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Written Communication

Last updated date: 12th Apr 2024
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Communication is a process of exchanging ideas, behaviour, signals, emotions and feelings through speech, thoughts, ideas, information, etc. This process includes a sender, a receiver, a message and a channel. The sender encodes a message and sends it to the receiver through a channel or a medium. The receiver decodes the message after receiving it and then responds to the message. This process goes on until the communication is complete.

This process can be depicted through the following image:

(Image to be added soon)

Types of Communication

The understanding of different categories of communication enhances professional and personal relationships, resolves misconceptions and misunderstandings, contributes to a successful business and happy personal life. The broad categories of communication are:

  1. Verbal 

When words and language are used to deliver the message, it is called verbal communication. Oral and written communication are types of verbal communication.

  1. Non-verbal 

Messages sent without using words such as through body language, paralanguage, aesthetic communication, appearance, symbols, etc is called non-verbal communication.

  1. Visual 

Communication through colour, illustration, graphic design, drawing, typography, signs or electronic resources, etc. is known as visual communication. This type of communication reinforces written communication.

  1. Formal

Formal communication is the ones that follow specific rules, conventions and principles to decipher the message. 

  1. Informal

Informal communication is casual, unofficial and friendly communication which does not follow any chain of command, formalities, systems, processes or rules.

Written Communication Meaning

Written communication plays a vital role as it is the documentary proof for any communication. It can be referred again and again and anytime in the future whenever required. Written communication is normally in the form of Bulletins, Emails, Memos, Instant messages, Reports, Job Descriptions, Employee manuals, Internet websites, Letters, Proposals, Telegrams, Fax, Postcards, Contracts, Advertisement, Brochures, etc.

Effective Written Communication

From the first cry of the baby until the last breath of the person, communication is as essential as breathing. The written communication is often marred by obscurity, partial understanding, misconceptions, misunderstandings and confusion. Thus, while interacting with others, several aspects of effective written communication should be kept in mind. 

Some of The Basic Effective Written Communication Strategies Are Discussed Below

  1. Clear

The purpose of the message should be clearly stated in the written communication. The language should be kept simple. Also, convoluted and long sentences are not preferred and recommended. Separate bulleted paragraphs and points make grasping of the message easier for the reader.

  1. Concise

Brevity is the essence of effective written communication skills. Always avoid using long, highly elaborative details, irrelevant words or adjectives. Repetitions should also be avoided.

  1. Concrete

Abstract ideas and thoughts always lead to misinterpretation. So always ensure that your written communication is based on facts and figures and has sufficient detail to support your message and has a focus on the main message.

  1. Coherent

Coherence in written communication implies a logical bridge between paragraphs, sentences and words. The key to coherent and effective written communication is easy to understand, sequentially organized and logically presented data and information. Every aspect of the content should be relevant, interconnected and should have a flow of information.

  1. Complete

A complete written communication implies delivering all the data, facts and information as required based on the recipient’s attitude and intellect. It aims at building a company’s reputation and decision making.

  1. Courteous

A major aspect of effective written communication is that it should be honest, open, respectful, considerate and polite. Ensure that the message or words used are not offensive and do not have any hidden negative tone.

  1. Focus and Attention

There can be many distractions while having communication. Due to these distractions, one may miss important points or cues in written communication. So, It is imperative to keep the focus and attention for effective communication.

  1. Emotional Awareness and Control

Intense emotions can undermine a person’s capacity for rational decision making. Keeping in mind the state of emotions of yourself and others while communicating makes the interaction smooth and the process of communication flowing.

Limitation of Written Communication

When not to use written communication is also a point of pondering. It cannot be the case always that written communication would be conveyed appropriately, or the receiver would correctly decipher the same. Following are some of the situations when not to use written communication:

  • When transmitting short messages, written communication becomes more expensive and takes longer to transmit

  • Written communication does not have any scope of amendments once dispatched

  • Written communication can never be used to clear misconceptions and confusion

  • For informal communication written communication cannot be preferred


A virtuous and satisfactory written communication when it conveys the purpose of writing to the reader in the best possible way and the reader reads it willingly, with interest, and does not feel that his time is wasted.

FAQs on Written Communication

1. What Are The Effective Written Communication Skills?

Effective written communication skills can be summarized as follows:

  • Let the written communication be as simple as possible

  • Use a language which is understandable to the mass at large and not to some specific people

  • Let the communication always be specific

  • Written communication should always be kept conversational

  • The ideas should be put up in a sequence

  • Try to avoid gendered and passive language

  • The medium for written communication should be appropriate

  • Always acknowledge the relationship with the person with whom the written communication takes place

2. What Are The Barriers to Communication?

The barriers to communication lead to misunderstanding and distortion. The barriers can be linguistic, cultural, emotional, psychological, physical, etc. Following are the major barriers in communication:

  • Physical barriers such as noise, distant locations, outdated equipment and technical disturbances

  • The processes, structure and system of the organization may also become a barrier

  • Differences in the language is a major barrier in communication

  • Differences of culture between several religions, regions, tribes, and countries lead to miscommunications

  • Emotions such as anxiety, jealousy, suspicion of intentions, mistrust, fear of ridicule, anger, etc. have an impact on the ability and quality of communication

  • Personal attitude of people communicating also affects the way communication happens

  • Different interpretation and perception may lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication

  • Physiological barriers like hearing difficulties, poor eyesight, ill-health hampers effective communication

  • Gender barriers and technological barriers are some other barriers to communication

3. What Are The Disadvantages of Written Communication?

Written communication cannot always be said to be the best choice for personal, academic, and business communication. It has its cons as discussed below:

  • Written communication does not have a personal touch and hence sometimes becomes less effective.

  • The facial expression and tone of voice are missing in written communication. Thus, there is a likelihood of miscommunication as feelings like humour, sarcasm, etc. cannot be conveyed.

  • In this form of communication, instant feedback is not possible.

  • Written communication seems to be more expensive in terms of storage, materials utilized, etc. Though, in current days, digital mode of written communication prevails. However, that also has to be stored.

  • Written communication gets destroyed and can also be lost with time.

  • The element of permanency in written communication sometimes creates liability and also can be misused by sharing or creating a replica.