Letters, Memos, and Emails
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Letters, Memos, and Emails The Letter (Used generally outside the organization) Return Address Date Inside Address Salutation Body Complimentary Close Signature Reference Initials Enclosures Copies The Memorandum (Used within the organization) To: Name, position From: Name, position Date: Re: No signature is required The Perfect Letter and Memo will employ the following: A “You” attitude (Know your audience!) A three paragraph structure (minimum) A Beginning paragraph that Informs and is Positive A Middle paragraph(s) that makes the major point(s) and employs Numbering or Bullets An Ending paragraph that Summarizes and Points the Way Ahead Concise language and good grammar Things to do in Letter and Memo Writing Use proper letter or memo format Say something positive in your introduction Introduce numbering/bullets from a middle paragraph Use a colon to introduce numbering/bullets Ensure correct parallelism in your numbering Write as you would speak Use a “you” attitude: what’s in it for the reader? Use a short concluding paragraph Things to do in Letter and Memo Writing Be positive: eliminate negative references “I’m sorry I could not”, “I hope this has not inconvenienced you” Sound like an equal, not a parent: be courteous Write as you would speak: avoid business jargon like “It has been brought to my attention”, “Please feel free to” Spell correctly: receive, unfortunately, occasion, sincerely, inconvenience, etc. Use “myself” very rarely: Wrong: “Mr. Jones and myself are going home.” Wrong: “He took Joan and myself home.” Common Business Writing Errors Yours Sincerely / Yours Truly Dear Ms. Smith; Although I do not… Convience, recieve It has been brought to my attention… Benefits of workplace Email Better for the environment Faster Easily tracked When writing workplace Emails: Consider your audience No “texting” Clarity, length privacy When writing workplace Emails: Pay attention to format Subject line Precision Punctuation, Grammar, Spelling Punctuation Here’s a classic example to illustrate the importance of punctuation – it’s been around for sometime – I wish I could claim credit for it, but I can’t: Version 1 Dear Jon: I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy – will you let me be yours? Gloria Punctuation Version 2 Dear Jon: I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? Yours, Gloria Spelling Why Spelling Chequers are Knot Too Bee Trusted Eye have a spelling chequer It came with my pea see It plainly Marx four my revue Miss steaks I cannot sea. I’ve run this poem threw it, I’m sure your please to no Its letter perfect in it’s weigh My chequer tolled me sew “Ewe can bee rite and wrong at the same thyme!” When writing workplace Emails: Consider the medium Does your message need to be secure? Is your e-mail of a sensitive nature? You cannot ensure your e-mail will only be read by its intended recipient.