When it comes to written communication in business, instructional business writing plays a prominent role. This type of writing material aims to give step-by-step instructions on how a particular task can be done in a specific time frame. This kind of writing shares many similarities with persuasive and transactional writing. The instructional material requires the receiver to take some action, either in the present or after some time.
If we talk about instructional content in business writing, user manuals, technical specifications, instructional memos, and job descriptions, handbooks can be seen as great examples. This type of writing is direct and clear. These write-ups are usually written in chronological order and have short sentences.
Instruction-related content requires notice and considers how much the receiver knows about the topic that is to be discussed mainly. Then, the writer should provide only the information that is missing on the other end. In case the instructional write-up is to be sent to multiple readers with different levels of knowledge, then the content requires covering the basics initially and only then explain about the particular tasks that need to be done. Instructional business write-ups provide the recipients with the information required to go on with and complete some tasks. The job might get completed immediately, or it might get hold for the reference of the future. This kind of content splits down some process into n number of steps that can be easily understood by the receiver. The written content must account for the reader's understanding and knowledge of that area, and the possibility of the given task while incorporating potential problems or variations.
Types of Instructional Business Writing
Just as business writing itself, its sub-type, instructional business writing is also a vast subject. Under it, there exist various types and natures of writing. The main types of instructional business writing are the following:
It is a guide on instructing the customer on how to use a specific product. An efficient user manual is crucial for good user experience and satisfied customers. User manuals are usually considered a sub-type of technical writing, which is close to business writing.
A user manual or a User Guide?
So many people use the words' manual' and 'guide' interchangeably. So much so that these terms seem to be synonyms. However, some people know about the significant difference these words have. Inevitably, both terms indicate the content that provides instructions to the readers. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the two words defined as:
Manual – a book capable of being conveniently carried as a ready reference.
Guide – something that provides a person with guiding information (a device, a sheet or card, a person)
As these definitions denote, there is a significant difference between these terms. A guide can be given through a paper, a file, a device, or even a person. However, a manual is mostly just a document or a book.
User guides are short references to some specific aspects of the product. 'Installation,' 'Getting Started,' and 'How-to' guides are examples of user guides.
User manuals are traditionally large books that contain information and details on several different aspects of programs, which include processes and significant features. This type of document is usually estimated to consist of more than one content page. It contains a detailed structured sheet that has a table for contents, various sections, and an index at last.