Part1 The Components and Formats of Business Letters A sample of a letter ??Star Bank?? 45 River Road Stirling Scotland ST 3341 Tel: 123498 Fax: 197663 Web Site: http://
September 5, 2006
Universal Soffware, Inc. 2468 Oak Street San Francisco CA 94105 U.S.A
Attention: Sales Manager
Ladies / Gentleman: Subject: Inquiry about your product.

Sincerely Yours
SHEN John ( Mr.) Client Manager
Encl: 5catalogue
Previous woods Amazon, Hong Kong Office.
PS: please visit our web site: http://

The Essential Parts of a Business Letter A typical business letter consists of seven parts: the letterhead, the date, the inside address, the salutation, the body of the letter, the complimentary close, and the signature.
  2.The Date (日期)
  3.The Inside Address(内部地址)
  4.Salutation(称呼) Dear Mr. xxx Dear Mrs. Xxx Dear Miss. XXX Dear Ms. XXX Dear Dr. XXX Dear Prof. XXX Dear Sir(s) Dear Sir or Madam: Gentlemen Ladies and Gentlemen To Whom It May Concern
  5.The Letter Body(正文) It is the central part of the letter, usually following a subject line. If there is no subject line between, the message begins two lines below the salutation. Double spacing is used to separate paragraphs in the letter body The closing sentence. (结束语) At the end of the body, the sender wants to express a certain courtesy or a wish to further contact the recipient, he or she may usually start with: ● We are expecting your immediate reply. ● Looking forward to your detailed reply soon. ● I am looking forward to your reply soon. Or just to show a kind of consideration or trying to be considerate by simply saying: ● If you have any questions, please let me know, etc. ● If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

  6.The Complime ntary Close(信尾敬语) “Yours faithfully ”is used in letters beginning with “Dear Sirs”, “Dear Sir or Madam” or “Dear Sirs ” and “ Yours Sincerely” is used to match “Dear (name)” letters, or rather formal “Yours truly ” and the most formal,“ Yours respectfully ” or “Respectfully Yours” or simply “ Respectfully”
  7.Signature(署名) Every business letter must be signed. Type your full name on the fourth or the fifth line below and align with the complimentary close. Sign your name in the triple space between the two. The type-written signature and the title are typed below the hand-written signature, e.g. Yours Faithfully
(Your signature) Ma Qiang Personnel Director
  1.2 The Optional Parts of a Business Letter
  1.The Attention Line (指明收信人) If you want your letter attended by or directed to a specific person or department, add an attention line. This will speed up the sorting process within a company. For instance, it can indicate by “attention: Mr. Zhao, attn: Mr. Zhao”
  2.The Subject Line(主题行) It is written to indicate the subject and purpose of the letter so that recipients can easily identify the contents of the letter. There are a few ways to write the subject line. ● American Cars ● Re: Your order No. 453 for electric drills ● Subject: insurance policy No.234
  3.The Enclosure Notation(附件注明) When something else is sent together with the letter, you add the enclosure notation to inform the reader what is enclosed. The notation may be spelled out (Enclosure/ Attachment), or it may be abbreviated (Enc./At.). It may indicate the number of enclosures or attachments, and it may also identify an enclosure specifically, eg: Enclosure: Copy of Invoice 3505 Encl.(
  2) Enc. (
  3) Encls: 2 invioces and 2 pictures

  4.The Postscript Notation(附笔注明) A copy notation is typed one or two lines below the enclosure notation. A colon following is optional. Most people prefer to use notations like CC, cc, Cc, which all means carbon copy. Since most copies are now photocopied, some people use the notation XC (Xerox copy), PC (photo copy), or C (copy). However, if you do not want the addressee to know that someone else is receiving a copy, do not include this notation on the original copy. CC The Universal Trading Co., Ltd. C.C. Robert Keats, President

  1.3 Business Letter Formats The often used formats are explained as follows:
  1. Indented Format(缩行式) Almost all elements of the letter should have an indentation, for instance, letterhead, inside address, letter body. There is a rule for indentation. Each line of the “Inside Name and Address” should be indented 2-3 spaces, while in the body of the letter, the first line of each paragraph should need 4-5 space indentation on the left ?hand side of the sheet, while the complimentary close and the signature are centered or on the right-hand side of the sheet.
  2.Semi-block Format(半齐头式) It’s a combination of indented format and modified block format. It is very similar to the indented format with the only difference that the inside address should start neatly from the left-hand side of the sheet.
  3.Modified Block Format(改良齐头式) In this format, the first line of each paragraph in the letter body is not indented, while the letterhead, date line, complimentary close, and signature are aligned slightly past the center of the sheet.
  4. Full Block Format(齐头式) Letterhead is laid out in the center of the letter, while the rest elements of a business letter start from the left- hand side of the sheet neatly. Open punctuation is adopted for the inside address, which means that both sender ’s address and recipients’ address must avoid using more punctuations. The body of the letter has double spacing between the paragraphs. Typists generally prefer the full block format, for it has a simple appearance, and is quicker to type. Examples of Different Formats

  1). Indented Format
Letter Head Date Inside Address 口口 口口 口口 Salutation
Body 口口口口 口口口口 Complimentary Close Signature
  2) Semi-block Format Letter Head Date Inside Address
Body 口口口口
口口口口 Complimentary Close Signature
  3) Modified Block Format
Letter Head Date Inside Address
Body Complimentary Close

  4) Full Block Format Letter Head Date Inside Address
Body Complimentary Close
Look at the following samples of application letter Letter of Application
Salina Communityb College 45 Cottonwood Dr. Salina, KS 67401 Oct.14, 2006 Carl L. Meyerhoff Director of Grants Salina Area Grant Office 350 First Street
Salina, KS 67401
Dear Mr. Meyerhoff:
We would like to request a $15,000grant for salina Community College to improve access for the handicapped. I have enclosed our grant application.
The majority of the buildings on the Salina community College campus were built prior to 19
  53. Those built after 1945 are accessible to the handicapped. Unfortunately, Atkinson Auditorium, where we hold graduation, monthly convocations and other major events, was built in 1932 and is not accessible to the handicapped. The $15,000 grant would allow us to install ramps at each entrance and remove a row of seats for wheelchairs, making the entire campus accessible to the handicapped. Thank you for your prompt action on this grant. We shall look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely yours,
signature Mary Ellen Feldman Director of Physical Facilities
Part 2 Language Style and Tone
  1. Language Style Effective letter language today should be concise, businesslike, and polite.

  1.1 Concise Concise messages are essential. Learning to write conciselyto say in three words rather than tenwill mark you as a highly effective communicator.
  1. Use Specific Words Normally, specific words serve business writers better than general words. Specific words are not only more vivid but also helpful in avoiding misunderstanding. General Specific Congratulations on your recent honor Congratulations on being named the employee of the month. Please submit the completed report as soon as possible Sales skyrocketed this month month Please submit the completed report by March 15 Sales increased by 10 percent this

  2. Avoid wordy sentences Wordy sentences convey the same meaning with unnecessary words or details. They will delay the major purpose of the message. Notice how the following sentences are improved when implied ideas are reorganized. (
  1) She went to the bank and made the daily deposit. She made the daily bank deposit (
  2) She took the executive grammar course and passed it. She passed the executive grammar course. (
  3) She was a manager who was courteous to others. She was a courteous manager. (
  4) He walked in an impatient manner. He walked impatiently. (
  5)……the solution that we could debate about the longest. …… the most debatable solution.
  1.2 Emphasize Courtesy A courteous message takes its reader ’s feelings and points of view into consideration. A courteous message, like a courteous person, is polite, considerate, and emphatic. Courtesy depends on the writer’s understanding of the reader’s viewpoint and the assumption that the writer and the reader can cooperate on an equal basis 3 .
  2.1 Being polite Whenever you ask your reader to do something for you, don’t forget to say “ please”,
“thank you”, “I would appreciate it”,
  2.2 Be equal to each other Any letter you write should demonstrate your feeling that the reader is doing business with you because he or she has chosen the right person he or she trusts. Any word or sentence that interferes with the one-to-one relationship of equals is usually detrimental to the success of a message. Compare the following messages: PoorThis letter is to inform you of an important change in our policy concerning insurance. Good Since you are our regular customer, we are writing to let you know about our important policy change in insurance Poor You obviously made a mistake by sending me the wrong goods. Good Thank you for your prompt delivery. However, the goods that reached us were not the one that we had ordered Poor We have received your letter in which you claimed that ten teasets were damaged in shipment. Good We have noticed in your letter that one damage to ten teasets in shipment was found.
  1.3 Choose the Simple, Informal Words The degree of formality in writing is dictated by the nature of the message and the backgrounds of the receivers. The writing in dissertation, theses, legal documents, and high- level government documents is expected to be formal. Business memorandum, e-mail messages, letters, and reports are expected to be informal. Business writers prefer the informal words from the right column rather than the formal words from the left column: Formal Words Terminate Procure Renumerate Corroborate Utilize Elucidate Informal words End Get Pay Support Use Explain
Simple, informal words, compared with formal words, are readily understood, easier to spell, require less time in keyboarding and less space on a page, and are less likely to draw attention away from the idea being expressed
  4. Avoid Slangs Although business letters have become more and more informal and relaxed today, written language should always be more formal than that for oral communication, and
they cannot be so informal as to resort to slang or overly casual expressions. The following examples show incorrect style of language for business letters. Incorrect We’ll contact you when it’s OK How cool your latest series of Benz are! Correct We shall contact you when it is ready Your latest series of Benz are very attractive Thank you 11October. for your letter of
We have got your letter of 11 Oct.

  2. Tone of a Business Letter
  2.1 Writing for Your Audience You should adapt your message to fit the specific needs of your audience. A good writer has a strong mental picture of the audience. To help you envision the audience, first focus on relevant information you know about the receiver. The more familiar you are with the receiver, the easier this task will be.
  1. 2 Assume an e mpathetic attitude Empathy is an attitude that enables a person to identify another’s frame of reference (knowledge, feelings, and emotions) and to project or communicate understanding back to the person. T



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