Ken Reardon, Chemical Engineering: Workplace writing is less academic. It's a different kind of a "why." It's the justification why instead of the intellectual why, to find out why because it's interesting. The workplace why is more of why did you chose option A instead of option B, and justifying that. Audiences here are supervisors, clients, prospective clients, subordinates. Each of these require different kinds of writing. To clients it seems that writing is technically-oriented and interesting. They determine this by meeting with the person or by a phone call with the person. With supervisors you can probably be technical but not detailed because they're looking at the big picture. They'll get back to you if they want to know the details. With subordinates it's not necessarily a technical issue, but it could be, depending on the technician. It's also a matter of tone.