The actual and real writing of memoranda, reports, proposals, reports, SEC, and other business and government filings—including to other U.S. and foreign government ministries and other agencies—are vastly different than what are included in the Business Writing and Business Communications textbooks and in other books on business writing.
In all those books, the authors focus their discussions on “Plain Language” in 25 or less-word sentences. In actual business writing situations, however, the sentences are often written in over 100 words, or so. These sentences are grammatically correct and correct in content as well. I utilize some of those examples in my courses and I break these sentences down to illustrate how these sentences are grammatically correct. I also show the students a couple of William Faulkner’s and Henry James’ lengthy sentences, which academicians do criticize, neither for grammar nor for content.
In all of those books, the authors rave against “jargon.” I teach a wide variety of jargon in my classes, from actual business documents, including from technical and from innovated words, which are not found in the dictionaries. I also show students a couple of dozen non-plain language words, which are considered to be “jargon,” from the academic English language critiques and in literature books, which are written in the scholarly fields of the authors, who rave against such writing in Business Writing. Invariably, the authors have their degrees in the fields of English Literature or Writing (which is just a different name for English).
In all of those books, the format of memoranda, reports, letters, proposals are shown in brief, and in the same structures as that shown in other books. I teach the students the same formats and structures, as the basis for proper Business Writing. However, I also introduce the types of real memoranda, reports, and letters, which are much more complex and different In each of those books, writing is taught as if the student will write the memorandum, report, letter, or proposal. Proofreading and Editing is taught accordingly: Proofread and Edit your writing. When our students enter the world of business, for the first few years, they will be involved much more in assisting their superiors in rewriting than in writing their own “documents.” Proofreading and Editing will be their responsibilities, including from scanned and from boilerplate revised marked-up documents. I am a proofreader and a copy-editor in the publishing industry, and I teach the real proofreading and editing of documents, written by other persons than myself.