Business Writing Workshops:

We understand that being able to write in a clear and professional style is important to your business. That is why we have developed the Business Writing Institute and the Effective Business Writing workshop. This practice-driven business writing workshop will significantly improve your ability to write in English, so that your readers will receive a clear, concise, effective message. Most professionals spend at least 15-20% of their time writing for business; emails, memos, business letters, reports and other business correspondence. Our customized approach guarantees an improvement in business communication skills that will increase your productivity, success and job satisfaction.

Learn more about our business writing workshops here, or contact us for more information.


Benefits of business writing training workshops:

  • learn how to write a business letter
  • discover the skills of writing a business letter
  • learn to create clear business correspondence
  • understand the difference of writing for business
  • improve overall business communication

Business Writing Training Workshop: Using Evidence to Prove Your Point in Business Writing

In business writing, the composition of memos, reports, and proposals often relies upon a writer's powers of persuasion and argumentation. With this in mind, it is important to understand that to develop these skills one must practice the use of evidence and proofs to support persuasive and argumentative writing. This requires moving beyond merely drawing upon one's personal opinion and broad point of view to prove a point.

This page introduces students to the notion of incorporating evidence and proofs into persuasive business writing.

Evidence is a term commonly used to describe the supporting material in persuasive writing. Evidence gives an objective foundation to your arguments, and makes your writing more than a mere collection of personal opinions or prejudices. Evidence includes:

  1. facts and figures
  2. examples
  3. narratives
  4. testimony
  5. definition

All are used to convince readers to accept the arguments and recommendations the writer is presenting.

Because you are asking your readers to take a risk when you attempt to persuade them, audiences will demand support for your assertions. Search for evidence that is relevant and timely and that comes from sources your audience will respect and accept.

A few notes about evidence

  1. Have more facts and figures than you think you will need.
  2. Have the latest facts and figures—make sure your data is up to the minute.
  3. Emphasize factual examples.
  4. When appropriate, use powerful examples.
  5. Use narratives to create identification—to draw your audience into your subject and reinforce their stake in the outcome.
  6. Emphasize expert testimony. It carries more weight than prestige or lay testimony. Be prepared to document the qualifications of the experts you use, if they are unfamiliar to your audience.
  7. Use multiple sources of evidence.

Proofs are interpretations drawn from evidence that provide readers with good reasons for changing an attitude or following a course of conduct or action. Good reasons are concerned with showing an audience that something is admirable, desirable, or obligatory.

Most importantly, audiences evaluate good reasons in terms of their:

  1. Relevance (do they really apply to the situation or issue at hand?);
  2. Consequences (what will be the result of accepting or rejecting them?); and
  3. Consistency (do they fit together, and do they fit with our other prior beliefs/policies?).

Proofs that produce good reasons have been studied since the time of Aristotle. He suggested in his book The Rhetoric, written in the fourth century B.C., that there are three types of proof:

  1. Logos—proof that emphasizes rational evidence;
  2. Pathos—proof based on motives and emotions; and
  3. Ethos—proof based on the personality, character, and reputation of the writer.

More recent scholars have added one other form of proof:

  1. Mythos—proof based on the traditions, identity, and values of a group. The mythos of an organization can be an important element in persuasive business writing.

In most ethical and effective persuasive efforts, particularly in a business setting, logos usually predominates. Ethos and pathos can be important supporting players; pathos is the least used in business.

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