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LECTURE 17 Business Letters

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1 LECTURE 17 Business Letters

2 Introduction Writing good business letters is an art that all technical people should master. when writing a business letter, the writer produces a one-sided conversation with the reader in the sense that he/she has to anticipate the reader's questions and provide answers to those questions.

3 What is a Business Letter?
A business letter is a letter written in formal language, usually used when writing from one business organization to another, or for correspondence between such organizations and their customers, clients and other external parties.

4 Types of Business Letters
Letter of Transmittal Letter of Thanking Letter of Complaint Response to a Letter of Complaint Letter of Request Response to a Letter of Request

5 Functions of the Business Letter
It provides a record of the activity for someone's file. It allows the writer to provide more context or explanation than is usually possible on a form. It helps the audience( reader ) remember what is to be done.

6 The Main Components of a Business Letter
Business letters usually contain the following information (in this order): Writer's address (street, city, country). Date of writing Recipient's name, job title, and address Subject Salutation or Greeting (Dear Mr./ Mrs./ Ms…..) Message (body of the letter) Closing writer's signature, typed name, and position of sender In some situations, a business letter may also include the following optional information: Writer's Initials: typist's initials ( if writer did not type letter). Enclosures (Encl:) Carbon copy Recipients (cc:) Photocopy recipients (xc:)

7 How Business Letters are Organized
Business letters are more personal than most other forms of technical writing. They emphasize the reader/writer relationship by the use of such pronouns as I, we, and You. Business letters share some organizational features with technical reports. They need to: orient the reader to the topic at hand, explain why the writer is writing, provide enough information to help the reader understand what he/she is to do. To be able to provide this information, you need to generate ideas, analyze your audience, decide what you need to say, and define your problem.

8 Basic Letter Formats There are three common formats for the business letter: 1. The unblocked format. 2. The semi-blocked format. The blocked format. The AMS (Administrative Management Society) simplified letter format.

9 The unblocked format The first line of the paragraph is indented a few spaces The writer's address, the date, the closing, the writer's signature , and the typed version of the writer's name and job title are indented two thirds of the way across the page.


11 The semi-blocked format
The first line of the paragraph is lined up with the left margin There is an extra blank line between paragraphs to signal the start of a new paragraph. The writer's address, date, closing, and signature are indented as in the unblocked format.


13 The blocked format The first lines of paragraphs and all the other address, date, closing and signature information are lined up with the left margin. There is an extra blank line between paragraphs.


15 The AMS simplified letter format
Sometimes, the writer does not know the name or marital status of the reader. As a result, he/she will have a problem writing a salutation Dear……..). This has given rise to a new letter format called the AMS simplified letter format. In this format, the salutation is omitted. The subject line replaces the salutation and is typed in all capital letters. In other respects, this format resembles the blocked format, with every line beginning from the left margin.


17 The Use of Letterhead Stationery
When a writer is representing a company or organization, he/she should use the organization's letterhead stationery for correspondences with people outside the organization. When using letterhead, the location of the writer's address, city, state will be changed.( see figure p. 209) These are usually given in the letterhead typed at the top of the page. If a letter requires more than one page, the additional pages are called continuation pages are typed on plain paper, not letterhead.


19 Forms of Address Letters normally begin with some sort of salutation (except for the AMS simplified letter style). In formal correspondence, it is customary to use the recipient's title and last name: “Dear Dr. Smith.” If the person does not have a title, use “Mr.” or “Ms.” In the American business world, it is becoming increasingly common to address people by their first name as a sign of goodwill. However, sometimes it is seen as disrespectful. So, try to make sure whether it is acceptable or not. If you do not know whether the reader is male or female, do one of the following: Use the complete name: “Dear J.L Williams.” Use both titles: ” Dear Mr. or Ms. Williams.” Use a memo format: “ To: J.L Williams.” From: your name.”

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