This resource explains the two dominant ideas in professional writing that will help you produce persuasive, usable résumés, letters, memos, reports, white papers, etc. This section outlines the concepts of rhetorical awareness and user-centered design, provides examples of these ideas, and it contains a glossary of terms.
This resource is organized in the order in which you should write a business letter, starting with the sender's address if the letter is not written on letterhead.
Through this paper the author wants to persuade the employer to sponsor a workshop for all employees to improve their writing skills, to increase business communications and to avoid arguments through poor communication.
New York Times applauded Fifth Business – the first of the Deptford triptych – as "a marvelously enigmatic novel, elegantly written and driven by irresistible narrative force." How true this is.
If your computer is equipped with Microsoft Office 2000, the Letter Wizard can be used to take much of the guesswork out of formatting business letters. To access the Letter Wizard, click on the Tools menu and then choose Letter Wizard. The Wizard will present the three styles mentioned here and input the date, sender address and recipient address into the selected format. Letter Wizard should only be used if you have a basic understand of how to write a business letter. Its templates are not applicable in every setting. Therefore, you should consult a business writing handbook if you have any questions or doubt the accuracy of the Letter Wizard.
When writing business letters, you must pay special attention to the format and font used. The most common layout of a business letter is known as block format. Using this format, the entire letter is left justified and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs.
For block and modified block formats, single space and left justify each paragraph within the body of the letter. Leave a blank line between each paragraph. When writing a business letter, be careful to remember that conciseness is very important. In the first paragraph, consider a friendly opening and then a statement of the main point. The next paragraph should begin justifying the importance of the main point. In the next few paragraphs, continue justification with background information and supporting details. The closing paragraph should restate the purpose of the letter and, in some cases, request some type of action.
This resource provides writing guidance for administrative and clerical staff, including, audience awareness, conventions of particular genres, and general business writing tips such as concision and tone management.
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Skip another line before the salutation, which should be followed by a colon. Then write the body of your letter as illustrated here, with no indentation at the beginnings of paragraphs. Skip lines between paragraphs.
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When you use the block form to write a business letter, all the information is typed flush left, with one-inch margins all around. First provide your own address, then skip a line and provide the date, then skip one more line and provide the inside address of the party to whom the letter is addressed. If you are using letterhead that already provides your address, do not retype that information; just begin with the date. For formal letters, avoid abbreviations where possible.
Keep in mind that different organizations have different format requirements for their professional communication. While the examples provided by the OWL contain common elements for the basic business letter (genre expectations), the format of your business letter may need to be flexible to reflect variables like letterheads and templates. Our examples are merely guides.
Ah, business letter format-there are block formats, and indented formats, and modified block formats . . . and who knows what others. To simplify matters, we're demonstrating the block format on this page, one of the two most common formats. For authoritative advice about all the variations, we highly recommend The Gregg Reference Manual, 9th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001), a great reference tool for workplace communications. There seems to be no consensus about such fine points as whether to skip a line after your return address and before the date: some guidelines suggest that you do; others do not. Let's hope that your business letter succeeds no matter which choice you make!