The business letter consists of seven principal parts:1. The letter head2. The date3. The inside name and address4. The salutation5. The message6. The complimentary closure7. The writer’s signature and official position
1. The letter head• The letter head expresses a firm’s personality.• Many firms engage experts to design attractive notepaper heading• Styles vary considerably, but they all give similar information, the name and address, the telephone number, telegraphic addresses.
2. The date• Always type the date in full, in the logical order of day, month, year• EXAMPLE: 12th October 2011
3. The inside name and address• Take care to spell his/her name correctly, because people usually proud of their names• The usual practice is to set out the name and address of one’s correspondent at the head of the letter.
Cont….• Courtesy titles The courtesy title used in correspondence are Mr, Mrs, Miss, Messr (messieur)• Foreign correspondence. When you write letters to other countries, always include the name of the country, even if the town mentioned is the country’s capital. For example: Boston in England and another in United States, London in England and other in Canada, Tripoli in Libya and another in Lebanon.• Postcodes.
4. The salutation This is the greeting with which every letter begins. The customary greeting in business letter is Dear sir, others are:• Dear Madam (for both single and married woman)• Dear sirs (when a partnership is addressed)• Mesdames (when the partnership consists of women only)• When your correspondent is unknown to you, always use the form dear sir.
5. The message This forms the body of the letter and is the part that really matters. Before you begin to write:• What is my aim in writing this letter• What do I hope to achieve by it?• What is the best way to go about it?
Cont….• Don’t waste words on unnecessary remarks. Keep your paragraph short and. Short sentence and paragraph provides easier reading and are easy to understand.
• Some letters are very short and may consists of one paragraph. Example of framework of a three paragraph plan:1. The first paragraph ---introduction or acknowledgment if there is a previous correspondence.2. The second gives information and states the fact3. The third refers to the future action
7. The writer’s signature and official position• Always sign your letter by hand and in ink. To stamp with a rubber stamp is a form of discourtesy – it suggest that the reader is not important enough to deserve the personal touch of n original signature.• A signature must not carry a title, it must be the plain signature of the writer.