Home
Can I use Business English (or General English) in academic situations (or vice versa)?

Can I use Business English (or General English) in academic situations (or vice versa)?

Posted by Grant Richardson, 21st May, 2015

Generally, no. They each serve totally different purposes for a different kind of audience.

Business English

In a business context, ‘time is money’, so one of your main purposes is:

  • to deliver a practical message in a way that saves the reader’s time, while sounding professional

The preferred style is therefore

  • clear
  • concise
  • professional

The easier it is to read (while still sounding professional), the better.

Academic English

In contrast, in an academic context, you may give less consideration to the time and effort required by your readers.

One of your main purposes is

  • to show thorough knowledge of the topic (based on extensive research, and your own experiments/observations)
  • to contribute to the discussion through valid arguments

The preferred style is inherently

  • more difficult words
  • complex sentence structures and paragraphs
  • complex information flow and pronoun referencing

Typically, the harder it is to read (while still making valid sense), the better.

Leave a Comment