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Education Resources

Business Letter Writing Practices from Business Communication of SMU MBA

Sunday, January 9, 2011

When you enter any profession, you will come across one task that you have to perform which is of utmost importance, writing letters as a part of your routine work. You will be writing letters to other organizations and institutions, customers, clients, suppliers, government officers, credit agencies, employees etc.

These letters are commonly called ‘business letters.’ Business letters are usually written to inform readers of specific information. However, you might also write a business letter to persuade others to take action or to propose your ideas. Business letters can be challenging to write, because you have to consider how to keep your readers’ attention. This is particularly the case if your readers receive large amounts of mail and have little time to read.

Writing business letters is writing any other document: first you must analyze your audience and determine your purpose. Then you gather information, create an outline, write a draft, and revise it. The key to writing business letters is o get to the point as quickly as possible and to present your information clearly.

While doing this you should always bear in mind the ‘audience’ of your letter, the person who is going to read your letter. So your letter should appeal to the reader. The best way of doing this is to put yourself in the shoes of your reader and foresee his reaction on reading your letter. Ask yourself “How would I react if I received this letter?”

The answer to this question will help you to decide about editing your letter. Sir Ernest has remarked aptly while he was advising about handling official correspondence, if he is rude, be especially courteous. If he is muddle-headed, be especially lucid. If he is pig-headed, be patient. If he is helpful, be appreciative. If he convicts you of a mistake, acknowledge it freely and even with gratitude.”

The business letter writing practices chapter has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA MB0023 in the sequence of Elements of Writing and Cohesion in English Grammar.

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