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Business Communication Letters, Memos, and E-mail - PowerPoint by vww89216


Letters, Memos, and E-mail

               English 2311
  Letter Conventions
 Oldest, most formal of the three genres

 Always concludes with a signature in ink

 Used for external communication

 Often distributed via fax
Memo Conventions
 Less formal than letters

 Usually short

 Used for internal communication
E-mail Conventions
 Least formal of the three

 Replacing memos because of its
  technological advantages

 Used for both internal and external
    Strategies for Writing All Three
   Consider your tone
   Project a “You Attitude”
   State your purpose in a brief introduction
   Review the context
   Present good news first, bad news last
   Base paragraphs on topical content
   Use short paragraphs
   Use headings, lists, tables
   Suggest action in conclusion
Always consider audience and purpose
     E-mail = respectful, friendly, and at least
      somewhat professional
     Complaint letter = firm, formal, demanding,
      but not threatening
Letter Types
 Inquiry Letter: Letter in which you ask
  questions. The key to an inquiry is
 Response Letter: Shows response to an
 Claim Letter: Letter in which a claim is
  made and request for appropriate action.
 Adjustment Letter: Letter giving bad news
  or good news. Response to a claim letter.
“You Attitude”
 Look at the situation from the reader‟s POV

 Reader and writer usually both want
  something in common

 Both parties need to feel they gained
Tone/Attitude Examples
 Accusing Tone:
     You must have dropped the engine. The
      housing is badly cracked.

 Reasonable Tone:
     The badly cracked housing suggests that your
      engine must have fallen onto a hard surface
      from some height.
Tone/Attitude Examples
 Sarcastic Tone:
     You‟ll need two months to deliver these
      parts? Who do you think you are, the Post

 Reasonable Tone:
     Surely you would find a two-month delay for
      the delivery of parts unacceptable in your
 Brief, Purposeful Introduction
  The first line should clarify topic and

  The intro paragraph should be no longer than
   4-5 lines

DON‟T go into details before you mention the
purpose of the communication.
Review the Context
 If writing a response to another
  communication, repeat the details of the
     Particularly important in email
     Take advantage of the “quote” feature
Good News, Bad News
 State the good (or neutral) news first

 Save the bad news till last (or not at all)
  Paragraphing by Topic
 Paragraphs should indicate the logic and topics
  of your message

 First paragraph is always intro:
    Topic, Purpose, and Context of communication

 Subsequent paragraphs have specific functions:
    Narration, Petition, Justification, Action
Paragraph Length
 Keep „em short – fewer than 8 lines

 Minimum of 12-point, readable font

 Don‟t break for paragraphs at any old place;
  have a purpose
Headings, Lists, Tables
 Headings indicate sections

 Bulleted lists are for key points

 Numbered lists are for sequential items

 Tables are to enable comparisons
Action Conclusion
 Conclusion should make clear what you
  expect the recipient to do

 Remember to be reasonable

 Avoid “limp noodle” endings
     “Hoping to hear from you soon.”
     “Let me know if you have any questions.”

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