You are on page 1of 25


15 Characteristics of Business Letter

1. Simplicity
A business letter should be simple. It should be
written in a lucid (easy) language so that it is clear to
the receiver.

2. Conversational style:
An effective letter is one that gives an impression of
face to face communication.
15 Characteristics of Business Letter
3. Clarity of goal
The writer should be clear about what he wishes to
4. Public relation
Business letters reflect the image of the
5. The You attitude
The business letters should be written keeping in
mind the readers point of view
15 Characteristics of Business Letter
8. Sincere
The business letters should be sincere. This means
that the letter should be written in such a way that the
readers believe what the letter says.
9. Positive language
The words of the letter should be chosen with care. As
far as possible the language of the piece of letter
should be positive.
15 Characteristics of Business Letter
6. Courteous:
The business letter should be courteous. Courtesy
implies that the letter seeks favor politely and
expresses gratitude profusely for the favors done.
7. Persuading:
The basic idea behind every business
correspondence is to persuade the reader be it a sales
letter, letter of enquiry or letter of complaint.
15 Characteristics of Business Letter
10. Due emphasis:
Proper emphasis should be put on the content of the
piece of correspondence. This requires logical thinking
on the part of the writer. The writer should himself be
clear in his mind what he wants to convey.
11. Coherence:
The information present in the letter should be
arranged in a logical way. This is done by using
carefully the linking devices, pronouns, and reputing
the key words.
15 Characteristics of Business Letter
12. Care for culture:
All business correspondence seeks to be written
keeping in mind the readers point of view. As such no
words should be used which offends the cultural
background of the reader? The best way is to avoid use
of culturally derived words, slangs, colloquialisms etc.
13. Tactful approach:
The writer should adopt a tactful approach while
writing a business letter. It can be a direct approach
letter, an indirect approach letter or a middle approach
letter depending on the message to be conveyed.
15 Characteristics of Business Letter
14. Ethical standard:
A business letter reflects the image of an
organization. Therefore all business correspondence
should maintain certain ethical standard.
15. Brief but complete:
Brevity is the soul of correspondence. In short the
receiver must know what the sender wants to transmit.
Forms of Business Letters

Indented style
Block style
Complete block style
Semi block style
Hanging indented style

Forms of Business Letters

Oldest form of business letters. This require first
line to begin at the margin and the subsequent line
to begin five spaces away from the beginning of the
previous line. A comma follows each line and a full
stop is put after the last line.

Indented Style


In this style the date line , the complimentary close
and the signature are aligned with the right
margin. All other parts except the letter head,
printed matters starts from the left division.
Between the parts and paragraphs of the body of
the letter double spacing is given whereas there is a
single spacing within each part and paragraph.

The complete block style form has all lines
beginning at the margin and no punctuations at
the end of any line except in the text of message.


This is like the block style except the paragraph of
the letters are indented and complementary close
are placed at the right margin.

Hanging Indented Style
In this style the first line of each paragraph is
started from the left margin. The remaining lines
in each paragraph have four or five spaces.

Parts and Placements of Business Letters
1.Letterhead- consists of the name and address of
a company plus its telephone and cable numbers
when available. It is usually printed on the upper
center of the stationery.
2. Dateline - must be written in full
example: June 26, 2002 / 26 June 2002

Parts and Placements of Business Letters
3. Inside Address - The name and address of the company
or the person to whom the letter is directed. It occupies three
lines, not less.
Example: Mr. Ernesto Santiago, President
Atlas Mining Company
Ayala Avenue, Makati City

4. . Salutation - first letters of the first and the last words
of a salutation are always capitalized.

Parts and Placements of Business Letters
5. Body - contains the message. It usually starts
with a statement of the purpose of the letter. This is
followed by more explanation of the objective, finally
ending with an expression of goodwill or of the
reaction of the reader.
6. Complimentary close - only the first letter of
the first word is capitalized
7. Signature -consists of the name of the letter
writer and his business title, if he has one. The name
of the company may be included and should appear
above the signature

Parts and Placements of Business Letters

8. Initials- are written 2 spaces after the signature
and flush on the left margin.
9. Attention line - may be placed either before or
after the salutation, centered and usually underlined.

Parts and Placements of Business Letters

10. Subject line -is placed after the salutation and
underlined. It should indicate the main topic of the letter.
11. Carbon copy - it is typed below the initials followed by
the names of the persons to whom the carbon copies are
given. However, if the letter is an inter - office
correspondence the Cc. may be found on the first copy of
the letter.

Block Style