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Business Letter Writing Tips: How your business letter should sound

A business letter should not only communicate your message; it should also reflect the professionalism that is expected of a correspondence of similar kind. Be confident

To present information that bears the appropriate attitude for business letters, your writing should be confident. Your letter should clearly express your trust in your message and ideas. If you don't trust them yourself, there’s no reason for anyone else to. Avoid the use of words that express doubt and probability. Instead use specific and concrete words that express certainty.


Be courteous

Giving your recipient appropriate respect is mandatory. The language and tone of your letter should be courteous. Avoid using words that are hostile or offensive. You may have better grasp over the subject, but avoid condescension. Establishing your authority over the topic is not the purpose of a business letter.

Be professional

Business writing is expected to carry a certain air. It should befit of the respect professionals in a certain field have for one another. You should communicate at the level your recepient is used to. Inability to do so will result in losing many potential clients.

Be inclusive

Use gender-neutral terms and language that avoid exclusion of any groups. It is not always easy and your language may at times lean towards keeping people out. Use a good thesaurus to find inclusive alternatives instead.

Be brief

Be brief. Keep your letters concise and to the point. Business men are busy. Don't expect them to have the time or patience to read long winding stories. State the purpose of your writing in the beginning itself. Avoid unnecessary details, but don't forget to include the necessary ones. Your recipient should get your message as soon they read the letter. They should not have to write back asking clarification.

How to write a business letter in English?

Business letters are written for several different reasons. Whether you are a student or a professional, you will need to write business letters from time to time.

Businessmen are busy. They won’t have the time or patience to read long winding letters. So keep your letter brief and to the point. Include only relevant details, but make sure that your letter has all the necessary information.

If you are writing a letter to seek some information, clearly state what information you want. If you are replying to a letter include all the information the recipient has asked for.

Business letters usually follow some general guidelines. Here is an overview of them.

Put your own address at the top right corner of the page. Leave an empty line and then write the date exactly below the address. In letters written on paper which has the address ready-printed at the top of the page, the date may be put on the left.

In formal and business letters put the name and address of the person you are writing to on the left side of the page, starting on the same level as the date or slightly below.

Begin the letter on the left. The commonest way of addressing people in a business letter is by title and surname. Example: Dear Mr Mathews / Dear Ms Sullivan

If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, use a salutation like Dear Sir, Dear Sirs, Dear Sir of Madam or Dear Madam.

After Dear X, put a comma or nothing at all. In American English, it is common to put a colon after the salutation.

Leave an empty line after Dear X and start again on the left. Do not indent paragraphs.

Start the body of the letter by clearly stating the reason for your writing. (Example: I am writing to tell you that we are interested in …)

If you want the recipient to write back to you, include an expressions like ‘Looking forward to hearing from you’ or ‘We would very much appreciate a reply.’

Close the letter with a thank you.

Formal letters usually finish with ‘Yours sincerely’.

It is common to put a closing formula before ‘Yours sincerely’. Common expressions are: With best wishes and With kind regards.

Sign with your full name, but don’t include any title.

And if you want to learn even more about business, here is a resource for you: http://www.online-mba.com.

Category: Business English | Added by: Teacher_Koce (2014-01-17)
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