Business Communication - Chap 2 -business writing

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Chapter 2 - Business Writing


  • 1.Business Writing Getting Down to Basics!

2. Why do we communicate? [Facebook's] whole theory is that people have real connections in the world. People communicate most naturally and effectively with their friends and the people around them. ~Mark Zuckerberg~ Mark Zuckerberg in Paris in 2008 3. Why do we write business letters/ correspondence? What is the difference between Business and Normal Communication? 4. Towards Effective Written Communication Tactful - language Coherent Personal Clear Positive Concise Unified Active - sentence structure Readable fonts, colour Mechanically Sound 5. Tone "Tone in writing refers to the writer's attitude toward the reader and the subject of the message. The overall tone of a written message affects the reader just as one's tone of voice affects the listener in everyday exchanges." (Ober 1988) 6. General guidelines when considering your tone and how to present information: Be confident. Be courteous and sincere. Use appropriate emphasis and subordination. Use non-discriminatory language. Stress the benefits for the reader. Write at an appropriate level of difficulty. 7. Format There are 2 basic formats for formal letters Block Format The most common layout of a business letter is known as block format. Using this format, the entire letter is left justified and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs. 8. Semi Block Format It is much like the modified block style except that each paragraph is indented instead of left justified. Idea!! Microsoft Office 2000 - Letter Wizard can be used to format business letters. To access the Letter Wizard, click on the Tools menu and then choose Letter Wizard. The Wizard will present the three styles (2 mentioned here), just input the date, sender address and recipient address into the selected format. 9. Block Format Semi-Block Format 10. Or don't you like to write letters. I do because it's such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you've done something. ~Ernest Hemingway 11. 11 Technical Letters 12. 12 The Importance of Letters Represent your companys public image and your competence More personal than a report, yet more formal than memos or e-mail More permanent than e-mail Constitute an official legal record of an agreement 13. 13 Writing Effective Letters Analyze Your Audience: Who is my audience? Will my audience be favorably or unfavorably disposed to what I am going to say? What kinds of information will my audience expect me to supply? How will my audience use the information I am sending? What impression do I want my letter to make on readers? Have a clear sense of your purpose and theirs Select the best communication strategy Draft, revise, and edit your letter 14. 14 Letter Components Essential Components Writers Address Date Inside Address Salutation Letter Body Complimentary Close Signed Name Typed Name Optional Components Subject Line New Page Notations Writers and Typists Initials Enclosure Notation Copy Notation 15. 15 Essential Components of a Letter 16. 16 Personal Address Street address City State Zip Code Company Address Companys name Street address City State Zip Code 17. 17 Full Calendar Date May 31,2009 31May 2009 2-4 spaces 18. 18 Address of the reader Readers Name Readers Title Company Name Company Street Address Company City Company State Company Zip Code 2-4 spaces 19. 19 IF you know the readers name, salutation will be First / Last Name Followed by Colon For example Dear Mr. Smith: Dear Ms. Jones: Dear Miss / Mrs. Jones: Dear Chris Evans: OTHERWISE Use title Dear Vice President: Use departments name Accounting Department: 2 spaces 20. 20 Includes Introductory Paragraph Discussion Paragraph Concluding Paragraph 2 spaces below salutation 2 spaces b/w paragraphs 21. 21 Place a comma after complimentary close Preferred close is Yours Sincerely, 2 spaces below body 22. 22 Sign your name legibly 23. 23 Type your name Mention your title (Optional) 4 spaces below complimentary close 24. 24 Optional Components of a Letter 25. 25 Must have a topic & focus Can be used instead of salutation All CAPS 2 spaces below inside address 26. 26 If writer and typist are two different persons Writers initials- ALL CAPS Typists initials-LOWERCAS Separate both initials with colon 2 spaces below typed signature 27. 27 Enclose information as Enc.; OR Enclosure; OR Enclosures(2); OR Enclosure: August Report 2 spaces below writers an typists initials 28. 28 For a copy of letter, write cc (complimentary copy) pc (photocopy) For copies sent to other readers, write pc: Reader Ma,e 2 spaces below enclosure notation 29. 29 Letter Formats Full-block format All text typed on left margin Spaces between paragraphs Simplified format Same as full block format except No Salutations Subject Line introduced No Complimentary Close 30. 30 Full Block Format 31. 31 Simplified Format 32. 32 Classifications of business letters Positive Customer relations letters responding favorably to a writers request or complaint Sales letters promoting a product Neutral Letters requesting information about a product or service, placing an order, or responding to some action or question Negative Customer relations letters refusing a request, saying no to an adjustment, etc. 33. 33 Types of Letters Letters of Inquiry Sales Letters Good-News Letters Bad-News Letters Complaint Letters Adjustment Letters Cover Letters 34. 34 Letters of Inquiry 35. 35 Inquiry Letter You require information about any matter of interest to you It must Contain an effective technical writing style Involve audience through pronoun usage Avoid grammatical errors Must contain the essential letter components 36. 36 Components of Inquiry Letter Body Introduction Tell your reader why are you writing Inform reader about subject matter What are you writing about? OR What info do you want? 37. 37 Components of Inquiry Letter Body Discussion Specify your needs Ask precise questions List specific topic of inquiry Quantify your questions 38. 38 Components of Inquiry Letter Body Conclusion Must be precise Mention when do you want a response Provide a specific date for response Explain why do you want response by the given date 39. Types of Business Letters Letter of Transmittal Letter of Inquiry Claim/Complaint Letter Good News Letter Bad News Letter Letter of Application Many others 40. Letter of Transmittal Most examples of this letter type will contain three short paragraphs. The first paragraph will state WHAT is being transmitted and WHY it is being transmitted. The middle paragraph will DESCRIBE in moderate detail the item being transmitted; for example, if a report is being transmitted, the description would include the major sections of the report and its major conclusion(s). The final paragraph will express HOPE FOR SATISFACTION with whatever is being transmitted. Modified block with indentions is the usual format for this type of letter. ALWAYS include an enclosure notation. 41. Letter of Inquiry Most examples of this letter type contain three short paragraphs. The first paragraph specifies the SUBJECT of the inquiry and indicates WHY the inquiry is being made. The middle paragraph lists the specific items or questions that the letter writer wants or wants answered; usually the items or questions are presented in bulleted list form. The last paragraph tactfully indicates a deadline by which the items being requested or the answers to questions need to be supplied. Usually modified block with indentions format is used with this letter type. 42. Claim/Complaint Letter Most examples of this letter type contain three short paragraphs. The opening paragraph states the PROBLEM that the letter writer has encountered and makes a specific CLAIM that will correct the problem. The next longish paragraph narrates the sequence of events involved in the creation of the problem, and it describes the problem in detail. Dates, serial numbers, and other factual data are the heart of this paragraph. The last paragraph tactfully requests timely correction of the problem. Usually modified block with indentions format is used with this letter type. 43. Good News Letter Most examples of this letter type contain three short paragraphs. The first paragraph makes the GRANT, that is, the solution to the problem/complaint that the complainer has requested. The next longish paragraph explains in detail how the problem arose in order, if possible, to show that is was not a result of bad faith or business practice on the part of the company. The last paragraph HOPES FOR SATISFACTION on the part of the complainer regarding the solution that has been offered. Usually modified block or modified block with indentions format is used with this letter type. 44. Bad News Letter Letters of this type may contain three or more than three paragraphs, depending on the degree of detail that is presented. The opening paragraph is usually short and neutral with regard to the issue (i.e., We received your letter of August 29, 2007, in which you . . .). The middle paragraph(s) explains in detail the upcoming bad news, but does not actually state the bad news (i.e., we cannot comply with your request to solve the problem) until near, but not at, the end of the paragraph: i.e., bury the bad news. The last paragraph returns to a neutral topic. Full block format is usually used with this letter type. 45. Letter of Application This letter usually has three or four paragraphs. The opening paragraph states the specific POSITION for which you are applying; if possible, it indicates how you gained knowledge about the position. The middle paragraphs discuss the specific QUALIFICIATIONS you possess that make you a good candidate for the job; you should mention your resume near the beginning of the first of these paragraphs The last paragraph REQUESTS AN INTERVIEW at the convenience of the company. Modified block with indentions is the usual format for letters of this type. ALWAYS include an enclosure notation. 46. Suggestions for Letter of Application Make it one page long. Proofread the letter of application and resume VERY carefully; let there be NO mistakes in them. Make every effort to mail the application letter to a specific person in the company; if need be, make a call to find out the name of the person to whom to mail the letter and resume. Mail the letter and resume in an envelope that is large enough that the letter and resume do not need to be folded. A day or two before the deadline for sending in the letter of application, call the company and verify that the letter has been received.