Writing has always been one of the essential life skills. Throughout different stages of our life, we face writing in one form or another. Thus, even if you are not planning to make money for living with writing, the chances are that you still will need this skill to succeed in life.

We use writing in so many forms to share ideas, communicate, and for many other purposes. Yet, there are two specific types of writing that most of us face the most in life. We are now talking about academic writing and business writing. Nearly each of us faces them in life, but do we really know how different they are? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the differences and similarities between business and academic writing. Let’s dive in!

Academic Writing Definition

Everyone who has ever been a student knows that academic writing is one of the biggest challenges facing young people in colleges and universities. Essays, research papers, dissertations, and other college papers are all forms of academic writing. They often drive students nuts. No wonder why so many students prefer to have a reliable essay writing service by their side to order an essay or paper and handle such assignments with ease. But, what exactly is academic writing?

To put it simply, academic writing is a formal style of writing commonly used as a form of assignment in schools, colleges, and universities. Apart from students, this type of writing is widely used by people engaged in a scientific activity for scholarly publications such as books or articles on academic topics.

Business Writing Definition

Another common type of writing you will likely face in life is business writing. Unlike academic writing, business writing is used exclusively in a professional setting. It is a purposeful form of writing used by professionals to communicate important information to their recipients in a concise, clear, and effective way. Simply put, the term “business writing” is used to describe all kinds of business correspondence, which can include reports, emails, proposals, and more.

Just like academic writing, business writing can also be challenging. But unfortunately, while you can get professional essay help to cope with your college papers when you are an established professional, business writing is something you will likely have to deal with on your own. But that’s not the only difference.

Business vs. Academic Writing: Top 4 Distinctive Features

At first sight, business and academic writing may seem to have certain common traits. Both of these styles of writing are formal, concise, and follow a specific purpose. However, if you look closer, you will see that there is a huge difference.

Now, let’s look at the most significant differences between business and academic writing.

Tone of Voice

Everyone who has ever written a paper for college knows that such papers have to be extremely formal. Typically, academic papers are written using passive voice and the third person. They also don’t leave much space for personal opinions and judgments. And this is the first major distinctive feature.

Though business correspondence has to retain a certain level of formality, too, it is not at all as formal as academic writing. As a rule, business writing requires using an active voice. At the same time, it has to be much more concise and direct than academic writing.


Depending on the subject you are studying or the industry you work in, both business and academic writing can require using a very specific vocabulary. It may sound like a similarity. But, there is a difference.

When writing an academic paper, a student strives to showcase their broad vocabulary. Therefore, it is perfectly fine to use complex words and terminology in this form of writing.

As for business writing, we can’t say the same. The core goal of this type of writing is to convey information to the reader in the most easy-to-understand form. Given that business correspondence can occur between a professional and non-professional (let’s say a customer), this excludes the possibility to use complicated, not widely known terminology. Thus, the vocabulary in such correspondence is usually more casual and simple.

Sentences and Structure

Academic papers always follow a very specific structure. Some structural elements can vary depending on the type of paper you are writing. But, the general structure will remain more or less similar.

In business writing, the structure can vary significantly depending on the type of text and purpose of writing. And, in general, there are no fixed rules concerning the structure.

As for sentences, academic writing allows the use of complex and long sentence structures. However, when it comes to business correspondence, long and complicated sentences often look too cumbersome in it and, thus, should be avoided.


Finally, the last and one of the biggest distinctive features between business and academic writing is the purpose of writing.

Regardless of the paper type, academic writing always has one main purpose – to demonstrate the results of learning, skills, and knowledge. However, the core purpose of business writing is always to get things done. Your task may be to solve a problem, report on the progress, negotiate a contract, sell, or share information. But, your main task is to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible.


That’s how business and academic writing are different. Hopefully, this article will help you sort things out and never confuse these two types of writing again.