Workplace Writing: Quick Guide
Much academic writing focuses on product—a 5-page paper, a comparison-contrast essay, a response to a document-based question. Though workplace writing also creates products, the fundamental focus must be on communication. The product isn't the end. The reader is. A perfectly written report that is not read is a failure. A flawed report that brings about the intended change is a success.
Once again, students should start their writing by thinking about the communication situation using PAST. All workplace writing must have
- a Purpose—what it is trying to do (what success looks like for the document)
- an Audience—who is supposed to read it, what they know already, and what they need to know
- a Subject—what the document is about
- a Type—what form the communication takes
And, as with any kind of writing, students can use the traits to plan, revise, and edit their work.