When the discussion on technology is raised, a most worthy topic on technology worthy of a research paper is how it has made communicating easier than ever. Today, people can communicate with each other through a host of channels including email and a variety of social media and the Internet. With all these tools at people’s disposal, it may seem like knowing how to write a business letter is no longer that important. But this assumption is simply inaccurate. While it is true that the channels through which we communicate have changed, writing business letters is far from obsolete. We still write such letters for many reasons such as when we send cover letters when we lodge inquiries, and when we conduct transactions of various kinds. Knowing how to write a business letter, therefore, is a basic skill that everyone should learn. In this post, we provide a quick tutorial on writing a business letter.
Know what you want
The first step in writing a business letter is knowing what exactly you want to convey. A business essay needs to be clear, concise, and direct to the point. If you are unsure of what you want to say, take some time forming your thoughts or looking at templates. For example, you can get a pretty good idea for a cover letter by looking at samples.
Know your full address
Begin writing the letter by indicating your address (sender’s address) on the upper left corner of the paper. State your full address including the street number, street name, district if applicable, city, and zip code. If you’re writing the letter on behalf of an organization such as your workplace or your school, use the organization’s address.
Be mindful of the date
Indicate the date you wrote the letter two lines below the sender’s address.
Know the full name of the recipient
Indicate the name and address of the recipient two lines below the date. Place the name on its own line. You may also include a personal title if applicable, such as in the case of “Doctor.” If you know the position of the recipient, include it directly below the recipient’s name. Finally, place the address directly below the position.
This is located two lines below the recipient’s address. The most commonly used salutation is “Dear” followed by the title “Mr.” or “Ms./Mrs.” You may use just the surname of the recipient followed by a colon. But if you are not sure about the recipient’s gender, you may omit the title and use the full name instead.
This is is the part where you express your full message. It is placed two lines below the salutation. The length of the body depends on the message you are conveying. However, you must remember that it should be brief and straightforward and expressed in a formal and courteous language. You may begin with a very concise greeting or opening followed by the letter’s main point. The next paragraphs are where you expound your point, such as by providing a justification, offering more details, or giving an explanation. The last paragraph is usually reserved for restating the letter’s purpose and, depending on the situation, including an expression of gratitude or an appeal for action. Tip when proofreading the body: it would also help that your punctuation guide is always handy.
Ending the letter
The letter ends with a closing, which is located two lines below the body. The closing usually uses a polite but neutral language, such as “Sincerely” or “Respectfully.” Place your full name four to five lines below the closing.
Enclosures are also added if they are sent along with the letter. You may simply indicate the number of enclosures or you may list their names. Place enclosures four to five lines below the closing.
- Paper Size. There is no standard paper size for letters, although the most commonly used are Letter (8.5’ x 11’) or A4 (8.27’ x 11.69’).
- Font and Size. Use an easily readable font, such as Time New Roman or Calibri. The size should also be readable. 12 is the most commonly prescribed size.
- Margin. The margin should be 1 inch on all sides.
- Block Formatting. The most commonly used format for a business letter is block formatting. This format requires that the entire letter be left-justified, single-spaced, and double-spaced between the paragraphs (hence the two lines).
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