business letters

By Barbara Coleman,2014-10-18 19:10
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business letters

    Unit 2

    1. Layout of business letters

    1) The heading

    The heading expresses the firms personality and helps to form an impression of the firm. Usually most firms have their headings professionally designed and printed at

    the top of the letter. It includes: the name, full address, postcode, telephone number, fax number, telegraphic address, email, web site and so on. It sometimes includes

    additional information, such as a listing of branch offices, the line of business, the

    year of establishment and so on.

    2) The inside address

    Its the name and address of the other party(receiver) and may have to be presented as

    evidence in the courts at some future time.

    Special care must be given to the use of the word Messrs ( an abbreviated form of

    Messieurs, the French word for gentleman) in addressing partnerships or

    companies. Its often used in the case of a firm named after one or more persons and omitted where the names are impersonal.

    Eg. Messrs Smith & Co,

    Messrs Hamito and Jacobs

    Textiles Import and Export Co.

    3) The date

    The date can never be omited. It is often necessary to refer to dates when some transactions must be checked. Its divided into American form and British form.

    th Eg. August 15, 2005 (US) 15August, 2005(Br.)

    The date is usually typed two lines below the inside address, either on the left-hand

    side or on the right-hand side of the letter.

4) The salutation

    Its the greeting of a business letter. It serves the same purpose as saying Hello on telephone. Dear Sirs is the customary salutation in British letter to a firm and Dear Sir is to an individual. While Gentlemen is usually the form preferred by

    Americans. Dear Madam is used when addressing the partnership which consists of women only. Of course, we can also say Dear Mr./Mrs/Miss/Ms when addressing

    by the name. title

    Dear the Manger of Import Department /Dear Import Department To whom it may concern

    5) The body of the letter.

    It should be accuracy, clarity and brevity, courtesy, consideration, and good writing.

    6) The complimentary close

    It provides the writer of a business letter with a chance to say good-bye at the end of

    the writing. If the salutation is Dear Sirs or Dear Sir, the complimentary

    close will read Yours faithfully or less commonly Yours truly. If the

    salutation is Dear Mr. Brown, the complimentary close will take the form Yours

sincerely. Dear Jack love / yours/sincerely

    American: Sincerely, Best Regards

    British: / Best wishes/ Kind regards/ Yours faithfully/Yours respectfully 7) The signature and the title of the signer

    Its correct to include both a handwritten signature and the writers typewritten

    name in commercial communication. Besides some form of personal identification is preferred, which may be provided through the use of a job title, the name of the

    writers department or division, or both.

Additional parts

    1) Reference number and/or initials

    They are generally used as a useful indication for filing. They enable replies to be linked with earlier correspondence and ensure they can reach the right person or department.

    Eg. B/D Corporation

    245 Lombart Street

    Lagos, Nigeria

    Tel: Telex: Fax:

    Our Ref: Your Ref:

    The refernece numbers and initials can be placed two lines below the inside address and before date or at the end of the letter on the left margin, two lines below the signature. In the heading

    2) Subject headings

    The subject heading can give helps to the reader to obtain the gist of the letter quickly. Its typed on the left margin or in the center, two lines below the salutation, and

    underlined. It can be indicated by the Latin word Re or the abbreviation form of

    the English Sub.

    E.g. Re: Our Order No. AB-6678

    Sub. Your Enquiry of 12 August for Shoes

    3) Enclosures

    When there is something such as a catalogue, a price list enclosed with the letter, this fact should be indicated by typing the word Enclosure, Encl. Or Enc. , two

    lines below the signature or reference number, if there are any. E.g Enclosure: A price list

     Encl: As stated

2. Letter styles

    Generally the prevailing formats in the business circle are grouped into three styles: Full-Block Style, Semi-Block Style and Modified-Block Style.

    1) Full-block style

    Its the most common style. The feature is that every line starts block with the left hand margin. This letterhead is usually printed either on the left hand side or in the center of the upper edge of the writing letter. Date can be typed on the left. 2) Indented style

    Generally most parts of the letter written in semi-block style start with the left-hand margin. But there are some exceptions:

    ; The date is typed near the right-hand margin at the top of the letter.

    ; The first line of each paragraph is indented (4 letters).

    ; The complimentary close, and signature start near the right hand-margin.

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