How to Write a Business Letter – Tutorial

Letters are written for both business and personal reasons. However, business letters are generally more formal than personal letters. Such letters include specifically tailored letters and are used to apply for jobs or as complaint/sales letters.

According to studies, people who write well are more likely to have relatively more successful careers. Mastering skills in writing business letters can make a whole lot of difference in your work life. For example, a well-written business letter applying for a job may lead to a better and upgraded position.

Types of Business letters

Although, there are many kinds of business letters, the same principles of letter writing apply to each kind. Here, we will offer several useful suggestions that are helpful in most of the following business letters.

  • Letters of application
  • Complaint letters
  • Acknowledgement letter
  • Adjustment Letter
  • Inquiry Letter
  • Order Letter
  • Response Letter

Steps of writing a Winning Business Letter

If you are writing a business letter, you should be able to effectively follow all these guidelines which are elaborated below.

For making sure, your business letter is up to the mark, make sure it is

  • Clear
  • Precise
  • Formal
  • Convincing

Concentrate on Each Part of Business Letter

Concentrate on Each Part of Business Letter

State your Complete Address

A business letter has to include the writer’s address and the date. It is located on the top of the page, and it generally consists of  three lines.

The first line gives the writer’s street address, and the second gives the city, state, and ZIP Code. The third depicts the exact date the letter was drafted. Most of the heading may be omitted in a personal letter, but always include the date.

Write the Recipient’s Name and Address

The name and address of the recipient must be clearly written. In many business letters, the inside address may also be written in three lines.The recipient’s name appears on the first line; the street address on the second while the state, city, and ZIP Code on the third.

The inside address of a letter for a specific person in an office must state the person’s business title and the name of the company. A lot of names and titles should be written out in full. While, a few abbreviations of titles are commonly used, especially Dr., Mr., Mrs., and Ms.

Write the Recipient's Name and Address

Use the Right Salutation

This is also called the greeting and it should begin two lines beneath the ending line of the inside address. In business letters, the most general salutation makes use of a title and the person’s last name, such as Dear Ms. Robert or Dear Dr. Francis.

Use Dear Sir or Madam when the recipient’s name is not known to you or when you addressing the company. If they are friends, you can also use their first name, such as Dear Francis or Dear Jennifer. A colon must be after the salutation in a business letter, however a comma is used for the same in a personal letter.

Clearly state your Objective

The body has to contain the writer’s actual message. In a letter that is typed, the body should begin two lines below the salutation. All paragraphs which are in the the body should be separated by a space of one extra line.

Clearly state your Objective

Close your Business Letter Politely

Just as the salutation greets the reader at the start of a letter, the complimentary close bids good-bye when you end the business letter. The beginning and ending of the letter should have the same degree of formality.

Close your Business Letter Politely

Use a signature

This is the writer’s name. It has to be handwritten below the complimentary close. If the letter is typed, the writer’s name should be typed a few lines below the complimentary close, with the signature (handwritten) placed between the closing and the typewritten signature.

Use a signature

The Form

Every letter is crafted around the way the six parts of the letter are placed on the page. The most common forms are full block and semi-block. Each may be used for business letters.

The full block form is the most commonly used form, maybe because it is the most convenient and quickest to type. Each part of the full block form letter start at the left margin. The beginning of the paragraphs are not indented.

The semi block form is not as formal as the full block form. The heading is at the upper right-hand corner. Both the complimentary close and the signature are lined up vertically with the heading. The rest of the parts of the letter begin at the left margin. In both the formats new paragraphs are not indented and an extra line of space is there to separate the paragraphs.

The Form

Final Thoughts

Business letters are used for all official and formal situations, whereas letters written to personal relatives and acquaintances are personal letters. Both have an identical format however the difference lies in the tone and language being used for writing. Work related and formal language are the core of business letters.

by Irshad Shaik

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