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Best Practices for Writing Business Letters Maureen Campbell Executive Assistant, Associate Vice-President, Registrar and Chief Information Office February.

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Presentation on theme: "Best Practices for Writing Business Letters Maureen Campbell Executive Assistant, Associate Vice-President, Registrar and Chief Information Office February."— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Practices for Writing Business Letters Maureen Campbell Executive Assistant, Associate Vice-President, Registrar and Chief Information Office February 26, 2010

2 Business Letter vs. Business Formal format – letterheadLess formal Formal toneConversational tone Personal & PrivateOne-to-many One-time correspondenceImmediate and repeated contact 1 st impressionUsually know recipient External audienceInternal & external audiences

3 Types of Letters Courtesy and Cover Letters  Brief, personal Decision and Legal Letters  Refer to regulations, policy, established practices  Less personal  Templates work well Initiating  Introductory  Requesting action/decision Special Interest  May be result of campus activity  General inquiries

4 Getting Started What is the letter’s purpose?  Review incoming inquiry and supporting documents  What is intended end result? Who is the audience? What message are you trying to convey?  Outline rationale for decision – steps taken  Describe reasons for request and desired outcome  How will parties benefit?  Promote RRU

5 Writing Tips Project a professional image  Language  Format Be clear and concise  Be specific  Introduce acronyms, limit use of jargon  Don’t ramble Be diplomatic and respectful  “Thank you for your inquiry…”  “I regret to inform you…” Ask colleagues for feedback

6 Formatting Tips Letterhead on first page only Choose appropriate font White space, blank lines between date & address; address & salutation, etc. Keep dates and names on one line (shift-control-space) Signature block – ensure signer’s name, initials, title are correct Use a consistent style and format

7 Formatting Tips If required, 1 st page footer should be above letterhead footer Text should be balanced on page – white space at top and bottom Continuing text on next page Final review – remember this may be the recipient’s first impression of RRU Fold letter neatly and print envelope address


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