Letter Format

• General
– 1 to 1-1/2 inch margins – Centered on page – Single-spacing within paragraphs – Double-spacing between paragraphs and sections – Quality paper

Letter Format Styles
• Modified Block with Indented Paragraphs
– Date line, complimentary close, signature, and name begin at center of page; first line of each paragraph indented 5 spaces

• Modified Block
– Date line, complimentary close, signature, and name begin at center of page; first line of each paragraph not indented 5 spaces

• Full Block
– Every line flush with left-hand margin

Letterhead or Return Address
• Official company letterhead • Or type address, flush left or center, with no name

Date
• Center or flush left • Spell out month and use complete numerals for the year (not 9/27/00) • Examples:
– September 27, 2002 – 27 September 2002 (European Style)

Inside Address
• Recipient’s name, title, and address • Flush left • Use appropriate title, especially if you don’t have a name • Example: Director of Human Resources

Salutation
• Dear _________: • Use position name or department name if you don’t know individual name. • Avoid anonymous and sexist greetings (Dear Sirs, Dear Sir/Madam, To Whom It May Concern)

Complimentary Close
• Place center or flush left • Use traditional closing followed by a comma

Signature/Name
• Type your name center or flush left, four spaces under closing • Place comma between your typed name and title or place title underneath name • Sign your name between the closing and your typed name • Use black or blue ink

Other Components
• Typist’s Initials: Your initials/typist initials (both lower case) gb/kl • Enclosure Notation: If you are sending another item with the letter, include “Enclosure(s)” or “Encl.” • Distribution List: Type “c.” or “cc.” if a copy or copies of letter are being sent to other readers

Memo Format
• General – Memo/Memorandum centered top line – DATE, TO, FROM, SUBJECT lines – 1 to 1-1/2 inch margins – Single-spacing within paragraphs – Double-spacing between paragraphs

DATE and TO/FROM
• Spell out month and use complete numerals for the year (not 9/27/00) – September 27, 2002 – 27 September 2002 (European Style) • Full name • Title and/or department

SUBJECT
• • • • • • No more than three words What is this memo really about? Orients and prepares the reader Project vs. Chesney Project Completed Meeting vs. Tuesday’s Meeting Report vs. Report Completion Date

Content
• Brief introductory paragraph that establishes context and states the letter’s purpose concisely. • Middle paragraph(s) that convey the content of the message. • Brief concluding paragraph that politely requests action, thanks the reader, or provides additional relevant information.

Direct Approach
• Anticipates no resistance to message • Communicates good news, straightforward information, requests likely to be granted • Begins with an up-front statement of purpose

Indirect Approach
• Anticipates resistance to message • Communicates “bad news” of some type • Begins with a buffer—material designed to win trust and goodwill; postpones the “bad news” or negative message

Buffers
• • • • • • • Agreement Appreciation Cooperation Fairness Good News Praise Understanding

Advantages of E-mail
• • • • • Quick sending and replying Inexpensive Embedded internet addresses Attached files Easy carbon copies

• • • • • •

Overuse Sloppy Habits Difficulty of Retrieval Security Concerns Less “permanent” paper trail E-mail is generally not used for extremely important or formal messages. • In professional setting, use e-mail for personal or routine communication

Potential Disadvantages and Limitations

Guidelines for E-mail
• Organize each message the same way you would a paper document of the same length. • Avoid using fancy formatting (italics, boldface, tab spacing, and so forth) • Check your message for spelling and grammar before you send it.

• DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. DOING SO IS OFTEN VIEWED AS “SHOUTING” AND ALL CAPS IS HARD TO READ. • Follow your company’s guidelines for using email. • Avoid “spamming” and “flaming.” • Be brief. • Follow-up.

Format
• Modification of traditional memo format— To, From, Subject, Date, CC • Use format in place in your e-mail system