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Analyzing the structure of posotive letters

Analyzing the Structure of Positive Letters
Anaconda Trading Co.
4340 Anaconda Drive
Victorville, CA 92392
760.222.3525

Opening
Body
Closing

Ch. 8, Slide 1
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Structure of Positive Letters: Opening
Anaconda Trading Co.
4340 Anaconda Drive
Victorville, CA 92392
760.222.3525

Frontload in the opening.




Begin with the main idea.



Tell immediately why you are writing.

Ch. 8, Slide 2
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Structure of Positive Letters: Body
Anaconda Trading Co.
4340 Anaconda Drive
Victorville, CA 92392
760.222.3525

Explain in the body.



Present details that explain the request or
response.



Group similar ideas together.



Include graphic highlighting to spotlight
main points.
Ch. 8, Slide 3

©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Structure of Positive Letters: Closing


Anaconda Trading Co.
4340 Anaconda Drive
Victorville, CA 92392
760.222.3525

Be specific and courteous in the
closing.



For requests, tell specifically what action you want
taken and provide an end date (deadline) if
appropriate.



For other routine letters, provide a courteous,
concluding thought.
Ch. Slide
Ch. 8,4Slide 4

©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Comparing Typical Positive Messages

Ch. 8, Slide 5
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Formatting Hard-Copy Memos
Start the dateline 2 inches from the top

MEMORANDUM

of the page.
JM

Put sender’s initials here

DATE:

April 5, 2012

TO:

Dawn Stewart, Manager

FROM:

Jay Murray, Vice President

Align text after guide words

SUBJECT:

Telephone Service

Leave two blank lines between Subject

Request Forms

and the first line of the memo.

To speed telephone installation and improve service
within the main facility, we are starting a new application
procedure.

Single-space within and double-space
between paragraphs.

Service request forms will be available at various
locations within the three buildings. When you require

Set side margins at 1 to 11/4 inches.

telephone services, pick up a request form at your
nearest location. Fill in the pertinent facts, obtain approval

©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.

Ch. 8, Slide 6


Formatting Business Letters
CYPRESS ASSOCIATES, INC.
Letterhead

Dateline

5090 Katella Avenue
5090 Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92642
Anaheim, CA 92642

WEB: cypress@grid.com
WEB: cypress@grid.com
PHONE: (310) 329-4330
PHONE: (310) 329-4330
FAX:
(310) 329-4259
FAX:
(310) 329-4259

May 18, 2008
May 18, 2008

2 inches from top of page

2 to 7 blank lines

Inside
Address

Salutation

Ms. LaTonja Williams
Ms. LaTonja Williams
Health Care Specialists
Health Care Specialists
2608 Fairview Road
2608 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Dear Ms. Williams:
Dear Ms. Williams:

1 blank line

1 blank line

Subject

Line

Subject: Formatting Business Letters
Subject: Formatting Business Letters

1 blank line

Ch. 8, Slide 7


At your request, this letter illustrates and explains business letter formatting in a nutshell. The most
At your request, this letter illustrates and explains business letter formatting in a nutshell. The most
important points to remember are these:
important points to remember are these:
1. Set margins between 1 and 1½ inches; most word processing programs automatically set
1. Set margins between 1 and 1½ inches; most word processing programs automatically set
margins at 1 inch.
margins at 1 inch.
2. Start the date 2 inches from the top edge of the paper or 1 blank line below the letterhead,
2. Start the date 2 inches from the top edge of the paper or 1 blank line below the letterhead,
whichever position is lower.
whichever position is lower.
Numbered list for
improved readability

3. Allow about 5 lines after the date—more lines for shorter letters and fewer lines for longer
3. Allow about 5 lines after the date—more lines for shorter letters and fewer lines for longer
ones.
ones.
The two most popular letter styles are block and modified block. Block style, with all lines
The two most popular letter styles are block and modified block. Block style, with all lines
beginning at the left, causes the least trouble. In modified block-style letters,
beginning at the left, causes the least trouble. In modified block-style letters,

One blank line
between paragraphs

Ch. 8, Slide 8


the date and closing lines start at the center. For both styles the complimentary close is followed by
the date and closing lines start at the center. For both styles the complimentary close is followed by
three blank lines before the writer’s signature. Reference initials and enclosure notations, if used,
three blank lines before the writer’s signature. Reference initials and enclosure notations, if used,
appear in the lower left corner, as shown below.
appear in the lower left corner, as shown below.
So that you can see additional styles, I’m sending our office style guide. I certainly hope this material
So that you can see additional styles, I’m sending our office style guide. I certainly hope this material
is helpful to you and your assistants, Ms. Williams.
is helpful to you and your assistants, Ms. Williams.
Sincerely,
Sincerely,

Sharon
SharonMontoya
Montoya
Complimentary Closing

Sharon Montoya
Sharon Montoya
Executive Director
Executive Director

3-4 blank lines

SM: lef
SM: lef
Printed Name and Title

Enclosure
Enclosure

1 blank line

Reference Initials

1 blank line

Ch. 8, Slide 9


Formatting Business Letters

2012

Ch. 8, Slide 10
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Formatting Business Letters

Ch. 8, Slide 11
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Routine Requests for Information or Action



Opening



Ask a question or issue a
polite command (Please

IW

answer the following
questions . . .).



Avoid long explanations
preceding main idea.

Ch. 8, Slide 12
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Routine Requests for Information or Action

IW



Body



Explain your purpose and
provide details.



Express questions in parallel
form. Number or bullet them.

Ch. 8, Slide 13
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Routine Requests for Information or Action



Body


IW

Use open-ended questions to
elicit the most information
(What steps are necessary
…?) instead of yes-or-no
questions (Can she conclude
her contrac-tual obligation
… ?).

Ch. 8, Slide 14
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Routine Requests for Information or Action

IW



Body



Suggest reader benefits, if
possible.

Ch. 8, Slide 15
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Routine Requests for Information or Action

IW



Closing



State specifically, but
courteously, what action is to
be taken.



Set an end date, if one is
significant. Provide a logical
reason for the end date.

Ch. 8, Slide 16
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Routine Requests for Information or Action

IW



Closing



Avoid cliché endings (Thank
you for your cooperation).
Show appreciation, but use a
fresh expression.



Make it easy for the receiver
to respond.

Ch. 8, Slide 17
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Routine Request Letter
Dear ResumePro Product Manager:

Please send me information about your ResumePro software program, which I read about in the March issue of Workforce magazine.

My company receives hundreds of résumés daily, and, frankly, we need help in processing them. Answers to the following questions would help us
determine whether ResumePro could solve our problem.

1.

In terms of fonts and formats, what kinds of résumés can your software program read?

2.

Can the program help us sort and rank candidates by categories such as job classification, education, work history, skills, and experience?

3.

How does your company provide training and trouble-shooting service for your software?

Thanks for answering these questions and for providing any other information about ResumePro. I would appreciate your response by April 1 so that we can
study the program before the rush of job applications in June.

Sincerely,

Ch. 8, Slide 18
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Direct Response Messages



Subject Line



Identify the topic and any
previous correspondence.



Use abbreviated style,
omitting articles (a, an, the).

Ch. 8, Slide 19
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Direct Response Messages



Opening



Deliver the information the
reader wants.



When announcing good news,
do so promptly.

Ch. 8, Slide 20
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Direct Response Messages



Body




Explain the subject logically.
Use lists, tables, headings,
boldface, italics, or other
graphic devices to improve
readability.



Promote your products and
your organization to
customers.

Ch. 8, Slide 21
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Direct Response Messages



Closing



Offer a concluding thought,
perhaps referring to the
information or action
requested.



Avoid cliché endings (If you
have any other questions,
don’t hesitate to call).



Be cordial.

Ch. 8, Slide 22
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Instruction Messages


TB

Opening




Introduce the instructions.
Explain why the instructions
are necessary.

Ch. 8, Slide 23
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Instruction Messages

TB



Body



Divide the instructions into
steps.



List the steps in the order to
be carried out.



Arrange the items vertically
with bullets or numbers.

Ch. 8, Slide 24
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


Instruction Messages

TB



Body



Begin each step with an
action verb. In parallel form.
Not this: An advertisement for
a position should be written.
But this: Write an
advertisement for a position.

Ch. 8, Slide 25
©2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.


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