Online Technical Writing:
Business Correspondence: Overview
his section discusses general format of business letters, shows you the four common business-letter formats, and discusses some basic guidelines for writing style in business letters.
For related matters:
* See the section on resumes.
* See the section on application letters.
* See the section on inquiry letters.
* See the section on complaint and adjustment letters.
Here are some relevant websites on business communication:
* Business Letter Writing. A useful site maintained by Patrick Burne, a retired business communication consultant.
The following is concerned with the mechanical and physical details of business letters. (All of the components discussed in the following are illustrated in Figure 1-1.)
Heading. The heading contains the writer's address and the date of the letter. The writer's name is not included and only a date is needed in headings on letterhead stationery.
Inside address. The inside address shows the name and address of the recipient of the letter. This information helps prevent confusion. Also, if the recipient has moved, the inside address helps to determine what to do with the letter. In the inside address, include the appropriate title of respect of the recipient; and copy the name of the company exactly as that company writes it. When you do have the names of individuals, remember to address them appropriately: Mrs., Ms., Mr., Dr., and so on. If you are not sure what is correct for an individual, try to find out how that individual signs letters or consult the forms-of-address section in a dictionary.
Salutation. The salutation directly addresses the recipient of the letter and is followed by a colon (except when a friendly, familiar, sociable tone is intended, in which case a comma is used). Notice that in thesimplified letter format, the salutation line is eliminated altogether. If you don't know whether the recipient is a man...