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Welcome to your Business Correspondence course. Let’s begin by looking at the differences between the 3 types of correspondence. Take a few moments with a partner and identify what you think are the differences between business letters, E-mails and memos. LETTERS: E-MAILS: MEMOS: -

Business E-mails and Memos are, for practical purposes, only different in the means of transmission. Memos are paper based and delivered by hand whereas E-mails arrive via the Internet. E-mails provide a more manageable “paper trail” once saved and filed. Both are less formal than business letters and are written to individuals or groups in the company (internal) or to established suppliers and known contacts (external). In this course we will focus on E-mail, but exactly the same principles apply in writing memos. Business letters are clearly more formal than E-mails or memos. Letters provide a permanent record and a statement of responsibility for the contents on the part of the writer who attaches a signature. As such they require the writer to use greater care in the writing process and they allow the writer a format to present a more complex, logical argument. So, although there are similarities, the style of writing, language choices and layout of the three types of business correspondence need to be kept in mind.


THE 5 KEY POINTS To write effective business correspondence. ORGANIZATION IDENTIFY YOUR PURPOSE FOR WRITING.  2 . CLARITY Include all the relevant information that the reader needs in order to act appropriately. 3. You want to ensure that the reader reacts in a way that achieves your purpose. CONCISENESS AVOID IRRELEVANT INFORMATION Do not include anything that the reader does not need to know to react appropriately. To: INFORM REQUEST Why are you writing? RECOMMEND When you are clear about this. This information should be written as clearly and directly as possible. there are 5 key points that must be constantly kept in mind:      ORGANIZATION CLARITY CONCISENESS READERSHIP ACCURACY 1. you will be able to organize your writing according to the basic principle: ** PUT THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION FIRST** 2.

Below are some rough guidelines to help you decide on an appropriate style for your reader. 4. a colleague or one of your employees. Even in the left hand column above. grammar or punctuation provided the message is easy to read and clear so the reader can act appropriately after reading your document. Most readers will forgive odd mistakes in vocabulary choices. or making a particularly time-consuming or difficult request. writers may adopt a more formal style when conveying unpleasant information eg some kind of reprimand. ACCURACY Business E-mails are practical documents. it should be remembered that these are very approximate guidelines. Their main aim is to ensure that business runs smoothly and efficiently. READERSHIP WHO IS THE AUDIENCE? Once you decide who will read your correspondence you will be able to decide WHAT TO WRITE What does the reader know already? What does he/she need to know? HOW TO WRITE The style and degree of formality you choose will vary if you are writing to a customer. your boss. 3 . Less Formal Within the company Someone you know well Single reader Equivalent status or Subordinate More Formal Outside the company Someone you do not know well Multiple readers Superior status Once again. 5.  This will save you time writing and also save your reader’s time understanding your message.BE CONCISE Keep your writing as short as possible without losing clarity. You need the complete message clearly written in as few words as possible.

WHAT This is your message. Policy and Procedure Changes. Changes to Policy or Procedure. E-MAIL STRUCTURE All E-mails should follow a basic structural plan which will make your writing task easier and your E-mails more effective in getting you the results you want from the reader. WRITING E-MAILS AND MEMOS MAIN PURPOSES FOR WRITING: eg. on the other hand. It is made up of 3 component parts: INFORM Policy a REQUEST RECOMMEND 1. It comes at the beginning of the E-mail to save your reader's time. WHAT WHY CLOSING THE COMPONENT PARTS IN DETAIL: 1. 2. are more formal and permanent documents and require a greater degree of accuracy in all areas. 3. 4 . This structure is based on the principle of putting the most important information first. A course of Action. Temporary Positions. Assistance or Authorization. Event Announcements. eg.Business letters. For Material. Information. Reply to a Request. the most important part of your E-mail. A Solution. eg.

Are you sure you do not want your reader to take any action? 5 . WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS E-MAIL?  CATEGORIZE YOUR MESSAGE: Analyze the situation and decide on the type of E-mail you need to write.Your reader should be able to understand and act on your E-mail by reading only this initial part.RECOMMEND Think carefully. 2. deadline RECOMMEND 1. particularly ones that inform. Closing: action required.REQUEST .when you want it . WHY. Closings are not meaningless phrases. Why I recommend it 3. This gives the reason or reasons to support your message: 3. Why I need to inform you about it 3. CLOSING. PROCEDURE FOR WRITING A SUCCESSFUL E-MAIL Even when writing business correspondence in your native language it is very rare that the first draft says exactly what you want to say in the most clear and concise manner. What I want to inform you about 2. Why I request it 3. The task is even more difficult when it is in a foreign language. especially if your first decision is that your e-mail is to inform. (There are E-mails. deadline REQUEST 1. Do you want to: .why you need it then (optional). The best way to deal with the problem is to have a series of steps that you work through each and every time you write an E-mail.) INFORM 1. What I want to request 2. where the closing is omitted.what you want . Closing: action required.INFORM (includes replies and instructions) . Closing: action required. ** READ THIS PROCEDURE NOW AND REFER TO IT ** EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU WRITE AN E-MAIL 1. They are included to ensure that you get: . What I recommend 2.

Use note form. Identify any irrelevant reasons and delete them. Now that you have thoughtfully and systematically developed and ordered the content of your message. Action Required. Deadline. DEFINE YOUR MESSAGE: WHAT IS MY MESSAGE? Write the answer to this question in note form on a blank piece of paper. arrows etc) for reorganizing notes. START WRITING FULL SENTENCES Up to this point in the process you should have written in note form only. write note form answers to these questions:    WHAT do you want the reader to do? WHEN do you want the reader to do it? WHY do you give a deadline? (optional). 3. REQUESTING OR RECOMMENDING?        Write down all the reasons WHY you are writing the message.  CHECK THAT YOU HAVE INCLUDED ALL ESSENTIAL DETAILS Do not include any information that is not necessary. This will be the first structural component of your E-mail: The WHAT. In addition. Keep everything in note form. Do not try to order or edit at this point. 2. Group reasons that logically go together. No Full Sentences. This avoids the problems of sentence building and grammar and focuses your attention on the task of determining the content or message. Develop your own system (numbering. it is much more economical to edit and re-order the information you want to convey when it is in point form. WHY ARE YOU INFORMING. Do not write full sentences at this stage. CLOSING If your e-mail requires a closing. 4. it is time to begin the focused task of putting that message into clear and concise sentences. Order the reasons logically starting with the most important. 6 .

VOCABULARY AND PUNCTUATION Read through your second draft several times checking for grammar. WRITE SECOND DRAFT. 7. capitalization.   Make your e-mail EASY TO READ. . write the first draft of your e-mail. STYLE AND LAYOUT GUIDELINES  BE DIRECT. -List and number where possible. -Use new paragraph for each new idea. Make the message EASY TO FIND. spelling  Singular/Plural/Uncountable Nouns 8. . SECOND CHECK – GRAMMAR.Put the important information first. 7 .Don't waste your time or the reader's time. FIRST CHECK – STRUCTURE AND CONTENT Check your first draft. vocabulary and punctuation problems.Using the notes that you have edited and ordered. FINAL DRAFT Add a suitable subject heading and write your final draft. STRUCTURE • • • CONTENT • • • WHAT WHY CLOSING Have you included all the essential information? Are all the details correct eg dates and numbers? Is there any irrelevant information that should be deleted? 6.  Subject and verb agreement  Vocabulary use  Articles (the/a/an)  Punctuation.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. . you said that you wanted all the instructors to tell you the names of students who do not come to class regularly or who miss more than two sessions. AVOID trying to impress the reader with “BIG” WORDS. Their names are Parlyn S and Sukarmin and they both work in the Accounts Department. Parlyn is employment number is 1740 and Sukarmin's 0715. and why. -This is not the place for literature. I thought I had better tell you about this.Don’t fill your E-mail with meaningless words. phrases or sentences. Write down all the reasons for your choice and then discuss your decision with other groups. so they have been absent for three sessions. Didi Mulyono 8 . COMPARE E-MAILS Which of the following E-mails do you prefer. Nur Wawolumaya Students Who Have Been Absent When we had a meeting on Monday before the course started. Work in groups of two or three. I am teaching Level 3 writing course and I have noticed from the register that a couple of students have not yet turned up.