Business Writing vs. Technical Writing: Are They The Same?

Published on | March 2, 2023


Different fields of the writing industry sometimes make it harder for readers to learn the difference between each type of them. Hence, you’ll find someone confusing Copywriting with Content Writing or in our case here Technical Writing with Business Writing. In this brief article, we’d like to let you know what’s the main difference between both types of writing, and what makes them similar at the same time. We have previously defined Technical Writing in a more detailed article. That’s why today we’re only drawing the clear line between both.

What’s the Difference?

What makes any field of writing differ from another is usually the purpose of the writing. Similarly, what differentiates both types is the purpose of writing. Technical Writing mainly focuses on writing technical attributes of something in a simple language easily digested by the type and level of readers it’s targeting. Some of the most common examples of technical writing include user manuals, technical documentation, field reports, and overall, any complex content that you aim to make easy for a specific group of readers. This leads us to the following question, what is Business Writing? Business Writing is a field of writing that aims to satisfy specific business and work goals. Therefore, things like writing e-mails, proposals, press releases, reports, and more all fall under this category. But our dear reader, while you may have been asking yourself right now “but isn’t this what technical writers do as well?” Yes, that’s right but they’re still not the same and we’re about to explain that.

What Created the Confusion?

What led to this confusion between both types of writing is the same cause that led to the confusion between the other types of writing; which is the overlap. Writers’ jobs tend to be challenging for this reason mainly because they require the writer to wear multiple hats instead of one and be able to write content that serves all purposes. Technical writers and Business Writers, in fact, do write similar things like proposals, reports…etc. But the difference remains in the purpose, we have said it a lot but it’s really the main difference. A business report is more focused on business goals and a technical report is more about technical stuff. However, companies usually prefer writers who know both so they’re able to blend the skills they have together and shape the content. While both agree on having a clear, concise, and error-free text, business writing will tend to be more persuasive because you’re telling the world about the work you do after all. Technical Writing, on the other hand, is not here to convince as it’s here to state complex facts in a simple approach that could easily address different levels of audiences. It’s not about evoking your emotions but rather presenting brilliant ideas to normal people in a neutral way. Generally speaking, the overlap between business and technology is, for the most part, the main reason this confusion has become more common. That’s why, don’t be too shocked if, in the upcoming years, we witness a new title for writers who specifically combine both.

To Wrap Things up

Overall, the contrast between Technical Writing and Business Writing lies in their main purpose, addressed audience, and style of language used to write. Although both types of writing adopt the concept of putting complex ideas into much simpler terms, they serve different purposes and audiences which as result lead to different approaches.