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Commerce_ Year 3

Business Correspondence
EFFECTIVE BUSINESS WRITING
Questions that govern the process of writing

Why?

For whom?

Why do I write?
gives the reasons why that piece of writing is produced

For whom do I write?

makes the writer concentrate on the reader's interests and needs

What do I write?
What?



the writer focuses on the subject that should meet the reader's
needs

How should I write?

How?

selection and combination of vocabulary and structures;

order - to create sentences
- to develop them into paragraphs

will enable the reader to interpret the message as intended by the
writer

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STAGES OF THE WRITING PROCESS

1.

Evaluating the circumstances and the reasons for writing

Why?

Assessing the readership / audience
- anticipating the reader's

2.

interests
level of understanding

For whom?

3.

Deciding on the core information that should be transmitted and its relevant
aspects

What?

4.

Working on the message and letting your personality show through
-

adapting your writing style to that particular communication situation

How?

From another point of view:
-

planning your writing (why? and for whom?)

-

developing a strategy for writing

FACTORS THAT MAY INFLUENCE THE QUALITY OF WRITING

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M information / message sent to somebody - connotations vary significantly [sometimes antagonistic connotations may be given to the same word] 3 . Short or long words? e. D. Concrete and abstract words c. The tone of the message d. THE WORDS a. a. Denotation and connotation  the two co-ordinates of the meaning of every word  words have potential meaning  context  the sender's intention and knowledge  the receiver's understanding and attitude Denotation = the factual definition of an object / situation / quality / idea etc. Familiar and unbiased words 1. Denotation and connotation b.1. Connotation = how a person feels about a word A word - may have more than one denotative meaning letter graphic symbol for a sound A.

ignorant  "lack of knowledge" usually: negative connotation in legal disputes: positive connotation My client was totally ignorant of any misuse of funds. c. cross-reference)  creativity  to increase the reader's interest  to create a good impression Uniqueness of individual writing style  starts to develop in childhood  through the whole learning process  during our whole life P b. necessary: 4 . it reflects:  our background  education  life experience  career training  etc. When we write:  to take into account both the denotations and the connotations of the words  to create adequate context  to use dictionaries (synonyms. spelling.

quality control. honesty. events. decision-making. smile. b. to help the reader interpret the message in the way we want  additional knowledge about words 1. town etc. friendship. excavator. places Examples: ball. Concrete and abstract words Concrete words: They are: The use of concrete words: Abstract words: denotation sends to tangible persons. debate Their meaning: more difficult to express Necessary: - to define them - to illustrate them - to place them in adequate context - to use them with caution - the reader should know exactly what we mean 5 . - direct - precise - specific in nature - avoids misunderstanding (+) - cannot express fully what the reader intended (–) Concepts Ideas Feelings Impressions Examples: professionalism. house. objects.

The draft will be due in several months. 3. most. 6 . We are ready to cover part of these expenses. The draft will be due in three months. several – interpretation left to the reader Business writing – clarity = a main objective Abstract words  Concrete words 1. few.Examples: 1.000 2. The client has to pay $ 20. majority. The amount the client has to pay is large. We are ready to cover 40 % of these expenses. Group – a group of close friends – your office colleagues – specialists in the same field – mathematical concept 2.

cannot.  negative words  positive meaning  importance of context - to convey bad news - to say no with a negative word  depends on the relationship with the reader/partner  two possibilities Examples: a. defect However: Examples: "On inspecting the shipment. b. Complaints will be taken into account if made within 45 days. The tone of the message Combination of words  range of impressions  tone of the message positive neutral negative Difficult task: it involves: - finding the most appropriate words - careful selection - creating adequate context - dealing with positive and negative words Generally thought: negative words  negative communication Examples: no. c. unable. No complaint will be taken into account after 45 days. delay. we were unable to find any flaw". 7 . disappoint.1.

Short or long words Requirement: writing in business is short and simple Yet  the use of short. age. Here is the financial report you requested. 1. race discrimination to be more sensitive to people's feelings 8 . simple words does not always guarantee clearness Necessary: - to consider the reader first - to decide on the level of writing Sometimes: short/simple words  overused + lose their power Necessary: - to use vivid/lively words - impact on the reader Examples: Overused 1.1. e. Familiar and unbiased words Recommendation:   to avoid - jargon - slang expression - words showing gender. Pursuant to your request. improved version 2. d. we are enclosing herewith a copy of our financial report.

The layout of a business letter The layout of a business letter  some specific elements Information about:  the two companies that communicate by letters  the people authorized to communicate on behalf of each company  or may refer to the filing system that enables tracing a letter (or a number of letters in the correspondence file) 9 . should be confirmed by an official. discussed or agreed upon the phone. Business letters General aspects Communication between companies  various means  telephones  fax machines  the Internet a certain degree of informality that may not illustrate the real nature of the relationship Consequently  any important element in business. formal letter For this reason (and for many others)  writing ability appears in the top three activities of a business person Businesses value effective communicators:  being an effective writer can enhance your professional career  people in other departments of the company get to know you through your writing  your letters may get your superiors’ attention showing how effective (or ineffective) you are as a business communicator. to select words that express sensitivity.

. 1.Letterhead Date Reference line Inside address Salutation Subject line Main body of the letter Complimentary line Author’s signature Typed name Position Enclosures Fig. Main parts of a business letter 10 Figure 5. Main parts of a business letter.

" gives similar information about the sender 11 .: FW/ms/P25 - the letter was written/signed by Frank Warrington - it was typed by Mary Storm - is located in the file P (“petrol”) 25 "Our ref.The letterhead Information about the sender:  the logo  the company’s name and status  its address  telephone/fax number/ e-mail address The date There are various ways to express date:  2. (“our reference”)  helps tracing a letter in the file  the name of the person who signed the letter  the name of the typist  the filing code Example: Your ref. 2011  2/11/2011  The 1st of November 2011  November 1st. (“your reference”) Our ref. 2011 In business correspondence  pattern recommended: 2 November 2011 The reference line Your ref.11.

Dear Mr Robertson/ Dear Mrs/ Ms/Miss Watson – to address a person whose name is known to the writer. Dear Madam – the addressee is a lady whose name we do not know.The inside address indicates the following:  name and address of the addressee  position in the company (e.g. Dear Sirs – used to address a company.)  department  mail address – written exactly as given by your partner The salutation Forms of address used to open business letters depend on: the addressee’s status the social distance between the partners Dear Sir – when the addressee is a gentleman whose name we do not know. The Supply Manager. The Chief Accountant etc. Dear Bill .used to address a person with whom the writer is on friendly terms High officials or personalities: (the addressee’s name is associated with) - courtesy titles - titles deriving from appointment or honours - rewards Useful information: - no special form of address for the Prime Minister and members of the Ministry - ambassadors are addressed as: Your Excellency (formal) Dear Mr Rodson or Dear Lord Bart The subject line  below the salutation and underlined 12 .

concise. courteous  divided into paragraphs the letter)  information distributed according to the role of each paragraph The opening paragraph  makes connection between the subject line and the rest of the text (" above" or "above-mentioned")  refers to the source of information. which is used as a basis for the letter you are writing The following two or three paragraphs  the proper message of the letter  describe facts/give arguments/ make complaints/ make suggestions etc (according to the purpose of the letter) The closing paragraph  emphasises the main idea of the letter  restate the writer’s point of view  conclusion of the letter The last sentence of this paragraph often contains the formula: We look/are looking forward to hearing/ receiving news from you We look/are looking forward to your answer/reply/letter 13 . tells what the letter is about  helps the reader direct the letter to the right person  facilitates fast processing of correspondence Dear Mr Winter Tax collection The body of the letter  the main text of the letter (the message of  the rule of the “ four Cs”  clear. correct.

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: 2 copies of the Monthly Statement 15 .” (per procurationem) or “for”: Mary Smith p.The complimentary line  depends on the level of formality  the relationship between the writer and the addressee  directly related to the salutation Differences between British and American English: British English Salutation Complimentary line Dear Madam / Sir(s) Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Waters/ Yours faithfully Dear colleague/friend/customer Dear Mary Yours sincerely /Best regards/ wishes/ Kind regards Yours/ Best regards/ wishes/ Kind regards American English Salutation Gentlemen:/ Dear Madam / Sir(s) Complimentary line Truly yours/Yours truly/ / Faithfully yours/ Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Hudson Yours faithfully Sincerely yours/ Yours sincerely/ Best regards/ Dear Nicholas Best wishes/Cordially yours Best regards/ Cordially The signature given together with  the writer's typed name  the writer’s position in the company If the writer is not the person authorised to sign the letter: the printed name is preceded by: “p. gives the list of additional documents sent with the letter: Encl./encl.p.p. Tom Richard Supply Manager Enclosure line  the last point of a business letter abbreviated to Enc.

Yours sincerely. if you would accept our invitation? All the other de We look forward to your answer.2 Business letter (sample). following your article on new trends Since your ideas seem very interesting to us. Marion Evans Human Resources Manager Fig. Layout patterns/ styles: 16 . we would like to invite you to deliver some lectures to our sa We are sure that the new strategy you propose for selling medical equipmen Could you please confirm. WA 53124 27 January 2002 Our ref.Types of business letter layout MEDEQUIP Ltd. CG/mn/ T 99 Mr Paul Levin Marketing Society 667 WA 64702 Dear Mr Levin Training course We are writing to you in connection with the above-metioned subject. by 15 February 2004. .

 indented style  block style  semi-indented style The indented style requires: letterhead inside address complimentary close signature block  each line be indented as compared to the line above  closed punctuation (full stops. signature block and enclosure line) 17 . complimentary line. the use of punctuation in the main body of the letter is compulsory in both cases. commas. Combinations of the two patterns: semi-block style . etc) is used after each element and line of these layout items letter body  the first line of each paragraph is indented reference line date line complimentary line  are placed on the right-hand side The block style  all layout items are placed on the left-hand side  punctuation is omitted from all the items except for the main letter body  each line of the paragraphs starts in the left-hand margin  paragraphs are separated by double space The two patterns differ from many points of view However. salutation.(when some elements are placed in the centre of the paper or on the right-hand side) semi-indented style  indentation of the first line of each paragraph  full punctuation (inside address.

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Line) ________ (inside address) _________________ _______________ _____________ ___________ (salutation) ____________________ __(subject line) _______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ (complimentary line)______________ (signature) (typed name)___________________ (position)_________________ (Encl. Indented style layout (sample).)______________ Figure 7.(letter head)______________ ___________ _________ (date)______________ (ref. 19 .

line)________ (inside address)_________ Your ref: ______________________ Our ref: AC/gc/ Amst 03 ______________________ ______________________ Complete the following letter SUNSHINE Hotels 10 Lion Street 7 AHD Amsterdam The Netherlands 15 December 2003 The ROMFAST Bank 12 Queen Mary Street District 3 (salutation)__________ Bucharest (subject line)_____________ Romania ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ Dear Sirs ___________________________________________________________ Re: Banking services ___________________________________________________________ We …1… your …2… from Mr Toma Dănescu. who has …3… you as one of the most reliable banks in ___________________________________________________________ Romania. General Manager of ___________________________________________________________ "RomTour". (typed name)__________ Figure 8. (position)_____________ We would …14… if you …14… send us …15… about the card system and credit lines you can …16… us. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ We are …4… the hotel…5… and our …6… of hotels is well-known …7… Europe. (Encl)_______________ We look …18… to …19… from you soon.Bucharest. with two …9… in (complimentary line)____________________ Bucharest and we would …10… to …11… your bank for paying …12…our (signature) staff …12…our suppliers. Block style (sample). We have recently …8… the Romanian market.MAKING AN ENQUIRY (letter head)__________ ____________________ ____________________ (date)________ (ref. Yours …20… SCarlsson Steven Carlsson Head of Finance Department and then answer the questions: 20 .

1. Carlson’s action? He is  arranging a meeting  making payment  sorting out letters  giving a presentation  making an enquiry  making a proposal Letters of enquiry  asking for information You make an enquiry in order to find out:  where you can find the product  how much you have to pay for it  if you can get a discount  what quantities of that product are available  how soon the supplier may honour your order  what similar products are available on the market The paragraphs of an enquiry letter have clear functions: Paragraph 1st Function Examples introduction  "We have found the September issue of your magazine in the library of "RomTour"(how you found Bucharest. Steven Robson. What information is given in the first paragraph? 4. type of business etc. Managing Director of addressee: name. Which of the phrases below would you use to refer to Mr." 21 . Who writes on behalf of SUNSHINE Hotels? 2. FINDAS Corporation." information about the  "Mr. address.) has recommended your company to us and …"  "We have heard of your firm at the 3rd Fair of Consumer Goods in Tokyo last year. Who is the addressee? 3. one of our partners. What does Mr Carlson say in the second paragraph of his letter? 5.

" . 3rd    last paragraph - giving additional information about the situation. a prospective merger/partnership etc." ."We will be happy to offer you further details. offering to give further information." The general structure of an enquiry letter:  may begin directly with the request  information about the sender + his interest in the request made  has to indicate the source of information. which has facilitated the enquiry A letters enquiring about people  more specific  it shows clearly who you are enquiring about  describes the situation that has led to the enquiry (promotion to a top position.) Recommendations:  include a set of clear questions that will help the respondent to structure the answer accordingly  these letters should be very objective  should rely on facts  the information supplied should be used for business purposes only 22 . new employment."Our company is involved in road building." ."We would appreciate if you would consider our proposal for a partnership. giving brief information about your company. ending the letter (a formal sentence to close politely) - "We are in the hotel industry and our chain of hotels is well-known throughout Europe" . 2nd ." "Could you please send us your catalogue and price list?" "We look forward to hearing from you."We would like your comments on the possibility of organising a joint conference. launching the request.

taking action e. giving specific information in answer to the questions in the enquiry d. over the phone. getting or giving information about someone  with the permission from the person concerned  such information must be treated confidentially REPLIES TO ENQUIRIES A serious businessperson will always answer an enquiry. expressing hope for future co-operation 23 . by e-mail  a formal letter will be sent later Read the enquiry reply letter below and then find in its text the parts that comply with the functions given in the list below: a. expressing satisfaction for being contacted c. closing optimistically. Answers: - positive  an order or a contract will follow - negative (refusal) Interested in the proposal  answer it promptly! Experienced business people move fast:  confirm the letter: orally. confirming receipt of enquiry and thanking for the letter b.

including some new credit lines.03 Our ref: OD/ms/ Amst 03 The SUNSHINE Hotels 10 Lion Street 7 AHD Amsterdam The Netherlands Dear Mr Carlsson. We have recently developed our range of products. Re: Your letter of 15 December 2003 Thank you for your above-mentioned letter enquiring about our banking services. which are successfully used by many large Romanian firms and foreign companies working in Romania. Please contact us by phone or e-mail if you have additional questions.ROMFAST BANK 23 King Ferdinand Bulevard District 1. Our staff will be glad to help you make the best choice. our standards are high and our services prompt and efficient. As you have found out from some of our clients. Yours sincerely ODumitrescu Oana Dumitrescu Head of Marketing Department 24 . Bucharest Romania 20 December 2003 Your ref: SC/gc/Rom. We look forward to hearing from you soon. We are sending you enclosed a detailed description of our products and hope that you will find them suitable for you.

…9…. 5. you have failed to supply the goods as per the contract. we could …4… you a similar product at an affordable …5… and significantly …6… characteristics. 7. We _________ that we are __________to grant you such a big loan without third_______ guarantee.b Now fill in the paragraphs below taken from two letters of refusal: "We …1… to inform you that we no …2… manufacture the projector type you are …3… in. you do not …10… sufficient collateral. We ____________ inform you _______ the C12 video projectors are _____ of stock." A letter of refusal  carefully worded  the general tone of the letter  respect and understanding  to create a favourable atmosphere for a possible relationship in the future Stages:  confirm receipt of the enquiry letter  express regret (for not being able to help) 25 . as it results …11…your documents.2. 4. We _________to inform you that the opening you are interested in was filled two weeks ago." " Thank you for …1… letter …2…20 June 2004 …3… about a bank …4…. 2. Instead.a Complete the following sentences that are often used in letters expressing refusal: 1. 3. ____________. 2. We ________sorry ______ we ________ unable to help you ______ developing the project. After careful …5… of your documents. We are __________ that we ___________ send the goods so soon. We are sorry to _________you that we __________invest in hotel industry. we …6… to …7… you that we are …8… to help you. 6. Giving negative replies to enquiries 2.

 give reasons for your negative answer  offer an alternative (if possible)  end on a friendly. encouraging tone 26 .

we …6… restricted our …7… funds for a certain …8…of time. Yours …23… MBray Mary Bray Head of Investments Department 27 . … 18… your proposal is really interesting. Thank you again for your…19….STAR Bank 5 Long Street Edinburgh 3E 56 EG Great Britain Grungwald and Son 24 Forest Street Amsterdam The Netherlands Dear Mr Grundwald Reply to enquiry Thank you for your letter …1…18 May 2002. …20… our proposal does …21…fit you. we would like to …22…you every success in the future. we …3… that we are …4… to invest in your project for the moment. we can take your project as a priority at that time. We estimate that this will not …16…more …17…six months. …2… your proposal is very attractive. We …9… move back to our …10… investment …11… as …12… as some old …13… will …14…been … 15…. …5… some management changes.

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