Unit 1: Business English
Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- define the Standard American English terms commonly used to create documents in business contexts;
- differentiate commonly-used business vocabulary terms from professional jargon; and
- recognize rhetorical devices in business writing, including genre, tone, structure, and audience.
1.1: What is Business English?
When we talk about genre, we're really talking about the audience, organization, and writing style. When you send an email to a friend, you may be casual and funny; when you write a paper for a class, you may include research; and when you write a memo for a business partner, you'll use a formal tone and specific words. The section will introduce you to the basics of business writing.
- As with most professions, business executives are busy, under pressure to take quick action, and often must make decisions with incomplete data. They value concise, well-written, and meaningful information. Business writing consists of many different types, all of which require a specific tone and organizational structure. Read the following article to learn about the different parts of business writing.
1.2: Direct vs. Indirect CommunicationWords are tools for communication, and when we use them, we want to be clearly understood. Unfortunately, words can be confusing if not used correctly. In business writing, it is extremely important to be understood. If you don't use direct, clear language in business, you could risk losing money and workers or even get the business into legal trouble. We call the misuse of words that can lead to miscommunication "barriers" because they block our ability to be understood. This section will help you understand direct language and the different kinds of barriers that can create indirect wording and miscommunication in business writing.
- A discipline is a field of study. Academic study and college departments are often organized around a single discipline, such as business, political science, biology, or nursing. This article gives an overview of several critical forms of writing that you will need to master in your academic and professional career.
Everything you need to keep in mind when you write a paper for a college-level class will help you learn how to write well for business. You will need to understand your topic thoroughly, know your audience, and articulate your ideas clearly and powerfully as you write in the business world. Watch these videos for an example of the kind of writing you will be asked to do in college business courses and in the business world.
Review this article to learn about the common barriers to communication, then reflect on how miscommunication happens and how to avoid it.
When writing business documents, only use jargon when necessary with appropriate audiences, and completely avoid slang words. This article will teach you how to differentiate between jargon and slang.
Unit 1 Assessment
- Receive a grade
Take this assessment to see how well you understood this unit.
- This assessment does not count towards your grade. It is just for practice!
- You will see the correct answers when you submit your answers. Use this to help you study for the final exam!
- You can take this assessment as many times as you want, whenever you want.