in this text are applicable across the board. The examples offered will no doubt mirror concepts being included in their Management courses, making this text a good companion for those classes.
The text seemed error-free and unbiased to me.
This is an invaluable resource for today's business students who are making the writing transition into the specific style needs of their discipline. A revision history is included at the end of the text, indicating that the authors are continuously reviewing the text for errors and made revisions as of November 2020. The inclusion of business concepts in the examples section will directly connect the writing process to the students' business courses.
The writing style of the text reflects the authors' stand that business writing is clear and concise, with a directness not typically found in academic writing. Topic headings such as, "What is good writing?" or "What does this mean?" help guide the students to answers to frequently asked questions, including a thorough explanation of what a counterargument is, among many other relevant topics for the beginning business writer.
Terms are explained, reviewed, and referenced from section to section.
The thoroughness of the TOC allows for the assignment of specific sections, including exercises and writing samples.
I found no interface issues.
I found no grammar errors.
The text uses examples I consider culturally neutral, focusing on process rather than content.
As a professor of Business Writing at a community college, I will select sections of this text appropriate to beginning writers, but I can also see how the more advanced sections would be appropriate for a 4-year program. At the freshman/sophomore level, all of the general writing process chapters will be very useful to guide my students from academic writing to business-appropriate writing for reports. The concepts of concision, persuasion and clarity can be applied to all types of writing assignments.
Table of Contents
- The Writing Process
- Writing Essentials
- Writing and Business Models
- Feedback and Grading
About the Book
It is the goal of this book to help students do the following:• Apply basic concepts for effective and concise business writing.• Compile a well written report acceptable within a business context.• Follow a writing process designed for business students.• Demonstrate critical thinking, reasoning, and persuasion.• Communicate in writing using a business model.• Apply resources for improving business writing skills.
About the Contributors
In 2009, John Morris transitioned from a three decades long career in private industry to teach at OSU; his first course incorporated the university’s Writing Intensive Course (WIC) requirement, for the College of Business. As a stipulation of its accreditation process, AAC&U requires that each college have a WIC that teaches students how write in the profession. Having worked extensively with recent college graduates in private industry, John had some very specific ideas about what was needed to write for business, but he found little in existence in the way of universal business writing standards beyond academic writing guides. During the interim nine years of teaching WIC, a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, and collaborating with other business instructors and professors, he developed a variety of job aids to help students write for business.
Julie Zwart is an instructor in INTO Oregon State University’s Graduate Pathway program. The Pathway program was established in 2008 to provide language, culture, and academic support for international students as they transition into their masters programs at OSU. Julie began teaching at INTO OSU in 2014, and shortly after worked on a project to redesign a foundational MBA pathway course, which is how she met John. Later she worked with him as co-instructor in the MBA Pathway teaching writing and analysis. Over the course of working together and assessing the needs of students in terms written communication for business purposes, the two undertook creating this writing textbook.