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Business writing


Being able to write well is core to success -- both academically and professionally. The resources in this guide will help you develop this important skill throughout your years here at SFU.

For broader (less business-focused) resources and tips, see the following SFU Library guides:

Personal assistance is available for undergraduate students registered in Business courses via the Beedie School Writing Mentors program. Also see the SFU Learning Commons page: Academic Writing Resources.

Handbooks, manuals, & guides



There are also many great free sources online such as the Business Development Bank of Canada's "10 tips for effective business writing." Blogs such as Lynn Gaertner-Johnston's Business Writing blog can help guide you through the writing and editing process


The SFU Library has many books on business writing. Here are a few sample titles and links to relevant subjects used in our catalogue.

Sample titles

  • Business writing today : a practical guide [print
  • Business and professional writing : a basic guide [print]
  • The business writer's handbook [print)
  • Communicating at work: creating messages that get results [print]
  • Proposal writing: the art of friendly and winning persuasion [print]
  • Business writing in the digit@l age [print]
  • Guide to managerial communication: effective business writing and speaking [print]





Try a search the following  subject terms in our catalogue.

Dictionaries and thesauri



The following online resources are just a sample of what is available via the SFU Library and on the free web.


The SFU Library has many specialized business dictionaries. Try  search a subject term in our catalogue for your research area followed by "dictionaries." For example, all of the following are subjects in the SFU catalogue.




There are many dictionaries and thesauri in the SFU Library. Try a subject search in our catalogue for the following subjects.

Theses & graduating projects



The SFU Library also has a number of print books on this topic: try searching for the SUBJECT: Dissertations, Academic -- Handbooks, manuals, etc. in our catalogue to get titles such as:

  • Mastering your business dissertation : how to conceive, research, and write a good business dissertation [print]
  • Researching and writing dissertations in business and management [print]
  • Doing your dissertation in business and management: The reality of research and writing [print].

Plagiarism & citing information sources

Writing well includes writing ethically.  This means that you need to cite every piece of information that you take from someone else (articles, websites, books, etc.).  If you are unsure about concepts such as paraphrasing, patch writing, and plagiarism, then it is your responsibility to learn more about it. Fortunately, there are resources at SFU to help: 

Read the SFU Library guide: Plagiarism- What is plagiarism and how you can avoid it (includes links to more guides of this sort).

Take the SFU Library interactive tutorial Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism to test yourself and to learn more about plagiarism.

Attend an SFU Learning Commons workshop on topics ranging from effective note-taking to critical thinking to writing for university, and browse their list of writing handouts.

Set up a consultation with a mentor to improve your writing and better understand how to speak with your own voice in your papers. Consultations are available at both the Student Learning Commons (in the Library) and within the Beedie School of Business.

Finally, learn how to cite sources properly ... and when in doubt, cite it!