Business writing

  • 1st impression
  • clear & brief (blunt)
  • don't be creative, be tactful
  • think of your tone (semi-formal)
  • think of your audience


Pronouns: I, you, we

  • "we" only use when you're representing your company
  • starting an opinion use "I"


Active vs. Passive Voice

  • the best writers achieve a style that their message can't be misunderstood.
  • to be clear avoid the passive voice

       e.g. The net benefits of divesture were grossly over-estimated. (x)

               The global finance team grossly overestimated the net benefits of divesture. (o)

  • starting a mistake, use the passive voice.



  • Prepare (Before writing)
  • think/consider your audience
  • semi-formal (tone)
  • clear language
  • use the active voice
  • no longer than 1 page
  • for confidential information avoid the memorandum -face to face-


# Primary Purpose of Memorandum:

  • to communicate with a large # of employees or members another organization
  • connects employees in an effective, concise method that connects the writer with the interests/needs of the recipients.


# Purposes for Memorandums

  • policy change
  • promotions
  • personnel changes
  • project status update
  • offering products/services to employees
  • request employees
  • provide feedback

February 7, 2012 (TUE)

- Paul Kim's writing class

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