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Writing a Letter

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  1. Writing a Letter

  2. The Business Letter • Written to take action in a business-related manner • Must look and sound professional • Cannot have slang or unnecessary abbreviations in a business letter

  3. Business Letter Specifications • Write only on white, 8.5-11 paper • Type in single spacing with one extra line between paragraphs • Always use only blue or black ink • Avoid handwriting when at all possible • 1” margins all around • Use only one side of the paper

  4. Business Letter Specifications • Use a professional tone • Include all necessary information, but get to the point quickly

  5. Styles of a Business Letter • There are two main styles of business letter: • Block Form: • All six parts begin at the left margin • Paragraphs are not indented • Modified Block Form: • The heading, closing, and signature are at the right margin • All other parts begin at the left margin

  6. The Parts of a Business Letter • The heading: • Has three lines • Street address • City, state, zip • Date the letter was written • Inside address • Gives the name and address of the person or organization to whom you are writing • Use a courtesy title • Include business title after the person’s name • If you don’t know the person’s name, put the title of the person in its place

  7. The Parts of a Business Letter • Salutation • If you are writing to a person, begin with Dear, then the courtesy title, then the last name • End with a colon • If you do not know the person’s name, use Sir or Madam • Body • The main part of your letter • Use an extra line between paragraphs

  8. The Parts of a Business Letter • Closing • Always end in a courteous manner • Use Yours truly, Sincerely, Respectfully • Capitalize only the first word of the closing • End with a comma • Signature • Hand write your name • Under it should be your printed name

  9. Extra Information • If you are including something else in your envelope along with the letter: • Leave two blank lines after the signature • Then type Enclosure and the type of item you are enclosing • This should be left aligned

  10. Appreciation Letters • Written to give thanks • You should explain exactly why you are pleased • See page 1025

  11. Complaint Letters • Purpose is to report an error or a problem • You could also use this type of letter to state that you have not received services • Be calm when you state why you are displeased • Then request the solution that you feel is appropriate • You will be more effective if you remain cool and calm

  12. Letters of Application • Sometimes called cover letters • Explain why you are the best candidate for a something • This could be a job, a membership, or a scholarship

  13. Letter of Application Guidelines • Identify the job, membership, or scholarship and how you heard about it • Mention: GPA, experience, activities, personal qualities • Provide references in Resume, but allude to them in application • Include your full address • Do not use Mr, Mrs, or Ms unless you are sure of the title • Modified block format See page 1026

  14. Job Application Letter • You have found a job opportunity that you are interested in • The directions say to write a letter detailing your job experience and why you would be a good fit for the job • Include all of your experiences, strengths, and the reasons why you should be hired

  15. Complaint Letters • The following information should be included: • What product you ordered • Why you are not satisfied • How you were effected • What you want done about the problem

  16. Request Letters • Asks for information • Requests something specific • Usually a means to set up an installation, request a brochure, or set up a meeting • See page 1027

  17. Memos • Short for memorandum • A brief note written as a reminder of an event • This is the standard form of communication in businesses • They are intended to be understood completely at the first reading • They must be concise, organized, and direct

  18. Memos • The purpose of a memo is usually to: • Announce or summarize a meeting • Request action • Provide important information • Head the memo the following way: • Date, To, Form, cc, and Subject

  19. Memos • The memo should be organized the following way: • State the purpose clearly • Include background information • Use a courageous, professional tone • Include deadline or dates • Include phone number • cc appropriate people

  20. Memos • Typing up the memos: • Break text into short paragraphs • There should be blank lines between paragraphs • Use bulleted or numeric lists when possible • Place asterisks around words that should draw attention or focus

  21. Your Assignment • Write a complaint letter on the following situation: • You are being charged for a $3,000 computer purchase you did not make on your Visa card • You have called the Visa company many times and finally were told that you can write a letter lodging a formal complaint • Use the following information: • The head of accounts payable is Mr. Jim Johnson • The address is 10450 Canterberry Lane, Conseco, Iowa, 33245

  22. Your Assignment • Write a letter of appreciation. • Your mailbox was destroyed by vandals with baseball bats while you were out to the movies last Friday night. Your income tax refund check for $4,800 was stolen. • Your neighbor saw the whole thing, reported it to the police, and the vandals were apprehended and your income tax refund check was recovered. • Write a modified block letter to your neighbor stating how grateful you are.