Letter Writing - Wikispaces

Document Sample
Letter Writing - Wikispaces Powered By Docstoc

In recent years English has become a universal business language. As such, it is
potentially an instrument of order and clarity. A neatly arranged letter will certainly
make a better impression on the reader, thus good letters make good business partners.
But words and phrases have unexpected ways of creating binding commitments.

Letter-writing, certainly, is not the same as casual conversation, it bears only the
same power of thoughts, reflections, and observations as in conversational talk, but the
form may be quite different. What makes the letter so attractive and pleasing is not
always the massage of the letter, it is often the manner and style in which the massage
is written.
In the case of "scientific correspondence" the majority of letters bear mostly a semi-
official character and are concerned with different situations associated with scientific
activities concentrated around the organisation of scientific meetings (congresses,
symposia, workshops, etc.), the arrangement of visit, invitation, publication, the
exchange of scientific literature, information, etc. Letters of this kind have a tone of
friendliness, naturalism. Modern English letters should not be exaggerated,
overburdened, outmoded with time-worn expressions. The key note is simplicity.
Modern letters tend towards using the language of conversational style.
Writing is not only a means of communication and contact, but also a record of
affairs, information, events, etc. So it is necessary to feel the spirit and trend of the
style in order to write a perfect letter.

Business-letter or contract law is a complex and vastly documented subject, only a
lawyer can deal with it on a serious level. A number of basic principles, however,
can be outlined sufficiently to mark of encounters that require the use of specialised
·     Your knowledge of Business English lexics is crucially important;
·     Include just the right amount of information in your letter. (But better to include too
much than too little.)
·     Plan your letter before you start writing, to make sure it says everything you want to
say and says it in a logical sequence.
·     Use a simple but polite style of language. Beware of idioms.
·     Your letter should be clear and unambiguous. Take care with abbreviations and
·     Accuracy is important. Pay special attention to titles, names and addresses,
references, prices, and enclosures.

Writing of business letters is highly complicated science. It is not enough for a good
business letter writing to know lexics and grammar, but you should comprehend the
whole range of such things as: occasions on which the particular letter is written, the style
of letter, useful expressions, and accepted idioms. There are certain rules which not
everybody could learn since they have to be felt by correspondents. Letter writing
requires long practice and experience.
In spite of the difficulties of business correspondence, we as teachers of the English
language must be able to prepare our students to be proficient in any sphere of the
In order to do that we must primarily know how to teach the ―golden rule‖ which must be
followed by every business correspondent that the official letter should be formal,
courteous, tactful, concise, expressive, and to the point.

Email, SMS, and Online Chat

Electronic text communication takes a number of different forms, chiefy email, posting to
online chat rooms and newsgroups, and SMS (Short Messaging Service) messages
between mobile phones.

The vocabulary, syntax, and style of electronic text communication is much more fluid
than that found in formal writing, and may also be highly personalized. Electronic
communication is typically very informal in nature and characterized by many features
more often found in conversational speech.

Some of the more established abbreviations used in all types of electronic communication
are listed below:

@       at                             MOB    mobile
AFAIK   as far as I know               MSG    message
AFK     away from the keyboard         MYOB mind your own business
ASL     age, sex, location             NE1    anyone
ATB     all the best                   NOYB none of your business
B       be                             NO1    no one
BAK     back at the keyboard           OTOH on the other hand
BBL     be back late(r)                OIC    oh I see
BCNU    be seeing you                  PCM    please call me
BFN     bye for now                    PLS    please
B4      before                         PPL    people
BRB     be right back                  R      are
BTW     by the way                     ROTF(L)rolling on the floor (laughing)
C       see                            RUOK are you okay?
CUL8R see you later                     SIT        stay in touch
F2F   face to face                      SOM1       someone
F2T   free to talk                      SPK        speak
FWIW for what it¿s worth                TTYL       talk to you later
FYI   for your information              TX         thanks
GAL get a life                          U          you
GR8 great                               WAN2       want to
HAND have a nice day                    W/         with
H8    hate                              WKND       weekend
HSIK how should I know?                 WU         what's up?
HTH hope this helps                     X          kiss
      I am not a lawyer, but - (as
IANAL                                   XLNT       excellent
      a disclaimer)
IMHO in my humble opinion               XOXOX hugs and kisses
                                              your mileage may vary (i.e. your
IMO     in my opinion                   YMMV
                                              experience may differ)
IOW     in other words                  YR    your
JIC     just in case                    2     to, too
JK      just kidding                    2DAY today
KIT     keep in touch                   2MORO tomorrow
KWIM    know what I mean                2NITE tonight
L8R     later                           3SUM threesome
        lots of luck / laughing out
LOL                                     4          for

Emoticons typically represent a facial expression and are used chiefly to mark the tone of
the preceding sentence or to indicate the writer's feelings. The following are some of the
more commonly seen:

:-)      happy (a 'smiley')                 :-(    unhappy
:-D      laughing                           :-||   angry
;-)      winking; just kidding              :-V    shouting
:-*      kiss                               |-O    yawning
:-o      surprised                          :-Q    I don't understand
:-(      frowning                           :-&    tongue-tied
:-c      very unhappy                       :-X    my lips are sealed
X=       fngers crossed                     :-P    sticking one's tongue out
:'-(     crying                             :-/    sceptical
:-|      bored, indifferent                 :-Y    aside comment

Letter Writing
Letters remain hugely important in our everyday lives. People still feel the need to have
something confirmed in writing and a letter can add the all important personal touch. But
there are pitfalls to letter writing. Below are our top tips for getting your letter right.
1. Define your purpose

Before you begin writing a business letter ask yourself:

      Why am I writing this letter – what has led up to it?
      What do I hope to get out of it (my maximum aims)?
      What do you expect to get out of it (my realistic aims)?
      What is the best way to achieve this?
       What information do I need to provide? For example, dates of previous
       letters, dates you saw advertisement, dates of appointments, addresses of
       shops and people, names of people involved, reference or account
       What arguments do I need to use?

2. The first paragraph

The first paragraph of the letter should introduce the subject matter and either state or
imply your purpose in writing.

3. The body of the letter

The body of the letter should consist of one or more paragraphs. It should develop clearly
and logically the argument and facts of the case. If there is more than one paragraph, each
paragraph should focus on a separate aspect of the subject matter and there should be
clear links between paragraphs.

4. The final paragraph

The final paragraph should leave the reader in no doubt about your attitude towards the
subject of the letter. It may, for example, spell out what you would like to see happen. It
should be positive and unambiguous.

5. Achieve the right tone

Although the reader of your letter may be unknown to you, it is important to achieve a
suitable tone in your writing and not to be too casual or too formal. So, as far as possible:

      Avoid Jargon whenever possible.
      Use shorter sentences rather than longer ones.
      Avoid using the passive. For example write, „We sent you that letter by
       mistake‟, rather than the more pompous, „Our letter was sent in error‟.
      Don‟t let your feelings get the better of you.
      Don‟t try to be too clever.
      Be clear and to the point, but don‟t be too blunt.

6. Adopt a clear layout
Adopt a letter layout that is clear and consistent. For example, if you put a comma after
the person‘s name in the greeting, include one after Yours faithfully/Yours sincerely;
either indent the paragraphs or leave a space between them, without indentation.

7. Sincerely or Faithfully?

If you are writing to someone whose name and title you do not know, use the greeting
Dear Sir or Madam, and the ending Yours faithfully, signing yourself with your initials
and surname.

If you are writing to a named person, address them as Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms, and end
Yours sincerely, followed by your first name and surname.

If you have met them or spoken to them by phone, or otherwise feel that you have some
acquaintance with them, address them by their first name and sign yourself Yours
sincerely, using your first name.

If you need some extra inspiration then we have sample letters for almost every occasion
from letters of resignation to letters of condolence, letters of complaint to letters booking
a holiday.

We also have plenty of useful phrases to get your letter started, finished, and on the right

     One Step Ahead: Essays and
     Key advice on preparing and structuring your
     student essay
                                          Understanding essay questions
                                          Researching an essay
                                          Structuring an essay
                                          Drafting your essay
                                          How to take notes
                                          Structure of a dissertation
Understanding essay questions
Essay titles come in two types, the specific and the general.

· Specific questions have a narrow focus and will probably name people or
situations or problems.
· General questions suggest the area you must write about and demand you explore
the topic from a certain angle, but they rarely mention specific names, situations, or

NOTE: However general the question, your answer must be specific. The difference
with general questions is that you get to choose what you are specific about.

Researching an essay
Finding books on a particular topic is not as hard as you might think. Here are some
methods you could try:

· Shelf-mark Search
· Keyword Search
· Author Search
· Bibliography Search
· Internet Search

NOTE: Research is not a search for a particular set of facts. Any fact you find
interesting will probably be useful for your essay.

Structuring and essay - 3 easy steps
Remember that you are writing an essay in order to give your opinion about
something, so first:

· introduce your opinion and your reasons for holding it.

You must offer evidence as to why your opinion is valid, so next present:

· evidence for your opinion.

Finally you must show the scope of your opinion, and how it fits with other
opinions, so:

· conclude your essay with a look at other people's ideas to show how your opinion
fits with theirs.

Drafting your essay
No essay can be written perfectly at one go. You will need to write a series of drafts
(at least two), to make sure you are being as clear as you can.

How your essay should look

Make your essay easy to read by:
· Using a word processor
· Double spacing the text
· Leaving wide margins on your page
· Choosing a large font (e.g. 12 point)

Footnotes and endnotes

Whenever you quote something:
· put a superscripted number next to it
· write down the source either at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or the bottom of
the essay (endnotes)
· copy down the source in the bibliography

How to take notes
It is a good idea to find and write down quotes when reading a book. When you
start your reading, remember that not everything in the chapter or passage will be
relevant to your essay. What you are trying to find is evidence from which you can
form and support an opinion. When you find a relevant piece of information, write
down the sentence in which you find it.

Structure of a dissertation

A dissertation is a long essay written on a single topic, which you research by

Dissertations are usually 10, 000 words. It might seem a lot, so break this up into
manageable sections. Here is a structure you might like to try:

· Introduction 1000 words
· Theoretical chapter 2000 words
· Evidential chapter 1 2000 words
· Evidential chapter 2 2000 words
· Evidential chapter 3 2000 words
      · Conclusion 1000 words

      Dividing the dissertation in this way means that all you have to do is write four
      2000 word essays, add an introduction and a conclusion and you are there!

      NOTE: A dissertation is not simply four essays fastened together. It is a single

Presenting Numbers, Tables, and Charts

                                  The six rules of plain figures
                                  Checklist for graphs
                                  Patterns and exceptions

The six rules of plain figures:
1 Put figures in an order.
2 Add focus to figures.
3 Keep comparisons close.
4 Round figures for clarity.
5 Provide a summary.
6 Use layout to guide the eyes.

Checklist for graphs

   Is the graph's message clear and memorable?
   Does it tell a single story?
   Does the title reinforce the point of the graph?
   Is the graph appropriate for the type of data?


   Does the graph use the simplest design of its type?
   Is all chart junk removed? Be ruthless!
   Is the graph situated correctly on the page?
   Are the lines, bars, and pies directly labelled?
   Is the scale proportionate to the numbers?
 Is the graph less than a third of the page in size?
 Are the graphs consistent throughout the document?


 Does the graph's title encapsulate its meaning?
 Is the text legible, horizontal, and in both upper and lower case?
 Is the written explanation as close as possible to the graph?
 Has someone else proofread the graph?
 Is all the necessary information given (subject, location, dates, units of

Exercise 2 Patterns and exceptions
This table shows the percentage of staff who replied 'yes' when asked if they were
generally satisfied with aspects of their working conditions.

Staff satisfaction, August 2003: percentage of respondents

Branch                 Bristol Derby London York Average
Health and Safety      75       78      73        73     75
Hours                  88       90      79        87     86
Management             68       71      81        67     72
Parking facilities     76       84      69        12     60

Average                77       81      86        60

(a) Reorder the columns and rows from largest to smallest by average size. What are the
main patterns and exceptions in the data?

(b) Go back to the original table. Can you now see the patterns and exceptions?

(c) Can you suggest other ways in which the readability of this table can be improved?

You'll find the answers to this exercise in One Step Ahead: Presenting Number, Tables,
and Charts.

Press Releases
What is a press release?
A press release is the basic communication tool for those wanting to talk to journalists.

Checklist for writing a press release

Do I need a press release?
· Have I got anything interesting to say?
· Would an individual approach be more successful?

What story do I have to tell?
· Any individual tales that prove a point?
· Any statistics that support my case?
· Any third party anecdotes/trends on the same theme?

How can I get the story over in a nutshell?
· The who, what, where, when, and why for the first paragraph?
· What headline can I use to draw the reader in?
· What supporting themes can I develop to sustain interest?
· What follow up action can I suggest (e.g. photo opportunity or interview)?

 Business Correspondence — Inquiry

This section focuses on the inquiry letter. The inquiry letter is useful when you need
information, advice, names, or directions. Be careful, however, not to ask for too much
information or for information that you could easily obtain in some other way, for
example, by a quick trip to the library.

Note: Students enrolled in the Online Technical Writing are encouraged to take the
optional reading quix on this chapter and the chapter on complaint letters. (Anybody else
is welcome to try it as well.)

See the following example inquiry letters:

       The frames and nonframes versions work only on Netscape versions 3-5,
       but not on Netscape 6 or any version of Internet Explorer. See Netscape 5

Example inquiry letter 1: Questions about          Frames        Nonframes      Plain
blood glucose monitoring systems

Example inquiry letter 2: Questions about
                                                    Frames           Nonframes   Plain
hardware support for Red Hat Linux

For related matters, see the section on general business-letter format and style.

Inquiry Letters: Types and Contexts
There are two types of inquiry letters: solicited and unsolicited.

You write a solicited letter of inquiry when a business or agency advertises its products
or services. For example, if a software manufacturer advertises some new package it has
developed and you can't inspect it locally, write a solicited letter to that manufacturer
asking specific questions. If you cannot find any information on a technical subject, an
inquiry letter to a company involved in that subject may put you on the right track. In
fact, that company may supply much more help than you had expected (provided of
course that you write a good inquiry letter). If you need to find the names and addresses
of businesses related to your report project, see the section on finding information in

Your letter of inquiry is unsolicited if the recipient has done nothing to prompt your
inquiry. For example, if you read an article by an expert, you may have further questions
or want more information. You seek help from these people in a slightly different form of
inquiry letter. As the steps and guidelines for both types of inquiry letters show, you must
construct the unsolicited type more carefully, because recipients of unsolicited letters of
inquiry are not ordinarily prepared to handle such inquiries.

Inquiry Letters: Contents and Organization
   1. Early in the letter, identify the purpose — to obtain help or information (if it's a
      solicited letter, information about an advertised product, service, or program).
   2. In an unsolicited letter, identify who you are, what you are working on, and why
      you need the requested information, and how you found out about the individual.
      In an unsolicited letter, also identify the source that prompted your inquiry, for
      example, a magazine advertisement.
   3. In the letter, list questions or information needed in a clear, specific, and easy-to-
      read format. If you have quite a number of questions, consider making a
      questionnaire and including a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
   4. In an unsolicited letter, try to find some way to compensate the recipient for the
      trouble, for example, by offering to pay copying and mailing costs, to accept a
      collect call, to acknowledge the recipient in your report, or to send him or her a
      copy of your report. In a solicited letter, suggest that the recipient send brochures
      or catalogs.
   5. In closing an unsolicited letter, express gratitude for any help that the recipient
      can provide you, acknowledge the inconvenience of your request, but do not
      thank the recipient "in advance." In an unsolicited letter, tactfully suggest to the
      recipient will benefit by helping you (for example, through future purchases from
      the recipient's company).

Return to the table of contents for the Online Technical Writing Course Guide (the online
textbook for online technical communication courses at Austin Community College and
other institutions worldwide).

            Business Correspondence:

This section discusses general format of business letters, shows you the four common
business-letter formats, and discusses some basic guidelines for writing style in business

For related matters:

      See the section on resumes.
      See the section on application letters.
      See the section on inquiry letters.
      See the section on complaint and adjustment letters.

Here are some relevant websites on business communication:

      Business Letter Writing. A useful site maintained by Patrick Burne, a retired
       business communication consultant.

Common Components and Formats
The following is concerned with the mechanical and physical details of business letters.
(All of the components discussed in the following are illustrated in Figure 1-1.)

Heading. The heading contains the writer's address and the date of the letter. The writer's
name is not included and only a date is needed in headings on letterhead stationery.

Inside address. The inside address shows the name and address of the recipient of the
letter. This information helps prevent confusion. Also, if the recipient has moved, the
inside address helps to determine what to do with the letter. In the inside address, include
the appropriate title of respect of the recipient; and copy the name of the company exactly
as that company writes it. When you do have the names of individuals, remember to
address them appropriately: Mrs., Ms., Mr., Dr., and so on. If you are not sure what is
correct for an individual, try to find out how that individual signs letters or consult the
forms-of-address section in a dictionary.

Salutation. The salutation directly addresses the recipient of the letter and is followed by
a colon (except when a friendly, familiar, sociable tone is intended, in which case a
comma is used). Notice that in the simplified letter format, the salutation line is
eliminated altogether. If you don't know whether the recipient is a man or woman, the
traditional practice has been to write "Dear Sir" or "Dear Sirs" — but that's sexist! To
avoid this problem, salutations such as "Dear Sir or Madame," "Dear Ladies and
Gentlemen," "Dear Friends," or "Dear People" have been tried — but without much
general acceptance. Deleting the salutation line altogether or inserting "To Whom It May
Concern" in its place, is not ordinarily a good solution either — it's impersonal.

The best solution is to make a quick, anonymous phone call to the organization and ask
for a name; Or, address the salutation to a department name, committee name, or a
position name: "Dear Personnel Department," "Dear Recruitment Committee," "Dear
Chairperson," "Dear Director of Financial Aid," for example.

Figure 1-1. Standard components of a business letter. In this example, the block letter
format is used.

Subject or reference line. As shown in the order letter, the subject line replaces the
salutation or is included with it. The subject line announces the main business of the

Body of the letter. The actual message of course is contained in the body of the letter,
the paragraphs between the salutation and the complimentary close. Strategies for writing
the body of the letter are discussed in the section on business-correspondence style.

Complimentary close. The "Sincerely yours" element of the business letter is called the
complimentary close. Other common ones are "Sincerely yours," "Cordially,"
"Respectfully," or "Respectfully yours." You can design your own, but be careful not to
create florid or wordy ones. Notice that only the first letter is capitalized, and it is always
followed by a comma.

Signature block. Usually, you type your name four lines below the complimentary close,
and sign your name in between. If you are a woman and want to make your marital status
clear, use Miss, Ms., or Mrs. in parentheses before the typed version of your first name.
Whenever possible, include your title or the name of the position you hold just below
your name. For example, "Technical writing student," "Sophomore data processing
major," or "Tarrant County Community College Student" are perfectly acceptable.
End notations. Just below the signature block are often several abbreviations or phrases
that have important functions.

Initials. The initials in all capital letters in Figure 1-1 are those of the writer of the letter,
and the ones in lower case letters just after the colon are those of the typist.

Enclosures. To make sure that the recipient knows that items accompany the letter in the
same envelope, use such indications as "Enclosure," "Encl.," "Enclosures (2)." For
example, if you send a resume and writing sample with your application letter, you'd do
this: "Encl.: Resume and Writing Sample." If the enclosure is lost, the recipient will

Copies. If you send copies of a letter to others, indicate this fact among the end notations
also. If, for example, you were upset by a local merchant's handling of your repair
problems and were sending a copy of your letter to the Better Business Bureau, you'd
write this: "cc: Better Business Bureau." If you plan to send a copy to your lawyer, write
something like this: "cc: Mr. Raymond Mason, Attorney."

Following pages. If your letter is longer than one page, the heading at the top of
subsequent pages can be handled in one of the following ways:

Examples of following-page header format.

If you use letterhead stationery, remember not to use it for subsequent pages. However,
you must use blank paper of the same quality, weight, and texture as the letterhead paper
(usually, letterhead stationery comes with matching blank paper).

Business Letter Formats
if you are writing a business letter, select one of the common formats as shown in the
example letters listed below. These include the block letter, the semi-block letter, the
alternative block letter, and the simplified letter.

       See the block letter.
       See the semi-block letter.
       See the alternative block letter.
       For the simplified letter.

Which of these formats to use depends on the ones commonly used in your organization
or the situation in which you are writing. Use the simplified letter if you lack the name of
an individual or department to write to.

Style in Business Correspondence
Writing business letters and memos differs in certain important ways from writing
reports. Keep the following advice in mind when you write and especially when you
revise your business letters or memos.

State the main business, purpose, or subject matter right away. Let the reader know
from the very first sentence what your letter is about. Remember that when business
people open a letter, their first concern is to know what the letter is about, what its
purpose is, and why they must spend their time reading it. Therefore, avoid round-about
beginnings. If you are writing to apply for a job, begin with something like this: "I am
writing to apply for the position you currently have open...." If you have bad news for
someone, you need not spill all of it in the first sentence. Here is an example of how to
avoid negative phrasing: "I am writing in response to your letter of July 24, 1997 in
which you discuss problems you have had with an electronic spreadsheet purchased from
our company." Figure 1-2 shows an additional example.

Figure 1-2. State the main purpose or business of the letter right away. The problem
version just starts flailing away from the very outset. The revised version at least
establishes the purpose of the letter (and then starts flailing).

If you are responding to a letter, identify that letter by its subject and date in the
first paragraph or sentence. Busy recipients who write many letters themselves may not
remember their letters to you. To avoid problems, identify the date and subject of the
letter to which you respond:

                    Dear Mr. Stout:

                   I am writing in reponse to your September 1,
              19XX letter in which you
                   describe problems that you've had with one
              of our chainsaws. I regret
                   that you've suffered this inconvenience and
              expense and....

                    Dear Ms. Cohen:

                   I have just received your August 4, 19XX
              letter in which you list
                   names and other sources from which I can get
              additional information
                   on the manufacture and use of plastic
              bottles in the soft-drink

Keep the paragraphs of most business letters short. The paragraphs of business letters
tend to be short, some only a sentence long. Business letters are not read the same way as
articles, reports, or books. Usually, they are read rapidly. Big, thick, dense paragraphs
over ten lines, which require much concentration, may not be read carefully — or read at

To enable the recipient to read your letters more rapidly and to comprehend and
remember the important facts or ideas, create relatively short paragraphs of between three
and eight lines long. In business letters, paragraphs that are made up of only a single
sentence are common and perfectly acceptable. Throughout this section, you'll see
examples of the shorter paragraphs commonly used by business letters.

"Compartmentalize" the contents of your letter. When you "compartmentalize" the
contents of a business letter, you place each different segment of the discussion — each
different topic of the letter — in its own paragraph. If you were writing a complaint letter
concerning problems with the system unit of your personal computer, you might have
these paragraphs:

      A description of the problems you've had with it
      The ineffective repair jobs you've had
      The compensation you think you deserve and why

Study each paragraph of your letters for its purpose, content, or function. When you
locate a paragraph that does more than one thing, consider splitting it into two
paragraphs. If you discover two short separate paragraphs that do the same thing,
consider joining them into one.

Provide topic indicators at the beginning of paragraphs. Analyze some of the letters
you see in this section in terms of the contents or purpose of their individual paragraphs.
In the first sentence of any body paragraph of a business letter, try to locate a word or
phrase that indicates the topic of that paragraph. If a paragraph discusses your problems
with a personal computer, work the word "problems" or the phrase "problems with my
personal computer" into the first sentence. Doing this gives recipients a clear sense of the
content and purpose of each paragraph. Here is an excerpt before and after topic
indicators have been incorporated:

              Problem: I have worked as an electrician in the
              Decatur, Illinois,
                        area for about six years. Since 1980 I
              have been licensed by
                        the city of Decatur as an electrical
              contractor qualified to
                        undertake commercial and industrial
              work as well as
                        residential work.

              Revision: As for my work experience, I have
              worked as an electrician
                        in the Decatur, Illinois, area for
              about six years. Since
                        1980 I have been licensed by the city
              of Decatur as an
                        electrical        contractor qualified to
              undertake commercial        and
                        industrial        work as well as residential
              work.(Italics not in        the

List or itemize whenever possible in a business letter. Listing spreads out the text of
the letter, making it easier to pick up the important points rapidly. Lists can be handled in
several ways, as explained in the section on lists. For examples of lists in business
correspondence, see Figure 1-1, the inquiry letter, and order letter.

Place important information strategically in business letters. Information in the first
and last lines of paragraphs tends to be read and remembered better. Information buried
in the middle of long paragraphs is easily overlooked or forgotten. Therefore, place
important information in high-visibility points. For example, in application letters which
must convince potential employers that you are right for a job, locate information on
appealing qualities at the beginning or end of paragraphs for greater emphasis. Place less
positive or detrimental information in less highly visible points in your business letters. If
you have some difficult things to say, a good (and honest) strategy is to de-emphasize by
placing them in areas of less emphasis. If a job requires three years of experience and you
only have one, bury this fact in the middle or the lower half of a body paragraph of the
application letter. The resulting letter will be honest and complete; it just won't
emphasize weak points unnecessarily. Here are some examples of these ideas:

              Problem: In July I will graduate from the
              University of Kansas with a
                        Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and
              Dietetics. Over the
                        past four years in which I have pursued
              this degree, I have
                        worked as a lab assistant for Dr.
              Alison Laszlo and have
                        been active in two related
              organizations, the Student
                        Dietetic Association and the American
              Home Economics
                        Association. In my nutritional
              biochemistry and food science
                        labs, I have written many technical
              reports and scientific
                        papers. I have also been serving as a
              diet aide at St.
                        David's Hospital in Lawrence the past
              year and a half. (The
                        job calls for a technical writer; let's
              emphasize that first,
                        then mention the rest!)
Revision: In my education at the University of
Kansas, I have had
          substantial experience writing
technical reports and
          scientific papers. Most of these
reports and papers have
          been in the field of nutrition and
dietetics in which I will
          be receiving my Bachelor of Science
degree this July. During
          my four years at the University I have
also handled plenty
          of paperwork as a lab assistant for Dr.
Alison Laszlo, as a
          member of two related organizations,
the Student Dietetic
          Association and the American Home
Economics Association, and
          as a diet aide as St. David's Hospital
in Lawrence in the
          past year and a half.

Problem: To date, I have done no independent
building inspection on
          my own. I have been working the past
two years under the
          supervision of Mr. Robert Packwood who
has often given me
          primary responsibility for walk-
throughs and property
          inspections. It was Mr. Packwood who
encouraged me to apply
          for this position. I have also done
some refurbishing of
          older houses on a contract basis and
have some experience in
          industrial construction as a welder and
as a clerk in a
          nuclear construction site. (Let's not
lie about our lack of
          experience, but let's not put it on a
billboard either!)

Revision: As for my work experience, I have done
numerous building
          walk-throughs and property inspections
under the supervision
          of Mr. Robert Packwood over the past
two years. Mr.
          Packwood, who encouraged me to apply
for this position, has
          often given me primary responsibility
for many inspection
          jobs. I have also done some
              refurbishing of older houses on
                        a contract basis and have some
              experience in industrial
                        construction as a welder and as a clerk
              in a nuclear
                        construction site.

Find positive ways to express bad news in your business letters. Often, business
letters must convey bad news: a broken computer keyboard cannot be replaced, or an
individual cannot be hired. Such bad news can be conveyed in a tactful way. Doing so
reduces the chances that business relations with the recipient of the bad news will end. To
convey bad news positively, avoid such words as "cannot," "forbid," "fail," "impossible,"
"refuse," "prohibit," "restrict," and "deny" as much as possible. The first versions of the
example sentences below are phrased in a rather cold and unfriendly negative manner;
the second versions are much more positive, cordial and tactful:

              Problem: Because of the amount of information
              you request in your
                        letter, simply cannot help you without
              seriously disrupting
                        my work schedule.

              Revision: In your letter you ask for a good
              amount of information
                        which I would like to help you locate.
              Because of my work
                        commitments, however, I am going to be
              able to answer only a
                        few of the questions....

              Problem: If you do not complete and return this
                        contract by July 1, 19XX, you will not
              receive your
                        advertising space in this year's
              Capitol Lines. If we have
                        not heard from you by this deadline, we
              will sell you your
                        advertisement space to some other

              Revision: Please complete the enclosed contract
              and return it to us by
                        July 1, 19XX. After this deadline, we
              will begin selling any
                        unrenewed advertisement space in this
              year's Capitol Lines,
                        so I hope we hear from you before then.

              Problem:    While I am willing to discuss changes
              in specific aspects of
                        this article or ideas on additional
              areas to cover, I am not
                        prepared to change the basic theme of
              the article: the
                        usability of the Victor microcomputer

              Revision: I am certainly open to suggestions and
              comments about
                        specific aspects of this article, or
              any of your thoughts on
                        additional areas that you think I
              should cover. I do want,
                        however, to retain the basic theme of
              the article: the
                        usability of the Victor microcomputer

Focus on the recipient's needs, purposes, or interests instead of your own. Avoid a
self-centered focusing on your own concerns rather than those of the recipient. Even if
you must talk about yourself in a business letter a great deal, do so in a way that relates
your concerns to those of the recipient. This recipient-oriented style is often called the
"you-attitude," which does not mean using more you's but making the recipient the main
focus of the letter.

              Problem: I am writing you about a change in our
              pricing policy that
                        will save our company time and money.
              In an operation like
                        ours, it costs us a great amount of
              labor time (and thus
                        expense) to scrape and rinse our used
              tableware when it
                        comes back from large parties. Also, we
              have incurred great
                        expense on replacement of linens that
              have been ruined by
                        stains that could have been soaked
              promptly after the party
                        and saved.

              Revision: I am writing to inform you of a new
              policy that we are
                        beginning, effective September 1, 19XX,
              that will enable us
                        to serve your large party needs more
              often and without
                        delay. In an operation like ours in
              which we supply for
                        parties of up to 500, turn-around time
              is critical;
                        unscraped and unrinsed tableware causes
              us delays in
                        clean-up time and, more importantly,
              less frequent and less
                        prompt service to you the customer.
              Also, linens ruined by
                        stains that could have been avoided by
              immediate soaking
                        after the party cause you to have to
              pay more in rental

              Problem: For these reasons, our new policy,
              effective September 1,
                        19XX, will be to charge an additional
              15% on unrinsed
                        tableware and 75% of the wholesale
              value of stained linens
                        that have not been soaked.

              Revision: Therefore, in order to enable us to
              supply your large party
                        needs promptly and whenever you
              require, we will begin
                        charging 15% on all unrinsed tableware
              and 75% of the
                        wholesale value of stained linens that
              have not been soaked.
                        This policy we hope will encourage our
              customers' kitchen
                        help to do the quick and simple rinsing
              and/or soaking at
                        the end of large parties that will
              ensure faster and more
                        frequent service.

Avoid pompous, inflated, legal-sounding phrasing. Watch out for puffed-up,
important-sounding language. This kind of language may seem business-like at first; it's
actually ridiculous. Of course, such phrasing is apparently necessary in legal documents;
but why use it in other writing situations? When you write a business letter, picture
yourself as a plain-talking, common-sense, down-to-earth person (but avoid slang).
Check out Figure 1-3 for a serious dose of bureaucratese.

Figure 1-3. Avoid pompous, officious-sounding writing. Not only is the tone of the
problem version offensive, it is nearly twice as long as the revised version!

Give your business letter an "action ending" whenever appropriate. An "action-
ending" makes clear what the writer of the letter expects the recipient to do and when.
Ineffective conclusions to business letters often end with rather limp, noncommittal
statements such as "Hope to hear from you soon" or "Let me know if I can be of any
further assistance." Instead, or in addition, specify the action the recipient should take and
the schedule for that action. If, for example, you are writing a query letter, ask the editor
politely to let you know of his decision if at all possible in a month. If you are writing an
application letter, subtlely try to set up a date and time for an interview. Here are some

                         As soon as you approve this plan, I'll
                 begin contacting sales
                         representatives at once to arrange for
                 purchase and delivery
                         of the microcomputers. May I expect to
                 hear from you within
                         the week?

                         I am free after 2:00 p.m. on most days.
                 Can we set up an
                         appointment to discuss my background and
                 this position further?
                         I'll look forward to hearing from you.

           Interested in courses related to this           Return to the main menu of this online
           page or a printed version? See the              textbook for technical writing.
           resources page.

Click on each of the links below to see the text being discussed in the annotation. Scroll up and down in the
document to see examples of the same concept. (In Netscape 2, you must reload and scroll to see the
annotations in the right frame.)

Complaint letter. This writer is attempting compensated for financing charges billed to his account after
he returned an unsatisfactory product.

Heading. The heading portion of a business letter includes the writer's address and date. For traditional
business letters like this one, you don't normally include your name in the heading.

Inside address. The inside address provides the full name, title, and address of the recipient of the letter. If
you do not have a specific name, you can department name or a position title—as is done in this letter.
Salutation. In this portion of the letter, use the same name as you used in the inside address. Be sure and
punctuate the salutation with a colon, not a comma (which is for informal, friendly, nonbusiness letters).

Introduction. The introduction to any business letter should be brief—four or five lines at the most. In this
complaint letter, the writer does not state the compensation he will request later on—but you can tell from
the dry and rather abrupt tone that the writer is not happy about something.

Background. This paragraph provides the first part of the narrative of the problem. It essentially tells a
story—with specific details and dates. However, notice that this narrative stays strictly factual and does not
include the request for compensation or any scolding of the recipient.

Request and justification. This third paragraph contains the request for compensation, which is preceded
by some justification for that compensation. The writer also uses this paragraph to blow off some steam,
vent some anger, and scold the recipient. Do you think the writer is a bit too harsh? Note that the writer
does not include any specific amounts as to shipping and finance charges—details like these should be

Closing. The writer moves to a conciliatory tone here in this final paragraph. He mentions past satisfaction
with the company's product and expresses hope that he can remain a customer. Obviously, this is a positive
way of issuing a threat: "If you don't grant my compensation, I'll never do business with you again!" But
threats, however justified, just don't work.

Enclosures. To document his request, this writer, includes copies of the original sales receipt and of his
credit-card statement.

That completes the comments for this example.

111 White Horse Lane
Austin, TX 78728
8 October 1994

Director of Consumer Relations
Cincinnati Microwave
One Microwave Plaza
Miami, TX 75249

Dear Director:

I am writing you concerning the purchase and subsequent return of a Waveport 5000 I
made on 10 August 1994 in the amount of $225.

On 10 August 1994, I purchased a Waveport 5000 from your company in the amount of
$225. This price included a two-day delivery and a 60-day money-back trial offer. The
$225 was immediately charged to my Ritz card. However, this product did not perform
satisfactorily, and on 15 August, I decided to return the Waveport 5000 to your company.
When I spoke to one of your company's representatives by phone, I was informed that the
shipping and handling charges, as well as the price of the Waveport 5000, would be
credited to my account. I shipped the item by UPX and was notified 19 August of its
receipt. Today, October 7, I received a statement for my Ritz card. And as of today, no
credit has been applied to my account for either the Waveport 5000 or the shipping and
handling charges.

If the Waveport 5000 was charged to my account immediately when I ordered it, I fail to
understand why the same promptness was not used in crediting my account immediately
upon receipt of the returned item. There is no real excuse for this delay other than
someone not wanting to take the necessary time in crediting my account. These finance
charges, as well as this letter, could have been avoided if your employees had been as
prompt in crediting my account as they were in charging to it. It is not my responsibility
to pay for your company's lack of promptness and I rightfully deserve a refund to any and
all finance charges that may be applied during this time period.

Your company's quick detection products have greatly helped me in the past, and I would
like nothing more than a quick solution for my problem so that I may be a customer of
yours in the future.


John A. Somebody
Encl.: Copies of sales receipt and credit card statement

         Interested in courses related to this     Return to the main menu of this online
         page or a printed version? See the        textbook for technical writing.
         resources page.

                       Information and programs provided by

Green Tree Freight Co., Inc.
Columbus, Ohio 45453
(315) 565-6789
March 26, 19XX

Mrs. Phoebe F. Hughes
Complete Table, Inc.
P.O. Box 3132
Austin, TX 78703

Subj.: March 24 letter about damaged freight
Dear Mrs. Hughes:

I have just received your March 24 letter about the damaged shipment you received
through Green Tree Freight and regret the inconvenience that it has caused you.

From your account of the problem, I am quite sure that your request for the $240
adjustment on the damage to the 2 crates of Valjean Cristal stemware will be granted. A
certain amount of breakage of this sort does unavoidably occur in cross-country shipping;
I am sorry that it was your company that had to be the one to suffer the delay.

I must remind you to keep the damaged crates in the same condition in which you
received them until one of our representatives can inspect them. That inspection should
take place within 2 weeks.

If all is in order, as it sounds to be in your
letter, you can expect the full
reimbursement within 2 weeks after our
representative's inspection. I hope this
unfortunate accident will not keep you
from having merchandise shipped by
Green Tree Freight in the future.


David F. Morgan, Customer Relations
Green Tree Freight Co., Inc. Annotations
Click on each of the links below to see the text being discussed in the annotation. Scroll up and down in the
document to see examples of the same concept. (In Netscape 2, you must reload and scroll to see the
annotations in the right frame.)
          Business Correspondence —
              Application Letters

This section focuses on the application letter (sometimes called a "cover letter"), which
together with the resume is often called the "job package." You may already have written
one or both of these employment-seeking documents. That's okay. Read and study this
section, and then apply the guidelines here to the resumes and application letters you
have created in the past.

Note: Students enrolled in Online Technical Writing are encouraged to take the optional
reading quiz on this chapter. (Anybody else is welcome to try it as well.)

This section presents many different ways to design and write application letters. Nothing
here is trying to force you into one design. You design your own letter using whatever
you find here that is useful and any other sources you know of.

In many job applications, you attach an application letter to your resume. Actually, the
letter comes before the resume.

The role of the application letter is to draw a clear connection between the job you are
seeking and your qualifications listed in the resume. To put it another way, the letter
matches the requirements of the job with your qualifications, emphasizing how you are
right for that job. The application letter is not a lengthy summary of the resume — not at
all. It selectively mentions information in the resume, as appropriate.

Be sure to check out the example application letters accompanying this chapter:

       The frames and nonframes versions work only on Netscape
       versions 3-5, but not on Netscape 6 or any version of Internet
       Explorer. See Netscape 5 archives.

Example application letter 1: Technical
                                             Frames       Nonframes Plain
writing intern

Example application letter 2: Science
                                             Frames       Nonframes Plain

Example application letter 3: Database
                                             Frames       Nonframes Plain
Example application letter 4: Quality
                                              Frames       Nonframes Plain
assurance manager

Example application letter 5:
                                              Frames       Nonframes Plain

For related matters:

      See the section on resumes for the companion to this section.
      See the section on general business-letter format and style.

Common Types of Application Letters
To begin planning your letter, decide which type of application letter you need. This
decision is in part based on requirements that employers may have, and in part based on
what your background and employment needs are. In many ways, types of application
letters are like the types of resumes. The types of application letters can be defined
according to amount and kind of information:

      Objective letters — One type of letter says very little: it identifies the position
       being sought, indicates an interest in having an interview, and calls attention to
       the fact that the resume is attached. It also mentions any other special matters that
       are not included on the resume, such as dates and times when you are available to
       come in for an interview. This letter does no salesmanship and is very brief. (It
       may represent the true meaning of "cover" letter.)
      Highlight letters — Another type of application letter, the type you do for most
       technical writing courses, tries to summarize the key information from the
       resume, the key information that will emphasize that you are a good candidate for
       the job. In other words, it selects the best information from the resume and
       summarizes it in the letter — this type of letter is especially designed to make the
       connection with the specific job.

How do you know which to write? For most technical-writing courses, write the highlight
letter. However, in "real-life" situations, it's anybody's guess. Try calling the prospective
employer; study the job advertisement for clues.

Common Sections in Application Letters
As for the actual content and organization of the paragraphs within the application letter
(specifically the highlight type of application letter), consider the following comon

Introductory paragraph. That first paragraph of the application letter is the most
important; it sets everything up — the tone, focus, as well as your most important
qualification. A typical problem in the introductory paragraph involves diving directly
into work and educational experience. Bad idea! A better idea is to do something like the

      State the purpose of the letter — to inquire about an employment opportunity.
      Indicate the source of your information about the job — newspaper
       advertisement, a personal contact, or other.
      State one eye-catching, attention-getting thing about yourself in relation to the job
       or to the employer that will cause the reader to want to continue.

And you try to do all things like these in the space of very short paragraph — no more
than 4 to 5 lines of the standard business letter. (And certainly, please don't think of these
as the "right" or the "only" things to put in the introduction to an application letter.)

Main body paragraphs. In the main parts of the application letter, you present your
work experience, education, training — whatever makes that connection between you
and the job you are seeking. Remember that this is the most important job you have to do
in this letter — to enable the reader see the match between your qualifications and the
requirements for the job.

There are two common ways to present this information:

      Functional approach — This one presents education in one section, and work
       experience in the other. If there were military experience, that might go in another
       section. Whichever of these section contains your "best stuff" should come first,
       after the introduction.
      Thematic approach — This one divides experience and education into groups
       such as "management," "technical," "financial," and so on and then discusses your
       work and education related to them in separate paragraphs.

If you read the section on functional and thematic organization of resumes, just about
everything said there applies here. Of course, the letter is not exhaustive or complete
about your background — it highlights just those aspects of your background that make
the connection with the job you are seeking.

Figure 1-4. Common sections of application letters. You can organize the letter
thematically or functionally the same way that you can the resume.

Another section worth considering for the main body of the application letter is one in
which you discuss your goals, objectives — the focus of your career — what you are
doing, or want to do professionally. A paragraph like this is particularly good for people
just starting their careers, when there is not much to put in the letter. Of course, be careful
about loading a paragraph like this with "sweet nothings." For example, "I am seeking a
challenging, rewarding career with an dynamic upscale company where I will have ample
room for professional and personal growth" — come on! give us a break! Might as well
say, "I want to be happy, well-paid, and well-fed."
Closing paragraph. In the last paragraph of the application letter, you can indicate
how the prospective employer can get in touch with you and when are the best times for
an interview. This is the place to urge that prospective employer to contact you to arrange
an interview.

Background Details in the Application Letter
One of the best ways to make an application letter great is to work in details, examples,
specifics about related aspects of your educational and employment background. Yes, if
the resume is attached, readers can see all that details there. However, a letter that is
overly general and vague might generate so little interest that the reader might not even
care to turn to the resume.

In the application letter, you work in selective detail that makes your letter stand out,
makes it memorable, and substantiates the claims you make about your skills and
experience. Take a look at this example, which is rather lacking in specifics:

As for my experience working with persons with
developmental disabilities, I have worked and
volunteered at various rehabilitation hospitals and
agencies in Austin and Houston [say which ones to inject
more detail into this letter]. I have received training
[where? certificates?] in supervising patients and
assisting with physical and social therapy. Currently, I
am volunteering at St. David's Hospital [doing what?] to
continue my education in aiding persons with
developmental disabilities.

Now take a look at the revision:

As for my experience working with persons with
developmental disabilities, I have worked and
volunteered at Cypress Creek Hospital in Houston and
Capital Area Easter Seals/ Rehabilitation Center and
Health South Rehabilitation Hospital in Austin. I have
received CPR, First Aid, and Crisis Intervention
certificates from Cypress Creek Hospital. Currently, I
am volunteering at St. David's Hospital assisting with
physical therapy to persons with developmental
disabilities in the aquatics department.

Checklist of Common Problems in Application Letters

      Readability and white space — Are there any dense paragraphs over 8 lines? Are
       there comfortable 1-inch to 1.5-inch margins all the way around the letter? Is
       there adequate spacing between paragraph and between the components of the
        Page fill — Is the letter placed on the page nicely: not crammed at the top one-
         half of the page; not spilling over to a second page by only three or four lines?
        General neatness, professional-looking quality — Is the letter on good quality
         paper, and is the copy clean and free of smudges and erasures?
        Proper use of the business-letter format — Have you set up the letter in one of the
         standard business-letter formats? (See the references earlier in this chapter.)
        Overt, direct indication of the connection between your background and the
         requirements of the job — Do you emphasize this connection?
        A good upbeat, positive tone — Is the tone of your letter bright and positive?
         Does it avoid sounding overly aggressive, brash, over-confident (unless that is
         really the tone you want)? Does your letter avoid the opposite problem of
         sounding stiff, overly reserved, stand-offish, blase, indifferent?
        A good introduction — Does your introduction establish the purpose of the letter?
         Does it avoid diving directly into the details of your work and educational
         experience? Do you present one little compelling detail about yourself that will
         cause the reader to want to keep reading?
        A good balance between brevity and details — Does your letter avoid becoming
         too detailed (making readers less inclined to read thoroughly)? Does your letter
         avoid the opposite extreme of being so general that it could refer to practically
        Lots of specifics (dates, numbers, names, etc.) — Does your letter present plenty
         of specific detail but without making the letter too densely detailed? Do you
         present hard factual detail (numbers, dates, proper names) that make you stand out
         as an individual?
        A minimum of information that is simply your opinion of yourself — Do you avoid
         over-reliance on information that is simply your opinions about yourself. For
         example, instead of saying that you "work well with others," do you cite work
         experience that proves that fact but without actually stating it?
        Grammar, spelling, usage — And of course, does your letter use correct
         grammar, usage, and spelling?

Application letter. In this application letter, the writer seeks an interview for a quality assurance
management job. He summarizes the parts of his work experience that relate directly to the job.

Heading. The heading portion of a business letter includes the writer's address and date. For traditional
business letters, you don't normally include your name in the heading.

Inside address. The inside address provides the full name, title, and address of the recipient of the letter. If
you do not have a specific name, call the company or use some other strategy to find a name. An
department name or a position title (which is used in this example) will work just fine.

Salutation. In this portion of the letter, use the same name as you used in the inside address.
Note: Punctuate the salutation with a colon—not a comma (which is for informal, friendly, nonbusiness

Introduction. The introduction to any business letter should be brief—four or five lines at the most. In this
application letter, the writer indicates the purpose of the letter (to apply for an employment opening), cites
the specific job title, mentions how he heard about the opening, and summarizes his best qualifications.

Experience section. In this first of two experience sections, the writer provides an overview of his work
related to the job he is seeking. This paragraph could be improved by listing a few specific company names
and perhaps some of the projects he has been involved. The phrase "all areas of Quality Assurance" is
weak: listing some specific areas by name would make this statement more credible and more effective.

Experience/Education section. In this paragraph, the writer brings out a number of powerful details to
support to his candidacy for the job. Notice that specific titles, specific organizations, and specific dates are

Wrap-up. This final portion of the application letter contains the concluding paragraph and the signature
block. Writers typically include information about contacting them, such as phone numbers, dates, and
times, as is done in this example. When you write an application letter, don't forget to sign in the open area
above your typed name. Also don't forget to indicate the enclosure of the resume.

7600 Ed Bluestein
Austin, TX 78723

19 November 19XX

Director of Personnel
TriDiv Aerospace, Inc.
7600 TriDiv Ln.
Austin, TX 78775

Dear Mr. Carraway:

Please consider me as an applicant for the position of Quality Assurance Manager in the
Military Division there at TriDiv Aerospace. I have extensive knowledge of military
contracting and substantial Quality Assurance background.

I have spent the last 12 years with the Department of Defense administering contractual
quality requirements at Defense contractor facilities such as TriDiv Aerospace. In this
position, I have had the opportunity to function in all areas of Quality Assurance.

In December 1995, I will receive an Associates degree in Applied Science from Austin
Community College with a major in Quality Assurance Technology. I passed the
American Society for Quality Control certification exam for Quality Engineering and am
certified as a Quality Engineer as December 1995. In the Department of Defense, I am
certified in the Quality Assurance area including Electronic Commodity, Mechanical
Commodity, Nuclear Commodity, and NASA. Additionally, I am certified in all of the
nondestructive test disciplines.
Enclosed is a resume that provides a more detailed listing of my background and
qualifications. I am confident that I possess all the necessary qualifications for the
position and am ready to meet with you at your convenience. You can reach me at (512)
292-0220 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Sincerely yours,

Juan Morales
Encl.: resume

That completes the comments for this example.

Sample Letter of Application

Your street address
City, State, ZIP Code

Name, Title
Name of School, Corporation, or District
City, State, ZIP Code

Dear _______:

The need for a biology teacher in the Heavilon Community Schools was indicated in the
Purdue University Educational listings of March 7, 20xx. If this vacancy still exists,
please consider me as an applicant for the position and send me a teacher application.

On May 13, 20xx, I will graduate from Purdue University with a B.S. degree. I will
receive an Indiana Secondary Standard Certificate with a major in biology and a minor in
botany. In addition to this formal education, the past two summers were spent at the Gull
Lake Biological Station where I worked as a laboratory assistant. The preceding two
summers were spent in field work with the Indiana Department of Conservation. These
experiences have been valuable additions to my educational background. During the fall
semester, 20xx I did my student teaching in biology at Central High School in Lafayette,

My resume is enclosed for your information, and my credentials are available at the
Educational Placement Office, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. A personal
interview can also be arranged at your request.


Name (Typed)

Enclosure: Resume

Cover Letter (Letter of Inquiry, or Letter
of Application)
A cover letter contains an explanation of or additional information about an
accompanying communication, such as a resume. It is sometimes called an application
letter or letter of inquiry, whether it is sent in response to a job opening or mailed to a
company for which you would like to work. Employers receive hundreds of letters and
resumes for each advertised position vacancy. Your letter, therefore, will have to be well
written and designed to attract attention in a positive way in order to receive a favorable

Your cover letter should communicate something personal about yourself along with
information that is specific for the division, organization or company to which the letter
is being sent. This lets the reader know that you have spent some time researching the
organization and writing a personal letter. Form letters elicit a negative reaction, if not a
toss in the trash can.

To receive a positive response, it is imperative that you research every company to which
you apply in order to give knowledgeable and specific reasons for your interest in that
company and how you can meet their needs through your qualifications, experiences and
personal qualities. Do not repeat you resume; use the cover letter to interpret and expand
the resume, stressing relevant details in a personalized fashion. Communicate your ability
to assist and support the organization. State explicitly how your background relates to the
specific job; emphasize your strongest and most pertinent characteristics. The cover letter
should demonstrate that you know both the company and yourself.

Cover letters should NEVER be duplicated. Each must be individually written and
originally typed, single spaced on a good quality bond paper matching the paper used in
your resume. The cover letter should be one page in length and addressed to a specific
individual in charge of the department or unit in which you want to work or to human
resources department. Different employers handle resumes differently and you might
want to try writing to both.

There are several formats which may be used in writing your cover letter. If you are not
familiar with them, check the references in the Career Resource Center. Use simple,
direct language and correct grammar. Triple check the letter to be absolutely sure there
are no spelling, typographical or grammatical errors.
Remember: The letter and resume are examples of your written communication skills and
organizational abilities.

A sample format for a cover letter follows. Because your letter of application must
communicate your ambition and enthusiasm in a unique and assertive manner, a sample
letter has not been included. Use the guidelines to write your own letter applicable to the
position and company, and to individualize your background and abilities.

Cover Letter Example

Business Letter Writing: Enquiries - Asking for

We write an enquiry when we want to ask for more information concerning a
product, service or other information about a product or service that interests us.
These letters are often written in response to an advertisement that we have seen in
the paper, a magazine, a commercial on television when we are interested in
purchasing a product, but would like more information before making a decision.

Remember to place your or your company's address at the top of the letter (or use
your company's letterhead) followed by the address of the company you are writing
to. The date can either be placed double spaced down or to the right.

Important Language to Remember

      The Start: Dear Sir or Madam
       To Whom It May Concern - (very formal as you do not know the person to
       whom you are writing)
      Giving Reference: With reference to your advertisement (ad) in...
       Regarding your advertisement (ad) in ...
      Requesting a Catalogue, Brochure, Etc.: After the reference, add a
       comma and continue - ... , would (Could) you please send me ...
      Requesting Further Information: I would also like to know ...
       Could you tell me whether ...
      Signature: Yours faithfully - (very formal as you do not know the person to
       whom you are writing)

                                   An example letter

Kenneth Beare
2520 Visita Avenue
Olympia, WA 98501

Jackson Brothers
3487 23rd Street
New York, NY 12009
September 12, 2000

To Whom It May Concern:

With reference to your advertisement in yesterday's New York Times, could you
please send me a copy of your latest catalogue. I would also like to know if it is
possible to make purchases online.

Yours faithfully


Kenneth Beare
Administrative Director
English Learners & Company

                                   Business Report Writing

Agenda: The Need to Communicate

Most business decisions involve the cooperation and interaction of several individuals.
Sometimes dozens of colleagues and co-workers strive in unison to realize mutual goals. Lines of
communication must therefore be maintained to facilitate these joint efforts. Without
communicating ideas and thoughts it would be impossible to identify common objectives and
purposes necessary for successful operations. Without communication and the team effort it
permits, the successful completion of any important project can be jeopardized. Some aspects of
the project would be unnecessarily replicated while other tasks would be left unattended. Further,
in the absence of adequate communication, colleagues would find themselves working at
decisive purposes and perhaps pursuing opposing goals. What one team member may have
worked to assemble one day, a second team member may dismantle the next. Without
communication the chances for a successful outcome of any business endeavor are significantly

Successful Report Writing:

Who are your readers?
What is the best format?
What is the best structure?
What style should you use?
How should you give recommendations?
How can you improve your report writing?
Who Is The Audience?
As always, knowing who the report is for is critical. Implicit in that knowledge is the question,
“What do they want to know?” As a general rule, readers of business reports are looking for two
things: the bottom line and how will it effect me. It‟s also safe to say that your readers are busy,
often extremely so. Use these facts to structure the report.

Start With The Bottom Line
All too often business reports start with some sort of introduction that includes a bit of history and,
perhaps, the approach taken to getting the results or items being reported. Usually, however, the
readers already have this information, so start with the bottom line. This might involve money or it
may be the action the report recommends, or both. Make sure assertions and recommendations
are backed up with solid information. History and methods can often be used as back-up
information, but it will usually need to be rewritten so it fits.

Business Letter Writing: Account Terms and Conditions

The following letter outlines the terms of a newly opened business account.

Useful Key Phrases

       Thank you for opening an account with...
       I would like to take this opportunity ...
       Invoices are payable within ...
       As..., I will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding...
       ...and therefore encourage the use of...
       We consider this incentive...

                              An example letter
Dear ____,

Thank you for opening an account with our company. As one of the leaders in this
industry, we can assure you that our products and our services will not disappoint

I would like to take this opportunity to briefly set forth our terms and conditions for
maintaining an open account with our firm. Invoices are payable within 30 days of
receipt, with a 2% discount available if your payment is remitted within ten (10)
days of receipt. We consider this incentive an excellent opportunity for our customers
to increase their profit margin, and therefore encourage the use of this discount
privilege whenever possible. We do, however, require that our invoices be paid
within the specified time, for our customers to take advantage of this 2% discount.

At various times throughout the year we may offer our customers additional
discounts on our products. In determining your cost in this case, you must apply
your special discount first, and then calculate your 2% discount for early payment.
As the credit manager, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have
regarding your new account. I can be reached at the above number. Welcome to our
family of customers.

Here are some other basic business letters which you will find useful for
typical English business correspondence.

Making a Sale - Sales Letter

Placing an Order

Making a Claim

Adjusting a Claim

Making an Enquiry Replying to an Enquiry

Basic Business Letters

The Etiquette Of Business Correspondence
You want to communicate, but which medium should you choose?
May 13, 2002

                                           '); -->

                                           Article Tools
                                              E-mail this       Print this    Bookmark this
                                           Related Articles:

                                                    12 Months to Startup
                                                    Organizing Your Home Office
Once upon a time, if you            Cost-Cutting Strategies for Your Home Business
                             Also See These Topics:
wanted to reach out to
another person properly,            HomeOffice Tip of the Day

you put pen to paper. Today, the myriad outreach options
would make Emily Post shudder. How is the well-mannered
businessperson to correspond? Try these rules of thumb:
Computer-personalized letters: Instead of "Dear Sir or Madam" in mass-mailed letters, use PC-
personalized letters to communicate to large audiences. Make sure spelling, titles and addresses
are correct before you do your mail merge.

E-mail: For hard-to-reach people or for matters that don't require an immediate response, e-mail
is the preferred method of communication. Keep in mind, though, that there are still people who
don't check their e-mail regularly. When you do e-mail, avoid language nuances. Teasing and
sarcasm tend to translate poorly—and sometimes offensively. And stay away from spamming--it
can get you into hot water with recipients and, perhaps, the law.

Faxes: Legislation is tightening up on unsolicited broadcast faxes, so be certain you have the
recipient's OK before you fax away. And don't fax sensitive information. You never know who will
see a fax as it travels between the fax machine and the recipient's desk.

Online greeting cards: E-greetings can brighten someone's day, but they're really only
appropriate in the most informal situations.

Handwritten notes: Essential for thank-yous, penned notes should be used to add a warm touch
to situations where relationship-building is key

                                     2. Business writing

Intercultural business writing falls into the same general categories as other forms of
business writing. How you handle these categories depends on the subject and purpose of
your message, the relationship between you and the reader, and the customs of the person
to whom the message is addressed.


Letters are the most common form of intercultural business correspondence. They serve
the same purposes and follow the same basic organizational plans (direct and indirect) as
letters you would send within your own country. Unless you are personally fluent in the
language of the intended readers, you should ordinarily write your letters in English or
have them translated by a professional translator. If you and the reader speak different
languages, be especially concerned with achieving clarity:

• Use short, precise words that say exactly what you mean.
• Rely on specific terms to explain your points. Avoid abstractions altogether, or illustrate
them with concrete examples.
• Stay away from slang, jargon, and buzz words. Such words rarely translate well. Nor do
idioms and figurative expressions. Abbreviations, tscfo-nyms (such as NOKAI) and
CAD/CAM), and North American product names may also lead to confusion.
• Construct sentences that are shorter and simpler than those you might use when writing
to someone fluent in English.
• Use short paragraphs. Each paragraph should stick to one topic and be no more than
eight to ten lines.
• Help readers follow your train of thought by using transitional devices. Precede related
points with expressions like in additionand first, second, third.
• Use numbers, visual aids, and pre-printed forms to clarify your message. These devices
are generally understood in most cultures.
Your word choice should also reflect the relationship between you and the reader. In
general, be somewhat more formal than you would be in writing to people in your own
culture. In many other cultures, people use a more elaborate, old-fashioned style, and you
should gear your letters to their expectations. However, do not carry formality to
extremes, or you will sound unnatural.
In terms of format, the two most common approaches for intercultural business letters are
the block style (with blocked paragraphs) and the modified block style (with indented
paragraphs). You may use either the American format for dates (with the month, day, and
year, in that order) or the European style (with the day before the month and year). For
the salutation, use Dear (Title/Last Name).Close the letter with Sincerely or Sincerely
yours,and sign it personally.
If you correspond frequently with people in foreign countries, your letterhead should
include the name of your country and cable or telex information. Send your letters by air
mail, and ask that responses be sent that way as well.
Check the postage too; rates for sending mail to most other countries are not the same as
rates for sending it within your own.
In the letters you receive, you will notice that people in other countries use different
techniques for their correspondence. If you are aware of some of these practices, you will
be able to concentrate on the message without passing judgement on the writers. Their
approaches are not good or bad, just different.
The Japanese, for example, are slow to come to the point. Their letters typically begin
with a remark about the season or weather. This is followed by an inquiry about your
health or congratulations on your prosperity. A note of thanks for your patronage might
come next. After these preliminaries, the main idea is introduced. If the letter contains
bad news, the Japanese begin not with a buffer, but with apologies for disappointing you.
Letters from Latin America look different too. Instead of using letterhead stationery,
Latin American companies use a cover page with their printed seal in the centre. Their
letters appear to be longer, because they use much wider margins.

Memos and reports

Memos and reports sent overseas fall into two general categories: those written to and
from subsidiaries, branches, or joint venture partners and those written to clients or other
outsiders. When the memo or report has an internal audience, the style may differ only
slightly from that of a memo or report written for internal use in North America. Because
sender and recipient have a working relationship and share a common frame of reference,
many of the language and cultural barriers that lead to misunderstandings have already
been overcome. However, if the reader's native language is not English, you should take
extra care to ensure clarity: Use concrete and explicit words, simple and direct sentences,
short paragraphs, headings, and many transitional devices.
If the memo or report is written for an external audience, the style of the document
should be relatively formal and impersonal. If possible, the format should be like that of
reports typically prepared or received by the audience. In the case of long, formal reports,
it is also useful to discuss reporting requirements and expectations with the recipient
beforehand and to submit a preliminary draft for comments before delivering the final

Other documents

Many international transactions involve shipping and receiving goods. A number of
special-purpose documents are required to handle these transactions: price quotations,
invoices, bills of lading, time drafts, letters of credit, correspondence with international
freight forwarders, packing lists, shipping documents, and collection documents. Many of
these documents are standard forms; you simply fill in the data as clearly and accurately
as possible in the spaces provided. Samples are ordinarily available in a company's files if
it frequently does business abroad. If not, you may obtain descriptions of the necessary
documentation from the United States Department of Commerce, International Trade
Administration, Washington, D.C., 20230. (For Canadian information, contact the
Department of External Affairs, Trade Division, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A OG2.)
When preparing forms, pay particular attention to the method you use for stating weights
and measures and money values. The preferred method is to use the other country's
system of measurement and its currency values for documenting the transaction;
however, if your company uses U.S. or Canadian weights, measures, and dollars, you
should follow that policy. Check any conversion calculations carefully.

Types of Business Correspondence

1.   Correspondence on social situations

2. Appointments and Travel Arrangements
In personal meetings, talks take priority over writing, yet appointments and travel
arrangements often involve correspondence. Even if appointments have been made
verbally it is wise to confirm them in writing, as a letter is clearer to all parties concerned
than a telephone message, where it is easy to misinterpret dates and places.
      Travel arrangements can, of course, be made without writing letters. However,
correspondence is necessary if accommodation is to be booked abroad, or if one is to
travel further from places outside one's own country.
                             International Import Corporation
                                       44 Nasatar St.
                                                                         18 August, 1997
Dear Mr. Carter,

As mentioned in my letter of 9 August, I am planning to spend a few days in London next
month, on my way to the United States. The dates are now settled: I shall at Heathrow on
Wednesday, 3 September (Flight BA 602 15 30) and leave on Friday night. I shall be
staying at the Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London W1.

On September 3 I already have some appointments, but could come to your office any
time on Thursday, 4 September. Would you kindly leave a message at my hotel letting
me know what time would suit you.

One of the most important matters to be discussed is the percentage of commission you
could give us for distributing your SELECT copier in Egypt. As we have already
indicated, 10% is unacceptable to us: we require at least 12% if we are to do a good job
of selling this equipment in Egypt.

In the hope that we can come to terms, and looking forward to meeting you, I am,

Yours sincerely,

Amir Hanna

International Import Corporation
Amir Hanna

3. Invitations: Accepting and Declining
A formal invitation, usually in the form of a letter or printed card, is written in the third
person, and replies also follow the same style. Other invitations are written less formally.
Any written invitations should be answered in writing too, not by phone.
      A distinction is made between a formal invitation, a semi-formal and informal
invitation, and the correct form of reply to each is indicated.
Dear Dr Simon,
On behalf of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Organizing Committee of the
10thInternational congress on brain surgery I have the honour and pleasure of extending
to you an invitation to participate in the work of Congress and to give a lecture at the
Plenary Session covering your area of research.
An early reply to this letter would be appreciated.
Sincerely Yours,
F.N. Pavlov, Professor
Chairman of the Organizing Committee
Dear Dr. Truman,
I very much regret that I am unable to accept your kind invitation to a Reception to be
held in Hotel Ritz at seven o‘clock on Friday, the tenth of March, 2000, as I have already
accepted a previous invitation for that date and time.
Yours Truly,
Simon Perry

                                    John and Jane Doe
                         are pleased to accept the kind invitation of
                                   John and Jane Smith
            to join them in celebrating the graduation of their daughter, Jane
                        Saturday, the twentieth of June, at 4 o'clock
               at the Riverside Country Club, 4500 Riverside Drive</DIV>

4. Thanks for Hospitality, Requests, Complying with a Request
It is a matter of courtesy to write to your host personally if you have enjoyed his/her
company's hospitality. Here you can see how to express thanks for the fulfilment of other
requests, too.
DATE: August 29, 1999
It was a pleasure meeting you today, Mr Smith. You couldn't have chosen a better
restaurant. The food was superb.Thank you.
I am glad we had plenty of time to discuss the construction project. You helped clear up
almost all the questions I had. And you pointed me in the right direction to find the
answers to the few queries I have left.
I look forward to meeting you again in the near future. I will call you when I return from
my trip to the head office and then it will be my pleasure to treat you to lunch.

M.J. Johnson
TO:J. Watkins
FROM:Dr. J. R Ewing
DATE: August 29, 1999
SUBJECT: Marriage Benefits
Congratulations on getting married, Jim. Best wishes to you and your bride for a long and
happy life together.
Now that you are changing your status, we need to discuss your health insurance and
retirement plans. As well, I would like to explain our company policies as they affect you
and your wife. Could you drop by my office as soon as you return from your honeymoon
so that we can talk?

5. Employment: Applications, Letters of Recommendation, Givingnotice
When writing a letter of application, the applicant would like to say what job and
conditions he or she would like to have. But a good letter of application should contain
facts the prospective employer wants to know, for instance what experience the applicant
has, how useful he or she will be to the company. If he has held several positions, it
would be advisable for the applicant to submit a personal data sheet, the curriculum vitae,
containing full personal details and information on the past experience, education and
certificates or degrees, special qualifications, and possibly references.
       The letter then can serve to draw the reader's attention to the candidates' suitability
for the vacancy. If you are starting your career and have had one or two jobs, or none at
all, all the particulars can be included in the letter itself.
       A contract of employment defines the conditions of work, the working hours,
holidays allowed, responsibilities and notice. It may contain a job description and give
information on fringe benefits such as company pension scheme, bonuses, expenses and
commission where applicable. When employment is terminated by either party, notice
has to be given in writing and the set period observed.

Dear Dr. James
This letter is in response to your advertisement in the Financial Timeson November 25,
l998 for a position of secretary. I have three years experience in the field of market
I am ready for long hours and travel required to be an effective personal secretary.
My resume is attached for your resource.
J. Kvatson (Ms)

Dear Mr Douglas,
I have been working for ―Newborn Electronics‖ for 7years and I always enjoyed and
valued my job. As well I always enjoyed and valued my salary.
However the total crisis in the country and the recent ruble inflation make me ask for a
certain adjustment of my salary which is now 8.000rubles. Three months ago this sum
equaled to approx.530US dollars while today it is less the 200US dollars.
Taking into consideration the above calculations I am requesting a salary adjustment of
17.000rubles. Thank you in advance for your prompt consideration of this matter.
Sincerely Yours,
F.T. Petrov
Dear Mr Hampshire:
Your work has been excellent. However, your absentee record is now overshadowing
your work record. I realize that your health has been poor but one of our job requirements
is regular attendance. We have difficulty scheduling when we cannot depend on your
We have discussed this subject with you several times before. Now your attendance must
meet our requirements or we will have to terminate you.
J. Johnson
Export Department


                        2. Correspondence on business situations

     1. Inquiries
An inquiry (also spelt enquiry) is sent when a businessman wants some information,
especially aboutbsp;
·    the supply of goods
·    leaflets or catalogues
·    quotation or prices
·    samples
·    terms and discounts
·    availability of goods
·    delivery times and deadlines
·    method of transport
·    insurance

A businessman will save unnecessary correspondence by giving full details that are
      If a prospective customer approaches suppliers for the first time, it is useful to tell
them something about his own business, the kind of goods he needs and for what purpose
they are required. In this case of customers of long standing or repeat orders, the inquiry
may be very simple. Often a phone call or a postcard will do.
                                 MATTHEWS & WILSON
                                       Ladies' Clothing
                                    421 Michigan Avenue
                                     Chicago, III.60602

148 Mortimer Street
London WIC 37D
                                                                         October 21, 1993

We saw your women's dresses and suits at the London Fashion Show held in New
York on October 17. The lines you showed for teenagers, the "Swinger" dresses and
trouser suits would be most suitable for our market.

Would you kindly send us your quotation for spring and summer clothing that you
could supply to us by the end of January next. We would require 2,000 dresses and suits
in each of the sizes 10-14, and 500 in sizes 8 and 16. Please quote c.i.f. Chicago prices.
Payment is normally made by letter of credit.

Thank you for an early reply.

Very truly yours,
P. Wilson. Jr.
                             WORLDWIDE DEALERS LTD.
                                 Connaught Center
                                   Hong Kong

The Victoria Cycle Works
P.O. Box 9734
                                                                             June 14, 1998
Dear Sirs,

Our business agents in India have asked us for quotations for 10,000 bicycles, to be
exported to Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Nepal.

Please let us know what quantities you are able to deliver at regular intervals, quoting
your best terms f.o.b. Brisbane. We shall handle export formalities, but would ask you to
calculate container transport to Brisbane for onward shipment.

Yours faithfully,
P. King
Asst. Export Manager

      2. Quotations. Offers
The quotation in reply to an inquiry may be a simple one, containing simply the prices
and other information asked for. The sales-conscious businessman, however, will take the
opportunity to stimulate his correspondent's interest in his goods or services by including
a sales message and the assurance that the customer will receive personal attention.
      Offersare also sent without a preceding inquiry when a supplier wants to draw the
attention of customers and new customers to a special product or range of goods. A firm
offeris subject to certain conditions, a deadline for the receipt of orders, or a special price
for certain quantities.

e.g. (export quotation: firm offer, reply to the first inquiry example)

                                      Grand & Clarkson
                                     148 Mortimer Street
                                      London W1C 37D
Messrs Matthews & Wilson
421 Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Ill. 60602
                                                                            30thOctober, 1997
Attention: Mr. P. Wilson, Jr.

Dear Sirs,

We are pleased to make you an offer regarding our ‗Swinger‘ dresses and trouser suits in
the size you require. Nearly all the models you saw at our fashion show are obtainable,
except trouser suits in pink, of which the smaller sizes have been sold out. This line is
being manufactured continuously, but will only be available again in February, so could
be delivered to you in March.

All other models can be supplied by the middle of January 1998, subject to our receiving
your form order by 15thof November. Our c.i.f. prices are understood to be for sea/land
transport to Chicago. If you would prefer the goods to be sent by air freight, this will be
charged extra at cost

Trouser suits sizes 8-16 in white, yellow, red,
turquoise, navy blue, black
Sizes 12,14 also in pink              per 100 $2,650.00
Swinger dresses sizes 8-16 in white,
yellow, red, turquoise, black          per 100 $1,845.00

Prices:      valid until 31stDecember, 1997
Delivery:     c.i.f. Chicago
Transport:   sea freight
Payment:     by irrevocable letter of credit or cheque with order

You will be receiving price-list, cutting of our materials and a colour chart. These were
airmailed to you this morning.

We hope you agree that our prices are very competitive for these good quality clothes,
and look forward to receiving your initial order.
Yours faithfully,
Export Department
Bunbury Estate Builders
17Fen Road
                                                                       24 November, 2000
Dear Sirs,

In reply to your letter of 21stNovember, we have pleasure in enclosing a detailed
quotation for bathroom showers. Besides those advertised in the "Builders' Journal", our
illustrated catalogue also enclosed shows various types of bathroom fittings and the sixes
available. Most types can be supplied from stock. Four-six weeks should be allowed for
delivery of those marked with an asterisk. Building contractors all over Britain have
found our equipment easy to install and attractive in appearance.

Any orders you place with us will be processed promptly.

Yours faithfully,
. Stuart
S. Stuart
Sales Manager

       8. Complaints, Handling complaints
Mistakes may occur in day-to-day business, and these give cause for complaints. There
might have been a misunderstanding about the goods to be supplied; perhaps the
warehouse clerk made an error in addressing the parcel; sometimes a consignment is
dispatched too late or delays are caused in transit; damages may have occurred during
delivery; a manufacturing defect is discovered when a machine is used. The customer is
understandably annoyed.
He will get better results if he takes the trouble to explain his complaint clearly, and to
propose ways in which matters can be put right. His company may make mistakes too:
firms often have to manage with insufficiently trained personnel or to contend with staff
shortage, so mistakes and accidents happen.
It is particularly necessary to exercise tact in handling complaints. A disappointed
customer cannot be put off with mere apologies – he is entitled to know how the mistakes
will be remedied: when he will receive the goods ordered; what he is to do with the
wrong consignment or the damaged goods he received; when he will receive a
replacement for his defective machine, or if it can be repaired quickly.
Ladies' Clothing
421 Michigan Avenue
Chicago, III.60602
November 22, 1996
148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D


Thank you for your delivery of ‗Swinger‘ dresses which were ordered on November 4.
However we wish to draw your attention to two matters.

Of the red dresses supplied one lot of 100(size 12) included clothes of a lighter red than
the other sizes. Since we deliver a collection of various sizes to each store, it would be
obvious to customers that the clothes are dissimilar. In addition the red belt supplied does
not match these dresses. We are returning two of these by separate mail, and would ask
you to replace the whole lot by 100 dresses size 12 in the correct colour.

As far as your charges for air freight are concerned, we agree to pay the extra costs which
you invoiced. However your costs for packing and insurance must have been lower for
air cargo, and we request you to take this fact into consideration and to make an
adjustment to the invoice amount. Would you please send us a rectified invoice, reduced

We look forward to your dealing with these questions without delay.
Very truly yours.
148 Mortimer Street
London W1C 37D

Ladies' Clothing
421 Michigan Avenue
Chicag o, III.60602
                                                                        2ndDecember, 1996

     Dear Sirs:

The colour of the dresses about which you complain is indeed lighter than it should be.
Apparently this was overlooked by controller responsible. Please accept our apologies for
the oversight.

We are sending you a new lot by air this week, and would ask you to return the faulty
clothes at your convenience, carriage forward. Alternatively you may keep this lot for
sale as seconds at a reduced price of &1,120.
You are perfectly correct in saying that packing and insurance costs are normally less for
cargo sent by air. May we remind you, however, in this case your request to send the
goods by air was made at very short notice. It was not possible for us to use the lighter air
freight packing materials, as most of the dresses were ready for shipment by sea freight
(please see our letter of 9thNovember). Furthermore, our insurance is on an open policy at
a flat rate, and depends on the value of the goods, not the method of transport. For these
reasons our invoice No.14596 dated 15thNovember 1996 is still valid, and we look
forward to receiving your remittance when due.

Yours faithfully,

P. Burke

                                                                 Yearly Rental Rate of $105-
Safe Deposit Box No. 9919            Due on 19/09/2003

Dear Sir / Madam,

We wish to remind you that your rental of the above box will expire/has expired on the
date stated above. Kindly forward us your remittance in respect of the rent for a further
period of one year.

Please notify us of any change of address

If your remittance is already on the way, kindly ignore this letter and treat it as a friendly

Yours truly


NB: If payment is made by outstation cheque, please include outstation commission of $0.50 in it.

Remittance - A remittance is a sum of money that you send to someone; a formal word.

Dear Sir / Madam,

Your Savings account No : 90180030080027205 with an outstanding balance of $US
150.29 as at 17/05/04 has been dormant for more than one(1) year.
Kindly call our branch as soon as possible to activate the above account.

Please do not hesitate to call us if you require further clarification.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully


( This is a computer generated advice. No signature is required. )

dormant - Something that is dormant is not active, growing, or being used at the present
time but is capable of becoming active later on.

                                 Product Complaint




city, state, zip)

Dear Sir or Madam:

We have been receiving many complaints from our customers about your ____ (item).
They have not been satisfactory and, therefore, we have had to refund the purchase
price on many of them. The trouble seems to be with the last shipment.

The ______ (item) before seemed sufficient and we did not have any complaints
from our customers. Please check to see if there was an error in making these
___ (item). We would also like to suggest that you check to see if they are being
packed with enough protection for shipping.

We have ___ (amount left) left and we would like to have you send us a replacement
shipment. We will wait for instructions from you before returning this, these (item)s.


Business Letter Writing: Enquiries - Asking for

We write an enquiry when we want to ask for more information concerning a
product, service or other information about a product or service that interests us.
These letters are often written in response to an advertisement that we have seen in
the paper, a magazine, a commercial on television when we are interested in
purchasing a product, but would like more information before making a decision.

Remember to place your or your company's address at the top of the letter (or use
your company's letterhead) followed by the address of the company you are writing
to. The date can either be placed double spaced down or to the right.

     Sample        Letters                                        Next>>
                        SAVE UP TO 100% ON INTEREST CHARGES !
 English Daily Home
                        Transfer a minimum MR1,000 from another credit card to your OCBC
                        credit card and enjoy the following benefits.

                        - Save up to 100% interest charges
    English Daily
                        - Transfer up to 100% of your available credit limit

                        - Maximise your cash flow
  Learn grammar by
                        - Consolidate your credit card balances for more control and

Learn American idioms   - Stand a chance to win a Jaguar S-Type

                        The following table gives an example* of just how much you can save

                                   Balance Transfer                      RM 10,000
                          Interest Payable with other credit
                                                                         RM 1,800
                               cards at 18% per annum
                            Interest Payable with OCBC
                          Balance transfer at 0% per month               RM 1,350
                                     for 3 months
                             Upfront processing fee with
                                                                           RM 50
                               OCBC Balance Transfer
                                       You save                           RM 400

                        WIN A JAGUAR S-TYPE

                        As an added bonus, every approved Balance Transfer entitles you to an
                        entry into our OCBC Luxury Car Contest. You could end up driving
                        around Malaysia in a brand new Jaguar S-Type, a classic motor car wi
                        lots of style.

                        Complete the attached application form and mail it back to us. The
                        sooner you send it in, the sooner you can start saving.

Dear Mr. Chong

Whenever you have some time in your hands, you would want to indulge in leisurely
pursuits to relax and pamper yourself. Queuing at crowded banks and even on Saturdays
? Not if you can help it. we are here to help free up your precious time for you to go on a
shopping spree, play a game of golf or simply spend an enjoyable moment with your
loved ones. Banking now becomes a breeze with Electronic Banking Services.

Fastlane Banking
Perform hassle-free banking with your ATM card at over 50 e-Lobbies located
conveniently in Singapore and over 550,000 VISA+PLUS ATMs in more than 120
countries worldwide. And now, you have more reasons to apply for your very own
personalized Premier Banking ATM card - a card that reflects your stature and gives you
that instant recognition at Premier Banking Centers, branches and select lifestyle
providers where you can enjoy more benefits and privileges.

Does banking in the comfort of your home or office sound like a great idea ? OCBC
PhoneBanking allows you to do just that - banking and managing your finances at your
own hours, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Internet Banking
Enjoy total banking power at your fingertips, literally ! At just a click away, you will
have immediate access to your bank accounts. With safety and encryption features, you
can bank with total ease and peace of mind.

A small gesture
While we urge you to apply for convenient banking, it's easier with a small gesture.
When you apply for any of the 3 convenient methods of banking by 20 December
2002, you will enjoy 0.125% p.a. more on your 1-month time deposits in any
currency of your choice. Banking electronically with us has never been more

To apply for Electronic Banking Services, we have attached a brochure and personalized
application form for you. Simply complete and fax it to ( 65 ) 536 1122 or mail it back in
the self-addressed envelope.

We look forward to serving you better.

Yours sincerely

Premier Banking
Spree - If you spend a period of time doing something in an excessive way, you can say
that you are going on a particular kind of spree.

Breeze - If you say that something is a breeze, you mean that it is very easy to do or to

Shared By: