Temitope Adeyanju Written by Temitope Adeyanju · 1 min read >

There are two forms of writing namely; short form writing and long form writing. Interestingly, the adventure of technology popularized the short form writing; not withstanding, the long form writing has not totally loss its form. In this write up, we will pay attention to short form writing.

Short form writing

Short form writing are by nature short in terms of length, usually about a page or less. Examples are: e-mails, blogs, ultra short (text messages, tweets) etc. They are fast, simple and can be sent or received from any where in the world. The ability to use this form of writing often depends on the availability of internet.

When you use a short form writing, you do not need large equipment. Portable devices can be used such as pocket size mobile phones, tablets etc. It is also very efficient; it often appears as though, the communicator and audience are in the same room when they are actually miles apart.

However, they often stimulates the feeling of urgency, thereby, encouraging hasty writing. Sometimes, communicators write things they would not say if the audience or recipients were physically present.


Electronic mails originally replaced letter writings to family and friends. However, it has found it’s way into business or formal setting. Same applies to social media posts.

When you write e-mails or social media post for business purposes, your writing should still have the four qualities of business writing. It should be direct, clear, concise and logical.

Below are guidelines for effective ways of writing an e-mail:

  • Write a short subject line with the main point
  • Immediately state your point and conclusion
  • Write concisely
  • Maintain short sentences and paragraphs
  • Create emphasis through content
  • Check the tone of your message
  • Do not be in a hurry to click send, revise, edit and correct your message.
  • If you know your mail will be long, then do the writing on a document. Send same as an attachment, while you use the mail to encourage the reader to read the attachment.

Ultra short form writing

Examples are text messages, tweets, whatsapp messages etc. A common feature here is that, there can be a large audience, so mistakes can go viral in split seconds.

Ultra short forms also uses abbreviation that varies from person to person, as a result, miscommunication may happen.

Below are guidelines for ultra short forms:

  • State your point simply
  • Include sufficient sentence to make meaning easy
  • Punctuate appropriately
  • Use abbreviations that you are sure your audience understand

Blogs and Wikis

A business blog should have a well defined purpose and a target audience. It should be well organized, concise and correct just like a business memo or report.

The guidelines mentioned above for e-mail writing is also applicable for wiki writing. Efficient and accurate messages as well as responses aimed at addressing the questions asked by the audience.

In conclusion, short form writings have come to stay and they can be effective for business purposes if appropriately used. They can be used to inform as well as persuade the audience.

Source reference:

Havard Business School Publishing. “Writing in business: Short form writing” Management communication: complete online course. 2012 v1.0

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