How to Write a Business Letter by IeQib8


									How to Write a Business Letter

        Ms. Gieser
    Definition of a Business Letter

 The business letter is the basic means of communication
  between two companies, or two parties (one of them
  being a professional).
 Most business letters have a formal tone.
 Because a business letter is communication from one
  person to another, a letter must convey a courteous,
  positive tone.
 Because you generally send business letters to
  professionals, always include a formal salutation and
       Purpose of a Business 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 or to propose your
 Writing business letters is like any other document:
    – First you must analyze your audience and determine
      your purpose.
    – Then you gather information, create an outline, write a
      draft, and revise it.
    – The key to writing business letters is to get to the point as
      quickly as possible and to present your information
               Audience Analysis

 Writing a business letter is like any other type of
  technical communication.
 First you have to analyze your audience and
  determine your purpose.
 The typical audience is other professionals.
 These audiences generally require you provide a
  detailed (yet brief) background about your
         Audience Analysis (cont’d)
 As a student, you may have to write business
  letters to your instructor, classmates, or colleges.
 When composing academic business letters,
  consider what this audience already knows about
  the subject.
 For example, if you are writing a business letter
  to accompany a paper, does your audience
  already know what the paper is about?
 What further information do they require?
 Will you require anything from them as a result
  of this communication?
           General Format
 Because a business letter is an effective way
  to communicate a message, its format
  should allow readers to quickly grasp
 Information should stand out to readers as
  they scan the document.
 Remember, a business letter reflects your
             Return Address
 Readers should always be able to quickly
  locate your contact information.
 This information is located at the top of the
  business letter in the return address.
 This includes:
    – Name
    – Address
    – Phone number (optional)
                 Inside Address
 After the return address, you should double space
  and include the inside address.
 The inside address is your reader’s full address.
 This includes the reader’s:
    – Name
    – Position
    – Organization (as the company calls itself)
    – Complete mailing address
           Inside Address (cont’d)

 If your reader has a courtesy title, such as
  Professor or Dr., then use it.
 Otherwise use Mr. or Ms., unless you know
  the reader prefers Miss or Mrs.
      Dr. I.M. Reading, Professor
      ICU Technical College
      Chicago, IL 60624
   After the inside address, double space and
    include the date of the letter.
 A business letter should always include a salutation (a
 This is to whom the letter is addressed.
 Salutations add a personal touch to your letter.
 You should also use a colon rather than a comma
  because a colon is more professional than a comma.
     Dear Dr. Reading:
     Dear Sir or Madam:
 Put the salutation two lines below the date.
 The traditional salutation is “Dear” followed by the
  reader’s courtesy title and last name

   The body of a business letter is typically single-spaced
    and has three paragraphs:
    – Introductory paragraph
    – One or more body paragraphs
    – Concluding paragraph
 Like essays written for a college course, a business letter
  introduces one main idea and then supports this idea.
 At the end of the letter, always include a way for your
  readers to contact you.
 Close the letter with a thank you (i.e. “Thank you for
  your prompt help…”)
        Complimentary Close and
   Business letters should end with a closing, such as:
    – Sincerely,
    – Cordially,
    – Best regards,
    – Yours very truly,
 Capitalize only the first word in the complimentary
  close, and follow all phrases with a comma.
 Include 4 spaces and type (or print) your full name and
 Sign the letter between the closing and the typed (or
  printed) name and title.

 Keep the letter brief and to the point.
 Do not use shortened verb forms – write
  them out
    – i.e. “do not” instead of “don’t”
           First Paragraph
 The first paragraph of a typical business
  letter is used to state the main point of the
 Begin with a friendly opening; then quickly
  transition into the purpose of the letter.
 Use a couple of sentences to explain the
  purpose, but do not go into detail until the
  next paragraph
        Second Paragraph
 Beginning with the second paragraph, state
  the supporting details to justify your
 These details may take form of background
  information, statistics or first-hand
 A few short paragraphs within the body of
  the letter should be enough to support your
         Closing Paragraph
 Finally, in the closing paragraph, briefly
  restate your purpose and why it is
 If the purpose of your letter is applying to a
  school or for a scholarship, consider ending
  your letter with your contact information.
 However, if the purpose is informational,
  think about closing with gratitude for the
  reader’s time.

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