How to Write an Effective Business Letter in English


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Learn 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?

How to Write an Effective Business Letter

How to Write an Effective Business Letter

How to Write an Effective 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 meetingPlease confirm it’s date.( x  )


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