How to Write an Effective Business Letter in English


Definition:

  • Business letters are formal paper communications between, to or from businesses
  • Business letters are sometimes called “snail-mail” (in contrast to email which is faster).
  • Business letters includes: Letter, Memo, Fax, Email

Who write business letters?

  • Letters are written from a person/group, known as the sender
    to a person/group, known in business as the recipient.
  • Some examples of senders and recipients:

business «» business

business «» consumer

job applicant «» company

citizen «» government official

employee «» employee

staff member «» staff member

Why write business letters?

  • To persuade
  • To inform
  • To request
  • To express thanks
  • To remind
  • To recommend
  • To apologize
  • To congratulate
  • To reject a proposal or offer
  • To introduce a person or policy
  • To invite or welcome
  • To follow up
  • To formalize decisions

I. How to write a business letter?

II. Some common errors in business writing that you should notice

1. Colloquialism 

Use of informal phrases in business writing is a major error.

Ex:

  • Mr.brown kicked the bucket on x day.
  • Mr. Brown died on x day.

2. Dated

Writing Dated on  is incorrect but  is used commonly.

Ex:

  •  Thank you for writing the letter dated on 17-March-2010.(Incorrect)
  •  Thank you for writing the letter dated   17-March-2010.     (correct)

3. Over and More Than

The word over is used for describing a physical position.

Ex:

The bridge led over the  pond.

Wrong usage:

Over 50 males participated in the race.

Correction:

 More than 50 males participated in the race.

4. Wordy Expressions

Using wordy expressions when a small one can do, is another common mistake

Ex:

  •   Due to the fact that  she was attending the meeting…               

                            Or

  •   Since  she was attending the meeting…

5. Possessive form and contractions

The possessive form of  it  is often mixed with its contraction.

Its           ->            possessive form of it

Its           ->            contraction for it is

Ex:

When is our next meeting. Please confirm its date. ( v )

When is our next meeting. Please confirm it’s date.( x  )

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How to Write an Effective Business Letter in English

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