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Letter Format

Letter Format

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Letter Format

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  1. Letter Format • General • 1 to 1-1/2 inch margins • Centered on page • Single-spacing within paragraphs • Double-spacing between paragraphs and sections • Quality paper • Full block style (every line flush with left margin)

  2. Writer’s Address or Letterhead • Type address with no name • Official company letterhead

  3. Date • Spell out month and use complete numerals for the year (not 8/27/13) • Example • August 27, 2013

  4. Inside Address • Recipient’s name, title, and address • Use appropriate title, department, or company name if necessary • Examples: Director of Human Resources, Human Resources Department, H & H Manufacturing

  5. Salutation • Dear _________: • Use title, department, or company name if necessary • Avoid anonymous and sexist greetings (To Whom It May Concern, Dear Sirs, Dear Sir/Madam)

  6. Complimentary Close • Use traditional closing followed by a comma • Example: Sincerely,

  7. Signature/Name • Triple or quadruple space after the complimentary close and type your name • Place comma between your typed name and title or place title underneath name • Sign your name between the closing and your typed name using black or blue ink

  8. Typist’s Initials • Your initials/typist initials • GB/pw

  9. Enclosure Line • If you are sending another item with the letter, include Enclosure, Enclosures, Enclosures (3), or Enclosure: Receipt • NOTE: Also mention enclosure in the body of the letter

  10. Copy Notation • Use when a copy or copies of letter are being distributed to another reader or readers • cc: Name(s), title(s) (appears on all copies of letter) • bcc: Name(s), title(s) (appears only on blind copy)

  11. Claim Letter Addressed to Customer Service Dept. Enclosure cc: John Peters, CEO

  12. Enclosure cc: John Peters, CEO bcc: Felicia Jones, Attorney at Law Abbot and Jones Law Firm

  13. Writing and Organizing Letters

  14. Content • Brief introductory paragraph that establishes context and states the letter’s purpose concisely. • Middle paragraph(s) that convey the content of the message in a logical order. • Brief concluding paragraph that politely requests action, thanks the reader, or provides additional relevant information.

  15. Organization • Two approaches • Traditional, Direct Approach • Indirect Approach

  16. Direct Approach • Anticipates no resistance to message • Communicates good news, straightforward information, requests likely to be granted • Begins with an up-front statement of purpose

  17. Indirect Approach • Anticipates resistance to message • Communicates “bad news” of some type • Begins with a buffer—material designed to win trust and goodwill; postpones the “bad news” or negative message

  18. Buffers • Agreement • Appreciation • Cooperation • Fairness • Good News • Praise • Understanding

  19. Using E-mail Effectively

  20. E-mail Use • How many use it regularly? • Why or when do you use it?

  21. Statistics: Radicati Group • 825 million business e-mail accounts worldwide as of 2012 • Expected to grow to 1.15 billion (35% by 2016) • As of 2012, 89 million business e-mails sent per day • About 105 per day, per account

  22. Advantages of E-mail • Quick sending and replying • Inexpensive • Embedded internet addresses • Attached files • Easy distribution of copies

  23. Potential Disadvantages • Overuse • Sloppy Habits • Difficulty of Retrieval • Security Concerns • Less “permanent” paper trail

  24. Limitations of E-mail • E-mail in the workplace is generally not used for extremely important or formal messages or for personal use. • Instead, use e-mail for routine communication

  25. E-mail Format • Modification of traditional memo: From, Date, To, Subject, CC • Organize each e-mail the same way you would a letter. • Use paragraph breaks if needed • Include salutation if desirable and signature block

  26. Guidelines for E-mail • Avoid using fancy formatting (italics, boldface, tab spacing, and so forth) • Check your message for spelling and grammar before you send it. • DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. DOING SO IS OFTEN VIEWED AS “SHOUTING” AND ALL CAPS IS HARD TO READ.

  27. Follow your company’s guidelines for using e-mail. • Avoid “spamming” and “flaming.” • Be brief. • Follow-up.