Unit 1 introduction to business writing
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Unit 1: Introduction to Business Writing. 1.1 Overview 1.2 Principles of Good Business Writing 1.3 Letter Format and Styles. 1.1 Overview . Questions to ask: Will readers understand your message? Will readers like the tone the message is delivered?

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Unit 1:Introduction to Business Writing

1.1 Overview

1.2 Principles of Good Business Writing

1.3 Letter Format and Styles


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1.1 Overview

Questions to ask:

  • Will readers understand your message?

  • Will readers like the tone the message is delivered?

  • Will readers do what you suggest in the letters?


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1.2 Qualities of Good Business Writing

  • Clarity

  • Correctness

  • Completeness

  • Courtesy


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Clarity—tips for word usage

  • Use simple and concise words.Examples:  approximately  about  pursuant to your request as you asked at the present time now  enclosed herewith  here is/here are at your earliest convenience  as soon as possible (ASAP) a substantial segment of the population  25% of people


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Clarity—tips for sentence construction

  • A Sentence should contain only one complete thought.Example:  Thank you for your letter of October 25, 2005, complimenting on our company’s reputation and giving us your order, which we will take very good care of.  Thank you for your order of October 25, 2005. We are happy to have this opportunity to serve you.

  • Strong Sentence use active voice. Example:

     Your reservation of a double room at our hotel has been taken care of. We have reserve a double room for you.

  • Sentences should fit together naturally.Example:

     We agree with many of the points in your sales report. We shall put some of them into effect immediately. We shall delay action on the remainder and get reports from other sales representatives.  we agree with many of the points in your sales report. With the ones we can agree upon, we will put them into effect immediately; but with the others, we shall decide what to do after we have studied reports from other sales representatives.


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Clarity—tips for paragraph arrangement

  • Opening and closing paragraphs are usually shorter than the body paragraphs.1. In opening, we usually state the reason or set the scene for the communication.2. In closing, usually a simple one-liner is all that you need.

  • Use inverted pyramid structure.The benefit for using the inverted pyramid structure is that it allows your readers to get the most important information early.


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1.3 Letter Format and Letter Styles

  • Parts of a Business Letter1. Heading2. The Opening3. The Body4. The Closing


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1. Heading

  • Return Address (usu. omitted if it is printed on a stationary)

  • Date line


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2. The Opening

  • Inside address should include: name of the addressee, job title of the addressee, company name, and complete addresse.g. Ms. Sophie LinMarketing ManagerRacauto Company110 Chieh-Shou Rd., Taoyuan 330, TaiwanR. O. C.

  • Attention Line (optional, only used when you do not know the name of the person to write to/)e.g. Attention: Marketing Department

  • Salutatione.g. Dear President Lei/ Dear Sir/ Dear Madame, etc.


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3. The Body

  • Subject line (optional, but its use is increasing as it helps both reader and writer)

  • Message

    Tips for compiling the body of the letter: Usually the first and the last paragraphs should be no more than four lines long. All other paragraphs should be no more than eight lines long.


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4. The Closing

  • Complimentary closing

  • Writer’s Name and Title

  • Signature e.g. Sincerely yours/Faithfully yours/Truly yours,Sophie LinSophie LinMarketing ManagerRacauto Company


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4. The Closing

  • Reference initialsUsually include the initials of the dictator and the transcriber. e.g.SME: PRG or MVL/ef

  • Enclosure NotationAnything included in the envelope with the letter.e.g. Enclosure/ Enclosures 2e.g. Enclosures: 1. Catalog2. Reply Card

  • Copy Notationused to inform the address of the letter that a copy of the letter is sent to a third person.e.g. Copy to: Gary Lei/ cc Gary Lei

  • PostscriptUsed to give strong emphasis to an important idea (not something you forget)e.g. PS. Please mail the return slip before December 8, 2005.


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Styles of a Business Letter

  • Modified-Block StyleParagraphs are either indented/not indented.the date line and the complimentary closing starts from the center (Example 1)

  • Block StyleAll the information starts from the left margin. (Examples 2)


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Stationary Design

  • Company Logo

  • Company Name

  • Address

  • Contact details (including telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, and website)



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