Differences in Business & Academic Documents

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There are various types or styles of writing that help define a given written piece in a specific category. These types of writing include technical writing, business writing, academic writing, creative writing and descriptive writing. These styles are presented in different formats and document structures, depending on the purpose of the respective document. Although business and academic writing differ tremendously in approach and content, the two styles’ documentation does have similarities.

Business Writing

The definition of business writing focuses on how useful and practical the information is and how well a company can use the information to develop and progress toward goals and objectives. Examples of business documents include annual financial reports, employee evaluation reports, grant proposals, business letters of various kinds and internal memo documents. Business documents do not offer speculative information, but rather straight facts so business owners can make valuable and useful decisions.

Academic Writing

Academic writing takes a more speculative and thoughtful approach to information in comparison to business writing. Academic writing focuses on creating, proving or disproving theoretical data through research, facts or literary journal articles, for example. Rather than offering cold, hard facts, academic writing focuses on creating new ways of looking at a topic and developing new methods of completing various things, such as social and literary analyses.

Academic vs. Business Writing

Although academic and business writing have two different goals and structures, it is possible to use the writings in the same context. Academic theories can be used in business writing to rule out different strategies for a project, for example. In theory, one marketing approach may work better than another and the potential results can be discussed in a business report. On the other hand, practical business data can be used in academic reports to build case studies in academic papers as a part of developing theories.

Documentation

Both academic and business documents often have the goal of presenting information and data and drawing a useful conclusion from the data. While academic writing focuses on creating a useful theory from the data collected, business writing often looks for solutions in the data that will increase production, improve profits and satisfy customers. Both types of documents use graphs, charts and pictures to present the data and the conclusions, despite the results being theoretical for academic writing and practical for business writing.

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