Business Letters

Category: Education

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By: jagjeetdahiya (94 month(s) ago)

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By: jagjeetdahiya (94 month(s) ago)

sir please ...please... please allow me to download this ppt...

By: jagjeetdahiya (94 month(s) ago)

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Presentation Transcript

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Writing Business Letters A Presentation by Rajiv Bajaj

Business Letters : 

Business Letters Different from personal letters Written in a specific style which is distinct Have several widely accepted parts, in a specific format

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All good business letters must follow this formatting These parts are general in nature Common to all types of business letters

Parts of a Business Letter : 

Parts of a Business Letter 1. Letterhead Announces the full name of the business Often gives a hint about the nature of business the company is in E.g. : ABC Travels Pvt. Ltd / National Insurance Company Ltd. / Air India Ltd etc

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May contain other particulars such as date of establishment (e.g. Estd 1975) Location of Head Office or Registered Office Telephone & fax number, email etc (usually at the top of the letterhead) Also bears the logo of the company

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Sometimes, these details are distributed among the top & bottom portions of the letterhead In this case, the name & logo are given at the top Rest of the details are given at the bottom

Characteristics of a Good Letterhead : 

Characteristics of a Good Letterhead It is usually the first written introduction of a business One should ensure that it is designed well Has the potential to create a favourable impression Much thought and effort should be applied to its design

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Colour, quality, size, artwork & fonts used in printing should be very carefully decided A good letterhead not only informs, but also impresses - it is extremely important ! For this reason, many companies have it designed by professionals

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A good letterhead gives all essential and relevant details of the company - without any information overload The information it carries must be balanced well Neither too much nor too little !

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2. Reference Line Carries details which help in clearly tracing the letter to its sources and the context it is written in Usually consists of abbreviations, letters and numbers May also carry the initials of the person writing the letter

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Reference lines help both, the sender and the receiver Helps the writer or other members of his / her organisation to know exact context in which the letter was written Also makes it easy to relate it to the specific context when the reply is received

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Helps the receiver to make out the exact source and context of the letter Helps the receiver to respond to the correct person No hard and fast rule in formulating a reference line Each organisation develops its own pattern / system for this

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Absence of a Reference Line may cause time wastage in relating letters to the exact files and context This may happen even if it reaches the concerned department Many companies make it a point to mention the reference number

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Recipient is also requested to quote the reference number in all correspondence This is especially useful if correspondence on a particular subject has been going on over long periods of time

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3. Date Line The date line follows the reference line It clearly mentions the date on which the letter was written The date may be written in several formats

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For example – Monday, 19 January 2009 ( Day, Date, Month, Year) 19.01.2009 ( Date / Month / Year ) 19th January, 2009 ( Date / Month / Year ) 19 January, 2009 ( Date / Month / Year ) January 19, 2009 ( Month / Date / year )

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Different countries, different styles of writing the date Some formats may not be easily understood in other countries For example, Americans write the date as – 01.19.2009 ( Month / Date / Year )

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The format shown below is most appropriate in India, as it is very clear – 19th January, 2009 OR 19.01.2009 ( Date / Month / Year ) This ensures that there is no confusion in the mind of the reader - we are familiar with it

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4. Inside Address Refers to the addressee - the person to whom the letter is addressed May be a person, a group, or an organisation It may be addressed by name or designation

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It need not include the full postal address This has to be necessarily given outside on the envelope Generally includes only the name, and / or the designation, and the department and office Using ‘To’ may be avoided - it is an outdated method and does not look very appealing

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Usually written at the top of the letter, after the date However, sometimes it is also given at the bottom of the letter, on the left hand side When addressed by name, ensure that the name is spelt correctly It is the basic courtesy shown to the reader. Write it EXACLY as the reader spells it

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If the person has a title - Such as professor, doctor, reverend, justice, colonel, etc, ensure its correct usage In the absence of a title, normal salutation may be used

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In India – Mr. or Shri. is commonly used for men Mrs, Miss, Smt or Kumari is used for women If you are unsure of the marital status of a lady, you may use Ms - it is used for both Mrs. & Miss Plural of Mr. is Messrs (pronounced as Messers), which is used when addressing partnerships or a firm

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If you use the designation of a person, ensure it is used correctly Be particularly careful when addressing letters to dignitaries like the President, Governors, High Commissioners, Ambassadors etc. Appropriate titles like His Excellency etc should be used where applicable Any mistake in addressing the person may ruin an otherwise perfectly written letter

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5. Attention Line Usually appears on the right hand side of the inside address Some prefer to put it on the left, just below the Inside Address It draws attention of a specific person to the contents of the letter

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Usually reads as “ Kind Attn- Mr XYZ” Normally used when the letter is addressed to an organisation When the letter is addressed to a person, there is no need for it The purpose is to ensure that it reaches the correct person whose response is required

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6. Salutation Salutation is the way we address the reader For example – Dear Sir Dear Madam Dear Mr XYZ / Dear Ms XYZ

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When addressed to an organisation, the salutation is in plural form – Dear Sirs When addressee is a person of high status and you intend to show additional respect – Do not use ‘Dear’. Write only ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’

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7. Subject Line This follows the salutation Subject should be clearly and boldly stated in the centre of the letter - should clearly indicate what the letter is about Should not be very long, but at the same time it should reflect clearly the essence of the letter

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8. Message This is the body of the letter Includes the opening line as well as the message to be conveyed It should be organised into appropriate paragraphs It should convey your thoughts in a logical manner in the proper sequence

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Opening line usually starts with an acknowledgement or an introduction May draw attention to earlier correspondence, if any, by giving its reference details In the next paragraph or the following paragraphs, the message itself is conveyed

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Remember - the message is the main idea that you are trying to communicate to the reader It is the very reason for writing the letter It is the core of the letter and words that you select must be well chosen to convey the right meaning The letter is being written because the message has to be conveyed

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9. Closing Line The closing line paragraph is very important. It should sum up the message by clearly indicating what action is required from the reader The call to action should be effective Closing paragraph is followed by the complimentary closing line – ‘Yours Faithfully’, ‘Yours Sincerely’ etc

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This depends on the initial salutation used If the salutation is ‘Dear Sir’ etc, the complimentary closing line is normally ‘Yours faithfully’ When the salutation is by name, i.e. ‘Dear Mr X’ it is ‘Yours sincerely’.

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After the complimentary closing line comes the signature of the person writing the letter Every letter must end with a signature. It adds authenticity to the letter An unsigned letter has no significance and the addressee may not act upon it The signature is usually followed by the designation of the sender

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10. Postscript Postscript or PS is an afterthought – An idea being conveyed after the letter has been signed Sometimes, however, it may be used by the writer to re-emphasize on a particular point in the message

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11. Enclosures Sometimes, an attachment may be sent with a letter In this case, it is given a mention on the letter by adding Encl: after the designation or after the PS It indicates to the reader that an attachment is present with the letter which needs attention E.g. – Encl: Our previous quotation dated…..

Forms of a Letter : 

Forms of a Letter Different forms help to organise the letter and make it look attractive For this reason, the layout of a letter is very important There are three types of layouts for a business letter

Full Block Layout : 

Full Block Layout In this form, each part of the letter begins from the left hand margin This is the most commonly used form these days It is also easier to type as everything begins from the left margin and requires less usage of the tab key

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Modified Block Layout : 

Modified Block Layout Various parts of the letter are distributed on the page - some on the left, some in the middle, and some on the right Place, sender’s address, salutation and each paragraph may be aligned on the left. Complimentary close and signature may be either centred or aligned to the right Old method. Not very popular any more. Also requires more effort in typing

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Modified Block with Indent Layout : 

Modified Block with Indent Layout Similar to the Modified Block, with one major difference Each paragraph’s first line starts away from the margin (it is indented) This format is also out of style now, and not very popular

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