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Indirect or Inductive Business Letter

Bad-news letters (refusals, compromises):

  • Buffer (pleasant, neutral statement)
  • Explanation
    • necessary details, tactfully stated
    • pertinent, favorable details, followed by unfavorable facts
  • Decision, news, main idea (if possible, without sacrificing clarity)
  • Positive, friendly closure
    • offer additional help or suggestions
    • invite future action
    • clear statement of action desired
    • emphasize goodwill

Persuasive-request letters (sales, some collection and claim letters, requests for interviews):

  • Attention
    • reader benefit
    • reader interest
  • Further explanation
    • descriptive details
    • psychological appeals
    • reader benefit
  • Desire
    • clear statement of request
    • conviction material (to help create reader's desire to fulfill request)
  • Courteous closure
    • clearly state the action desired
    • special inducement
    • reader-benefit plug


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