Composition of
A Business Letter



Composition of A Business Letter :




Composition of A Business Letter :


Mastery of the principles of the form and arrangement of the business letter is a very simple matter — so simple that there is no reason why any one should be deficient in this phase of the subject. But the composition of the business letter requires both study and practice. The successful letter writer must not only possess a thorough knowledge of grammar, punctuation and capitalization, but he must also know words and how to use them to make the reader take his view of the matter.


The language used should be as nearly conversational as possible. Simple words should be used where such words will express the meaning, and as a general rule, short sentences are to be preferred to long ones. Of course the sentences will and should vary in length. Too many short sentences give an abruptness that is unpleasant, long, involved sentences are more difficult for the reader to comprehend and generally, less convincing. They are not objectionable, however, when they are logically built up, but they are likely to lack the quality of unity.


Unity of the Sentences


Unity requires that a sentence should contain but one central idea.


1. Two or more statements not closely and logically related with one another should not be combined in one sentence.

Original : This bank closes at 4 p. m. and pays 4% interest on deposits.

Improved : This bank closes at 4 p. m. It pays 4% interest on deposits.



2. Avoid long compound sentences consisting of several statements connected with ands, huts, etc.

Original : Nearly two weeks ago we sent you an order for goods, but we have received no reply and as we are in urgent need of these goods, we should like to hear from you at once and in the future, when we send you orders please acknowledge them promptly and save us much annoyance.

Improved : Nearly two weeks ago we sent you an order for goods, but we have received no reply. As we are in urgent need of these goods, we should like to hear from you at once. In the future, when we send you orders, please acknowledge them promptly.



3. Unite in one sentence phrased, clauses and sentences that are closely and logically related with one another in thought.

Wrong : It offers a course for those who wish to study painting. At the same time affording an opportunity for literary study.

Right : It offers a course for those who wish to study painting, at the same time affording an opportunity for literary study.

Or

It offers a course to those who wish to study painting and at the same time affords an opportunity for literary study.

Wrong : We are sending you our art catalogue. On the last page of which you will find the price of our regular 10-inch machine quoted at $100.

Right : We are sending you our art catalogue, on the last page of which you will find the price of our regular 10-inch machine quoted at $100.

Wrong : Your claim has not been approved by our auditing committee. There being further information necessary.

Right : Your claim has not been approved by our auditing committee, there being further information necessary.



4. Do not join one thought to a preceding thought by and, but or unless the two thoughts are of equal value. In other words, put subordinate thoughts into subordinate grammatical forms.

Original : This is a difficult piece of work and it is necessary to be careful.

Improved : As this is a difficult piece of work, it is necessary to be careful.

Original : She did not wish to displease so good a customer, so she accepted the goods returned.

Improved : As she did not wish to displease so good a customer, she accepted the goods returned.

Or

Not wishing to displease so good a customer, she accepted the goods returned.



5. Do not join a relative clause to a principal clause by and or hut.

Wrong : We have assigned the territory to our Mr. Stillson - a native of that state and who is familiar with the conditions there.

Right : We have assigned the territory to our Mr. Stillson, a native of that state, who is familiar with the conditions there.

Or

We have assigned the territory to our Mr. Stillson, who is a native of that state, and who is familiar with the conditions there.

Note : And before the relative clause in the last sentence is correct, for the reason that it connects the two relative clauses.



6. Avoid using clauses in an overlapping construction…..that is, with the second depending on the first, the third on the second, etc.

Original : You will remember they returned your check when you took off the 2% which was paid about sixty days from date which was in violation of the terms of sale.

Improved : You will remember they returned your check when you took off the 2% in violation of the terms of sale.


Composition of A Business Letter :






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