Are you planning to write a technical report or a business report? Find out the differences and similarities of these two types of writing here.

Difference between Technical Reports and Business Reports

Writing is everywhere now, and no matter where you work – in business or in some technical speciality – you are most likely to be involved in writing of some kind. Thus, the question “what’s the difference between technical report and research report” gets highly topical for all starting writers who wish their reports to look professional and don’t want to mix different writing styles inappropriately. Technical and business writing are two most common types of composition in the non-educational field; hence, hoping that you will avoid the need to compose something like that is useless. A much better option is to tackle the task of learning how to do both, so that you may apply those skills well as soon as the writing task surfaces.

Business Report Writing

To understand how the business writing style differs from technical writing, you should first clarify what business writing purposes are – this sheds light on the specifics of this area. Experts believe that to be successful, business writing should be highly reader-focused, and its major distinction is in the tone towards the audience. For instance:

  • If you compose a business proposal, here the key emphasis should be made on persuasiveness of your language. Your major purpose is to convince investors or major stakeholders that your idea is worth financing, so persuasion is the ultimate goal. Make a strong focus on facts and figures to show what the value for investors are, be personal enough to show your individual rigor for the project, but at the same time keep it professional enough to show that you are a competent communicator and businessperson.
  • If you work on a business memo, then the direct formal voice is mandatory for use. In this way, you will keep to the professional standards of communication and will maintain authority and confidence among colleagues.
  • Writing business emails is a substantially different task, since getting a new client or maintaining relationships with an old one requires a professional but warm tone. Here, a balance between an individual approach and professionalism is required, which is often a unique combination mastered only with experience. Be sure to deliver material in a clear and accessible format, remembering that not all clients are technically equipped with your professional vocabulary, but don’t oversimplify – this may sometimes sound offensive.

Thus, as you can see, business writing is focused on the purpose of establishing clear, effective, and professional communication with clients and other stakeholders, and is mostly used in companies and organizations. Its specifics depend on whether the audience is internal or external, and the most common types of business writing involve proposal, annual report, white paper, or sales letter writing.

Technical Report Writing

This type of writing is also associated with a clear, formal approach to composition, which it shares with business writing in many aspects. Nevertheless, it differs in terms of purpose: the overwhelming portion of technical documents refers to the how-to information, guides and manuals for composition, instructions, data sheets, releases, and the like. Therefore, most experts believe that technical writings are mostly targeted at a much narrower audience, and they should be created with that audience in mind. While business writing often has clear communication in simple words with the client or shareholders, technical documentation is most often targeted at developers and technical specialists rather than end users, so the use of a specific professional vocabulary is acceptable and even desirable in this kind of writing.

Becoming a technical writer is much harder than being a business writer, mainly because of the need to possess not only communication skills, but also a technical degree that certifies your understanding of the terms you use and mechanics of some devices’ work that you describe. Overall, as the presented information suggests, the main purpose of a business writer is to persuade the audience, while a technical writer’s job is regarded as successful if he or she explains transparently and competently how to do something, how something works, and what can be done with the help of some device.

Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

No matter in which field you are going to develop as a writer – technical or business composition – there are some universal skills and techniques for making your writing better. Both a business report and a technical report should be written professionally, and these tips may boost your writing skills at a universal level:

  1. Prefer active voice to passive. Passive-voice constructions often look ambiguous and may confuse the reader, which is strongly discouraged in such responsible kinds of writing.
  2. Give preference to shorter sentences. Creative, fiction writing may be done in a number of ways, and length of sentences may reveal your talent and sophistication of speech. However, in technical and business writing alike, the major purpose is clarity, and this is best achieved with the help of short, clear sentences. The golden standard is to keep all sentences up to 25 words – more is considered redundant.
  3. It is not recommended to overuse qualifiers, such as “would be,” “probably” etc. They create an impression that you are not confident in your own words, so it’s better to adopt a more self-assured tone, especially when you try to persuade business people to finance your startup or explain to users how a new processor should be utilized.
  4. Make an emphasis on action. To do so, avoid such redundant phrases as “in my opinion,” “it is believed that” and the like. Use imperative mood and keep structures clear – this will create a stronger impression and a call to action.

As you can see, there is nothing extraordinary about learning to write business and technical reports. The main secret of success is surely to know your subject and to sound competent. If you are not 100% confident that your writing is impressive and impactful, hire an editor and ask him or her for professional feedback and review. In this way, you will be able to improve the overall style and achieve the report’s purpose.