Letter Genre in Business Writing

Letter Genre in Business Writing




Letter Genre in Business Writing


Genres in the communications context can be defined as socially accepted and standard form of communication created by a specific group of people to facilitate correspondence. There are diverse communication genres that capture speech and writing genres. Speech genres have been used extensively within the formal and informal environment. A popular form of speech genre emerges in the use of the telephone normally include general starts, methods of development, and conclusions. Examples of writing genres include email messages, memos and letters. In the businesses sector, written communication is manifested in diverse ways. For the purpose of this essay, the letter of retirement and the computer maintenance plan will be used for analysis.

Composition, Conventions and Exigency of Business Writing Genre

People do not select genres. Instead, in the process of creating a genre originates as people join a certain group and learn the conventions that have been developed over time to ease communication. Over time, these traditions and styles precede the tenure of individuals. For instance, in Congress, one has to know how to write legislation, while in medicine a practitioner has to learn how to write a chart. Since managers spend over a quarter of their total hours of their career filling documents, writing and studying company documents. Clarity is a major aspect of business writing and it is imperative for the words and phrases to be highlighted. Business documents have to be precise and to the point. The content of the document needs to be customized to the reader’s needs. Getting the intended information of the document accurately is a central part of business documents. Lastly, organization, tone and neutrality are important aspects that need to be instituted in business-genre document. Categorizing the different sections of the particular document makes it relatively easier to understand while the neutrality is important in maintaining the business feel.

Descriptive Analysis

The context of the letter of retirement and the computer maintenance plan is almost the same. Both of the business documents are created within the formal setting that includes corporate bodies, companies and other organizations. Retirement letters are designed to inform the management of the change within their personnel while computer maintenance plans inform the management of repairs or improvements being made. The target audience for the business documents is different for the letter of retirement and the computer maintenance plan. The way in which letter of retirement is designed ensures that privacy is maintained. They can be administered from one official to another with relatively high amount of confidentiality. Furthermore, they are highly customizable. Because of these qualities, letter of retirement are mostly used among top-level management interested in maintaining discrete communication. After all, retirement is a personal decision that needs little contribution from the rest of the people in the organization. Conversely, the computer maintenance plan is another way of maintaining communication within the organization. While they are equally formal, their target audience is vastly different. Such documents like maintenance plans are generally designed to inform all the possible beneficiaries and users of the services. Therefore, they are public in nature. A unique aspect of the computer maintenance plan is the segment within the audience. While being fully public, the unstated idea is that only the affected individuals can access and understand it. The purpose and persona of both documents can be examined together. Letters of retirement serve to notify the organization that an employee is retiring from their position. Such letters contain among other things the acknowledgement that the letter has been received as well as the benefits being dispensed at the end of the tenure. The computer maintenance plan was deigned to inform the employees of the scheduled changes.

Comparative Analysis

The first section in this subtopic covers the similarities while the second part addresses the differences. The letter of retirement and the computer maintenance plan are similar in that they both originate from formal business sources. These are documents that organizations use as they accepted and standard form of communication to deal with the relevant activities or issues. Nearly all organizations have these two documents and use them in the same way. Another similarity between the two documents is the severity of the mode of communication. They both hold a significant sway over the parties involved. This importance introduces a seriousness that includes other aspects that are legally binding on the parties involved. For instance, the letter of retirement implies that the retiree is legally entitled to their benefits. Maintenance plans are equally formal and binding on the target audience. In the process of repairing the hardware or software, the maintenance crew is responsible for any damage or problems they cause. Most of these documents are guided by contracts and constitutions that are equally binding. A significant difference between these two documents is in their purpose. Retirement acknowledgment letters serve to notify the retiree of the benefits and expectations while the maintenance plan is a reminder of the repair schedule.

Cause/Effect Analysis

The evolution of writing in the business genre takes on several steps. A transformation in the social environment will initiate modifications in the communicative purposes. The new social context generates new communicative demands. These demands are a significant foundation for changes in the functions of communication, and genre will evolve as a result. The amount of change in the functions of communication will contribute to transformations of equivalent amount in the different lower levels, for instance, linguistic forms. In the event that essential changes occur in communicative purposes, the current genres will be restored with new genres.

The increased significance of writing proper business documents has made it easier for evolution to occur within the practice. Most occupations currently demand a massive amount of business writing, particularly at the higher levels of management. Nearly all of the employees discover that creating business documents is an intimidating process – and often postpone it. Genre conventions have a massive effect on hastening the changes that create similarities or differences. The different writing standards used across the organizations in the world ensure that the versions of business documents remain equally diverse. Over a along period, the usage of specific genre conventions creates a tradition that is perpetuated by different generations of employees. However, with the continuous adaptation of these writing styles, there are changes in the work environment that affect the writing styles. These changes include the current leadership, industrial requirements, and other individual factors. What is clear is that these changes alter the nature of the gender conventions that reflects as increased similarities or differences.

Another major factor can be explained using the cause/effect school of thought is the changing purpose of these documents. In the 17th and 18th century, most of the business documentation and writing styles were merely industrial prerequisites. In fact, they played a bigger role in ensuring the smooth flow of tasks and implement order than they did anything else. However, with the turn of the century, the writing style within most businesses took on a new meaning. E-mails, memos, reports and other forms of business documents became increasingly critical as they now held legal significance. For instance, a company could be declared bankrupt using evidence obtained from financial statements, invoices, receipts and accountant reports. From the analysis of the factors that cause similarities and differences in the two examples covered in the previous section, it is relatively evident that business writing styles have evolved slowly over the years.


Every need to write a letter, draft a memo or develop any business document differs. It is possible that the members of organizations possess a common set of expectations concerning the genres of writing. However, all the documents are different in format and structure. The templates accessible through specific software indicate the preferences of the developer of the software and might fail to meet the standards of users within different organizations. In the event that an individual has to use writing templates to guide in creating documents, they will regularly need to amend these templates to realize the rationale for writing. It is important to acknowledge that writing genres are equally flexible. Over time, changes occur in the organization and the employees influence a change in the business genre. The rigidity experienced in the business style of writing is a reflection of the industry itself. Most of the genre conventions in business were developed over a century and have since been used in their original state.


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