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GUIDELINES FOR BUSINESS LETTERS

By June Diaz,2014-06-13 15:54
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GUIDELINES FOR BUSINESS LETTERS

    GUIDELINES FOR BUSINESS LETTERS

    ; Because letterhead stationary is used, the return address is not keyed.

    ; Top margin is usually 2 to 2 l/2”, depending upon how far down the page the letterhead

    extends and the length of the letter. Side margins are typically 1”.

    ; Either block or modified-block style is acceptable.

    ; The inside address begins with the most specific information on the first line and each

    line becomes more general in nature.

    ; The signature block appears a quadruple (QS) space below the complimentary close. The

    writer’s title can be keyed following a comma on the same line as his name, or it is keyed

    as a single space below his name.

    ; The company name can be keyed in all caps a double-space below the complimentary

    close. In this case the keyed name of the writer appears a quadruple space below the

    company name.

    ; Reference initials are used when someone other than the writer prepares a letter, and they

    indicate the person who keyed the letter. Lowercase letters are used and appear a double

    space below the signature.

    ; Enclosure, copy, and postscript notations appear below the reference initials.

    GUIDELINES FOR TWO-PAGE LETTERS

     At least two lines of the body of the letter must be carried to the second page. Avoid

    carrying over just the complimentary close and signature block. Avoid widows and orphans

    (single lines at the top of a page or at the bottom of a page).

     The second page requires a heading, either a single-line or a multiple-line heading. The margins and format of the second and succeeding pages should match the first page.

    Typically the top margin should be 1”.

     The second page should be keyed on plain paper, never letterhead. The paper should be of

    the same quality as the letterhead.

    You may be able to use the header feature of your software for the second-page heading.

    GUIDELINES FOR SECOND-PAGE HEADINGS

     The second page requires a proper heading, either a single-line or a multiple-line

    heading as shown below.

Example of a single-line heading:

     Ms. Sue Chin 2 April 25, 200-

Example of a multiple-line heading:

     Ms. Sue Chin

     Page 2

     1

     April 25, 200-

    GUIDELINES FOR SPECIAL LETTER PARTS

     Mailing notation is used when correspondence is to be sent via a special postal service. For example, Certified Mail, Registered Mail, or Special Delivery. Key the mailing notation a

    double space below the date, in all caps, and at the left margin.

     Attention line issued to identify the title or department of the person who should receive the letter when the sender does not know the person’s name. This notation should appear on the

    envelope and the letter: for example, Attention: Customer Refunds. Key the attention line as

    the first line of the address.

     Subject line is used to draw the reader’s attention to the main subject of the correspondence: for example, BUDGET REQUEST or Budget Request. Key the subject line in all caps a

    double space below the salutation at the left margin. Leave a double space after the subject line. Note: The AutoText feature can also be used to insert the above referenced letter parts.

    GUIDELINES FOR MEMORANDUMS

     Memorandums are correspondence written to people within the same business or

    organization. They are often called memos or interoffice memos.

     The top margin is usually 1” or 2”, depending on the length of the memo, and side margins

    are 1”. Single-spaced within the paragraphs and double-spaced between paragraphs. The formal memorandum uses a special heading, sometimes preprinted on the stationery.

    Typically, the guide words are in all caps or Bold Upper/Lower and double-spaced as follows:

To:

From:

Date:

Subject:

Double-space after the guide words.

     Double-space between the end of the body and the reference initials and any other special

    notations.

     Copy notations are typed on the line below the reference initials or below the enclosure or

    attachment notation. At the left margin, type a lower case “c” followed by a colon (c:), press

    tab and type the name of the person receiving the copy.

    Attachment notations are typed below the reference initials. Press enter once after typing your reference initials and then type Attachment at the left margin.

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    SPECIAL E-MAIL SOFTWARE FEATURES

    ; E-mail address list names and e-mail addresses of persons one corresponds with on

    regular basis that are kept in an address book and entered in the email on the TO line. ; E-mail copies copies sent to additional people of the same message. Cc: (courtesy copy)

    recipient knows message has been sent to others and Bcc (blind courtesy copy) recipient does

    not know message has been sent to others.

    ; Attachments allows one to send electronically documents such as reports, spreadsheets,

    databases, etc. The feature name varies in different software programs (i.e. Attached, Attach

    File).

    ; Forward One can send the entire e-mail message to others.

    ; Reply Enables one to reply quickly to e-mail message with original message included.

    TITLE PAGE GUIDELINES

    ; The title page (also sometimes called the cover page) is the first page of a report and

    typically contains the report title, the writer’s name, name of school, and the date. The

    name of the course and the teacher’s name may also be keyed on the title page.

    ; The title page should be centered horizontally and vertically on the page. Use the

    automatic centering feature of your software for horizontal and vertical centering of text.

    ; Typically the report title is keyed in all caps and bold.

    There are various acceptable formats for the design of the title page. If you are using a style manual, check the specific guidelines in that manual.

    OUTLINE GUIDELINES

    An outline is a type of enumeration. It usually follows the title page and precedes the report itself. Check your software for an outline feature that automatically formats the different levels. The guidelines for outlines follow:

     Leave a 2-inch top margin, or you may want to vertically center it on the page.

     Use the same side margins and format as the report itself.

     Center the heading in all caps and leave a quadruple space after the heading.

     Main entries (shown with Roman numerals) should be keyed in all caps or initial caps

    and bold. Double space before and after a main entry.

     Secondary entries (shown with capital letters) should have important words keyed with

    initial caps. These entries are the side headings in a report.

     All other entries (shown with Arabic numbers, i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc., and lower-case letters)

    should have only the first word in initial caps. These entries should be single-spaced.

    These entries are the paragraph headings in a report.

    Two spaces follow the entry numbers and letters. Thus, set tabs (unless using the automatic outlining feature) every 4 spaces.

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS GUIDELINES

    The Table of Contents follows the cover page of a report.

    The guidelines for a Table of Contents follow:

     Check your software! Some contain features that enable you to automatically create a Table

    of Contents from the Outline or report.

     Use the same margins as in the report itself.

     Center the heading, CONTENTS or TABLE OF CONTENTS, in all caps 2” from the top

    of the page, and quadruple space after the heading.

     Each entry in the Contents refers to a chapter or major section and should be keyed in capital

    and lower-case letters (initial caps).

     Precede each major entry with a Roman numeral and use right aligned tab stops with leaders

    (row of periods) to lead the reader’s eye from the entry to its respective page number. Check

    your software’s automated feature for creating leaders with tabs. Using the automated feature

    assures that leaders will be aligned consistently within all lines of text. Place a double space before and after all major entries. Single-space all secondary entries. Subtopics (secondary headings) within each section should be typed a double space below

    the major headings and formatted with a .5” indent.

    Number the Contents page(s) at the bottom center and with lower-case Roman numerals (i.e., i, ii, etc.) Check your software to insert and customize the page numbering.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY GUIDELINES

    A bibliography is an alphabetical listing of the material used in the report (such as textual citations, footnotes, endnotes, and related material which may have been used but not cited), and is located at the end of the report.The format for a bibliography page follows:

     Follow the margins used for the research paper (leaving a 2” top margin).

     Center the title, BIBLIOGRAPHY, in all caps, followed by a quadruple space between

    the title and the first entry.

     The first line of each entry should be flush with the left margin. Continuation lines

    should be indented .5” from the left. (i.e., hanging indentationrefer to automatic

    formatting features in your software)

     Single-space individual entries, with a double space between entries.

     Separate the main parts of an entry with commas; these are author (last name, then first

    name), title, date, and page numbers. Each entry ends with a period.

     Alphabetize the entries according to the last name of the author.

     Underline or italicize book, magazine, and newspaper titles and place quotation marks

    around the titles of articles, poetry, or essays. The date of the issue follows the periodical

    title.

    Always refer to a style manual for specific requirements.

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    UNBOUND AND LEFTBOUND REPORT GUIDELINES

    Unbound reports are typically short reports (either business or academic) prepared without binders or covers. A multi-page unbound report may be held together by paper clip or staple.

    Leftbound reports differ only in that they are bound with a binder or cover.

    The format guidelines for unbound and leftbound reports follow:

     The top margin of the first page on a business report is 2” and 1” on an academic report.

    Succeeding pages have a 1” top margin.

     Side margins are 1” for an unbound report. For leftbound reports, the left margin only

    is increased to 1.5” to accommodate for the binding or cover. The right margin remains

    at 1”.

     The bottom margin is 1”, although that may vary as page-break decisions are made.

    (Example: Avoid widows and orphans and do not split side headings from the paragraph

    that immediately follows.)

     Center the title of the report in all caps for business reports or initial caps for important

    words and bold for academic reports. Double-space between the title and the body of the

    report in an academic report and quadruple-space in a business report.

     Double-space the body of the report.

     The first page of some academic reports has a heading keyed 1” from the top at the left

    margin as illustrated (thus a title page is unnecessary).

    Anne Kilpatrick

    Ms. Jones

    English 10

    15 April 2004 (Date is keyed in military style.)

     The second and succeeding pages typically have a page number .5” from the top, aligned

    at the right margin. Double-space after the page number. Check your software for a page

    numbering feature or the use of a header for page numbers. There are several acceptable

    page numbering styles. The student’s last name should precede the page number.

    (Example: Kilpatrick 4)

     Indent the first line of each paragraph .5” (check the automatic special indentation feature

    of your software).

    

    Enumerated (numbered) items within a report should be single-spaced with a double-space between items. They should also be formatted with a left indentation of .5”.

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    UNBOUND AND LEFTBOUND REPORT GUIDELINES (continued)

    A long quote consists of four or more lines. An example of a long quote in a business report:

    In her book, Turabian provides the following definition of the ellipses:

    Any omission of words, phrases, or paragraphs in quoted matter is

    indicated by ellipsis points, which are period dots, not asterisks (stars).

    There should be a space before each dot, unless the first dot is a period,

    and a space also after the last if a word follows. (156)

An example of a long quote in an academic report:

    Jones 3

    Omission of words, phrases, or sentences of the original text is permitted on the grounds

    of brevity and to exclude irrelevant data.

    Writers should use their own words most of the time . . . In other words, credit

    must be given to sources, whether they are quoted directly or paraphrased.

    (Shepherd, 50)

    Quotation marks are not used in long quotes. Instead, block indentation is used to set off the textby .5” from the left (and right margins if you choose) in a business report and 1” from the

    left margin only in an academic report.

     A long quote begins a double space below the line preceding the quote and a double

    space should follow it.

     The spacing within a long quote is SS for a business report and DS for an academic

    report.

    Text references in reports can take several forms. Typically, you should refer to a style manual for the specific format required for your report.

     Textual citations (or parenthetical references) are formatted in parentheses within the

    body of a report. You can see an example of textual citations in the examples above of

    long quotations. The author’s name and the page number of where the source can be

    found is located in parentheses at the end of the passage (long quote).

     A second form is to place all the notes at the end of the report. These are called endnotes

    or works cited.

    A third way is to place the notes at the bottom of the same page on which they occur. These references are called footnotes. Check your software for automated features in formatting text references as either endnotes or footnotes.

    If not using an automated feature, typically, footnotes will appear a double-space below the last line of text on the page. A horizontal line (approximately 1.5” in length) separates the footnote from the text. After the horizontal divider line, double-space, indent the first line .5”, and key

    the superscript footnote number (superior figure) followed by the text reference in a proper form. Continue to consecutively number each footnote. Check the style manuals for variances in this format.

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    UNBOUND AND LEFTBOUND REPORT GUIDELINES (continued)

    Single-space continuation lines and begin them at the left margin. Double-space between footnotes.

    Footnotes require that you plan ahead and provide for the space needed on the page if not using an automated footnote feature.

    Footnotes, like endnotes or works cited, refer the reader to information outside the text. They may be used to acknowledge the source of information, to support arguments, to provide additional material, to identify quoted material, to elaborate on the meaning, or to refer to other parts of the text.

    Source footnotes provide the reader with the essential details necessary to find the reference. Source footnotes consist of these four elements:

    Author(s) + Title of Work + Facts of Publication + Page Reference

An example of a superscript text reference:

     1 At that time, he was In 1875, he moved to England.

Examples of footnotes:

    __________________

    1. Peter F. Drucker, Managing in Turbulent Times, Harper & Row, New York, 1980, p.

    165.

__________________ 1Peter F. Drucker, Managing in Turbulent Times, Harper & Row, New York, 1980, p.

    165.

     When endnotes are used instead of footnotes, they are placed at the end of the report

    typically on a separate page. Number the endnotes page the same way the other pages of the

    report are numbered.

     Center the heading, ENDNOTES, in all caps and use a 2” top margin.

     Use the same side margins as used in the report.

     Endnotes are numbered consecutively as they appear in the report and are preceded by a

    superscript number.

     They have a first-line indent of .5” from the left margin.

     Each individual entry is single-spaced, with a double space between entries. Endnotes are similar in content to footnotes.

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    WORKS CITED GUIDELINES

    The Works Cited page is an alphabetical listing of only those works you cited in the body of the paper. The following guidelines are based on the MLA (Modern language Association) style:

     The Works Cited page appears at the end of your paper and the page number should be

    numbered in sequence with the body of the report.

     Follow margins used for the research paper (leaving a 1” top margin). Double-space the

    list.

     Center the title, WORKS CITED, in all caps and leave a double space between the title

    and the first entry.

     The first line of each entry should be flush with the left margin. Continuation lines

    should be indented .5” from the left. (i.e., hanging indentation—refer to automatic

    formatting features in your software)

     Alphabetize the entries according to the last name of the author.

     Separate the main parts of an entry with periods; these are author (last name, then first

    name), title, publisher, and page numbers.

     Underline or italicize book, magazine, and newspaper titles and place quotation marks

    around the titles of articles, poetry, or essays. The date of the issue follows the periodical

    title. A colon and one space separates the date and the specific pages where the article

    can be found.

     Always refer to a style manual for specific requirements.

    OUTLINES, SIDE, AND PARAGRAPH HEADINGS

Outlines are an enumerated organizational tool.

Enumerated (numeral) items are numbered or listed items.

    Side Headings: Paragraph Headings:

*Begin at the left marginNOT *Indented .5” like the first line of a

    indented! paragraph, because it begins the first

    line of a paragraph.

*Does NOT end in a period. *Ends with a period.

*Stands alone. Paragraph that *Shares a line with the paragraph that

    follows begins on next line. A follows. Paragraph immediately

    DS precedes and follows the side follows the paragraph heading on the

    heading. same line.

*Initial cap all important words. *Only capitalize the first letter of the

     first word.

*Underlined. *Underlined.

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    BUSINESS FORMS RELATED TO PURCHASING

    Purchase Requisition

    A form to be completed by individuals within a business to request that items or services be

    purchased. Many companies require that purchase requisitions be completed and approved prior to a purchase order begin created.

    Purchase Order

    A form prepared by a business (buyer) and sent to another business (seller/supplier) to order items or services. It is a form sent to a business to order materials or services. The top portion consists of the heading information, and the bottom portion consists of the list of items ordered and the total amount of the order.

    Invoice (Bill)

    A form that the seller/supplier completes and sends to the buyer during the month indicating how much is owed for items bought or services rendered and due date for payment/payment terms.

    BUSINESS FORMS RELATED TO EMPLOYMENT

    Job Applications

    Many employers required that job applicants complete an employment application form in addition to any resume or application letter they may receive. The following are some tips in completing employment applications:

     Take a copy of your resume with you when applying in person and use the resume to help in completing the job application form.

     Obtain an application in advance if possible. Make a copy and use this as a rough draft to eliminate making errors on the final copy.

     Use only blue or black ink when completing a hand-written job application. Check to see if the application form is available on-line, it makes for a neater copy.. Always answer all items correctly and honestly. Employers can and do verify information. False information on any application documents is regarded to be sufficient justification to not hire an individual. In addition, if false information is discovered after employment, it can be

    considered a valid condition for termination. Most employment applications ask you to sign your name at the bottom of the document. With a statement immediately above your signature stating that you are verifying the information given by you to be accurate and truthful. Information that you will typically be expected to supply is:

    -Name, address and telephone number(s) where you can be reached.

    -The job opening for which you are applying.

    -Past employment history (to include dates of employment, job titles/descriptions,

    supervisor(s), and contact information such as addresses and telephone numbers, and reason

    for leaving.)

    -School attended (to include dates of attendance, diploma, degrees or certification achieved,

    and contact information)

    -Military history (to include dates of service, branch, terms of discharge, etc.) -You may also be asked to give references (individuals who can attest to your abilities and/or

    character). Typically, you should not use relatives or spouses as references. Additionally,

    make sure you contact any potential references, obtain their approval to be used as a

    reference, and know what type of information they will give about you. You want no

    surprises if you make it this far in the interview, and a poor reference could ruin your

    chances for employment.

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    BUSINESS FORMS RELATED TO EMPLOYMENT (continued)

    Resumes

    Resumes are a summary of your abilities and experiences. They should preferably be no longer than one page. Check your software and the internet for templates which can add a professional flare to your document.

    Formatting:

     Setting all margins to one inch is acceptable, however, you may choose to adjust any of

    these to fit the text.

     Always list the most recent information first (reverse chronological order) for both

    education and work experience.

     Key your name and contact information at the top of the page.

     List items so that the most important and impressive items are listed first. For example, if

    your educational background is stronger than your work experience, it should be listed

    first. If your work experience is more impressive that your educational background, then

    list work experience first.

     On a printed resume, use text enhancements to your advantage.

    Content: (Your resume should contain the following)

     Name and contact information.

     An objective, stating your goals or reasons for wanting the job opening.

     Education listed in the format addressed above. You may list any special skills acquired

    or courses taken which are relevant to the job opening. It is also helpful to include grades

    earned in those courses related to the job competencies.

     List school, community or previous work accomplishments, awards and honors.

     Work experience listed in the format described above. You will need to include dates of

    employment, job titles/descriptions, supervisor(s), and contact information such as

    addresses and telephone numbers. Use active verbs to describe job duties.

     Three to six references of individuals who can attest to your abilities/skills, character,

    work habits, and personality. Be sure to include all contact information such as name,

    address, telephone numbers (home/work/fax/cell as appropriate) and e-mail addresses if

    available. The references may be keyed at the bottom of the resume if space permits, or

    if listed on a separate page, key a statement similar to the following under the

    “References” section:

“References will be provided upon request.”

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