Business Studies XI Content
Structure of business letters
Business letter is one which appears well, is written well and communicated well. It includes several parts and the parts are arranged in sequence to make it meaningful. Arranging various parts in proper sequence in letter is called structure of business letter. The structure is heading, opening, body and closing:
Heading is used to convey a positive image of the company. Because it includes the company’s address, phone and often email. It is not necessary to include that information again in the body of the letter. Sometimes the writer will provide a direct phone number or personal email address if the action statement calls for direct communication.
Two spaces below the date are the full name and business address of the person to whom the letter is addressed. If several people are receiving the letter, all their names and addresses should appear. The address on the letter should be the same as the address on the envelope. As with the date, there can be legal consequences for inaccuracies. The address on the letter is presumed to be the one to which the letter is actually sent. If it is incomplete or inaccurate, a recipient can make the case that the letter was mailed to the incorrect address as well.
Full date must be included in the letter. The date can be any agreement being made Because the letter is a formal document, often used in contract situations, the date can be extremely important. The letter is usually dated the same day on which it is mailed, but whatever agreements are included in the letter are considered effective as of the date of the letter.
The formal greeting always starts with “Dear” followed by the person’s title and last name, and ending with a colon. This requires finding out whether the recipient is properly addressed as Mr., Ms. Or Dr. Attempts to avoid the issue (i.e. Substituting the title with the person’s first name, using impersonal phrases like “Mr. Or Ms” or “To Whom It May Concern”, or eliminating the salutation entirely) indicate that the writer doesn’t actually know the recipient of the letter at all, making the letter a “form” letter, a much less formal document.
The first paragraph of the letter will define the context, providing a clear statement of the letter’s topic and purpose. Avoid starting a letter flowery language that doesn’t explain what the letter is about. In social letters or in letters written for businesspeople, it is appropriate to begin a letter with a question about the family or a comment about recent weather or world events. U.S. businesspeople, however, generally prefer to find out right away why the letter has been written.)
The typical letter uses one to three paragraphs to provide the information relevant to its purpose. Each paragraph should cover a single topic or point. In the case of a long letter that covers multiple pages, it is appropriate to break the information into sections with internal headers or bullets to provide clarity.
The final paragraph of the letter provide a clear, straightforward statement of the action that will be taken be the writer, requested of the reader, or expected by a third party.
Two spaces below the final paragraph of the letter, a traditional closing line, generally “sincerely” or “respectfully,” ends the letter. If the situation calls for a warmer tone, the closing might be “cordially,” “best wishes,” or “regards.”
A four-line space allows room for a written signature immediately below the closing, then the sender’s full name is typed, with the full business title (sometimes with the department or division as well) on the next line. The signature on a business letter signifies that the writer is taking responsibility for fulfilling any commitments being made. Thus, even when the sender and recipient know each other well, a full signature is used.
When writing on behalf of a team or department, type the group’s proper name immediately above the written signature of the team’s representative.