Structure of a business letter

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I. What are different forms of
1. Forms of correspondence:
-first-class post
-hand-written letter
-typed letter
-internal memo
-Post-It note

2. Advantages of letter writing:
-A record can be kept for the files.
-Errors can be changed.
-You can write or read when you are in the
right mood.
-You can take your time over planning and
how you will express complicated or
delicate details.

3. Disadvantages of letter writing:
-Writing takes longer.
-There is no feedback or the feedback is
-No personal touch
-No smiles
-No handshakes

II. Parts of a business letter
1. Letterhead – Sender’s address
-The sender’s address is placed on the top
right-hand corner of the page.
-The printed letterhead is in the top-middle
of the page.
-It includes: Company’s name (type of
company), address, telephone and fax
numbers, email and website addresses.

2. Date
-The date is written below the letter head or
sender’s address, separated from it by a
-The month in the date shouldn’t be written
in figures.
E.g. 11 February 2010 (BE) not 11/02/10
January 10 1997 (AE) not 01/10/97

3. References
-References are often quoted to indicate what the
letter refers to (Your ref.) and the
correspondence to refer to when replying (Our
-References are in figures or consist of the signer’s
initials in capitals followed by a stroke followed
by the typist’s or secretary’s initials, this item
serves as a reminder of who prepared the letter.
E.g. Our ref: JG/ts
Your ref: NQ/la

4. Inside address
-The inside address is written below the sender’s address
and on the left-hand side of the page.
-The inside address appears in the following orders and
includes the following things:
*Title – name
*Job title
*Name of house or building
*Number of building & name of street, road, avenue…
*Name of town or city and postcode
*Name of country
(No punctuation after lines of the addresses)

-Courtesy titles used in addresses as follows:
*Mr. is used for a man
*Mrs. is used for a married woman
*Miss is used for an unmarried woman
*Ms. is used for both married and unmarried women
-E.g. Mr. James Green
Marketing Director
Green Industries Inc.
999 Park Avenue
IL 61125

5. Attention line
-The attention line is not always required. It
should be used when the letter is
addressed to a company as a whole but
the sender want it to be handled by a
specific individual at the company or...
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