Technical vs. Business Writing: What You Need to Know

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Understanding the difference between technical and business writing can be quite confusing. Given that both writing styles simplify complex information and share similar characteristics in language, accessibility, and stylistic features, it is hard for many to distinguish the differences between the two. However, technical and business writing both have contrasting attributes that can disprove the misconception that these writing styles are the same.

What is the Difference Between Technical and Business Writing?

The differences between technical and business writing are their respective goals, audiences, tones & styles, and purposes. Let us identify and examine these components to get a better grasp on understanding of the differences between technical and business writing.

What is Business Writing?


Business writing involves communicating relevant information that aids in the organizational goals, business strategies, and problem-solving of an organization.


It is important to know who you are writing for so you can adapt what you write to the level of understanding and background of your readers. In business communications, the target audience focuses solely on internal and external individuals associated with the business. This may include employees, clients, vendors, customers, and anyone else that may influence the success of the business.

Tone & Style

Tone refers to the feeling or the impression that is expressed from your words; the tone will change depending on your audience and the type of document you create. Overall, the basis of what you write should always be in a direct, formal, and nondiscriminatory voice. For example, a welcome to a new employee will have a warm and friendly tone when compared to persuading your boss on a new business venture, where you may sound more confident and convincing. As for style, persuasive writing is common in business communication. Simple formatting, the key to effective business writing and documentation, is also very helpful in maintaining a persuasive style. Regardless of how complex a subject matter is, if you present content in a simple and clear format, your audience will always understand it.

Document Purpose

The purpose of business documentation is to improve day-to-day operations. This may entail anything from management to sales. Business documentation will vary depending on the type of business you have and what your writing goal is. Here are some examples of what business writing may include, but is not limited to: emails, reports, newsletters, inventory trackers, invoices, press releases, confidentiality agreements, privacy policies, etc.

What is Technical Writing?


The purpose of technical writing is to translate complex information into simple and concise documents, so that the target audience can solve a problem or better understand how a product, service, or process operates. This form of writing is all about organizing information in a clear and useful manner.


Unlike business writing, technical writing can address a wide variety of audiences. The specific audience of a piece of technical documentation will vary based on the targeted industry, profession, skill level, education, and other determining factors. Writing for an astrophysicist, as opposed to for a business administrator, will require a different approach on how to effectively communicate and meet their needs.

Tone & Style

When it comes to technical writing, a neutral tone is preferable. This usually means conveying information in a language that only focuses on the facts. Technical communications should not express any of the positive or negative tones that often occur in business writing. The technical writing style is instructional above all else, boosted by clear and concise language.

Document Purpose

The purpose of technical documentation is to clarify an array of specialized subject matters for readers to easily understand. There are countless types of technical documents. Some are commonly known, such as a user guide or standard operating documents, and others are more advanced or based on specific industries, such as API documentation or environmental software instructions.


Although there are some commonalities between technical and business writing, they are differentiated by elements such as goal, audience, tone & style, and purpose. Once you can identify these key elements in both writing styles, distinguishing the difference will be easy.

How can EDC help?

If you need clear, concise, and effective proposals for a joint business venture, or press releases and newsletters for marketing, Essential Data has technical writers that can create documentation to meet all your organizational goals. EDC also offers the expertise of specialized technical writers who can assist with creating technical documentation for companies in industries such as medical, IT, education, financial industry, manufacturing, aerospace, and more.

Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or

Written by Kimberly Jones


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