Writing a Business Letter The business letter is the basic means of communication between two companies. Most business letters have a formal tone. Is a letter written from a person to a
company Can be used for any purpose that requires written communication from an individual to a company Such as: To accompany returned goods Complaint letter Thank you letter Rsum cover letter You will write business letters to inform readers of specific
information. However, you might also write a business letter to persuade others to take action. Business letters even function as advertisements. Date Line: current date written out as month, day, and complete year Inside Address: name and address of the business to whom you are writing Salutation: letters greeting you use the same name you used in the Inside Address using
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss Body: message or meat of the letter Complimentary Closing: letters goodbye using phrases such as Yours truly and Sincerely yours Signature: writer's handwritten signature Writers Identification: writers typed name and address (because your letter will not have a letterhead, you will need to type your address underneath your name at the bottom) There are two types of letter styles that are acceptable in business:
Block style all lines in the letter begin at the left margin (no tabbing or indenting) Modified block style date line, complimentary closing and writers identification begin at midpoint Semi-modified block style - date line, complimentary closing and writers identification begin at midpoint and all body paragraphs are indented (or tabbed over) There are two types of letter punctuation that are acceptable in business:
Mixed punctuation there will be a colon (:) after the salutation and a comma (,) after the complimentary closing Open punctuation there will be NO punctuation after the salutation or complimentary closing Font Size: 12 Font Style: Times, Times New Roman, or Arial Spacing: 1 or 2 spaces after punctuation ending a sentence (stay consistent within the document) 1 space after a semicolon
1 space after a comma 1 or 2 spaces after a colon (stay consistent within the document) 1 space between state abbreviation and zip code Block Style with Open Punctuation Top Margin: 2 inches Side and Bottom Margins: 1 inch 2 Top margin Date QS (Press Enter 4 times) Inside Address DS (press Enter 2 times) Salutation DS (press Enter 2 times) Body SS the text within the paragraph and
DS between the paragraphs Complimentary Closing QS Writers ID (name and address) Top Margin: 2" Side Margins: 1" Current Date (QS) Ms. Terra Green 1923 Deserama Circle Cottonwood, AZ 86326 (DS) Dear Ms. Green (DS)
This letter is keyed in block style with open punctuation. All lines, including the date, inside address, salutation, and closing begin at the left margin. A double space is left between all letter parts except before the inside address and the writers name,
where a quadruple space (4 returns) will be found. (DS) This letter style is to be used for FBLA-PBL competition. (DS) Sincerely (QS) Barbara Small Shaw High School Student 7579 Raider Way Columbus, GA 31909 1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6. 7. Clear Concise Correct Courteous Conversational Convincing Complete Keep it Short
Cut needless words and needless information. Cut stale phrases and redundant statements. Keep it Simple Use familiar words, short sentences and short paragraphs. Keep your subject matter as simple as possible Use a conversational style. Keep it Strong Use concrete words and examples Keep to the subject
Keep it Sincere Be human and as friendly as possible Write as if you were talking to your reader STYLE: (sentence structure and vocabulary) Do use plain English. Do write in active voice and use short sentences when possible. Do use everyday words and avoid technical jargon.
Do use lists to present complex materials. Do select the words you use very carefully. Do use a strong organizational strategy. Don't make grammar or usage errors. Don't use clichs or worn out phrases. Don't use obsolete and/or pompous language because it "seems" more professional. TONE: Do use a reader centered tone. Do use a business like, conversational tone. Don't be too familiar with your audience. Remember to keep some distance, this is a business relationship.
Don't use humor unless you know exactly what you are doing. What is funny to you might be an issue of the highest seriousness with other people. Don't preach. If you have to tell your audience obvious info, put it in the middle of a paragraph and watch how you word the message. Don't brag. Its good to be confident, but don't carry it to an excess.
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