Parts of Business Letters
Nine Elements
The Subject Line 事由/主题行 The Body Paragraphs 信文 The Complimentary Close 结尾敬词 The Signature 签名 Reference Initials 打字员姓名缩写 Enclosure 附件 The Copy 抄送 Postscript 附言 The Continuation Sheet 续页
The Subject Line
The Subject Line which helps both the sender and the recipient identify the subject matter is optional. Subject line may be emphasized by underlining, using bold font, or all capital letters.
For Example
Below are some samples of the subject line.
The Body Paragraphs
The body is where you can explain why you’re writing. It’s the main part of a business letter.
The Complimentary Close
This short, polite closing ends always with a comma. The traditional rule of etiquette in Britain is that a formal letter starting "Dear Sir or Madam" must end "Yours faithfully", while a letter starting "Dear Mr.Li" or other exact names, "Yours sincerely" would be a better choice.
samples of The Complimentary Close
Formal Semiformal Informal
Yours faithfully Sincerely yours Sincerely Yours very truly Cordially yours Cordially Faithfully yours Very cordially yours (Best) regards Take care Thanks Love
The Signature
The signature consists of a symbol (either handwritten or chopped , usually illegible) , the typed-out name and sometimes a title.
For Example
Reference Initials
Reference Initials identify the writer of the letter and the person who typed it. They are mainly for the benefit of the writer and used for administrative purposes.
If you have enclosed any documents along with the letter, you indicate this simply by typing Enclosures one line below the closing.
For Example
When something else is sent together with the letter, you add the enclosure notation to inform the reader what is enclosed. For example:
The Copy
Copies of the letter may be sent to various people, who need to know about the message even though it doesn't pertain to them directly.
A postscript is an afterthought, and in formal letter it is usually a sign of poor planning. But as a special advice, it has two legitimate functions. 1/. Some executives, to add a personal touch to their typewritten letter, occasionally add a postscript in pen and ink. 2/. Writers of sales letter often withhold one last convincing argument for emphatic inclusion in a postscript.
For Examples:
PS: the catalogue was sent to you on July 7th. PS: Please visit our web site: http://www.
The Continuation Sheet
There is a subtle difference between a continuation sheet and a letterhead. A continuation sheet often has less information than a letterhead as it is not required. For instance, a letterhead is likely to have the company address, contact information and company logo. A continuation sheet may only have part of this information, taking up less space on the page. In some cases continuation sheets are blank but printed using the same stock for consistency.



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