Business Writing

The 5 C's of Business Writing

Coherent (orderly, logical, consistent relation of parts)

Clear (understandable)

  • Make sure sentences are not too long or complicated.
  • Use appropriate language for the reader or audience.
  • Use technical terms if the reader is a specialist.
  • Use layperson's terms if the reader is not.
  • Use natural sounding words and phrases.

Concise (direct)

  • Say what needs to be said in the fewest possible words.
  • Get to the point.
  • The first draft is often too wordy. Edit, but include all relevant details.
  • Do not confuse concise with abrupt (see courteous).

Courteous (tone)

  • Adopt a “you” attitude – one that sees the other person's point of view.
  • Treat the reader as you would like to be treated – with respect.
  • Do not accuse, threaten, scold, or belittle.
  • Remember that your business depends on good relations with customers and employees.

Correct (mechanics)

  • Check spelling, punctuation, and grammar (proofread).
  • Use correct format for letters or memos (do not forget to sign it).