You might just be wondering how you explain the difference between business and technical writing to a student. First off we need to ask the question, just what is technical writing, and how is it related to business writing and will students use it in their careers? There are similarities between business and technical writing, and while the two do overlap in some places, they are not the same style of writing. The goal of both types of writing is to get information to somebody either inside or outside of a student’s organization.
A difference in business writing is that it is more digestible and less filled with specific technical jargon than technical writing is. Writing for people inside and outside of an organization will more likely need to be easily understood by a diverse audience, and less likely to get into specifics. Business writing of course may change its wording depending on the intended audience. It’s important to note, that the audience inside of an organization is going to require a different vocabulary than an audience outside of the organization.
Technical writing will not change its tone or the wording it uses based on the audience because it is expected for the audience to be able to understand it. A difference between business and technical writing is that technical writing is going to be talking about a specialized topic that the audience is expected to both understand and be familiar with. Since technical writing does not change in tone, it is a more impersonal writing style, as its main goal is to get across directions. On the other hand, business writing can have many goals, such as creating relationships outside of an organization or inviting people to events and organizations in general.
To make it more concise business writing and technical writing can both be used within a business or organization. Technical writing will always be used to convey directions, and business writing will be used to write about anything else. A fuller understanding of these styles of writing will give students effective communication skills.
As students sometimes will not think about the different types of writing they’ll be using in their career, it can be a good idea to take initiative in talking to students about business and technical writing. Discussing this topic early on in the career process can lead to an easier understanding of how a student can communicate in their future career. Showing a student examples of when they would use either type of writing can be a great start to the process, or even asking if they can differentiate between business and technical writing.