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BUSINESS LETTER WRITING. Part I. Learning Objectives Part II. The Letter Writing Process 1.0 Planning 2.0 Organizing 3.0 Drafting and Revising 4.0 Formatting (available in notes). OUTLINE OF TODAY’S LECTURE. To understand the nature of business letter writing as reader-centered.

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business letter writing

BUSINESS LETTER WRITING

© 2011 Centre for English Language Communication

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

outline of today s lecture

Part I. Learning Objectives

Part II. The Letter Writing Process

1.0 Planning

2.0 Organizing

3.0 Drafting and Revising

4.0 Formatting (available in notes)

OUTLINE OF TODAY’S LECTURE
1 0 planning

Plan to make your letter clear, appropriate and persuasive

    • Letter writing is a complex process.
    • Writing your letter demands critical thinking skills.
1.0 Planning
planning

Determine the message and purpose of the letter.

  • Analyze your reader.

Consider: cultural orientations; reader-writer relations; level of interest and knowledge in the subject matter; specific needs; expected reaction to the letter…

Planning
2 0 organizing

Identify the type of business letter to be used.

    • Positive or neutral letter
    • Negative letter
    • Apology letter
    • Campaign or promotional letter
2.0 Organizing
3 0 drafting and revising

Focus on coherence, style and tone.

    • Be coherent
    • Use appropriate language (3Cs)
    • Establish positive reader-writer relationship(4Ps)
3.0 Drafting and Revising
3 0 drafting and revising coherence1

For example, use linking words:

within a sentence

  • Managers were generally reluctant to employ part-time staff; however, this was not always the case.
3.0 Drafting and RevisingCoherence
3 0 drafting and revising coherence2

For example, use linking words:

within a paragraph

  • The company has not made a cent of profit over the last twelve months.  We are no longer attracting investors like we used to. There is evidence of growing absenteeism among both office staff and workers. Therefore, the Board of Directors feels that certain drastic measures have to be taken.
3.0 Drafting and RevisingCoherence
3 0 drafting and revising coherence3

For example, use linking words:

between two paragraphs

VideoSing, Ltd recognizes your contributions to the success of the global premier of

A1GX™ Videos in Singapore. Such efforts cannot go unrewarded.

In this connection, we would like to invite you to our Testimonial Dinner 2010 in

honour of our most valuable employees like you to be held on Friday, 24 September

2010, at 8 o’clock in the evening. The venue will be at the Grand Ballroom of Epic Venus

Hotel on Orchard Link.

3.0 Drafting and RevisingCoherence
3 0 drafting and revising coherence4

Correct use of cohesive devices (e.g. however,

therefore, in this connection) requires organizing and

critical thinking skills, and not merely linguistic

skills.

3.0 Drafting and RevisingCoherence
3 0 drafting and revising style and tone

Style is made up of the words and

sentences that a writer chooses in order

to generate a desired response from the

readers. 

Tone refers to the unwritten or

unspoken message and voice that come

across in your communication.

Style produces a particular tone; tone requires a particular style.

3.0 Drafting and RevisingStyle and Tone
3 0 drafting and revising 3cs2

CORRECT

For example:

Many of our customers thought that UltraCab

is the most reliable taxi company. However,

they also believe that taxis have become a

very expensive mode of transportation.

Inconsistent tenses

3.0 Drafting and Revising3Cs
3 0 drafting and revising 3cs3

CORRECT

Another example:

The Singapore worker, partly through legislation

and partly through his own attitude, have lost

progressively fewer working days.

Subject-verb agreement

3.0 Drafting and Revising3Cs
3 0 drafting and revising 4ps

Style and tone can be also be achieved

through the 4Ps of business letter writing:

  • Polite
  • Positive
  • Personal
  • Professional
3.0 Drafting and Revising4Ps
conclusion

While letters, emails and memos have different forms and functions, they follow the same fundamental principles of writing.

  • To write clear, appropriate and persuasive letters:
      • Know your audience, message and purpose
      • Identify the type of business letter you will write
      • Be coherent
      • Use appropriate language
      • Establish positive reader-writer relationship

Letter writing demands both language and critical thinking skills.

CONCLUSION
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