Argument and Proof in Business Letter

Argument and Proof in Business Letter :

A LETTER which is irredeemably bad in construction, grammar and transcription will get profitable returns if it is sincere, and those returns will be permanent. But a letter of half-truths, a letter which betrays your unbelief or evidences your effort to befog or mislead your reader, will produce nothing but trouble. It may bring results, but not the kind of results that any reputable firm wants.

Lack of sincerity in a letter does not necessarily argue dishonesty in the writer. Rather, it indicates a wrong point of view toward the trade. We form the habit of viewing our customers in the mass instead of as individuals. In the petty annoyances of daily detail, we grow impatient of their seeming stupidity, their meanness, their constant complaints, and their attempts to take small advantages. And then, when we sit down to write a letter, we address a composite being having these unwelcome characteristics.

For myself, the only sure guide for writing a sincere and effective letter is to picture it as going to some shrewd, kindly, wise, David Harum sort of individual whose keen insight tests every word and statement by the light of long experience.

While it is essential that every claim and statement we make be backed up and reinforced with evidence to substantiate it, there is such a thing as overdoing. Proof may be offered casually, as a matter of course, or it may be injected briefly and apparently without premeditation. A studied effort at honesty is deception, for honesty is by nature either casual or curt.

Be honest. Be frank. Be straightforward—above-board—guileless. From the date line at the top of your letter to the stenographer’s hieroglyphics at the bottom, let every word, phrase, sentence and paragraph impress your reader as being wholly and unreservedly “on the level.”

Argument and Proof in Business Letter