The Essentials of Good Letter





Good Letter is the best tool to boost not only the image of your business house but also your personal image. Few things can do damages to a business house than a badly-worded letter which gives a very poor impression of the organization and its attitude to business. Grammatical mistakes, slip-shod method and jerky expressions reflect adversely on the reputation of the organization. On the other hand, carefully handling of business correspondence, with the courteous regard for the needs of its clients can make the prosperity of the company.

A letter consists of the following essential elements.

1. Letter Heading:

The name of the firm, its postal address, its telephone number and the Fax number (and also the nature of its business) should be in the letter-head. Mostly it is printed. In the heading, room is left forthe reference number and the date of the issue of the letter which should be invariably quoted in the reply and in subsequent correspondence. The name of the place and the date are written on the left top of the letter.

2. Name and Address of Addressee:

This should be types close to the left hand margin. The addressee’s name and address should be given in the manner it is types on the envelope. It is better to avoid use of the word ‘Messrs’ for a limited company, unless it forms a part of the registered name of the firm. However, it is common practice to use ‘Messers’ while addressing Companies with personal names. But, when the name is impersonal, use of ‘Messers’ should be avoided. Care should be taken to address an official (Secretary, General Manager, etc…) while writing to professional societies, local bodies, charitable institutions etc…Good Letter is the best tool to boost not only the image of your business house but also your personal image.

3. Salutations:

This should come immediately beneath the recipient’s address, close to the left-hand margin.

‘Sir’ should be used to all Government correspondence, and for very formal business letters.

However, ‘Dear Sir’ is the most widely used salutation in commercial correspondence.

Forms of salutations:

a. Dear Sir,

b. Dear Madam,

Both these forms address can be used when the letter is written officially.

In case the letter is written informally or to friends & relatives, the following forms of address can be used.

a. Dear Joseph,

b. Dear Mary,

4. Introductory Paragraph:

In case the current letter is reply to a previous letter, the reference number should be mentioned.

In case of new correspondence, the brief introduction about the subject matter of the letter should be written.

5. Body of the letter:

A business letter should be brief and precise. If it deals with one fact or item, one paragraph should suffice.If several points are required to be touched upon, a separate paragraph for every point should be used.But the paragraphs should be logically arranged.Good Letter is the best tool to boost not only the image of your business house but also your personal image.

Nevertheless, the phrasing of the letter should confirm to the style of the salutation. Remember, Well-worded paragraphs are attractive in appearance and impressive in effect.

6. Closing Paragraph:

It should be worded in a forceful and convincing style, because it is in this paragraph that the whole argument is summed up. Ordinarily, the letters should end with a courteous phrase expressing hope for a formal reply or assuring the addressee of the best of attention.Good Letter is the best tool to boost not only the image of your business house but also your personal image.

7. Subscription:

The salutation and subscription must always agree in style. You can not start a letter formally and end it informally. The most popular subscription is business letters is ‘yours faithfully’. The other subscription ‘Yours truly’ is also used widely. But ‘yours sincerely’ is used in personal letter.Good Letter is the best tool to boost not only the image of your business house but also your personal image.

Your sincerely…for friends and relatives

Yours faithfully…in formal letters

Yours truly…very close relatives

Your obedient…in a letter written by student to his teacher

Your affectionate… in letter written by father to his son/daughter

A good letter must ensure:

A. Clarity of thought:

Arrange the words and the sentences in such a manner as to convey the exact meaning. You should be choosy in words and phrases, avoid all ambiguity. Redundant words are out place in business letters.Inconsistency of thoughts and illogical statements must be carefully avoided.Good Letter is the best tool to boost not only the image of your business house but also your personal image.

B. Forcefulness :

Forcefulness is as important as lucidity. A forceful and convincing statement makes an appeal to the emotions of the reader who makes more than a usual attempt to come to some understanding with the correspondent. One must learn the art of putting one’s true intentions into a letter. We must learn to convey our annoyance, our joy and our desire to threaten and to what degree.This art is best mastered by reading the numerous sample-letters available in this site. Good Letter is the best tool to boost not only the image of your business house but also your personal image.

These same essential points can be incorporated in the case of personal letter as well.




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