Professional writing involves the use of clear language to convey information in a way that is easily understood by the intended audience. Individuals who can use language well may be employed as full-time professional writers in a variety of communications-related occupations, such as journalist, web content manager, marketer, advertising copywriter or public relations account executive. In addition, professional writing skills are essential to success in many other fields as well, from attorneys and physicians to business managers and social workers.
Professional writing is/as rhetorical
Professional writing is connected to the concept of rhetoric. Rhetoric focuses on informing or persuading an audience, and a successful professional writer is able to create interest in their audience. Moreover, this is combined with the aspects of the professional world which is typically done within a professional atmosphere, be it a workplace or as freelance work, created by someone who has knowledge and skills at writing and comprehends the wide range of requirements needed to successfully create the pieces being composed.
One of the main principles of rhetoric, when applied to the work of professional writers, is the art of effective communication and creating authoritative arguments.
Professional Writing by Industry
Some examples of when professional writing is used in different industries:
- Case Studies
- Client Correspondence
- Advertising (Copywriting)
- Market Analysis
Science and Engineering
- Journal Articles
- Technical Reports
- Grant Proposals
- Inventory Reporting
- Damage Reporting
- Recording contracts
- Project proposals
- Website Authoring - Magazine and book editing
Professional writing as compared to other majors
Professional writing, particularly as an undergraduate major, is most often confused with English and/or Journalism due to their similar skill groupings and classes.
Professional writers tend to have more specific and varied audiences with a focus more specific than facts alone. Professional writing involves advanced writing skills with an emphasis on writing in digital environments (e.g., web authoring, multimedia writing), evaluating rhetorical techniques to tailor writing to specific audiences, and requires proficiency in writing in a professional atmosphere such as the workplace for a company or professional organizations.
English courses often include classes in professional writing and professional composition, emphasizing a clear and technical approach to writing. However, the majors begin to differ in that English has a larger focus on the reading and analysis of literature. Traditionally as well, writing within an English major revolves around the creation of essays and critiques, besides creative writing such as poetry and fiction.
Journalism, while retaining the concision that is characteristic of most professional writing documents, tends to produce short and fact-based articles rather than the more in-depth reports within professional writing.