Business Documents • Letters - Format • Letters - Good News • Letters - Bad News Use Plain English • Clarity of Expression - ideas are neatly ordered • Simple Language - short words and limit length of sentences • Positive Language - direct focus; courteous with a tactful tone • Punctuation for ease of reading - more full stops than commas to break up ideas Essential and optional parts of a layout • Essential Parts • Optional Parts 1. Writer’s name and address 1. Subject line 2. Date 2. Attention line 3. Inside (intended reader’s) 3. Reference initials address 4. Greeting 4. Enclosure 5. Body of the letter 5. File number 6. Complimentary close 6. Sender’s telephone extension 7. Writer’s signature and job 7. Sender’s email or web title or designation site details. Types of Layouts • There are 3 main types of layout: 1. Full block layout 2. Modified block Layout 3. Modified block layout with indented paragraphs. Organising your letter • The first paragraph • The body (Middle Paragraphs) • The final paragraph The First Paragraph • Refers to the purpose of the letter • Engages reader’s interest • ‘You’ perspective The “You” Attitude Instead of This Use This To help us process this order, So that your order can be filled we must ask for another copy promptly, please send another of the requisition. copy of the requisition. The Body of the Letter • Explains the main ideas • Provides facts and logical explanation • One idea per paragraph Final Paragraph • States exactly what you will do next • Outlines the action you want the reader to take • Concludes using positive language Use Positive language Instead of This Use This It is impossible to repair your Your vacuum cleaner will be vacuum cleaner today. ready by Tuesday. Letter Types • Good news or neutral • Bad news Writing Plan for Good News Letters 1. Identify the letter’s purpose in the subject line or opening paragraph. 2. Place the good news in the opening paragraph. 3. State the details that support the good news in the middle paragraphs. 4. Close with a statement of goodwill. Bad News Letters • Refusing credit • Declining an offer, request or application • Complaining about a service or product Writing Plan for Bad News Letters 1. Open with a courteous greeting – use a buffer. 2. Explain the situation fully. 3. State the bad news. 4. Close with a positive paragraph. Be Polite Instead of This Use This You really fouled things up with Let’s review what went wrong that last computer run. so that the next computer run goes smoothly. Instead of This Use This You’ve been sitting on our order We are eager to receive our for two weeks. We need it now! order. When can we expect delivery?
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