Writing in the Workplace

Writing is a key component to success in the workplace. Without proper writing skills and technique one’s communication will be significantly hindered. In order to effectively communicate within the workplace it is vital to have rhetorical awareness and user-centered design in your writing. This involves multiple concepts such as being aware of your purpose for the writing, the people who will be reading your work, the stakeholders involved, and the context of the situation. It is also important to tailor your work to the users and making it as effective and useful to them as possible. In addition to the suggestions from Purdue OWL, it is important to consider some other factors.

When someone is fresh out of college and just beginning their career it is important to understand that the writing is no longer for academic purposes, which means you may need to change from a style of writing you have been doing for years to something now formatted towards the workplace. This may be a difficult process. According to an article by UMUC, How Does College Writing Differ from Workplace Writing?, the most significant difference is in the expectations of your writing. In college, students are suppose to show understanding of material through their writing. Writing is used as a process to learn and think, as well as a medium to display this learning to instructors. In the workplace however this is different. In the workplace writing is used as a tool to accomplish a goal. The success of your writing in the workplace is based off the final product and its ability to succeed at accomplishing this final intended goal.

According to an article  from The Internet Writing Journal, proper grammar is crucial. In a

shitty email
Here is an example of what NOT to do

business setting it is important to build credibility from those with whom you work. In writing, this credibility is built through the writing quality. If a document is riddled with grammatical errors all credibility will be lost and the goal of the work will be unattainable. That is why it is necessary to always proofread your work, and when feasible, allow another set of eyes to review your work. This should allow all errors to be fixed, and greatly improve the quality and effectiveness of the writing. In addition to grammatical errors it is important to avoid the use of slang according to Basic Writing Skills for the WorkplaceMuch like grammatical errors the use of slang can hinder ones ability to build credibility.


Today more and more careers are requiring proficient writing skills. With the increased use of communication via the internet even careers that are not viewed as a writing intensive involve a great deal of written communication. Communication that is viewed as simple and unimportant, such as an email, can do a great deal to effect how you are viewed in the workplace. If you received an email from someone that was full of errors how would you view them? Most likely as incompetent and unprofessional, especially if you do not know them personally. This is why no matter what form the writing is in, or how important or unimportant you believe it is, you should always put effort into making yourself come across and professional and competent. This can go further than you think in benefitting your career.

Communication is vital to ones success in the workplace for nearly every career that exists today. Today people are constantly communicating via written formats whether it be in emails, social media, texts, reports, or other professional documents. With this increased demand for writing proficiency in the workplace, those who possess the proper skills and strive to submit quality written work will find greater success in the workplace.

3 thoughts on “Writing in the Workplace

  1. Zach,

    The photo attached with this blog post is the exact stereotype that people have about millennials when they think about our writing skills. Social media and texting have put these type of thoughts into peoples heads are is a stereotype that millennials need to break. That all starts with using correct grammar and starting to use rhetorical awareness and user-centered design in our writing. More jobs are requiring proficient writing skills like you said and can be a factor that separates on candidate from the other. Being able to meet the needs of the reader are why we write reports and in order to do that, proper grammar and hitting all points the reader is looking for is a good place to start. Becoming a prefect writer takes practice and as millennials, we need to take initiative and start practicing so that once we all are in the workforce, we can use rhetorical awareness and user-centered design correctly.

  2. Zach,

    I agree with everything Jacob said in the comment above. The picture you attached is a perfect representation of the stereotype Millennials are given with regards to their communication skills. Many of us type up our professional documents as if they were a text message in a group chat with our roommates. I also really like the point you make where writing in college is used as a way to learn, where in the workplace it is to do. Your conclusion is a great ending to the post!

  3. Zach,
    Your entire section about transitioning from the classroom-style writing to business-professional writing is amazing. You identify that it is a difficult task and pick out the differences in goals of each. It’s very important to remember that our writing in college was, (occasionally to persuade) but mostly show that you did extensive research and understand the source material. Whereas, in almost any other setting, you’re writing to do much more. I really like that you made the comparison/contrast of writing in college= learning medium and writing in professional world= a tool to help convey a point. That’s a great way to think about writing!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s