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IS2101 Business and Technical Communication

Business Correspondence Tutorial

Task 1: Look at the examples below. Which is more appropriate – (a) or (b)? Why?
Example 1:
(a) With effect from 14 July, I suggest that your goods be delivered at 7.00 am instead of the usual 6.30 am. I
seek your cooperation in this respect.

(b) My suggestion is that we deliver your goods promptly at 7.00 am sharp instead of the usual 6.30 am. If this
is not convenient, please let me know and I will make alternative arrangements.

Example 2:
(a) You probably did not notice that your order was mailed after our special gift order had expired.

(b) You do not qualify for the free gift because you did not respond within ten days.

Example 3
(a) If there should be any questions concerning this matter, please call the number listed on the letterhead

(b) We look forward to working with you. Meantime, if there is anything further that we can do for you, please
let us know.

Example 4
(a) I, as a frequent borrower, wish to inform you that I am pleased with the quality of the National Library over
the years.

(b) As a regular user of the National Library, I would like to express my appreciation for the improvements
made in the last 10 years.

Task 2: Read the sentences in each of the situations presented below. What makes the style
and tone inappropriate in these sentences?

(a) A company director writing to a group of managers to obtain their cooperation with the implementation of
an unpopular company policy:

As of 1 October, all allowances for travel and entertainment will be halved. This was decided at the board
meeting on Wednesday. I seek your understanding and cooperation in this matter.


(b) The director of an orphanage writing to residents in the neighbourhood for donations to cover operation
costs for the orphanage:

Surely, you can afford to set aside at least $10 or $20 as donation for the orphanage. After all, it Is for a good
cause. In enjoying the comfortable life that we lead, let us not forget those who are less fortunate.

Problems: __________________________________________________________________

IS2101 Business and Technical Communication

(c) A student writing to a lecturer:

Hi Ms Tan!

Can I ask u a favour? Can u write me a reference letter and send it to me by this Friday? Sorry short notice 



Task 3: Look at the emails/letters given below. Considering the objectives and reader-writer
relationship, is the message in each appropriately conveyed? Can it be improved? As a team,
re-write the message where necessary and share your writing with the class.

Sample (a)

Paradise Resorts (S) Pte Ltd

#18-25/29, Raffles Tower
Singapore 102525
15 July 2010

Mr Q. Khanh
c/o The International Herald Tribune
231 West 57th Street, New York
New York 10019

Dear Mr Khanh
Is the introduction effective?
My General Manager, Mr George Woo, has just read about you in the Does it sound sincere or
International Herald Tribune and is very impressed by your talent. After I patronizing? Is the objective of
have read that article, I am just as impressed by you. the letter stated?

Paradise Resorts (S) Pte Ltd is a young and enterprising company which has
a special interest in developing green resorts, resorts that are surrounded by
nature but are not a threat to nature at all. In line with the company’s green Is the background information
policy and using advanced construction methods, we are able to build resorts clear and sufficient?
that are of world standard and yet environmentally-friendly. We have
recently invested in a few projects to build resorts in Vietnam. The foremost
project is the Nha Trang Marine Paradise, which is near completion.

After we have read about you and your vision, we found that you and
Paradise Resorts share a similar vision – that development need not
necessarily be harmful to nature.
What is the objective of the first
We would like to invite you to give a talk to our trainees who are recruited to sentence of this paragraph?
manage the green resorts projects. We would like you to share your daring Is the choice of words in this
design ideas with them so that they can learn from your experience. You are sentence appropriate (“You are
an asset to the company as you can share your vision of the future with our an asset to …_)?
staff and help us realize our vision for our projects in Vietnam.

As our company’s focus will be on Vietnam in the next few years, we can
help to achieve your vision by building green resorts that are designed by
you. Should you have any query about the job offer or the talk, please feel What job offer?
free to write or email me at

IS2101 Business and Technical Communication

Yours sincerely

John Lim
Vietnam Development Team Manager

Sample (b)

A team of NUS Business School students was assigned to an engineering company to work on a project jointly
organized by Spring Singapore , The Business Times and the NUS Business School. Their supervising
professor has earlier sent an email to the directors of that company informing them of the names of these
students and requesting their support. Now these students have to write to the company to arrange for meetings
to discuss this project.

Here is their email:

Dear Mr Jeffrey Tang and Mr Calvin Oh

We are Chen Ling, Richard Ho and Roy D’Souza from the NUS Business School.

Congratulations for achieving the top global sales in digital valve controllers for 2009, on top of clinching the
Spring Singapore Enterprise 100 award for the second successive year.

We are the team assigned to work with you in the coming months and we are truly honoured to be working with
your company.

In view of this E100 Educational Project, we look forward to meet you to learn more about your company. We
are available on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings. Please advise us what time would be most
convenient for you, possibly in the coming week.

Thank you for your time and we hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Sample (c)
The following email was sent by the HR Director of a small manufacturing company requesting the employees
to participate in a job satisfaction survey. Since participation in the survey cannot be made compulsory, the
employees have to be persuaded to take part. Here is the email:

To: All staff

From: Robert Yang
Director of Human Resources

Subject: Job Satisfaction Survey

Employees are the company’s assets. A satisfied employee will lead the
company to achieve its mission and goal. A survey called Job Satisfaction Index
(JSI) will be offered to all the employees to measure their job satisfaction.

The survey covers satisfaction on the work itself, pay, promotion, co-workers and

IS2101 Business and Technical Communication

supervisors. The findings will help to improve these five items mentioned.
Therefore, the input from each and every employee is important, as the actions
taken will be based on the problematic areas identified from the research
findings. This survey will not affect productivity since it takes only 30 minutes to

It is assured that your feedback gathered will be kept confidential. Simply fill in
the attached survey form and send it back to HR before 15 July –