Mod-05 Lec-01 Business Letters Writing Lecture-01

Hello, welcome to NPTEL’s course on Communication
Skills. Already we have talked about communication skills, as a very necessary component in terms
of leading a very successful and effective business life, professional life and a personal
life. Now in this lecture what I am going to do is to divide the writing part of communication, if you remember already I have discussed communication skills in terms of reading, speaking, listening
and writing skills. Now, in this module we will be focusing on
one aspect of writing, that is letter writing and we will also do one more thing, that is
this letter writing itself will be divided into 2 lectures. In the first lecture I will
talk about the need, the structure and the way in which we have to write a business letter.
And in the second lecture which is a sequential letter to this, I will be discussing about
job application letter and how we can write a cover letter along with a bio data. Now, in this first part of this module writing,
first I will talk about business letter writing. Now, when I talk about business letter writing
first of all what come to your mind is why do we need this? Now, before I explain why
do we need this business letter writing, as a very important part of communication skills.
I would like to tell you that in this lecture you will learn and understand, first of all
the need for writing effective letters and then the elements of a business letter, you
will be surprised to know that there are about thirteen elements of a business letter.
This will be followed by three basic layouts like, you do not know what kind of layout
the skeleton that you will have while structuring your business letter. And then I will talk
about the various elements in detail. So, overall you will be learning and understanding
the need for writing effective letters, elements of a business letter, three basic layouts
and then elements of a business letter in detail. Now, as I said the first question that arises
in our mind is why do need to write business letter because we are living in an internet
age, we are living in the age of satellite communication and we are, communicating sometimes
at the speed of lightening. Now when we are doing this should be really
go to this old mode of writing this letter is it really required. So, this is the fundamental question that
arises in our mind that do we really need business letters in the internet era. Now
I would say certainly yes, we definitely need to know to understand the complexities of
writing a business letter in an internet era, despite the fact that communication has improved,
so much we are able to communicate the same idea through email or sms, but then why do
we need this. Now the first and foremost thing is, as I
had explained in the some of the earlier lectures, when we talk about writing there are the formal
aspects of writing and then there are the informal aspects of writing. Now, under informal
aspects of writing we have again types of letters for instance the letter that is written
to our friend is a very informal and personal kind of writing letter writing.
But, when we are writing a similar letter to a professional in a business kind of environment,
then we cannot afford to write in a very informal manner. We need to learn certain etiquette
of writing a business letter. Now in that case first and foremost thing is we need to
know what is formal writing and under formal writing we understand that letter writing
in a business environment comes under the formal category. Now, when I say formal it
also means that it could be used in terms of writing for recording purpose.
Now what do I mean by recording purpose when you send email or sms for instance, what happens
is it it has no life, it has no validity. So, people may store it in the form of soft
copy it can be taken in the form of printed one but then one can always say, that it is
doctored, it is sent through some other source, it is sent through a id that does not belongs
to me. But, when it is a business letter it is written in a proper manner and when it
is signed by the particular dignitary. No one can say that or no one can say or escape
from the fact that it can be recorded and stored for future use.
Now, some of the letters will have legal validity, so it can be stored even for about fifty years
a simple letter. So, when you understand the gravity of keeping this, for years to come
and if you remember, some of the highly professional letters or sometimes even kept confidential,
letters, written by presidents and then when they are opened for the public after may be
50 years, 100 years sometimes they are kept in archives sometime, they are kept in museums,
and then if when they are sold out. So, they even earned millions of dollars.
So, you can understand the gravity the significance of writing a formal letter, where it is used
for recording purpose, storage purpose and then for retrieving and using it, referring
it for a later purpose. Now in terms of using it in a business sense, it also gives you
this professional outlook. Now what do I mean by professional outlook, each letter reflects
a personality, it has a character. Whether it is a personal letter or it is a
professional letter, when a letter is written as, somebody defined it. It is a piece of
conversation by posed. Just like the way we are talking to each other but the only difference
is it is done in a very formal manner and when it is done in a formal manner following
lot of etiquette and principal of business writing, it has this personality; now when
it has this personality what happens, it gives a professional outlook.
Now when it gives a professional outlook what happens then it generates, builds up, the
good will of the organization. It also helps in building up the reputation of organization,
sometimes just like the way we say that tell me your friend, I will tell who you are. They
can also tell show me the letter head of your organization, show me the letter of your company
and we can always say that I will you what kind of organization is that one.
So, much, so about the significance of business letters and then even in this internet era,
I am emphasizing again and again that there is great need for writing a very good, professional
business letter. Now once we agree that yeah it is very important we should write it. Now
what are the steps how do we go about writing this as I said at the out set.
There are about thirteen elements of a business letter and one will be surprised to know that
all the times we are just writing, the salutation, dear sir and then we are write something like
sincerely. And then there is body and most of the times that, we are under the impression
that there are just three elements are shown. Now when I say that there are thirteen elements
some of the elements have become out moded but it is quite interesting and it is equally
important to know what are these elements and then how we can we use in very professional
environment. Let us look at the basic ones first, it starts with the heading. So, sometimes we now a days look at the letter
head which is also the heading. When the letter head is not there, so when we have to create
the heading, then it is followed by date and the third element is inside address, while
heading has the senders address inside address is going to the receiver. This is again followed
by reference, now I will tell in detail all these elements just in the next few slides.
Right now you look at this reference this is followed by subject. Now subject will briefly
tell about, what is the topic, what is the just of the letter followed by, attention
line this calls for the attention of that particular person to whom the letter should
reach. So, that he can response to you quickly followed by salutation, that is the informal
greeting, like, dear sir etcetera. And then the most important part is the body of the
letter which again as I said will be talking in terms of three parts, three components
of the body of the letter. Next followed by complimentary close, that
is a very pleasant way of saying something before concluding. And then followed by the
most important part signature, which is very important in professional communication. And
then followed by, identification marks now I had slightly if you look at it I had actually
slightly put it in a different ink. To show that these are the optional kind of elements
whereas, the dark ones if you look at it heading, date, inside address, salutation, body, complimentary
close, signature. These are the most important elements a letter
can survey without for instance reference sometimes the subject which is given is given
as the form of topic at the outset or attention line or even identification marks and then
enclosure depending on whether you are going to attach the document or not a letter can
survey but then it cannot survey without certain. or even identification marks and then enclosure
depending on whether you are going to attach things which I had actually darkened it. Now this is followed by copy notation I will
explain what is copy notation very soon and then I also tell you it is become redundant
these we need not even use it in business communication. Now before we get into the
details of the elements of a business letter, how do we present the letter lets look at
the layout, the layout tells you as how nicely you can present all the elements, what kind
of format you will have. Now if you look at it in the standard format the heading comes
in the middle just like here. And then the date is on the right side and
this is followed by, inside address which is again on the left side, this again is followed
by reference, subject. Now there are minor modifications between these two some peoples
would like to keep the subject on the top and keep reference at the later stage followed
by, attention line again as I said it is an optional one it can removed also. But, look
at the way it is being arranged the heading is centered it is on the middle.
And then if we look at it the date is on the right side and then if you look at the inside
address and reference and subject and attention line all are coming towards the left. And
then salutation is again on the left, then if you look at body this is again on the left,
then when you come to the complimentary close such as, yours sincerely, yours faithfully
it is again coming to the right side, so this is again following the date on right side
Now after the complimentary close signature is just following the complimentary close
again. It is on the right side. Now when it comes to identification marks
again it is comes to the left side. And then enclosure is again on the left side the copy
notation is again on the left side. So, over all if you look at the standard format of
a business letter. So, the heading is centered, date, complimentary closed, signature it is
on the right side and rest of the other elements are on the left side. Now this the standard
format, now a days you will find the other kind of format there are two more formats
now before we go to that let us quickly look at the way this will look. Now if you look at it heading, date, inside
address, reference, subject, attention line, salutation, body, complimentary close and
then signature and then identification marks followed by enclosure. And if if at all there
are some other signs which follows the enclosure otherwise, it is just like the standard format.
Now look at the next kind of layout, which is called as the right aligned layout the
right aligned one as against the standard one which is actually, a mixture of the right
aligned, left aligned and the middle centered one. Now in the right aligned one if we look at
it. All the elements of a business letter is arranged on the right side. So, as the
title itself is self-explanatory it tells very clearly that if you aligned everything
on the right side, it follows this right aligned method. Now in this case if you look at it
everything comes to the right side, now this is very easy to do. Today using this word
document and all that you will just have to use the right aligned option.
  So, it automatically goes to the right side
now how will it look in terms of the detailed layout if you look at it. It will be looking
at it looks like this. I am just showing the skeleton layout of the right sided format,
ended by enclosure. Now what about the third one, the third format is the left aligned
format which perhaps is the most popular one these days recent being the popularity of
email on the one hand, on the other hand it is very easy to type. Now what happens when
it is the standard one you need to indent, you need to push, you need to center certain
things. in the left align one, look at this So, everything heading, date, the inside address,
reference, subject, attention line, salutation, body complimentary close, signature, identification
marks, enclosure, everything comes on the left side, that is why it is called as left
aligned. Once again as, I said it is quite popular because of the reason that email when
you type it we do not have to do anything in terms of typing, pressing the tab, to push
it or indenting to take it to the center. So, these things are not required is very
easy to type. And people also feel that it is quite simple
and then you can see all it one go and these again quite popular in American style of letter
writing. The British style would still follow the standard one that I suggested at the beginning.
Now these three are the, now which one to choose frank as I said that the popular one
is left aligned and most of the multinational corporations are align towards this left aligned
one. But, the conservative the standard ones would
still like to follow the standard format their headings is in the middle and the date and
complimentary close and signature comes in the right and rest of the things are on the
left. So, keep this in mind if you are sending a letter to a conservative background, so
go for the normal standard one if you think that you have already got a letter where it
is left aligned. So, it is very safe to send it in left aligned
format. Now having looked out at these three layouts now the next step is to know what
are the elements what will you put under this layouts? And let us look at the elements in detail
and before we look at it just we quick look at, how the left sided format will look in
terms of the skeleton structure it will be looking like this. Now look at the elements of a business letter
in detail first heading. Now, when we talk about heading when you go for a companies
letterhead or companies letter pad. So, we call it as the letterhead where the heading
is already printed. Now what will it do, it will show the sender, organizations name,
full address, telephone, fax numbers and email id and any other details related to the company
sometimes it will keep the logo of the company sometimes it may keep now a days all the important
mobile numbers and so on. The there are companies there will put their
web site also in this page. Now this is followed by, fax number also and email id now you can
look at the sample. So, this is the title of the company Hi Tech Graphics the address
is given, circular road, Bangalore, etcetera. And then the moto of the company is given
sometimes the logo will come on this side phone number, sometimes mobile numbers are
added, fax numbers are there, email sometimes, website is also added to this. But, the details are already in printed form
and that is why we call this as letter head. This is already on the heading part of the
letter pad, that is made by the company, and it is available in a readymade form for using
it by the employees. Now let us look at heading when a letter head paper is not used now what
do you do, when a letter head Is not use you either aligned with the left or the right
margin the heading. It depending on the layout that you are going to follow you can either
keep the heading on the left side or on the right side.
  It is not kept in a middle whereas, in the
letter head it is kept in a middle. Now here it is either on the left or on the right depending
on the format but the details are same, all the details that you want to give it you can
give it here, in terms of your company now look at this, this is aligned with the right
margin. So, completely it is aligned here on the right side. So, that is why I said
that it is aligned on the right margin. Now another question comes like at the introductory
lecture, I was referring to the use of punctuation. Now a days again because of email communication,
punctuation has been done away with most of the times people will type without punctuation.
Now in a professional environment can one really afford to do that certainly no reason,
there are various components not only in the address, but in the inside matter where you
need to distinguish by use of punctuation marks.
Now another question comes like at the introductory lecture, I was referring to the use of punctuation.
Now a days again because of email communication, punctuation has been done away with most of
the times people will type without punctuation. Now in a professional environment can one
really afford to do that certainly no reason, there are various components not only in the
address but in the inside matter where you need to distinguish by use of punctuation
marks, this letter writer has decided to use full punctuation.
Now somebody would like to show style vary in terms of using different kind of punctuations.
So, the person would like to use punctuation just in the functional sense of using punctuation.
So, what the person would do, he would rather think why would I have it on the end of it
when it is very clear that it is on the next line. So, he may feel let me use only the
internal ones where it clearly distinguishes the various components. So, if you look at
here it is distinguishing the number from the role. Now when it is used only inside
and in a functional sense it is called as internal punctuation. Now, when it is used only inside and in a
functional sense it is called as internal punctuation. Now is there anything such as
no punctuation yes as, I said at the beginning email most of the time people do not use any
punctuation mark, at all sms text often you sent without any punctuation mark, now when
you do not use it even professionally now a days it is being accepted.
Although I said that conservative environment people will still expect that we use comma
and all that but if you do not use a punctuation at least distinguish that with space this
is very important. Look at this six one three comma is not there but then you cannot missed
this space. Now Bangalore again space is there hyphen is not there and so on the all the
numbers are clearly distinguished all the components are clearly distinguished in terms
of space. So, you can avoid using punctuation you if
you think that I do not want use punctuation at all fine but at least show the distinguished
categories in terms of giving space So, this is important you should wear in mind. Now
the next element that me need to know in detail is date, again what is in a date people will
think and most of the time people even forget to write the date. Now in a professional environment
date is very, very important because as, I said it is used for recording purpose and
it can be referred to at a later stage. So, date is very important.
Now ones we accept that it is important how do we use the date, how do we mention it now
generally you should type the date directly below the heading address. Now if the heading
is in the middle or on the left wherever, it is you should directly type it below the
heading address you can take it to right if it is the normal one, you can take it to left
if it is the left sided format. Now the day, the month and the year are in the upper right
hand corner. Now let us look at some example, then it becomes
clear look at this twenty five July two thousand eleven now this is on the upper right corner.
And this is clearly the differentiated by use of a comma 25 July comma 2011 this is
one way of writing the date, another way of writing the date where you do not follow any
punctuation at all you can even remove the comma and simply right 25 July 2011 this is
also absolutely fine. And then you can also follow the American
way of writing, month first and then the date and then the year. So, when you write the
month first followed by, the date and then again the there is a comma. Now in this format
again comma is very important, if you leave it at least sufficient space should be there
to distinguish the date from the year clearly the day from the year. Generally comma is
use to avoid any kind of confusion. Now while all these three format or ways of
writing date is universally acceptable. It is better to avoid certain way of writing
date, for instance look at this. So, it is seven slash, eight slash, two thousand nine.
Now you will find that it is quite normal to write date in this way but why do I say
that in professional environment it is not advisable to write like this the reason being
there are two ways in which, internationally people are following the writing of date.
Now the Britishers would write month in the middle. Just like the way we Indians are also
writing. So, we writing the day first the month and then the year. Now whereas, Americans
if you find any letter from the Americans their habituated to write the month first,
and then the date comes and then the year. Now again what is the problem with 7,8 or
9,11 2011, what is the problem. Now you can understand if it is British, you
will read this seven as seven and eight as month August. So, in British format this is
seventh of august. Now in American format seven will be treated as the month, this will
be considered as July and this becomes eighth of July, now if you look at this in British
format nine is the day eleven September, so 9th of September. Now in American format it
is the reverse so, 9th of November will become in the American format first nine will be
September and then eleven will be the date. So, in order to avoid this confusion it is
better suggested that follow any one of this formats which are given here, 25th July 2011,
25th July without comma 2011 or July 25 add a comma and 2011, in all the cases month is
written in the word form. So, try to follow this form, so it makes it clearer now lets
go to the next element that is the inside address. What do I mean by the inside address, it is
actually the receivers address. Now in the receivers address what are the major parts
you should note, now look at the way you begin the inside address look at these two addresses
that I have put here. In the first one is a designation the general manager the deputy
director now in designations. So, we are not using any title. Now if you look at the second
one it is a name of a person, when you are referring to the name of a person the title
that is m s standing for miss or misses or in case of male mister.
Now the title should be here in case of a doctor, in case of a professor. So, the title
should be here. So, that it clearly gives respect to the person to whom you are addressing.
Now in the previous case since it is the designation you need not add the title. So, suppose you
write mister the general manager it is look very observed and awkward. It is required
here when the name is there, what else you need to know in terms of inside address. Now when you write this sometimes people even
write it or type it and then they follow the. So, called ladder style what is meant by ladders
style, look at this first it is typed as the general manager and then followed by this
the companies name. So, much space is given and then this is followed the followed by
the next one. The street name and then the number, now if you see the way it is being
arranged that gives it a kind of ladder look. As if one can climb on the ladder. Now those
days people are thinking that this is looking stylish and some people sometimes even follow
this but then this ladder style does not create any business professional impression. It is
not considered as a standard way of writing the address. So, you have to avoid this avoid
this ladder style format when you are giving inside address.
  Then I just briefly mentioned about titles,
now no more about the titles and you may again think what is there in title because title
itself can again create your personality, it can show that you are a carrying person,
it can show that you are a respectful person, it can show that you are sincere faithful,
it can show that you are very meticulous to detail look at this there are various titles
Mister, Sri. So, Sri short for Srimaan you you also have
Misses referring to a married person. The Indian equivalent is Sri mathi again short
one we have abbreviated to S m t dot miss indicating a unmarried women. kumari again
unmarried women in Indian context again it could be abbreviated to k u m dot. And then
Ms a neutral position neither indicating whether the person are married or unmarried but its
just a giving a honorary title. Doctor, captain, professor, now all are titles and depending
on the person you need to use now suppose it is a firm.
It is a very big organization and then it is run by two, three brothers or in the name
of a person who has other partners. Then Messers the plural form of mister is used, if it is
a firm. So, again it is Messers Lal Chand and sons because there are many male partners
in the business but you can look at this if you note this there is no need to write Messers
here when it is referring just to the name of the company like Bharat Aluminum Limited
you need not use Messers here. Whereas, in case of a married women and she
is a professor. It is better that you you use the title professors as well as, within
bracket you indicate the status of the person. Then look at the next one. you are not sure
that whether the person is married or not So, then it is better to put M s indicating
that the person is you are not sure, whether the person is married or not and then you
are just indicating with the respect M s. As I said it is indicating Miz it is pronounced
that way. Now just very quickly to talk about the use
of To should you use To or not. Now To is used if the address is very brief, look at
this To the director IIT Kanpur, Kanpur. Only three lines now in this case you can use it,
now if the address going to be five six lines it is better that you avoid that if it is
too long and do not use any comma after To. One of the silliest mistakes that you will
do is putting a comma after To now in fact as a teacher when we correct the letters by
letters written by students when we see this comma we reduce So, many marks just for this.
So, take note of this but if at all you want to use any punctuation mark in a business
context you can use a colon instead of this. So, keep this in mind to is used only if it
is important and only when it is brief otherwise, it can be dropped. The next important element
of a business letter is reference this will be followed by subject also, reference and
subject contribute to the next important aspect of business letter.
  Now what do we mean by reference, generally
when a letter is written for instance or if you are referring to something best one which
you have written the letter then it becomes a reference. Look at this refer now this is
a reference used in a job application you are advertisement dated. So, some date is
mentioned here in the times of India. Now this is a reference. So, you are referring
to this date and this particular advertisement. So, you are mentioning it here, now in a company
for instance they may be sometimes giving a number particularly.
So, in that case you will write your reference letter number AB 4 6 P 4 9 4 of August 24
2010. So, this number is given by the company. So, that is also used, now sometimes again
in professional firms the other company or other person who is writing the profession
letter will be giving his reference. So, that is called as our reference, the reference
that is given by the company that is sending the letter.
So, that is our reference again it will follow the same kind of format it has a number and
it has a date. Then this is followed by subject, in some cases again there is a minor variations
some people would like to give subject at the top and give reference after the subject.
Now in this case when the subject is given what does it mean, if you can sum up the whole
body of the letter in just three words or at the most in a single sentence or at the
most you make it at topical sentence. So, that becomes your subject, now what is
the subject of this one order of packing boxes. So, this is a order and this is about the
order that made in terms of buying some packing boxes. Now inside letter will tell how many
are required what will be the rate and what time it should be sent and all that but right
now on the top the subject simply says the order and then it is referring to what is
to be ordered. Now sometimes the other person who sends it back may say supply of packing
boxes. You have ordered and then the other person
when he is sending it he may refer to the actual supply. Now in a job application situation
it could be, application for the post of program manager, it can be application for the post
of assistant professor, application for the post of deputy manager and so, on. So, this
refers to actually the post that one is applying For the next one. the next important element
at least in this professional environment is attention line followed by salutation. The next important element at least in this
professional environment is attention line followed by salutation. What do we meant by
attention line and sometimes people do not actually realize the importance of this attention
line and then they write sometimes without the particular attention. Now what happens
if you are writing to some big company there are, thousands of employees working in the
company and then even if you write just to the manager there are about ten managers dealing
with ten different departments, different sections.
Now which manager is the one to whom, the letter should go and who is the person who
should refer ret return the response. Now to this person you call for the attention
either you say, if there is only one sales manager, you refer to the sales manager or
if you know the name of the person to whom the letter should go we can say mister s k
Gupta, this is the person who is the Sales Manager and at the same time the person who
will actually look at the letter and respond to the letter.
So, what is the advantage of this, sometimes in big organizations what happens is letters
go to the clerks or even before it goes to the clerks there are peons who bring the letters.
And there is section in which all the letters are dispatched the clerk is the one who decides
to which department, it should go and then it goes to some departments and from there
the sales person or the manager or the c e o to whomever it should go they again sort
it out. Now this sorting it out takes quite some time
and if you want to avoid that time and if you want to seek the direct attention of that
person, it is very important to write the attention line. Now after writing the attention
line as I said, you can use the designation of this person or you can use the name of
the person or you can combine Mister Ramesh Kumar in charge water supply.
Now here there may be other in charges also, it is better you mention Mister Ramesh Kumar
who is the in charge of water supply to whom you want this letter to go and to the person
to whom you are actually expecting eliciting a response. Now the next important component
element of a business letter as well as, any other letter is the salutation. What do we
mean by, salutation just like when we meet somebody in the morning we say good morning
hello and then some times we say how are you good evening.
Now these are all pleasant greetings just before beginning something, now in a professional
environment and in any letter it actually properly begins with a salutation before the
body of the letter. Now in terms of greeting again the way you are greeting the person
will indicate. So, many things particularly the relationship, the hierarchy whether you
are a subordinate other person is a higher authority whether the relationship is between
pure group. Whether you are one among the equals what
is the relationship that the salutation will indicate. Now, honorable Sir somebody as superior
as a, justice somebody like Chief Minister or very important director of an organization
honorable Sir. Same thing goes with respected Sir, especially even lower person is writing
to a very dignified high authority respected Sir. Now in standard letters if you need not
give very high esteem in terms of salutation the accepted salutation.
Now a days is dear Sir or if it is in plural form if you have to address the two three
people then it is dear Sirs or dear madam or dear madams. Now, you need not think that
when I write dear it becomes something very endearing there is, actually nothing endearing
about this salutation it is as formal as, saying respected Sir or honorable Sir. Especially
in a professional environment, where you need not show excessive respect at the out side
it self. So, there are environments where people would
like to be called in terms of their names. So, where they may feel embarrassed if you
write honorable Sir. So, there and in general Dear Sir or Dear Madam is acceptable. Now,
after that when a magazine editor writes to the reader or the subscriber the person may
say, dear subscriber or dear reader and. So, on now I am just going to tell you.
How we can slowly move from the formal respectful way for indicating a relationship to an informal
personal way of indicating a relationship just by using the greeting. Look at this,
now if you say my dear Sir, the person you are getting respect but at the same time the
possessive my indicating that the concerned person may be a, teacher or a higher authority
is somewhat close to you. Now look at the next level, Dear Mister Aswin
Kumar. Now the person is somewhat known equal contemporary Dear Mister Aswin Kumar the name
is mentioned. But, still it is formal look at, the next one, Dear Mister Kumar again
formal full name is not mentioned but still a certain element of informality is come here
may be it is among the equals look at the next one. Dear Mister Aswin.
Now instead of the second name, first name is used. Now whenever first name is used it
is giving more proximity, more informality the person is closer than the way the person
is referred to by somebody as Mister Kumar. Look at the next level Dear Aswin. So, this
is between friends, this is between brothers or between elder and younger, who are close
relatives or father and son. Now look at next one my Dear Aswin. Now, very
close friends intimate relationship dearest Aswin again, becoming very endearing and then
showing at most intimacy my dearest Aswin. And at most informality, the relationship
has taken. So, much things for granted Aswin. There is do not need to even say dear and
all that so, if you look at it starting from Honorable Sir and referring to somebody as
my Dearest Aswin or just by Aswin. You can see the difference that is shown in terms
of salutation it self. Now in formal use you can write the name dear
before the name followed by a colon Dear Mister Gupta. Now the next important part is the
body of the letter, now what do we have in the body of the letter, we can divide the
message in the body of the letter into three parts, three main divisions. The first paragraph
will be the introductory paragraph and it will have the statement of purpose, it will
tell for instance I want to buy this from your company I want to order this from your
company. I may need of this the product that you sent
has a particular problem it is defective the first line tells the statement of the purpose
why the letter is written. The middle paragraph details, and gives other information surrounding
the purpose. It tells why it was defective, where is the defect in that equipment, how
it happened was it there even while unpacking it and so on it tells all the details or the
defect started in the first installation and so on.
Now this is followed by the final paragraph where, there is a polite closing even if a
person is angry the person does not show anger here. He concludes whether not of hope thinking
that the product that was defective will be replaced. In terms of certain help that was
rented the person actually expresses appreciation says I very much appreciate you are kind that
and so on. Even sometimes this is said in advanced and
or statement of follow up intentions what should be, done in future suggestions are
given expected actions. Asking for, some kind of compensations and so on is indicated in
the final paragraph. Generally these are the three main divisions and as much as, possible
these divisions are kept separate they are not linked with each other. Now, towards the
final part, generally now a days it is suggested avoid the participial endings. What are participial endings this adding I
N G form. Hoping to receive a letter from you soon hoping, to get the reply immediately,
expecting a favorable reply. This I N G form now a days its considered to be very trite
and it should be avoided as for as possible. Now grammatically speaking if; however, you
close your letter with this phrase the present participle using hoping to hear from you soon
what you should do is you should add I am then it becomes grammatically correct.
As it is shown below hoping to hear from you soon, then it ends with either I remain yours
sincerely or I am yours faithfully. Again see the link I remain goes with sincerely
I am goes with yours faithfully and if you use this at all. So, you should remember to
use I am or I remain. Then only it becomes technically and grammatically correct and
complete. Now let us look at the complimentary close
towards, the concluding part of the letter, what do we have in this complimentary close.
What do we mean by this apart from the polite way of concluding the letter in the final
paragraph you also take a courteous departure, a courteous leave taking a polite way of ending
a letter. Now, how do you do that once the body of the letter is over you type this part
giving two space below the last line of the body of the letter.
Now the close complementary close must agree with the salutation, if you remember salutation
is Honorable Sir, Respectable Sir, Dear sir and all that now that should agree with the
salutation. Now look at the salutation I put it on the left side and complementary close
on the right side. If the salutation is Sir it is very formal. So, here is yours faithfully,
respectfully, obediently. If the salutation is Dear Sir madam here, again it is yours
faithfully truly, if it is dear mister Nigam So, it goes with yours sincerely, if it is
dear reader yours sincerely, if it is neutral and a widely accepted closing then it is sincerely
or cordially. Generally if you are somewhat doubtful it is better to use sincerely. Now
just to give you more tips just if you remember yours sincerely, yours cordially, yours faithfully
most of the times you will be, able to write a good complimentary close but remember you
should not use this yours with apostrophe. Just like the previous error that I pointed
out comma after to this apostrophe is equally sense full in professional business letter
writing. This is indicating your is not yours not the possessive form of a person. So, avoid
using this apostrophe yours sincerely, yours cordially or yours faithfully.
  Now, the remaining last two three components
the one important part of that is signature the signed name of the writer. Now in this
case as I said at the beginning compared to an email this is very important, because here
the person give the authenticity of the information that is carried in the letter. Only when it
is signed the information is becoming authentic. So, in that says it is very important it includes
often the name, the title especially if the name is likely to leave the reader in doubt
and the position. If already not mentioned in the letter head,
now lets look at some examples look at this cordially it can be Sheethal Singh. Now just
below that the the name is given with the title. Now sometimes the person will also
indicate whether the person is married or not by saying misses or miss. Now, if somebody
is given a delegated authority by the power of attorney look at this like sincerely per
pro Share Well Industries. Now per pro is indicating on behalf of, on
behalf of the company this person has signed Lakshmi Despande but she is indicating that
she is married Misses. A very careful letter writer will look at, this title and the person
will be able to identify whether, the person is married or not and then the person uses
this in the address in the letter that he is likely to sent to this person. Last but
not the least the identification marks Now what do mean by this although it is now
a days done away with those days there were typist, typing the letter. Now in that case
in identification marks sometimes, the initials are typed at the end. So, in an office environment
where there are five or six typists it is easy for the manager or any other high authority
to identify who typed what. So, if you find something like this at the end T R M L G it
is indicating somebody like T R Murali or somebody like Lila Gupta.
So, you know that this is person who is responsible for typing the letter. Now if the officers
name is already there so, then it can be in the form of sometimes capital L G or small
l g it is indicating that this is the person who is again typed it.
  Now Enclosure, the enclosures are the attachment
which is attached along with the letter. Simply you can refer to this as any document which
are attached to the letter, they are considered as enclosures. Now if there is a single enclosure
you can indicate that by, enclosure one if there are two enclosures you can simply say
enclosure two but sometimes, if the document attached are important they are specified
you can not simply say that one enclosure or two enclosure you also need to mention
the details. For example, enclosure one M O U dated first
September two thousand ten, is a very important enclosure. So, it is mentioned. The second
one is a Cheque was supposed to be sent along with this. So, S B I Cheque number the, number
is given and the date is given. So, this is again enclosure and the final point, final
element here just before we conclude is the copy notation. Now this indicates the person
who is receiving a courtesy or sometimes its also called as carbon copy, which is just
abbreviated as C C. Sometimes it is also written as P C indicating that it is a photocopy.
Now C C S K Khanna or P C Julie Andrews or sometimes the full form copy to is written
Mister Sanjay Bhatia in that case a direct copy is sent sometimes, simple C can also
indicate that it is a copy. Now just to conclude in personal letters something,
called P S is written. The short form P S is indicating post script, what does it mean
literally it means after thought something that is written after. Now sometimes people
even write P P S something was written then some other thought came. So, after after thoughts
are also written, but they are all done in personal letters but it should be avoided
in business letters. So, this a very last minor point but one should
also keep in mind that unlike in personal letters you should not use post script at
all in business letter as well as, in job application letters. Using it conveys the
impression that the letter is very poorly planned. So, a professional letter is very well planned
and it is executed in very professional manner. So, that the personality of the company or
the person is reveled in it and it generates good will. So, just to conclude in this lecture
you learnt and understood the need for writing effective letters especially in the age of
internet, email, sms and satellite communication. The basic elements of a business letter, this
again was followed by three basic layouts the standard which is, considered normal and
then the left and the right kind of layout I suggested that you either go for the standard
one or go for the left sided format and finally, I explained all the elements of business letter
in detail. Hopefully next time when you are applying
for a job or a next time when you are going to write a letter to a professional environment
these, tips will be of great help and then you will be able to not only create a goodwill
but also able to write a very effective letter that is gets you a very favorable response.
Now, the books that I have referred to and there are further references for you to refer
to is one by Bovee. And the other one is by Ruther ford all are
dealing with basic business communication especially for the technologist, the engineers
and generally anybody is in the business environment. And then there is one book in the Indian context
which is also, quite popular it is by R C Sharma and Krishna Mohan it also dealing with
business correspondence and report writing. And thank you so much

8 thoughts on “Mod-05 Lec-01 Business Letters Writing Lecture-01

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *