3.1 The learner should select the most appropriate format for each document
A business letter
Business letters are used to communicate with individuals outside of the office. Recipients may include customers, colleagues in other businesses, service providers, professionals who advise the business, government officials, and job applicants. Business letters are important because they serve as a formal method of communication between people.
They provide valuable information on business-related matters, such as purchase transactions, and they serve a legal purpose. Business letters also are used as reference material to future transactions between individuals and organizations (Tingum, 2018). Furthermore, business letters promote and sustain goodwill. Good business relationships are formed and maintained through effective communication. Properly written letters give a positive impression of a company or individual.
Every business needs constant marketing and promotion of its products or services, and one of the ways this is done is by sending letters to customers and clients. These letters serve as a micro-level substitute for advertisements. Retailers and agents also distribute new information to clients through formal letters. Through this communication tool, existing contracts are reinforced, and new ones are forged. Letters enhance an organization’s image and reputation and maintain ethical business values. Incoming and outgoing letters also serve as references to future actions, and they provide substantial evidence to transactions and disputes.
They have legal validity. Problems, such as customer service issues, are solved through proper communication between the involved parties. Examples of a business letter are sales letters, responses to customer complaints, legal discussions, and correspondence between businesses and clients (Writing Center, 2018).
Format of a business letter
When writing business letters, the writer must pay special attention to the format and font used. The most common layout of a business letter is known as block format. Using this format, the entire letter is left justified and single-spaced except for a double space between paragraphs (Writing Center, 2018).
Another widely utilized format is known as a modified block format. In this type, the body of the letter and the sender’s and recipient’s addresses are left justified and single-spaced. However, for the date and closing, tab to the center point and begin to type (Writing Center, 2018).
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The final, and least used, style is semi-block. It is much like the modified block style except that each paragraph is indented instead of left justified (Writing Center, 2018).
Different organizations have different format requirements for their professional communication. The format of a business letter may need to be flexible to reflect variables like letterheads and templates. If the writer’s computer is equipped with Microsoft Office 2000, the Letter Wizard can be used to take much of the guesswork out of formatting business letters.
To access the Letter Wizard, click on the Tools menu and then choose Letter Wizard. The Wizard will present the three styles mentioned here and input the date, sender address, and recipient address into the selected format. Letter Wizard should only be used if the writer has a basic understanding of how to write a business letter. Its templates are not applicable in every setting. Therefore, the writer should consult a business writing handbook if the writer has any questions or doubt about the accuracy of the Letter Wizard (Writing Center, 2018)…………..