When to Use a Business Letter? • Request or order letters • Complaint or adjustment letters • Appreciation or Commendation Letters • Letter of Application (job) • Letter of Regret
7 Parts of a Business Letter • Sender’s address (your street address, city state and zip code) • Date • Recipient name, title and address • Salutation (greeting) • Paragraphs- body • Closing • Signature
Format • Use plain 8 ½ X 11 inch paper • Typed-single spaced, skipping lines between paragraphs • All letters should have 1 inch margins all around. • Centered • Times New Roman font, 12 point
Format Cont. • Skip one line after each of the elements; skip 3 lines after closing to leave room for your signature. • No more than 1 page • 2 main types of business letters: block form and indented form.
Block Form • The entire letter is typed flushed left • Creates a “block” look; simple and neat.
Indented Form • Beginning of the sender’s address and date should be aligned with the center of the page. • Sender’s address and date directly below one another • Recipient’s address and salutation is flushed left • Paragraphs are indented ½ inch
Language • Remember to use formal language- NO SLANG!! • Avoid abbreviations (UCLA, USC, FJC for example) • NO contractions (can’t, don’t, won’t, etc…) • Do not use nicknames • See the “business letter” vocabulary bank for help!
Tips for Writing • Research and know your audience. • Use formal, academic language. • Polite, respectful and professional tone • Get to the point! Be clear, concise and explain the purpose quickly- DO NOT ramble….shorter is actually better! • Include all necessary information
Resources to help you… • http://readwritethink.org/materials/letter_generator/