How to Write a Business Letter - Sample and Tips
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A business letter is a formal means of communication between two
people, a person and a corporation, or two corporations. Business
letters differ from personal letters because they follow very strictly
set rules for composition. Many people are intimidated by the prospect
of writing to strict guidelines, however business letters are nothing
to be afraid of. They are too useful a tool to be stigmatized by the
Before you begin writing, answer the following questions:
1. What is my purpose in writing this letter/memo/report?
2. What does my reader want or need to know to understand my message?
3. Have I answered important questions and provided the necessary
information for the reader?
4. Did I accomplish my purpose?
5. Have I included boring, confusing, or distracting information?
6. What do I want the reader to do when he or she is done reading
7. Is that clear to the reader?
8. Have I included all the information necessary for the reader to
take this action?
DEFINITION OF A BUSINESS LETTER
A business letter serves the main purpose of communication between two
companies, or it is a method to talk to different people within a
PURPOSE OF A BUSINESS LETTER
The purpose for business writings is to inform readers of information
you want to get across or possibly persuade the readers to do
THE 7 C 's OF BUSINESS WRITING
Most problems with business letters are they are either hard to
understand or very long and drawn out. One solution that many writers
use to correct this problem is to double check the writing to make
sure it follows the seven C's of business writing. The seven C's are:
If you as a writer are able to effectively do all or part of these
seven guidelines, then your paper will be on its way to being a good
KEEPING YOUR LETTER TO THE POINT
The first thing you need to make sure of when writing a business plan
is to make sure that you are not wasting the reader’s time. There are
two questions to make sure that you are not wasting their time and
they are, "why am I writing" and "what do I want to achieve." If
you are able to answer theses two questions then, then you writing
will be a third of what it would have been if you as a writer just sat
down and started to write. It is a good thing that your letter is
short because that way you are getting straight to the point of what
you want you readers to know.
COMMON TYPES OF BUSINESS LETTERS
There are many different types of business letters that a person can
write to achieve different things. The key to writing a letter that
will achieve what you want is to know what type of letter you are
writing. The different types of letters are: acknowledgement,
adjustment, complaint, inquiry, order, and response letter.
Acknowledgement letter = This letter is meant to thank the reader for
something they did for you in the office.
It could simply be saying thanks for receiving something the reader
sent or maybe thanking them for their help with something. This type
of letter is not required in a business environment, but it is
Adjustment Letter = This letter should be used in response to a
written complaint against someone or
something. The purpose of it is to inform the reader that actions are
being taken against the wrong doing as well as it serves as a legal
document acknowledging the complaint.
Complaint Letter = The complaint letter is much like the adjustment
letter except no wrong doing as taken
place. Instead, this letter is just to let the reader know that an
error as been found and needs to be corrected as soon as possible.
Once again, this letter is a legal document letting the reader know
that something is being done to correct the problem.
Inquiry Letter = An inquiry letter is written as a request for a
certain something or in response to a request made by someone. The
object of the inquiry letter is to get the object or material
requested in the letter.
Order Letter = Order letters are exactly as they sound, they are used
to order material that is running low and will be needed soon. This
type of letter is commonly known as a PO (purchase order). This letter
is also a legal document showing a transaction between a business and
Response Letter = A response letter is also exactly how it sounds. It
is a letter written in response to another letter received by someone.
The objective of this type of letter is to fulfill the request made by
the person you are writing this letter to.
BUSINESS WRITING CHECKLIST
Once you have completed your business letter, there is a checklist
that you can go through in order to make sure you letter is up to par.
The basic idea of the checklist is to make sure the letter is: short,
simple, strong, and sincere. If you go back and find that your letter
has all of these qualities, then there is a good chance you have
written an effective business letter.