Brief Introduction to Business Letters

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					                                         Abstract


     In the days when people have no telephone people connected each other with
letters, letter became a popular way to send message or show one’s regards.
     Nowadays, people write letters to buy or sell goods, and they can check the goods
by looking up the letters they had written.
     This thesis is studying on business letters.
     In the first chapter, it shows us the parts of business letters, including: Letterhead、
Reference and Date、Inside address、Salutation、Attention line、Subject line、Opening
sentence、Complimentary close、Postscript.
     In the second chapter, this thesis tells us the format of the business letter. It mainly
has two forms: one is full block form; the other is modified block form.
     In the third chapter, the thesis tells the writing rules for business letters.
     And in the fourth chapter, the thesis makes a conclusion, to summarize each
chapter, and then give a result of research.


Key Words:       Format      Rules




                                               1
                摘    要


 在没有电话的日子里,人们主要通过信件互相联系。信件既方便又保密。因
此,信件是人们传递信息与问候最流行的方式之一。
 当今,在商务活动中,商人们通过信函的方式销售与购买货物,同时也可通
过信函检验货物。
 本论文系研究商务信函。
 第一章,介绍了商务信函的各部分,包括信头,日期,称呼等等。
 第二章,讲了商务信函的格式,一种格式是齐头并进式,另一种是缩进式。
 第三章,讲述了商务信函的写作规则。
 第四章,总结全文内容,得出研究结果。


  关键词:格式、规则




                 2
                                                               Contents

Abstract ............................................................................................................................. 1
摘        要 ............................................................................................................................ 2
Contents ............................................................................................................................ 3
Chapter 1 Parts of Business Letters ............................................................................... 4
   1.1 Letterhead ................................................................................................................ 4
   1.2 Reference and Date ................................................................................................. 4
   1.3 Inside Adders ........................................................................................................... 5
   1.4 Salutation ................................................................................................................. 5
   1.5 Attention Line .......................................................................................................... 6
   1.6 Subject Line ............................................................................................................. 6
   1.7 Opening Sentence .................................................................................................... 6
   1.8 Complimentary Close .............................................................................................. 7
   1.9 Postscript ................................................................................................................. 7
Chapter 2 Format of a Business Letter .......................................................................... 8
Chapter 3 Writing Rules for Business Letters ............................................................... 9
   3.2 Completeness ........................................................................................................ 10
   3.4 Concreteness .......................................................................................................... 10
   3.5 Conciseness ........................................................................................................... 10
   3.6 Clarity .................................................................................................................... 10
   3.7 Courtesy ................................................................................................................ 11
Chapter 4 Conclusion................................................................................................... 11
Bibliography ................................................................................................................... 12
Acknowledgement .......................................................................................................... 13




                                                                   3
                        Chapter 1       Parts of Business Letters



Most business letters have seven standard parts.
They are letterhead、reference and date、inside address、salutation、body、complimentary
close, and signature.
When appropriate, any of the following optional items can be included.
Attention line, subject line, file or account number, enclosures, carbon copy notation,
mailing notation and postscript.



1.1 Letterhead


                              Ya De Industrial Corporation
Letterhead designs vary with business organizations and occupy the top of the first page.
They may be positioned at the center or at the left margin the top of the page. A business
letterhead, usually printed, contains all or some of the following elements: the
company’s name, address, postcode, telephone number, telex number, fax number.
For example:


                   6 Jiefang Rd.(s), Dezhou Shandong Prov. 253006 China
           TEL: 086534-248985 FAX: 083555-1234 E-MAIL: sale@yeda.com


                                         January14 2001




1.2 Reference and Date

A typewritten date is necessarily included in the heading.
The date is usually placed two lines below the last line of the letterhead at left margin
for full block style or ending with the right margin for indented style.
It is usual to show the date in the order day/month/year ( English Practice) or month
/day /year (American practice).
Avoid giving a date in figures and abbreviations.

                                             4
1.3 Inside Adders

The inside address is typed directly below the date line at the left hand margin.
The inside address of a letter to an individual consists of the person’s courtesy title,
name, business or executive title and address
When the letter is to a group, the inside address includes the full group name and the
address. Care should be taken to address the recipient exactly as on the envelope.
For example:


                                        69 yutuo Road
                                     Lhase,Tibet 851000
                                 People’s Republic of China
                                      28 February 2005


Mr. Henry Jones
Asian Institute of Management
123 Paseo de Rexes, Leaps Village
1260 Micatin City Philippines
The Philippines



1.4 Salutation

Salutation is placed at the left margin two lines below the inside address and two lines
above the body of the letter. Considered a polite greeting with which a friendly business
letter begins, the personal salutation must be appropriate for the first line of the inside
address.
If the letter is addressed to an individual, It is usual to use:
Dear Mr. Smith,
Dear Ms. John,
Dear Prof. Hobart,
Dear Dr. Walter,
The trend is towards Ms. As the courtesy title for all women regardless of their marital
status.

                                                5
When addressing a letter to a firm, Dear Sirs, Ladies and gentlemen or Gentlemen
(American English ) would be used.



1.5 Attention Line

person or department when the letter is addressed to a company.
It is usually between the inside address and the salutation or above the inside address
when An attention line is considered a part of the inside address and it leads the letter to
a particular addressing a letter to a firm.
For example:


Cargolux Airlines International S.A.
Units 615-616, North Tower
Concordial Plaza, 1 Science Museum
Isimshatsui East kowloo, HongKong
Attention: Marketing Manager


Dear Sir or Madam:
When you can use the attention line, you should not write a person’s name in the inside
address. The attention is normally typed between the inside address and the solution



1.6 Subject Line

The subject heading is regarded as a part of the body of a business letter. Usually it is in
the upper case or initial capitals/underline and placed between the salutation and the
body of a letter to call attention to what content the letter is about.
For example:
Dear Ms. Smith,
Our Catalogue No.2,



1.7 Opening Sentence

The first paragraph of the body is introductory. It will always begin with reference to the
previous letter received and provide an introduction to what will be discussed.

                                               6
Here are examples as follows:
(1) Your letter of 9’’ September to our Beijing
(2) We refer to quotations of 8’’october and our mail offer of 1’’ December regarding
   the supply of Speedo swimming caps.
(3) We acknowledge, with thanks, receipt of your binding application form for the 76’’
   international Exhibition in March, 1998.
(4) We are pleased to inform you that the arrangements have now been made to ship
   the cotton underwear under your Order no.456.
(5) We regret up to the time of writing we have not heard anything from you about the
   shipment under the captioned contract.



1.8 Complimentary Close

The complimentary close is simply a polite way to end a letter.
The expression for the complimentary close should match the salutation. It appears in
the middle of the page and two lines below the closing sentence for indented layout.
While it starts at the left-hand margin for fully blocked letters. Only the initial letter in
the first word of any complimentary close is capitalized.



1.9 Postscript

The signature mainly consists of the addresser’s signature, he typed name of his and his
business title. Name of the company if it is previously printed on the letterhead .The
addresser should sign the letter by hand and in ink above the typed name which the
typed post follows immediately.


Signing on behalf of somebody else, it is usual to write for pp or per pro before he letter.
When you find something forgotten to be included in the may state it after the envelope
is to be sealed up. You may state it after the signature in a postscript with a simple
signature again. The adding of a P.S. should, however, be avoided as far as possible.
For example: P.S.




                                              7
                     Chapter 2          Format of a Business Letter



Full block form and modified block form with indented paragraphs are the two main
patterns of layout in current use.
The former is now the most popular practice of displaying business letters.
Its remarkable feature is that all typing lines, including those for the date, Inside name
and address, salutation, subject heading, each message paragraph and complimentary
close, begin at the left-hand margin.
Business letters with the full block form, along with open punctuation or mixed
punctuations, re paragraphed by equal line spaces.
For this letter-style the open punctuation pattern is used, the end of the date line, the
inside address lines, the salutation, the complimentary close and the signature block
lines are unpunctuated, but a comma is necessary between the day and year in the date
line and the full stop is retained after the abbreviation such as company, Inc. and Ltd.
While the mixed punctuation pattern, the most welcomed style today, requires an
absence of punctuation marks from the date line, the inside address lines and the
signature block lines except a colon or comma after the salutation and the
complimentary close.
Modified block form with indented paragraphs indented style is the traditional British
practice with the heading usually in the middle and the date on the right-hand side.The
complimentary close may be in the center or commence at the center point. The mixed
punctuation is often used


CHINA NATIONAL IMP. & EXP> CORP>
Add: 6, JIANGGUAODAJIE, BEIJING , CHINA
Tel: (86-10) 67483650
Fax: (86-10) 67483651
4 February 1998
Resunic Trade Links
Regd Office Thriuvamkulam Cochin 678201
Kerata India


Dear sirs
                                             8
EXORTING/IMPORTING ITEMSOF OUR CORP


We now have pleasure in receiving your letter dated 23th May 1997


Yours sincerely
J. K. DRAW
Project Manager
Encl. As stated


                  Chapter 3 Writing Rules for Business Letters

Business correspondence is still a basic activity involved in trade, and remain a very
important form of communication even nowadays.

They deliver their companies’ images to the public.

Business letters are often an arrangement or regarded as evidence of a contract.

They are written for information exchange and bridge over the desires between buyers
and sellers. The most effective letter should be easy to read and easy to understand.
They must be friendly and courteous.

We should bear in mind the point that business letters play an important role in the
development of goodwill and friendly trade relationships.

Generally speaking: consideration 、 completeness 、 correctness 、 concreteness 、
conciseness、 clarity and courtesy.

3.1 Consideration

Try to put yourself in his or her place to give consideration to his or her wishes,
demands, interests and difficulties.

Find the best way to express your better understanding and present the message.

That enables a request to be refused without killing all hope of business or allows a
refusal to do favor to be made without harming friendship.
                                               9
3.2 Completeness

Like any other letter, a good business letter should be complete, providing all the
information and data necessary for a specific issue. If any necessary piece of
information is lacking, the reader will have to ask you for clarification, which means
that you will have to write another letter. It will not only waste time, energy and money,
but also damage the image of your company.

3.3 Correctness

It goes without saying that the business better should be linguistically correct. Incorrect
grammar, improper punctuation, and wrong spelling are not allowed. Besides, the letter
should be written in an appropriate style and format.

3.4 Concreteness

What the letter comes to should be specific, definite rather than vague, abstract and
general. Take, for example, some qualities or characters of goods that should be shown
with exact figures and avoid words like short, long or good. Give specific time (with
date, month, year and even offer hour, minute if necessary). But avoid expressions such
as yesterday, next month, immediately and etc.

3.5 Conciseness

In an effective business letter, every word, sentence and paragraph count. In other words,
your letter should be concise, excluding unnecessary words and complicated business
jargons. A wordy letter will waste time on both sides. If necessary, however, conciseness
might be sacrificed for courtesy.

3.6 Clarity

The business letter must be clear and easily understood. If your letter is ambiguous, it
might bring trouble to yourself as well as to your reader. While presenting an idea, you
need to follow a clear logic. To avoid ambiguity and confusion, the writer should use
simple accurate words, and short and simple sentences where appropriate.




                                             10
3.7 Courtesy

The principle of courtesy requires one to be thoughtful and polite in writing a business
letter. If you put yourself in the reader’s shoes, considering his or her needs, problems
and emotions, your letter will most probably be appreciated. Normally, punctuality is
stressed as an important aspect of courtesy in business correspondence. A prompt letter
is always more valued than a delayed one.




                                 Chapter 4         Conclusion


Through the researching of the business letter, the thesis analyzed the structure of a

business letter. It lists the parts of business letter and shows the importance of each part.
This thesis has a study on the format of a business letter, shows two main form of layout
in current use, and then tells the use of punctuations. The thesis also has a research on
the writing rules for business letters. From the canalization of each parts we can see, we
can not ignore any part. It shows what trouble we’ll get in if we ignore one part.

We can learn from this thesis that a good business letter must be completed, and must
be correct and exact. It is just live a man, could not lose his hands or legs or other parts,
or he will get into a great trouble. If there is something wrong in his body, he will be ill,
and looks very sick.

So we should try our best to write a good business letter so as to make our readers
understand us easily and deal with us smoothly.




                                              11
                                     Bibliography

1. Hiltrop, J.M. & Sheila Udall, The essence of negotiation. New York: Harper
   Business, 1990
2. Nierenberg,          G.I.,         The          Art    of      Negotiating.
   www.negotiation.com/art-of-negotiating.html
3. Salacuse, J.W, Negotiating: the top ten ways that culture can affect your
   negotiation. Ivey Business Journal, 2004, Sept.-Oct.
4. www.zhupao.com:      商务英语         作者:gaoshou
5. 草菱 《商务英语谈判》北京:外语教学与研究出版社,2001
6. 廖瑛 《实用外贸谈判英语》北京对外经济贸易大学出版社, 2004
7. 黄聚河:              、
       《商务谈判中常用的报价技巧》《价格月刊》 2001 年第 6 期
      《成功让步的谈判艺术》《郑州煤炭管理干部学院学报》 2001 年第 6
8. 吴洪刚:          、
   期
9. 赵莲花、余恩荣:              、
           《论商务谈判中公平的伦理标准》《南京经济学院学报年》
   1999 年第 5 期
10. 张春柏     《商务英语写作》               高等教育出版社




                                         12
                                   Acknowledgement


    In writing this paper, I have benefited from the presence of my teachers and my
classmates. They generously helped me collect materials I needed and made many
valuable suggestions. I hereby extend my grateful thanks to them for their kind help,
without which the paper would not have been what it is.
    Particularly, I am deeply indebted to xxx xxx, my supervisor, who guided my
though out my writing of this thesis. She carefully read the whole draft and offered
painstaking and precious criticism. Her standards of academic excellence have made my
revision and exciting and gratifying experience.
    My parents took good care of my life and gave me lots of encouragement when I
was working at this thesis. They also share my weal and woe. I feel much grateful and
heartily owe my achievements to them.
    Furthermore, none of this would have been possible without the help of those
individual and organizations hereafter mentioned with gratitude: our school library and
the staff.


                                                          Xxx xxx




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