We explain what written communication is, its characteristics and elements. Also, their styles, their advantages, disadvantages and more.
What is written communication?
Written communication is any type of interaction that makes use of the written or textual word, and that allows a message to be transmitted without the need for the sender and receiver to coincide at the same time and place. It consists of the writing of signs that are part of a specific linguistic code, with its own spelling and grammar rules
Characteristics of written communication
Written communication is characterized by:
- Being a capacity of the human being , who is capable of doing it through intellectual and motor work.
- Use a code system with its own rules for spelling and grammar.
- Require physical supports to capture and spread the message, such as a pen and paper or a computer.
- Require a sender and receiver of the message that may not be present at the same time and place.
- Provide a response, mostly deferred or late.
- Be accurate because the content can be reviewed before broadcast.
- Be formal and permanent because it can be translated into a physical medium that allows it to be reread as many times as necessary.
Styles of written communication
The argumentative written communication reflects the issuer’s value judgments.
Written communication can be done based on various styles or modes:
- Descriptive . It consists of the representation of ideas or objects in a meticulous way, with the aim that the receiver of the message can reproduce that concept in his mind. For example: the written words that describe a person, a place or an action and that form a mental image in the receiver.
- Narrative . It consists of the telling of a story that contains various actions that are connected to each other and that may or may not be in chronological order. For example: a story in which the narrator introduces the characters and details a specific context and place.
- Argumentative . It consists of the speech that aims to establish value judgments regarding a topic, with the aim of persuading the receiver. For example: the presentation of a project to combat the climate crisis.
- Expository . It consists of the dissemination of information in a simple and clear way, without making value judgments by the issuer, based on specific data or a neutral point of view.
Elements of written communication
Written communication requires the following elements:
- Transmitter. He is the one who elaborates the message from his intellect.
- Receiver. It is the one who interprets and issues a reaction to the written message.
- Message. It is the redacted information.
- Channel. It is the medium in which the writing is expressed, such as paper or an electronic device.
- Code. It is the linguistic system used to elaborate the message.
- Situation. It is the context in which the communication takes place, both the situation of the sender and the receiver, which are usually different.
In addition to the elements of written communication, there are strategies that influence the way the receiver decodes the message, such as:
- The correct use of spelling rules.
- The use of an appropriate vocabulary according to the type of receiver. For example: if it is a child, it should not contain technical words.
- The order of the information, in a way that maintains coherence and can be understood by the receiver.
Advantages and disadvantages of written communication
Written communication does not usually provide immediate feedback.
Written communication is appropriate depending on the intention of the sender and the purpose of the message, but may not be as useful in certain contexts.
Among the advantages of written communication are:
- It has permanence , because the information can be reread, kept registered over time and be a source of consultation.
- Provides accurate information because it allows you to think, reflect, define and rewrite what you want to say.
- It allows to settle legal documents .
Among the disadvantages of written communication are:
- The lack of immediate response , except through some immediate messaging channels.
- The high costs for its execution , in most cases, due to the fact that it requires physical supports, from paper to electronic devices.
- It takes time to read , decode, and respond to the message.
- It requires skills and competencies in the use of language and vocabulary. Otherwise, it may have a negative impact on the receiver.
Spelling and grammar
The wrong use of spelling rules can change the meaning of the message.
In written communication, the correct use of spelling rules is very important. Its wrong application can change the meaning of the message . For example: the tilde in a word, the comma between sentences or the punctuation marks.
In addition, it is important to respect grammar rules to develop effective written communication . For example: form sentences in an orderly manner and correctly apply verb tenses according to the subject to whom they refer.
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