Writing in Business and Management

Graduate Student Resource Center

General Resources
Style and Plain Language
A Few Genres of Business Writing
Resources for International Students

General Resources

Workplace Writers—Resources on writing in the workplace and writing in order to get a job (e.g., cover letters and resumes), from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab.

The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing—An online book that covers technical documents (e.g, reports and letters), paragraphs, punctuation, and grammar, among other topics.

Business Writing—A blog by Lynn Gaertner-Johnston that promotes her writing and editing services but also includes free articles on various aspects of business writing. You can also subscribe to a free e-zine, Better Writing at Work.

Blake, G., & Bly, R. W. (1992). The elements of business writing: A guide to writing clear, concise letters, memos, reports, proposals, and other business documents. MacMillan Publishing Company.

Brown, R. (2006). Doing your dissertation in business and management: The reality of researching and writing. London: Sage.

Davis, K. (2005). The McGraw-Hill 36-hour course on business writing and communication.  New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Style and Plain Language

Lanham, R. (2000) Revising business prose (4th ed.). Longman. (Note: You can also purchase “interactive revision exercises” and a video accompanying Revising business prose through the author’s company, Rhetorica, Inc.)

Business Communication Quarterly Exercises on Style and Tone—In September 2007, Leon Kenman published an article in Business Communication Quarterly on teaching style and tone in business-writing classes. Additional teaching resources can be found at the Association for Business Communication website but are only accessible to members.

Plain Language.Gov—Presents arguments for using plain language, before-and-after comparisons, strategies for writing in plain language, and many plain language-writing resources.

A Few Genres of Business Writing

Business Plan Building, Section by Section—Articles by Inc. (“The Daily Resource for Entrepreneurs”) on the basics of a business plan, the executive summary, marketing section, and other components.

Write a Business Plan—Resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration on writing the plan, including an online tutorial.

Memos—Information from Colorado State University on the purpose and format of a memo, how to analyze your audience, and common types of memos.

Executive Summaries—Information from Colorado State University on types of summaries and a process for writing them.

Job Search Correspondence—Resources from UCLA’s Career Guide on writing resumes, cover letters, and other correspondence.

Business Letters—Information from the UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center on writing application and cover letters.

Resources for International Students

Business English Exercises—Contains quizzes on business-related grammar, vocabulary, collocations, and phrasal verbs, among other activities.

Schulman, M. (2006). In focus: Strategies for business writers. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Gillett, A. (2006). Speak Business English like an American: Learn the idioms and expressions you need to succeed on the job. Ann Arbor, MI: Language Success Press.

This page was created by Andrea Olinger. To suggest a resource or report a broken link, email the GWC at gwc@gsa.asucla.ucla.edu.