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Written Communication Notes
UNIT III
WORK PLACE COMMUNICATION
E-mails, minutes, reports of different kinds – annual report, status report, survey report,
proposals, memorandums, presentations, interviews, profile of institutions, speeches, responding
toenquiries, complaints, resumes, applications, summarizing, strategies for writing.
Contents
1.1 THE CONCEPT OF COMMUNICATION ......................................................................................... 2
1.2 COMMUNICATION – DEFINITION(S)............................................................................................ 2
1.3 OBJECTIVES ...................................................................................................................................... 2
1.4 SCOPE OF COMMUNICATION ....................................................................................................... 2
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMUNICATION ........................................................................................ 3
1.6 NEED FOR BUSINESS COMMUNICATION ................................................................................... 4
1.7 TYPES OF COMMUNICATION ........................................................................................................ 8
1.8 TYPES OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION .................................................................................... 9
1.9 MODES OF COMMUNICATION WITHIN A BUSISNESS ............................................................10
1.10 EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION ..................................................................................................11
1.11 BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION .............................................................................................11
1.12 PRINCIPLES OF GOOD COMMUNICATION ..............................................................................15
2. TYPES OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION ..........................................................................................17
2.1 LETTERS............................................................................................................................................17
2.1.1 IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS LETTERS ................................................................................17
2.1.2 FUNCTIONS AND OBJECTIVES OF LETTER MESSAGING ...............................................18
2.1.3 TRADITIONAL CLASSIFICATIONS OF LETTERS ...............................................................18
2.1.4 MODERN CLASSIFICATION OF BUSINESS LETTERS .......................................................21
2.1.5 STYLE IN WRITING BUSINESS LETTERS ............................................................................21
2.1.6 COMPONENTS/ FORMAT/ LAY OUT OF A BUSINESS LETTER .......................................21
2.1.7 CHECKLIST FOR EFFECTIVE LETTER MESSAGING .........................................................25
2.1.8 STEPS IN PLANNING BUSINESS LETTTERS .......................................................................26
2.2 MEMOS ..............................................................................................................................................29
2.3 TYPES OF REPORTS ........................................................................................................................29
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Written Communication Notes
2.4 TYPES OF ORDER ............................................................................................................................31
2.5 SAMPLE LETTERS ...........................................................................................................................32
COMUNICATION BASICS
1.1 THE CONCEPT OF COMMUNICATION
The word communication has been derived from the Latin word 'communis' that means
‗common‘. However, communication incorporates, besides commonality, the concepts of
transfer, meaning and information. The communication can be defined as the process through
which two or more persons come to exchange ideas and understanding among them.
1.2 COMMUNICATION – DEFINITION(S)

"Communication is something so simple and difficult that we can never put it in simple
words," says T.S. Mathews.
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―Communication is the process by which information is transmitted between individuals
and / or organizations so that an understanding response results.‖

W.H. Newman and C.F. Summer Jr: ―Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas,
opinions, or emotions by two or more persons.‖
1.3 OBJECTIVES
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Appreciate the vast scope of communication in modern world
Distinguish between the process of communication and exercise of power
Understand that one-way flow of information is a part of the overall process of
communication
Identify different types of communications
Grasp the importance of communication skills in the life of an individual and enterprise
Recount the dividends that accrue from acquiring effective communication skills
Understand the sources that lead to multiple interpretations of oral and written
communication
1.4 SCOPE OF COMMUNICATION
Communication as a subject of study has a very vast canvas. To different people, communication
implies various areas of study, research and application:

2
It is a means of transportation from one place to another viz., moving men, machines,
materials etc by surface transport like railways, roadways or by air or by sea. It is not
uncommon to describe a region or a country backward in terms of means of
communication because it is not serviced or well connected by railways, roadways,
airways or seaways. 5
Saranya PB | Assistant Professor | KVIMIS
Written Communication Notes


It also relates to means of sending / receiving messages, packets or parcels through post,
telephone, telegram, radio, wireless or Internet. These means of communications have
undergone rapid changes during the last few decades. Postal services have been
revolutionized by courier services – same-day delivery, next-day delivery etc. Telephone
services have become commonplace – one can talk to a person anywhere even one
orbiting in a satellite without shouting. The mobile telephony and use of Internet has
changed the way people talk and communicate with one another. They are changing the
way business is done.
Communication is a major focus of attention for artists – singers, dancers, actors,
painters, sculptors etc are all trying to communicate with their audiences. They endeavor
to win their attention and appreciation so as to secure attractive returns for their efforts.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMUNICATION
The reasons for the growing significance of communication can be judged from the following
paragraphs:
• Coordination: Modern complex organisations are large, consisting of numerous employees
working towards accomplishing common goals. The organisational structure illustrates many
levels of organisation hierarchy- both horizontally and vertically. More often than not, this leads
to issues related to coordination. Effectual systems of communication encourage better
coordination. Coordination is viewed as a necessity among groups; channels are vital for efficient
functioning of the organisation as a whole.
• Smooth Working: Smooth and uninterrupted working of an enterprise, largely depends on
good communication network. Communication takes on a greater role in this direction. Accurate
decision-making and efficiency of the organisation is anchored in information supply. If
messages have obstacles in the course of their flow, it is impossible to bring about a smooth
functioning and uninterrupted working of the organisation. According to Herbert G. Micks,
―Communication is basic to an organisation‘s existence from the birth of the organisation through
its continuing life‖.
• Effective Decision-Making: It is essential to have a record of past and present data for
immediate and effective decision-making. Communication is the primary base by means of which
information is supplied to further help in making decisions. Problem-defining, alternative courses
of action, selecting the best option available, can be possible with the provision of relevant and
adequate information conveyed to the decision-maker. In event of nadequate or no information, it
would be relatively impossible even for the top management to take important decisions.
Conversely, it is unlikely to achieve goals and objectives unless the top management has a
smooth interaction with all levels of the organisation.
• Managerial Efficiency: As quoted in George Terry's remark earlier, communication
encourages managerial efficiency. Efficiency lays in the manner individuals and groups are
assigned their respective targets.. Managerial functions like planning, control, coordination,
motivation cannot be discharged without communication. As management is an art of ensuring
targets are achieved in collaboration with other people, communication educates personnel
working in the organisation about the desires of the management. Management communicates
goals, policies and targets by issuing verbal and written orders and instructions. The yardstick for
measuring managerial efficiency is communication.
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• Co-operation: Co-operation among workers is possible only when there is an exchangeof
information between individuals and groups and between the management and the employees.
This not only promotes the industrial peace but also maximizes production. The two-way
communication network enhances co-operation between people. The flow of communication can
be smooth and receptive with co-operation, confidence and message flow vertically, horizontally
and across the organisation. In short, communication promotes co-operation and understanding
among employees.
• Effective Leadership: Leadership implies the presence of a leader and followers. There is
always a continuous process of communication between them. Communication is the basis for
direction, motivation as well as establishment of effective leadership. The followers have to
follow the leader and through conveying of ideas, opinions, feelings and be in constant
communication with them. Thus, transmission and reception ensures
a two-way traffic, the sine qua non for effective leadership. A manager with good communication
skills can become a successful leader of his subordinates.
• Increase Productivity: Communication helps the management in achieving maximum
productivity with minimum cost and eliminating waste. These are the main objectives of the
management. It is remarked that an archenemy of communication is the very illusion of it. This
illusion can be avoided only with an effective system of communication. It is through
communication that the workers can be well informed about the process of production, new
methods of production and the activities of the workers in a similar organization . Thus, a good
system of communication helps the management to achieve maximum productivity with
minimum cost, elimination of waste, reduction of cost etc. Inter-firm comparison is not possible
without effective communication.
• Morale Building: Morale and good relations in the organisation are essential for achieving
goals of the organisation and promoting its benevolence goodwill in the public. An effective
system, of communication builds good morale and improves human relations. Participatory
ommunication is the best technique of morale building and motivation. S. Khandwala remarked,
"Most of the conflicts in business are not basic but are caused by misunderstood motives and
ignorance of facts. Proper communication between the interested parties reduces the points of
friction and minimises those that inevitably arise".
• Achieving Managerial Roles: Henry Mintzberg has described a manager‘s job by assigning
three roles, namely inter-personal roles, informational roles and decisional roles. Communication
plays a vital role in these three types of role. In case of interpersonal role, a manager has to
constantly interact with subordinates. In informational role, a manager has to collect information
from various people and supply the necessary information to others both inside and outside the
organization. A manager in a decisional role or written media of communication discharges
interpersonal, informational and decisional roles as well.
1.6 NEED FOR BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
Communication can be used for any or more of the following objectives:
 Information
 Advice
 Order
 Suggestion
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Persuasion
Education
Warning
Raising morale
Motivation
Information
One of the most important objectives of communication is passing or receiving information about
a particular fact or circumstance. It can be done either through spoken or written language or by
using other system of signs or signals. Managers need complete, accurate and precise information
to plan and organize; employees need it to translate planning into reality.
External Information
Information on the following aspects is very vital for the existence and welfare of any
organization:
 Information about its products: (i) consumer response to its products in comparison with
competing products with reference to quality as well as price, (ii) whether they are being
produced in conformity with the latest trends.
 Information about the availability of credit: the nature of the various financial institutions and
the terms and conditions on which credit is offered by them.
 Information about the availability of raw materials: how better quality raw materials can be
procured on easier terms, or if there are any cheaper substitutes available.
 Information about the Government rules and regulations: what kind of affect the rules and
regulations of the Government and the changing political scene can have on the product
policy of the organization.
 Information about the advertising media: their efficiency, suitability, relative merits and the
expenses involved.
 Information about the latest development in the fields of science and technology: how latest
innovations can be used to modernize the production techniques wither to improve the quality
of the products or to effect economy in labour, time, money, etc.
Internal Information
Internally, information should e freely given to the employees on the following points:
 Information on job assignments and procedures governing them: Information about the
precise nature of every employee's job, its scope and the procedures governing it should be
readily available with every employee as well as in the files of the organization.
 Information on status and decision-making powers: The exact designation of the officers and
their decision-making powers enjoyed by them should be clearly defined.
 General information on the policies and activities of the organization: If the employees are
kept well informed about the policies of the organization and other related aspects, it
inculcates among a sense of belonging and gives them greater job satisfaction. It also helps
them to acquire confidence in themselves.
Advice
Giving advice is another important objective of communication. Information is always factual
and objective. But advice, since is involves personal opinions, is likely to be subjective.
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Information is neutral in itself. When it is offered to a person, he may use it as he likes. But
advice is given to him either to influence his opinion or his behavior. I may prove helpful, but it
may also lead to disaster.
Importance of Advice
Commercial activities in the modern world have become extremely complex. Each individual
activity needs specialized handling, which cannot be expected from people working singlehanded. However competent a businessperson may be, he cannot have specialized knowledge of
all branches like fiancé, taxation, publicity, engineering, public relations, etc. If he wants to run
his business successfully, he will have to seek expert advice quite frequently.
Within the organization, the supervisory staff is required to advise the junior employees.
Supervisors are usually persons of long standing and have a great deal of experience at their
command. Being in close contact with their superiors (usually the board of directors) they are
well familiar with the policies and functioning of the organization. They are, therefore, in an
excellent position to guide, counsel or advise their subordinate staff.
Advice Flows Horizontally or Downwards
Advice by its very nature flows horizontally or downwards. Expert advice from outside flows
horizontally. The boards of directors advising one another on some policy matter are also
engaged in a kind of horizontal communication. But advice soon starts flowing down to the
management personnel, the supervisory staff and the subordinate staff or the operatives.
How to make advice effective
While offering advice, the advisor should keep the following points in mind:
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Advice should be both man-oriented and work-oriented, i.e., it should be related to a specific
piece of work, and should be given in such a way that it suits the individual needs of the
recipient. It means that while explaining the complexities and subtleties of a job, the adviser
ought to keep in mind the understanding power of the person he is advising.
Advice should not be given to persons to make him feel conscious of his inferior knowledge
or skill. If the adviser assumes a patronizing tone, the other person is bound to resent it. So
the adviser ought to be very friendly in his attitude.
The only justified motive of giving advice is the betterment of the worker. The adviser should
genuinely feel this motive. And he should give this very feeling to the worker. He should so
mould his tone and phrase his language that he makes the other persons feel absolutely at
ease.
If given in a right tone, advice can often promote better understanding between the adviser
and his subordinates. It can prove that the adviser is taking personal interest in his
subordinate staff and is, therefore, interested in their welfare.
If the subordinate staff is given freedom to react, advice can become a two-way channel of
communication. It may perhaps bring about some excellent suggestions for the improvement
of the organization's functioning.
Counseling
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Written Communication Notes
A number of large business houses now have their counseling departments, which offer the
employees advice on domestic or personal problems. This may adversely affect the working of
the organization. It may also infect other employees and lower their morale.
Order
Order is an authoritative communication. It is a directive to somebody, always a subordinate, to
do something, to modify or alter the course of something he is already doing, or not to do
something. Whatever be the nature and size of an organization, orders are absolutely necessary
for it. The downward flow of information is dominated by orders.
Instruction
Instruction is a particular type of order in which the subordinate is not only ordered to do a job
but is also given guidance on how to do it. If the accounts officer asks one of his clerks to prepare
a voucher, he has issued an order. If he shows the clerk how to prepare a voucher and then asks
him to prepare more, he has issued instructions.
Suggestion
Suggestion enjoys one great advantage over other means of communication like advice or order.
Advice comes from an expert; order comes from a higher authority. In either case, the recipient of
the communicator, is slightly conscious of his inferiority and may resent it. Accepting a
suggestion is at his discretion, so a suggestion is usually welcome.
Suggestion is supposed to be a very mild and subtle form of communication. Still, since it flows
horizontally or vertically upwards, it may hurt someone's ego to recognize its utility and readily
accept it. But enlightened executives should set aside the ridiculous notions of false selfimportance and welcome positive, constructive suggestions with an open mind.
Persuasion
Persuasion may be defined as an effort to influence the attitudes, feelings, or beliefs of others, or
to influence actions based on those attitudes, feelings, or beliefs. Persuasion is an important
objective of communication. Buyers have often to be persuaded to buy a particular article
available with the seller in place of the one they actually wanted to buy. In the office of the
factory, the lazy, the incompetent and the disgruntled workers have to be persuaded to do their
work.
Education
Education is a very conscious process of communication. It involves both teaching and learning
and extends over considerably long periods. The main purpose of education is to widen
knowledge as well as to improve skills. It is carried on at three levels: (a) at the management
level; (b) at the level of the employees; and (c) at the level of the outside public.
Warning
Warning is a forceful means of communication, for it demands immediate action. But in order to
retain its effectiveness, it should be used sparingly and discreetly. While issuing warnings, the
following points should be kept in mind:
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Written Communication Notes
The aim of giving a warning should be the betterment of the organization. It should not be used to
cause disruption. It is very important to be judicious in the choice of words used in administering
warning and reprimands.
Raising Morale
Moral stands for mental health. It is the sum of several qualities like courage, fortitude, resolution
and confidence. High morale and efficient performance go hand in hand. It acts as a kind of
lubricant among people, binds them with a sense of togetherness and impels them to work in
cooperation with one another in the best interest of their organization.
Motivation
Motivation energizes and activities a person and changeless his behaviour towards the attainment
of desired goals. Motivation and behaviour are intimately related to each other.
1.7 TYPES OF COMMUNICATION
The different types of communication are,
 Verbal
o Oral
o Written
 Non verbal
 Visual
Verbal communication
Verbal communication happens through the use of words. It must be understood that
communicator has to depend on the language that has been designed, developed and propagated
by humans. As a result, it suffers from a lot of limitations despite the fact that some languages of
the world are very developed and command a vast vocabulary.
Verbal Communication, in turn, can be further divided in to two groups:
Oral Communication
Oral communications are the messages that come through words, phrases and idioms from the
mouth of the speaker. His appearance, mannerism, body language and the way he throws his
voice can make significant difference in impacting the audience, their attitude and performance.
It is a very convenient form of expression and presentation. It is almost instantaneous, quick and
least expensive.
Written Communication
This requires preparation and can be thought out properly before committing in writing. It takes
time and is expensive. However, it is more accurate and is the norm for technical, legal and most
diplomatic communications.
With increase in the size of organizations, their complexity and dynamism, many a times written
communication is the only way to communicate. With technological advancement in our ability
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Written Communication Notes
to send / receive emails, fax messages, short messaging service (SMS) on mobile phones, instant
messaging etc, written messages have become very common and popular.
Non-verbal communication
Non-verbal communication uses signs, signals, gestures, expressions and sounds. It is God-made
language and, as a rule, should not suffer from any limitations excepting the fact that our
knowledge about the language is limited by our lack of understanding of nature‟s ways of
communication! In common parlance, non-verbal communication is also called body language.
As a rule, it does not lie or mislead unless someone has mastered the art of deceit or
camouflaging. It is the richest language known. During the last few decades a lot of research has
been done to identify and isolate all the signs, signals, gestures, expression and sounds among
humans.
The non-verbal communication has changed the way we look at the subject of communication.
We seem to be communicating all the time through gestures, expressions, sounds, signs and
signals.
1.8 TYPES OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
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Internal
External
Internal Communication
Effective internal communication is considered important for the following reasons:
 Business has grown in size. Large business houses have a number of branches within the
country and even abroad. Some of the multinational corporations are no smaller than huge
empires. The central organization of a large business house is its nerve center. For its healthy
and even growth, it is extremely important that the central organization maintains a thorough
and up-to-date knowledge of the various activities at the branch offices, and in turn keeps the
branch offices will acquainted with the activities at the center, and some kind of link is
maintained among the various branches. This calls for an effective and efficient network of
communication.
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Business activity has become extremely complex. This being an age of specialization,
planning, production, sales, stores, advertising, financing, accounts, welfare, etc., are handled
by different departments. If these departments do not communicate with one another as well
as with the management, there will be no coordination among them. This may give rise to
some awkward and embarrassing situations for the management. When production is fully
geared up, the stores department may report shortage or non-availability of raw materials.
The planners, having spent one full month to work out the details of a new project, may
suddenly discover that there are no finances available to execute the project.

Effective communication promotes a spirit of understanding and cooperation. If there exists
effective communication between the management and the employees, it helps to bring about
an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence. The employees know exactly what is expected
of them, the management is aware of the potentialities and limitations of the employees and
knows how to exploit the first and make up for the latter. This mutual understanding is
extremely beneficial to both the parties. The management gets better returns; the employees
get job satisfaction. They also develop a sense of belonging and loyalty to the enterprise.
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
The significance of communication in the context of today‘s complex organizations is even
greater. These organizations being designed on the basis of specialization and division of
labour constitute a large number of persons. The larger the size of the organization, the
greater generally is the degree of specialization and division of labour and hence, the more
urgent is the need for coordination. This coordination requires mutual understanding about
the organizational goals, the mode of their achievement and the interrelationship between the
work being performed by various individuals; and all this can be achieved through
communication only. Effective communication, as such, is essential in any type of human
grouping. As Haney has put it, "Communication is imminently essential in business, in
government, military organizations. It is difficult, in fact, to imagine any kind of interpersonal
activity which does not depend upon communication." Dealing with the problems of
communication, then, becomes an important area of activity in management whose objective
is the direction of individual efforts in such a way as to secure overall coordination of
organizational activities.
External Communication
External communication includes communication with the government agencies and departments
on the one hand and distributors, retailers, individual customers and general public on the other.
 Government agencies and departments. Business organizations are required to deal
with licensing authorities, foreign trade offices, customs authorities, banks and other
financial institutions, income tax and sales tax offices, post offices, transporters, etc.
Quite frequently, they find themselves tricky situations that can be handled only
through tactful negotiation are nothing but communication.

Distributors, retailers, individual customers, etc. Modern business is a highly
competitive phenomenon. Each product of common consumption is available in
hundreds of brands, not all of which sell equally well. Marketing research has
revealed that the organizations that can communicate better also sell better. Sales are
promoted through persuasion and persuasion is a very important aspect of
communication.
1.9 MODES OF COMMUNICATION WITHIN A BUSISNESS
Emails and Memorandums
Co-workers typically use email to convey information to each other. Before email became
prevalent, memorandums were used for interoffice messages. Memos are still used in situations
where a message is meant to accompany a specific file and in cases that require more privacy
than an email. Both a memo and an email identify the sender and recipient and contain a subject
line. The text is formatted in one or more paragraphs.
Reports
Business reports convey information in a format that is more formal and usually longer than a
letter. Reports cover a variety of topics, such as safety compliance, sales figures, financial data,
feasibility studies and marketing plans. They may include statistics, charts, graphs, images, case
studies and survey results. Some reports are published for the benefit of investors. If a report is
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Written Communication Notes
periodic, such as a monthly sales report, a template is used for convenience and to enable
comparison with previous reports.
Letters
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. A business letter is usually formatted in block
style, in which all of the elements of the letter, except the letterhead, are aligned with the left
margin. It can be emailed or delivered by mail. If a letter is sent in the text of an email, the sender
includes his name, job title and contact information at the bottom of the email.
1.10 EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
A. WILL TO WORK
(1) Improves attitude
(2) Improves involvement
(3) Improves values
(4) Improves morale
(5) Improves motivation
B. SKILL TO WORK
Improves information
Improves knowledge
Improves training
Improves education
Improves self esteem
C. THRILL TO WORK
Improves teamwork
Improves belongingness
Improves loyalty
Improves enthusiasm
Improves spirits
1.11 BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
Communication capability is a personal skill. Barriers to effective communication within
organizations happen at the following three levels:
 Personal barriers to communication
 Group barriers to communication
 Organizational barriers to communication
Personal Barriers To Communication
These barriers can be at individual employee level, senior or subordinate levels:
Barriers at the individual level
These are the obstructions caused in the process of sending and receiving messages during the
encoding or decoding of ideas, words and phrases. In most languages, a word has different
meanings, depending upon the context in which it is used. Each word has many synonyms but
which one is the most suitable in the given situation, is always an issue. These are known as
semantic barriers and may take the following forms:
Badly expressed message
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Lack of clarity
Lack of precision
Poorly chosen words and phrases
Careless omissions
Lack of coherence
Saranya PB | Assistant Professor | KVIMIS
Written Communication Notes
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Poor organization of ideas
Use of jargons
Inadequate vocabulary
Awkward sentence structure
Assumptions not clarified
Messages are normally based on some assumptions that, if not communicated to the receiver, may
lead to incomplete message or wrong interpretation of the message.
Faulty translation
Messages must use words and phrases that receiver is familiar with so that he can understand and
respond to them. This calls for a great mastery and flexibility in the use of language on the part of
the sender. In the absence of suitable choice of vocabulary, the message may not invoke the
desired response from the receiver.
Use of specialist language
Each specialist uses a lingua that is peculiar to that profession. For example, MBAs use a
different language that an engineer and a technician uses a different language that an ordinary
workman. Illiterates use a different language that the educated. Similarly, city dwellers use
different words and phrases than village folks. These act as roadblocks for effective
communication among them.
Barriers at the levels of seniors
These could be:
Attitude of the seniors
If attitude of the seniors is not helpful either owing to lack of awareness or because of personal
agenda, messages will not flow freely to or from them unlike what should happen in a welllubricated organization structure.
Insistence on proper channel of communication
Some seniors like to stay within the confines of the lines of communication as depicted in a
formal organization chart. They do not like bypassing these lines of communication and think that
these would amount to thwarting of their authority
Fear of challenge to their authority
Some seniors tend to hoard information going down / up as it may disclose their weaknesses.
They may also think if they do not share the information, they would become more important.
Lack of confidence in the subordinates
Some seniors perceive their subordinates to be less competent and do not like the information
going downwards for the risk of its leakage and misuse.
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Ignoring communication
Some seniors ignore the information from their subordinates deliberately in order to maintain
their importance. This can create a barrier in the minds of subordinates who may loathe providing
information to seniors.
Lack of time
Some seniors are overburdened with work and consequently have no time to provide information
downwards, upwards or horizontally.
Lack of awareness
Some seniors do not appreciate the critical importance and significance of maintaining a smooth
flow of information in all directions within and outside of the organization. This also acts as a
blocker of flow of communication in the organization.
Barriers at the level of subordinates
Unwillingness to communicate
As a rule if an employee feels giving information may be embarrassing, he would not divulge it
or would delay its flow as much as possible. They often modify the information so as to protect
their interests. Wrong information can be very misleading too. Wrong information is worse than
no information.
Lack of proper incentive
Lack of motivation comes in the way of flow of information up or down the lines of command
and control. Similarly, if good suggestions from subordinates are ignored or do not evoke enough
response or attention, it has a snowballing effect in the organization. Subordinates do not feel
enthused about giving suggestions for improvement of products, processes and systems. This has
been the main reason for dismal failure of suggestion schemes in USA, Europe and India.
Loss during transmission of message
A message that has to pass through several layers of organization structure or many stages before
it reaches the target may lose its accuracy. For oral messages, it is estimated that accuracy is lost
at every stage of its transmission or relaying. Even in written messages, loss occurs because of
differences in interpretation, meanings and translation.
Loss of retention
Retaining messages in the memory is a difficult process. It applies to both oral and written
messages that are circulated. However, if a copy of the written message is available, persons can
refer to it again and again. It is said that people remember:
 10 % of whatthey read
 20 % of what they hear
 30 % of what they see
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 50 % of what they see and hear
 70 % of what they say
 90 % of what they say as they perform the task
Undue reliance on written words
Senders often place undue importance to written message. In spite of the message being well
drafted and presented, it may fail to make the necessary impact because of lack of trust and
confidence between the parties. Messages, apart from being very good, should be consonant with
the organizations‟ purpose and employees‟ own interest.
Distrust of the communicator
If the person who is sending the message is prone to frequently countermanding, it leads to
delayed responses from recipients. Besides, they may not act enthusiastically, perhaps, because
they are waiting for amendment to the original message!
Failure to communicate
Arising from lethargy or any other reason, managers may fail to inform the concerned person(s).
In such cases, even a subsequent message may not invoke the right response because of the
missing link!
ORGANIZATIONAL BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
Organization structures of firms are designed to support company‟s objectives. Besides,
organizations prescribe systems – a set of policies, procedures and norms of behaviour (code of
conduct) to reinforce achievement of corporate objectives. These are further supplemented by a
comprehensive system of performance appraisals, rewards and punishment. A few major
organizational barriers are:
Organizational policy
Policies underpin strategy and facilitate their implementation. Organizational policy should
support flow of information in all directions – external and internal communication covering
downward, upwards and horizontal communications. If flow of communication is not supported
by firms‟ policy, it will not be smooth and adequate for the healthy functioning of the
organization.
Organizational rules and regulations
Some rules and regulations of the firm may come in the way of free flow of communication and
may require provision of proper channels of communication. Such rules and procedures may
inhibit the flow of communication and need to be updated to bring them in line with the demands
of strategies and their accomplishment.
Status relationship
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Greater the difference in the level of status of the functionaries, greater is the possibility of
breakdown of communication between them. If a person has to be frequently interacting with
senior personnel, his job gradation needs to be reviewed.
Complexity of organization structure
Tall organizations comprising of many layers of organization structure, delay flow of messages
from sender to the receiver. It increases the risk of distortion of the message en route. In such
firms, usually upwards communication suffers very badly.
Organizational facilities
Firms must provide facilities for meeting and conference rooms, complaint / suggestion schemes
etc. They should encourage open door policies by senior managers and executives. Companies
should also organize gatherings for social, cultural and sport activities as they also contribute to
better flow of information at both informal and formal levels.
1.12 PRINCIPLES OF GOOD COMMUNICATION
Communication is directly influenced by the ability to articulate issues concisely and convey to
receivers in words and phrases they are familiar with so as to persuade them to the intended
course of action. It is, therefore, a powerful skill to cultivate. Following checklist comprising of 7
Cs and 4 Ss should serve as good guideline for budding managers and leaders:
1.12.A SEVEN CS OF COMMUNICATION
Completeness
Complete messages achieve the desired results without having to incur additional time and
expenses is seeking clarifications and getting piece-meal replies. Complete messages from the
sender help to build his image, goodwill and credibility. It saves time and cost. Following
guidelines are useful:
Conciseness
Conciseness is saying message in the fewest words without sacrificing understanding by the
receivers. It is the opposite of wordiness or verbosity. By eliminating unwanted words, mportance
and emphasis of messages is increased. Remember that „brevity is the soul of wit‟. Following
guidelines would serve better:
Consideration
Always prepare message keeping receivers in mind. Ideally, senders should put themselves in
receivers‟ position and then visualize their needs and wants. Thereafter, they would be able to
craft messages that are more in tune with receivers‟ requirements. One should gift wrap whatever
one wants to say or write. This requires an attitude, empathy and human touch. It leads to better
understanding of the human nature. Following directions should be useful:
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Concreteness
The message should be specific, definite and vivid. Communicators should conscientiously avoid
vague and general statements. Some good rules to follow are:
Clarity
Special efforts are required to see that messages getting across are fully understood by receivers
although they may not have identical experience, education and opinions. Every individual has a
unique mental filter that gives different meanings to messages although the text is the same.
Following tips will be useful:
Courtesy
Courtesy comes from ones‟ innate desire to respect others. Courtesy brings in new friends and
strengthens old friendships. However, one has to develop a „you-attitude‟ and being sensitive to
others. A few good rules are:
Correctness
Messages done in a perfect way grammatically may fail to achieve their purpose because
receivers found them insulting, humiliating and overbearing. Correctness can be ensured by
adopting following rules:
1.12.B FOUR S‟S OF COMMUNICATION
Shortness
Shortness „economizes‟ on words. Message should be as brief as possible. Good rules are:
 Avoid high sounding and bombastic words
 Do not use complex words, phrases and ideas
 Use simple, common and popular vocabulary
implicity
Simplicity impresses. There is a famous „KISS‟ principle in communication – it says that the
message should be kept short and simple. A few golden hints are:
Strength
Strength of message „convinces‟ receivers about the desirability of the idea(s). Messages should
deliver the conviction of the teller. Guidelines are:
 Half-hearted statements add a touch of falsehood to the message
 If sender isconvinced, the message carries the strength of his conviction
 Strength of the message comes from senders‟ credibility
Sincerity
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The quality of sincerity „appeals‟ to everyone especially the receivers of messages. If receivers‟
keen sense of observation senses a situation of make-believe, the entire process of communication
would fall through. Adopting the following rules will go a long way:
2. TYPES OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
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Letters
Memos
Telegrams
Tele-printer messages
Short reports (Informal)
Long reports (Formal)
Proposals
Company profiles
Product profiles
Applicant profiles or resume/ writing
Abstracts or Summary writing
Reviews and Comments
Minutes of meetings etc
Research papers
2.1 LETTERS
A letter is a written or printed personal or business message that is usually sent by a mail in an
envelope. Many types of letters are in use: Personal and non-personal letters Direct, indirect and
persuasive letters Official, demi-official (DO), formal and internal (memo) letters Subject letters
like enquiries, orders, credit information, collection of debts, complaints, sales promotions, sales
circulars, appointment of agencies etc Functional letters of correspondence emanate from
functional departments like personnel, sales & accounting, purchasing etc
2.1.1 IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS LETTERS
Role of Written Business Letters
Letter messaging is a significant form of business communication. It also constitutes the major
component of written communication and forms the backbone of a successful enterprise. A good
letter message: can pacify an angry customer (and a bad letter can annoy a customer)
Need for Written Business Letters
Every business has to maintain contacts with suppliers, customers / prospects, government
agencies, employees, bankers, investors etc. Most often these happen through business letter.
Companies have to correspond with other enterprises for varied reasons:
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Placing orders for goods & services required from other firms
Acknowledging and executing orders for other firms
Granting credits to other parties
Negotiating credits from other parties
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
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Securing credit facilities etc from banks
Sending statement of accounts for debtors
Receiving statement of accounts from suppliers etc
Letter messaging may be of less importance for small businesses but it is not dispensable. In fact,
a certain amount of letter writing is essential for day to day living in the modern knowledge
society.
2.1.2 FUNCTIONS AND OBJECTIVES OF LETTER MESSAGING
Functions of Letter Messaging
According to a reputed expert, L Gartside, followings are the primary and secondary functions of
letter writing:
Primary functions
 Providing a convenient and inexpensive means of communications without personal
contact
 Seeking or giving information
 Furnishing evidence of transaction entered in to
 Providing a record for future reference
Secondary functions
 Creating goodwill for the company
 Making an impression as an efficient and reliable firm
Objectives of Letter Messaging
More important ones are:
 Serves as a record for future use – copies can be sent to functionaries in different
locations for future reference
 Leaves a more durable impression on the receiver than an oral message
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Can reach any where in the firms‟ hierarchy and even levels that are difficult to access
normally
Can be sent to different regions, countries and continents where oral or personal contacts
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are difficult, thus widening firms‟ reach and access
Forms authoritative, legal document for contracts and collaborations in business
Is used for building goodwill, image and reputation.
2.1.3 TRADITIONAL CLASSIFICATIONS OF LETTERS
Letter messages have evolved over a long time. A traditional way of classifying these letters in
five different ways is as below:
Classifying on the basis of nature of contact
Personal letters
These are written to friends and relatives and follow informal and friendly style. They help:
1. Exchange information
2. Seek information
3. Seek help, guidance or advice etc
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Impersonal letters
These are usually business letters written in formal style. They are intended to exchange
communication among individual functionaries, firms and institutions.
Classifying on the basis of approach
Three categories are:
Direct letters
In these letters, one comes direct to the point without any introductory remarks. Such letters
are useful for:
 Enquiries
 Quotations
 Orders
 Good news messages
 Offers of appointment
 Promotions
 Instructions for job
Indirect letters
Theme of such letters is not pleasant as they concern bad news like:
 Not being able to sanction the loan
 Cannot concede the claim preferred
 Not being able to accept the terms asked for
In such letters, there is always an introductory sentence that is intended to put the receiver in a
good frame of mind.
Persuasive letters
These are mainly sales letters where one has to think of an opening that catches readers‟ attention
immediately and prompts him to read on. The message is aimed at persuading readers to buy the
product or acquire / experience the service offered.
Classifying on the basis of types of communication
Four types are:
Official letters
These are letters written to Government, semi-government and other statutory authorities and are
addressed formally.
Demi-official (DO) letters
These are also official letters but are addressed to a person by name. DO letters are written if
matter:
 Requires personal attention of the addressee
 Is of confidential nature
 Is urgent requiring immediate disposal / response
Form letters
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These are letters that are used for correspondence on routine and recurring issues. These are
usually preprinted as forms with suitable blanks and hence the name. These are used for:
 Acknowledgement
 Reminders
 Interviews
 Notices
 Appointments etc
Sometimes, various possible alternative responses are preprinted and the applicable paragraph(s)
are ticked. They lack personal touch but save effort and time.
Internal letters
These take the form of memos written among different functions and departments within an
organization. They are eminently suitable for internal communication.
Classifying on the basis of subject of the letters
These may be one of the several types as below:
 Enquiries
 Orders
 Credit information
 Collection of debts and dues
 Complaints
 Sales promotion
 Sales circulars
 Appointment of agencies etc
Classifying on the basis of functions / departments of the firm
A few major functional heads are:
(i) Personnel letters
These are letters emanating from personnel / human resource department:
 Inviting applications for notified vacancies
 Calling for preliminary interviews
 Calling for written tests
 Calling for recruitment interviews
 Sending offers of appointment
 Issuing circulars for training and development
 Issuing promotion, increment or bonus letters
 Issuing warning letters etc
Purchasing letters
These letters cover the correspondence for purchasing and other allied functions in materials
management, supply chain functions etc:
 Inviting tenders or quotations
 Placing orders for supplies and contracts for services & materials
 Sending reminders
 Sending complaint letters etc
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Sales letters
These are letters pertaining to the marketing and sales activities of the firm:
 Advertising, publicity and marketing communication
 Marketing research and surveys of customers and competitors
 Sales circulars
 Giving and soliciting specific sales information etc
Accounting and finance letters
These letters may relate to:
 Account payable
 Account receivable
 Banking
 Investments etc
2.1.4 MODERN CLASSIFICATION OF BUSINESS LETTERS
This classification, ascribed to L Gartside, focuses on business letters. It is a comprehensive and
widely accepted classification as it covers all types of business letters used in the modern
enterprises. This is illustrated below:
 Business
 Information
 Sales
 Problem
 Goodwill
 Routine
 Special
 Purpose
2.1.5 STYLE IN WRITING BUSINESS LETTERS
There is nothing like the commercial style of English language. Commercial correspondence
differs from ordinary correspondence in the nature of content and construction and not in style. A
suitable style reflecting the personality of the writer is always more wholesome and refreshing. It
makes a good impression on the customers.
It is not difficult to acquire skills in writing effective business letters provided one has:
 Good knowledge of the language
 Constant habit of reading
 Persistence with writing letters
A business letter is much like a conversation – it is a piece of conversation in writing and
delivered by post. Business letters differ from personal letters in the sense that the goal or purpose
is paramount.
2.1.6 COMPONENTS/ FORMAT/ LAY OUT OF A BUSINESS LETTER
A letter should be a sum of the following parts that make it an effective form of communication:
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 Letterhead
 Reference number
 Date
 Special markings
 Inside address
 Attention line
 Salutation
 Subject heading
 Main body
 Complementary close
 Signatory of letter
 Enclosures
 Copies circulated
 Initials markings for identification
 Postscript
These have been described in some details:
(1) Letter head
Since it is the first contact with the recipient, letterhead should make a favorable impression. It is
done on printed stationery, usually on a bond paper that has a fine texture. It should not smudge
and should withstand piercing and punching for filing work. Modern letter heads occupy about 2‖
of the top of the page with following information neatly printed / embossed:
 Full name of the firm
 Postal address
 Pin code
 Telephone no(s)
 Fax no(s)
 Email ID etc
In the modern age of Internet, website details are also given. It must contain the registered
address of the firm which is often written at the bottom of the first page.
(2) Reference Number of the letter
A reference number is essential for large firms as it facilitates connecting up the next
correspondence. Usually, offices have a comprehensive system of filing and associated file nos.
The last numerals are unique serial numbers given centrally by the department or even dispatch
office. In such cases, it is useful to have a master file containing all the letters issued by a firm or
department serially. It can also be organized on a computerized system.
(3) Date of letter
Every letter must have a date of issue that is written in two ways:
 Dd/mm/yyyy or 27 January 2010
 Mm/dd/yyyy or January 27, 2010
The practice followed in the country should be adopted – no other form of writing the date should
be used viz., 27th January 2008 or January 27th, 2008. First form of writing date is becoming
popular universally.
(4) Special markings
Many letters need to be given special markings:
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 Confidential
 Airmail
 Registered post
 Speed post
 Courier etc
These markings carry special meaning and are also put on the envelope.
(5) Inside address
Next, complete name and address of the recipient is written. This should be the same as required
to be written on the envelope. These days, comma is not put at the end of each line nor a full stop
at the end of the complete address. However, pin code must be written properly and prominently
to help postal persons en route.
(6) Attention line
Different types of letters follow different ways:
 Official letter : Attention line is formal; usually, designation of the person is used.
 DO letter : Mr Pankaj Dhingra
 Form letter : Designation is followed by name in parentheses
 Internal letter : Memos use a direct approach viz.
(7) Salutation
It is a formal greeting to the recipient of the letter message. Its choice is directly dependent upon
the extent of formality one wishes to observe:
 Official letters : Dear Sir / Madam
 DO Letters : Dear Mr Dhingra / Ms Gautam
Here recipients are not addressed by their first name. Please remember, „Respected Sir‟ is wrong
English!
(8) Subject heading
Appropriate heading denoting the subject of the letter being written is usually given e.g.,
Application for loan, Bill No -------- for ------- dated -----(9) Main body
Main body comprises of three parts:
(i) First part
It is devoted to a brief introduction and stating the purpose of the letter.
(ii) Second part
It is longer and presents the relevant facts in a logical sequence. It may be extend over several
paragraphs. Each paragraph should deal with a separate point and written as clearly as possible.
(iii) Third part
It is related to „conclusion‟ that sums up and rounds up the letter politely, usually soliciting a
reply. A few standard forms of concluding phrases are:
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 Thanking you
 We thank you in anticipation
 Looking forward to a positive response
 We would be glad to furnish any further information
(10) Complimentary close
It is an important part of the letter and should match the form of salutation used in the beginning
of the letter. The usually pairing is as under:
Salutation Complimentary close
(i) Sir Yours truly
(ii) Dear Sir / Madam Yours faithfully
(iii) Dear Mr / Ms Yours sincerely
Please note that memos, being internal communication, have neither the salutation nor the
complimentary close.
(11) Signatory of letter
A letter without signatures and signatory is not well received. A recent trend is that computer
generated correspondence is being sent without signatures. In coming years when every mail will
be sent electronically, it is understandable. However, in these letters, the name and official
designation of the sender should be clearly stated. (A number of offices especially from
government and public sector undertakings do not seem to follow this practice religiously).
(12) Enclosures
These must be stated clearly after the signature of the sender. Any document sent must be stated
clearly for future reference.
(13) Copies distributed
Usually, copies of the letter are sent to persons for the following reasons:
 For information only
 For complementary action(s) as appropriate
Also copies of letters may either contain the enclosures or may be sent without the enclosures.
The fact should be clearly stated against each copy distributed.
(14) Markings of initials for quick reference
It is a good practice to put the initials of person who has dictated / directed the letter to be sent
under his signature. Also, the initials of the person who has transcribed / word-processed is stated.
This is done just below the typed name of the signatory. This can be done in the following ways:
 JNK: ar
 JNK: AR
 JNK/AR
 JNK-AR
Of the above alternatives, first one is preferred.
(15) Post script
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People write postscript as a last minute addition to what has been said in the letter. Such
addictions must be avoided in commercial correspondence. There is no place for such afterthoughts in the electronic age of word-processing.
2.1.7 CHECKLIST FOR EFFECTIVE LETTER MESSAGING
Principles of good communication are equally applicable to written communication and to writing
skills for letter messaging. However, a good checklist for business letter writing is as below:
 Promptness
 Subject knowledge
 Appropriateness
 Accuracy, completeness and clarity
 Courtesy
 Tact
 Persuasion
 Conciseness
 Salesmanship
 The „you attitude‟
 Positive and pleasant approach
These are described below:
(1) Promptness
Letters should be replied the same day. Should one need time to reply, it is better to acknowledge
the letter and politely indicate to the sender how soon the reply will be sent.
(2) Subject knowledge
Ability to reply a business letter has three pre-requisites:
 Knowledge of previous correspondence
 Understanding of the requirements of the sender
 Knowledge of thefirm‘s policies applicable
(3) Appropriateness
To acquire a good reputation of choosing words and phrases that are appropriate, we need to vary
the tone and tune of the language used in letter messaging. These often change according to the:
 Need of the occasion
 Psychology of the readers
(4) Accuracy, completeness and clarity
All facts, figures and statements must be stated accurately and should be verified before using in
the letter. If dealing with a business enquiry, one must ensure that the information covers all the
points for completeness. If it is a persuasive message, it must be clear and unambiguous so that it
accomplishes the purpose it is intended for. Ambiguity can arise from:
 Omission of a word
 Faulty punctuation
 Faulty construction of sentence, mixing arrangement of words
Effective letter writers should avoid these pitfalls.
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(5) Courtesy
Writers must seek favours politely and express their gratitude for favours received already.
(6) Tact
This quality goes hand in hand with courtesy. It is very important for letters:
 Dealing with complaints
 Seeking credits from banks, suppliers etc
The essence of tactfulness lies in retaining the goodwill in spite of turning down the request.
(7) Persuasion
It means winning over people to own point of view without coercing them. They should
genuinely feel that what they are doing is to their own advantage. Therefore, hypocrisy and
pretensions have no place in these interactions.
(8) Conciseness
The writer should ensure against loading it with irrelevant and unnecessary „ifs‟ and „buts‟ –
more concise the message, more effective it will be. Also, there is no justification of using
telegraphic language and construction of sentences that hampers understanding. Two golden rules
are:
 No letter is long enough if clarity has to be achieved
 A short letter is not good enough if the message is not clear.
(9) Salesmanship
Every letter that goes out of the company should be treated as its ambassador. It must carry and
convey the message precisely and enhance the reputation of the firm.
(10) The „you attitude‟
The letter message should always take in to account the readers‟ point of view – he is the
customer! Use of „I‟ and „we‟ should be avoided; instead writers should use „you‟ in the text as
often as possible.
(11) Positive and pleasant approach
Avoid using „no‟ and „sorry‟ – they are unwelcome words. The writers must always emphasize
pleasant and positive things. For example:
 „No‟ can be easily rewritten as „another time‟.
 „Sorry‟ can be replaced by „I will try‟.
2.1.8 STEPS IN PLANNING BUSINESS LETTTERS
Bulk of business is carried through exchange of letters as they constitute the most extensive
medium of communication. They must be planned meticulously so that they achieve the purpose
for which they are written. Following six steps will help acquire enviable skills in letter writing:
 Defining the main objective of letter messaging
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 Identifying the subsidiary aim
 Collecting all the relevant data
 Knowing the person to whom the letter is addressed
 Determining the tone of the letter
 Deciding the approach to be followed
These are detailed below:
(1) Defining the main objective of the letter messaging
Among the possible objectives are:
 Quoting a price
 Complaining about defective goods
 Collecting money against outstanding bills
 Getting status report about order placed on supplier(s)
 Obtaining information about a prospect
 Pacifying an angry customer etc
Whatever may be the main objective, it must be written clearly before drafting a business letter.
(2) Identifying the subsidiary aim
If main objective of writing a letter is to submit a quotation, then the subsidiary aim would be to
secure the order. Similarly, if the main objective is to register a grievance, the subsidiary aim is to
get it resolved. Once again, writer must be clear about the subsidiary aim. A proper understanding
of the main and subsidiary aims helps in writing more effective business letters.
(3) Collecting all the relevant data
As stated earlier, writer must have:
 Knowledge of the previous correspondence on the subject
 Good knowledge of the person receiving the letter
 Knowledge of the relevant policies of the firm
If any information is not available, the same must be collected to facilitate letter writing.
(4) Knowing the person to whom letter is addressed
Letters do not deal with a subject or situation; they deal with people, first and foremost. A letter
to a reasonable and balanced person is bound to be different qualitatively from the one people
write to a short-tempered and arrogant individual.
(5) Determining the tone of the letter
Knowing the business situation and the person being written to, will decide the tone of the letter
that may be:
 Apologetic
 Conciliatory
 Friendly
 Persuasive
 Sympathetic
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Besides, it should be:
 Firm
 Polite
The writer has to decide the most suitable mix in a given business transaction.
(6) Deciding the approach to be followed
This is also one of the basic decisions to be made before writing a letter. It may be:
 Direct
 Indirect
If one follows a few basic principles stated above and jots down on a piece of paper the main
points in the proper sequence, to be included in the letter, writers‟ ability to dictate or word
process the letter faster is substantially enhanced and quality of the message improves manifolds.
A task well begun is half done. Constant practice by writers enables them to embed these
principles in to their style. If the message carries conviction of the writer in a firm but fair tone,
good results are bound to ensue.
2.1.9 TYPES OF LETTERS
Sales Letters
Typical sales letters start off with a very strong statement to capture the interest of the reader.
Since the purpose is to get the reader to do something, these letters include strong calls to action,
detail the benefit to the reader of taking the action and include information to help the reader to
act, such as including a telephone number or website link.
Order Letters
Order letters are sent by consumers or businesses to a manufacturer, retailer or wholesaler to
order goods or services. These letters must contain specific information such as model number,
name of the product, the quantity desired and expected price. Payment is sometimes included
with the letter.
Complaint Letters
The words and tone you choose to use in a letter complaining to a business may be the deciding
factor on whether your complaint is satisfied. Be direct but tactful and always use a professional
tone if you want the company to listen to you.
Adjustment Letters
An adjustment letter is normally sent in response to a claim or complaint. If the adjustment is in
the customer‘s favor, begin the letter with that news. If not, keep your tone factual and let the
customer know that you understand the complaint.
Inquiry Letters
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Inquiry letters ask a question or elicit information from the recipient. When composing this type
of letter, keep it clear and succinct and list exactly what information you need. Be sure to include
your contact information so that it is easy for the reader to respond.
Follow-Up Letter
Follow-up letters are usually sent after some type of initial communication. This could be a sales
department thanking a customer for an order, a businessman reviewing the outcome of a meeting
or a job seeker inquiring about the status of his application. In many cases, these letters are a
combination thank-you note and sales letter.
Letters of Recommendation
Prospective employers often ask job applicants for letters of recommendation before they hire
them. This type of letter is usually from a previous employer or professor, and it describes the
sender‘s relationship with and opinion of the job seeker.
Acknowledgment Letters
Acknowledgment letters act as simple receipts. Businesses send them to let others know that they
have received a prior communication, but action may or may not have taken place.
Cover Letter
Cover letters usually accompany a package, report or other merchandise. They are used to
describe what is enclosed, why it is being sent and what the recipient should do with it, if there is
any action that needs to be taken. These types of letters are generally very short and succinct.
Letters of Resignation
When an employee plans to leave his job, a letter of resignation is usually sent to his immediate
manager giving him notice and letting him know when the last day of employment will be. In
many cases, the employee also will detail his reason for leaving the company.
2.2 MEMOS
Memos are intra-organization correspondence written among different departments in the same
location or in different locations, factories and offices. Before word processing and other forms of
electronic communication became popular, memos carried bulk of the load of written
communication within a firm. One of the popular formats was that the initiator of the memo
prepared it, with the help of carbon papers, in a set of three copies. The third copy was kept as a
record and the set of two copies – first and second, were sent to the person to whom the message
was targeted. Only the left half of the memo was written in by the sender. The receiver used the
same set of papers and wrote the responses on the right half and sent it back to the initiator.
Essentially both business letters and memos serve the same purpose excepting that memos, being
internal communications, were shorn of formal addressing style of business letters that are
normally addressed to external customers, prospects, government and other statutory authorities
2.3 TYPES OF REPORTS
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Formal Reports
Formal reports follow a methodical structure and communicate knowledge, results and findings to
a range of internal and external readers. Most formal reports contain a title page, cover letter,
table of contents, list of tables and illustrations, executive summary, an extensive body and
references. The title page lists the name of the report, date of completion and name of author or
company. The cover letter summarizes the purpose of the report, its importance and any required
follow-up action needed. The table of contents lists the major topics in the report along with their
page numbers. The executive summary highlights the report's main points, the report body also
may include conclusions and recommendations, and the references page notes the sources cited in
the report.
2.3.1 TECHNIQUES OF WRITING A REPORT (BASIC PARTS OF A REPORT)
OVERVIEW:
The overview is a brief summary which tells the reader quickly what the report is all about. It
identifies the purpose and the most important features of the report, states the main conclusion,
and sometimes makes recommendations. It does this in as few words as possible, condensing the
report to several key sentences. It is usually best to write the Overview last after you have written
the background, discussion, and conclusion because only then will you have an overview
yourself. Remember: The overview may be written last, but it is always placed first in the final
report.
BACKGROUND:
The background sets the scene for your reader. There is no need to confuse the overview with the
background If you remember that the overview provides a brief summary of the entire report,
whereas the background introduces the subject and explains the reason for the report. Cording to
the requirements of your report, the background should try to answer such questions as
Who?
What?
Why?
Where? and
When?
The background information should place your reader mentally in the picture before he/she has to
consider your findings and conclusions.
DISCUSSION:
The discussion presents your findings. You should have as much evidence (facts, arguments,
details, data, and results) as a reader will need to understand the subject. You must develop these
findings in an organized, logical manner to avoid confusing your reader. You should also present
your findings imaginatively to hold his/her interest. During the discussion, you may want to use
headings and subheadings if you are discussing different aspects of the subject. Each Heading or
subheading must be an informative mini-title, summarizing the material covered in the
paragraphs it is meant to introduce.
CONCLUSION:
Conclusions briefly state the major points that can be drawn from the discussion. If there is more
than one conclusion, state the main conclusion first, and the remaining conclusions in decreasing
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order of importance. Although recommendations are not a necessary part of a report, you may
include a discussion of your recommendations in this part of the report.
Transactional Documents
A company uses documents to transact business with its clients. To save time, these documents
may be formatted as a form, such as an order form, transmittal page, invoice or receipt. The types
of transactional documents used vary somewhat by the nature of a business. An insurance agent,
for example, generates insurance applications and policies, while a lender uses loan applications
and mortgage documents. In some fields, businesses enter into agreements and contracts with
others; these documents might be drafted by the company‘s lawyer.
Financial Documents
A business uses financial documents to stay within its budget, prepare budget proposals and file
tax returns. These documents include receipt records, payroll reports, paid bills, bank statements,
income statements, balance sheets and tax reporting forms. These documents may be prepared by
the company‘s accountant. A business owner uses these documents to determine the financial
success of the company and to identify areas that are unproductive. A department head might use
financial documents to prepare a budget proposal.
Memos
A memo, short for memorandum, is a type of routine report an organization prepares for internal
communication purposes. It is impersonal and objective in its tone, and its length ranges between
a sentence or two to several pages. Most memos begin with background information, including
information on the sender, receiver, the date, subject and location in case the memo refers to an
event. A memo is the most informal type of report format.
Semi-Formal Reports
A semi-formal report, also called a titled document, is a shorter, less complex version of a formal
report. Semi-formal reports typically have multiple pages including a title page, introduction
page, a body and references.
2.4 TYPES OF ORDER
Keeping different aspects of orders in mind, we can classify orders in various ways:
(a) Written and oral orders.
Written orders are usually given in the following cases:



The order is of a highly responsible nature. It is essential to keep a record of it and to make it
absolutely specific.
The task is repetitive in nature. It is cumbersome and inconvenient to issue oral orders every
time the task is to be done.
The person being ordered is remotely situated and it is not possible to give him oral orders.
Oral orders are given in the following cases:
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


The job is required to be done immediately.
It is ordinary job and there is no need of maintaining any written record.
There is a kind of permanent superior-subordinate relationship between the giver and the
receiver of the order and the order-giver does not feel the need of entering into the
cumbersome process of issuing written orders.
(b) General and specific orders.
If orders are related to one particular activity, they are specific. If there are a number of activities
having operational similarities, general orders may be issued to cover all of them. Again, in case
it is not possible to foresee all the attendant situations connected with an activity, it may become
necessary to issue general orders.
(c) Procedural and operational orders.
Procedural orders specify procedures to be adopted. They are general by nature. Operational
orders are more closely related to the job in hand. They specify how a particular job is to be done.
(d) Mandatory and discretionary orders.
Mandatory orders have to be obeyed. Discretionary orders are usually in the nature of
recommendations. They suggest what is desirable, what should be done. But it is up to the
receive; to see their feasibility and to decide whether he ought to carry them out or not. The Head
Office may issue discretionary orders to the branch manager, for the branch manager, being
present on the spot, knows better whether the orders are to be carried out or not.
2.4.1 CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EFFECTIVE ORDER



I must be clear and complete so that the person who receives the order knows exactly
what to do, how to do and when to do it.
It execution should be possible, that is, the person who has to execute it has the materials,
tools, equipment, time and ability to execute it. If any hurdles are likely to be
experienced, the order should specify how they are to overcome.
It should be given in a friendly way so that it is not resented and is not carried out
reluctantly.
2.5 SAMPLE LETTERS
ANSWER A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON A PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Sample Letter #1
Thank you for expressing interest in our retail record. The information on the number of units we
sell each year will not be available until after March 15. If you still need the information at that
time, I suggest you call Jane Doe at 555-5555. If I can help in another way, please don't hesitate
to call. Thank you for your interest.
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Sample Letter #2
Thank you for your interest in our innovative floor plans. In answer to your question, we offer
three plans from which to choose. I have enclosed a sketch of each for your review. If you have
any questions, please call our secretary at 555-5555. She can also schedule an appointment for
you to meet with one of our agents.
Sample Letter #3
Thank you for your recent inquiry about Doe Vita-Heart products. I am enclosing a copy of the
study you requested. As you can see, over 80% of those tested lowered their cholesterol levels
significantly after using Doe's Vita-Heart products for just eight weeks. Our herbs and vitamins
are completely natural because we gather them from food sources. I hope you will find this
information helpful in deciding whether you would like to try Vita-Heart supplements. If you
wish to speak to one of our consultants, please call 555-5555 or send a card to this address, and a
representative will call on you. Thank you for your interest in Vita-Heart.
ASK FOR PERSONAL ADVICE
Sample Letter #1
I know you hate giving advice, but I need your experience on my side. I have the opportunity to
buy out another fisherman's fleet at the end of the season. The trouble is this will put us in a real
bind financially next season. I hope you will come on down. I will take you to lunch and we can
look at the numbers together. I trust your judgment more than my own. I look forward to hearing
from you.
Sample Letter #2
Jane, you are the one person I feel I can consult on this. I just got a raise and for the first time I
am making more than Eric. In spite of what he says, I know this is troubling him...HELP! Let's
get together over lunch this week and you can tell me how you handled the same problem.
Sample Letter #3
I come to you seeking advice on a personal matter because you have known me since sixth grade
and I admire your life experiences and knowledge of academia. I know also that you will honor
my request for confidentiality.
What would you do if you had to decide between applying for government financial aid to
complete a graduate degree or working full time for six months to earn enough money and have
less debt?
I have recently borrowed to purchase an automobile and insurance liability coverage. The
monthly payments are low and manageable with my part-time job, but I need money now to
cover tuition costs. While I am reluctant to borrow more money, I worry that I may choose not to
return to school if I take six months off.
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Please let me know your thoughts on this subject. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you
for letting me express my concerns to you.
REQUEST A COPY OF AN OFFICIAL DOCUMENT
Sample Letter #1
I am writing to request a copy of my graduation certificate awarded in the spring commencement
services. Unfortunately, I lost the original when my briefcase was stolen from my car. I am
enclosing a copy of the police report to support my claim, along with a certified check for $27.50
to cover the replacement fee. My name and other identifying information are included in the
report. Please send the certificate to the address below. Thank you for your assistance.
Sample Letter #2
Please send me a certified copy of the plat map that encompasses 1600 South Main Street,
Springfield, KS 12345, and mail it to that address. I have enclosed $15.00 to cover the copying
charges and $2.50 for shipping. Thank you for your prompt attention.
Sample Letter #3
I am engaged in genealogical research and need a long copy of my great grandmother's birth
certificate. Her birth was registered in Chesham in England on June 20, 1865. Her name was
Ellen Margaret Brown or Emma Margaret Brown. I do not know her parents' names. Is this
sufficient information to locate her birth certificate?
I have enclosed the standard fee plus postage. If there are any further costs to be defrayed, please
contact me at the above address. Thank you very much for your help.
REQUEST A RESPONSE TO A SURVEY OR QUESTIONNAIRE
Sample Letter #1
As you know, we are troubled that production time per unit has increased sharply in recent
months. Those of you who work most closely with production are best qualified to help us
understand what has caused this change. Please set aside a few minutes today to fill out the
attached questionnaire. Feel free to add additional remarks in the space provided and give it to
your supervisor by the end of the day. All comments will remain anonymous.
We all have a stake in our efficiency, so let's work as a team to solve this problem. Your input is
vital to our financial health. Thank you for your help.
Sample Letter #2
The enclosed questionnaire is one of 500 we are distributing to the State's secondary school
counselors. As the director of your school's counseling department, would you be kind enough to
respond to this brief survey? Your answers will help us determine the counseling loads that you
and your associates carry, and will play an important role in calculating our budget requests to the
state legislature.
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We will publish the results of this survey, along with the Commissioner's recommendation, in the
board's September newsletter. We appreciate your assistance and look forward to receiving your
response.
REQUEST AN EXPLANATION FOR A DENIAL OF CREDIT
Sample Letter #1
I just received your letter denying my application for credit due to "late payment history" and
"insufficient income." I have never been late on any payments and I just received a raise. Either
there was a mistake in your evaluation or the credit information you used was incorrect. Would
you please reconsider my application? If there is any additional information you need, please let
me know.
Sample Letter #2
Yesterday, I received your letter denying our request for a credit account. We are puzzled by your
decision as we have an excellent credit history. Will you please tell us why you denied the
application? We can only assume that one of our credit references has made an error. We will be
happy to supply you with the correct information with appropriate documentation, so that you can
reconsider our application.
REQUEST CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT OF EARLIER MAILINGS
Sample Letter #1
On March 3 my secretary sent the building contract to your office by priority mail, but we have
received no response. I am concerned that it may not have arrived. Will you please notify us as to
whether you have received it? If not, I will gladly send a copy.
Sample Letter #2
On Tuesday, February 6, 2002, I mailed check #123 in the amount of $936.00 to Springfield
Mortgage Services, but neglected to include my payment receipt on which I had indicated that I
wanted the extra $300 to be credited to my loan principal.
Would you please to send me confirmation that my check was received and that $636.00 was
credited as my monthly payment and that $300.00 extra was credited to principal?
Thank you for your kind attention. I regret any inconvenience I may have caused.
REQUEST ESTIMATES OR BIDS
Sample Letter #1
On behalf of the Doe Corporation, I invite you to submit an estimate for an alarm system for our
new headquarters which will be located in Springfield, Kansas.
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Enclosed is a packet which outlines the specifications for our request and the layout of the
buildings. We want a complete estimate for your deluxe security system by December 1, along
with a guarantee that you can finish the system within two weeks of signing the contract.
Thank you for your help.
REQUEST INFORMATION
Sample Letter #1
I understand that the Springfield Family History and Genealogical Society Archives have
maintained a complete file of immigration statistics from 1880 to 1940. Would you be kind
enough to furnish me with the names of immigrants from Ireland to the Springfield area between
the years 1936-1939?
This information will help me prepare a family history to be presented to the recipient of the
"Inspirational Citizen Award" at our centennial celebration. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Sample Letter #2
Thank you for submitting your resume in response to the nanny position we advertised. In
addition to your resume, we also need three references and a list of past employers for the past
five years, along with their phone numbers. Our policy is to thoroughly review the background of
each candidate in order to select the most suitable nanny for our children. Thank you for your
assistance.
RESPOND TO AN INQUIRY ABOUT PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
Sample Letter #1
Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Doe Walker. As you can see from the enclosed flyers,
the Fitness Council voted the Walker "Treadmill of the Year" in Exercise magazine. Our
treadmills combine flexibility, affordable pricing and outstanding service to make the Doe
Walker the best-selling treadmill in today's market. Please take note of our B-Model for the
dedicated walker on a limited budget. To place an order or speak to one of our fitness consultants,
please call 555-5555. We will be happy to help you become a healthier, fitter you.
Sample Letter #2
Thank you for your letter requesting information about our fabrication services. Yes, we can
custom-make waterproof aluminum boxes for mounting luggage on your motorcycle at a
reasonable cost. You are welcome to visit our office at 1600 Main Street, where our design
personnel have pictures of such custom-made boxes. We are proud of the beauty and utility that
these boxes offer. Please drop in and discuss the design that you would like, or call 555-5555.
THANK SOMEONE FOR AN INQUIRY
Sample Letter #1
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Thanks for your interest in my show for your upcoming lodge meeting. I am enclosing the video
of my performance that you requested. I also have a web site at www.DoeEntertainment.com.
After you review the video, let's talk. I'd like to learn more about your lodge members. I'll call
Friday to schedule an appointment. I look forward to this fun evening.
Sample Letter #2
Thank you for your recent request for more information concerning our products. I am sending
you our illustrated winter catalog containing descriptions of our entire stock with current price
listings. As new products become available, we continually expand our selection of merchandise.
For this reason, I have added your name to our mailing list. You will receive a new catalog about
four times a year, as well as periodic information on our sale prices and clearances. The Doe
Company takes pride in offering the widest selection of quality merchandise at the lowest prices
in the field. In appreciation of your interest, I would like to offer you a 10 percent discount on
your first order and invite you to become one of our many satisfied customers. If you have any
further questions, I would be happy to assist you.
ACCEPT A FORMAL INVITATION TO A SOCIAL EVENT
Sample Letter #1
Mr. and Mrs. John Doe accept your kind invitation to brunch at the Springfield Country Club on
Saturday, the thirty-first of March at 10:30 a.m. Unfortunately, we will have to leave early due to
a prior engagement.
Sample Letter #2
Mr. and Mrs. John Doe accept with pleasure
your kind invitation to the Springfield Charity Ball
Saturday, June sixteenth, at eight o'clock in the evening
at the Springfield Country Club.
ACCEPT A JOB OFFER
Sample Letter #1
I am pleased to accept your offer to join Doe Corporation as a marketing representative. The
meeting with your marketing staff convinced me that I will be working with a successful team in
a dynamic company, and I look forward to contributing to the team's efforts. As you requested, I
have signed and enclosed the contract which details my salary as well as commission bonuses.
I appreciate the literature you sent on the company's retirement and insurance programs. Thanks
also for offering to answer questions I may have concerning these benefits, when I report to you
for orientation at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 3. I appreciate your help in processing the
employment papers and look forward to our January meeting.
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Sample Letter #2
I am happy to accept the position as computer programmer in your department. The ongoing
training program outlined in your letter convinced me that your company offers excellent growth
opportunities for its technical staff.
I understand that my salary will begin at $30,000 per year and that my immediate supervisor will
consider a salary increase when I demonstrate expertise in an advanced programming language.
The start date of June 1 is acceptable and I look forward to thanking you in person when we meet
at 9:00 a.m. in your office on that date.
ACCEPT A REQUEST TO SERVE IN AN HONORARY POSITION
Sample Letter #1
I will consider it a great honor to serve as honorary chairperson and to grant permission to your
organization to use my name for promotional purposes. Prior commitments, however, dictate that
I must participate in name only. Nevertheless, I am immensely interested in your progress and
would appreciate you sending me literature for each goal you undertake.
May your endeavors be successful. Our community stands to benefit a great deal as you
accomplish each objective.
Sample Letter #2
I am both surprised and excited that your organization selected me to serve as an honorary board
member for your project. Because I have long had an interest in your cause, I am eager to lend
my support. Since I am currently involved in another movement that consumes my time, I am
afraid I will be able to participate on a nominal level only. However, to show my support I would
enjoy reviewing your literature and offering some suggestions.
I hope you will meet with every success in your praiseworthy endeavors. Your efforts will benefit
many.
ACCEPT AND EXPRESS APPRECIATION FOR A SUGGESTION
Sample Letter #1
Thank you very much for the "customer helper" idea. As head of our sales department, I will
immediately implement your suggestion of assigning a sales representative to customers planning
home improvement. We are sure our customers will appreciate this additional service.
When you next return to your neighborhood store, an employee will greet you, review your home
improvement needs, and assign a knowledgeable salesperson to you. As you are aware, our policy
is to please our customers, and we appreciate ideas like yours that help us to serve our customers
in a more efficient manner.
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As our stores continue to profit, we know that the store managers will also be grateful for
customers like you who help them improve their service.
Sample Letter #2
Thank you for your suggesting that we maintain "nonsmoking floors" in our hotels. You were
correct in noting that our policy, until now, has been to provide both smoking and nonsmoking
rooms on each floor of our hotels.
Our management has looked into this policy and decided on a change. You will be glad to hear
that we have agreed to implement your suggestion by maintaining smoke-free zones in each of
our hotels.
We certainly thank you for your timely suggestion. Since our guests' safety and comfort are our
main concern, you can be certain that we appreciate comments like yours that help us achieve this
goal.
APPEAL TO HIGHER AUTHORITIES WHEN COMPLAINT LETTERS DON'T WORK
Sample Letter #1
Since I am unable to get a helpful response from your Springfield office, I am turning to you as a
last resort. I own a small parcel of land at the base of Mt. Baldy where dirt bike riders like to try
their skill at climbing the steep slopes. The State has erected signs indicating that motorized
vehicles are prohibited in this area because of the serious erosion they cause, but no one is
enforcing the restriction.
When the bikers come off the mountain, they often ride across my property, causing deep ruts in
the soil and destroying the vegetation. I have confronted them on several occasions, but my
requests have been ignored. When I ask your office in Springfield to enforce the restriction, they
say they will, but they do nothing. I am enclosing copies of the last two letters I sent, along with
photographs of the damage the bikers have done.
I trust you will look into this matter and see that proper action is taken to uphold the law and
preserve the beauty of the Mt. Baldy area. I will gladly do what I can to be of assistance.
Sample Letter #2
I write you in the hope that you can persuade your Springfield office to honor all the terms of its
contract with me. On numerous occasions I have tried to discuss the situation with the office
manager, but he is unwilling to cooperate. In short, I cannot solve the problem myself, and I want
to avoid hiring a lawyer unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
Enclosed are copies of the contract and documentation proving that the office has violated the
contract on several occasions. Unfortunately, this regrettable performance reflects poorly on your
entire corporation. I request your assistance in resolving this problem. If I can supply any other
information, please call me at 555-5555.
Sample Letter #3
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Written Communication Notes
I have written three letters to Doe Corporation and complained in person one other time, trying to
get my CV joint replaced. They installed the joint less than two months ago, and it has already
gone bad. I've enclosed copies of my letters, the purchase order, and the warranty. I feel a little
prodding from the Better Business Bureau might help. I look forward to hearing from you.
COMPLAIN ABOUT A FAULTY DELIVERY OR A SHIPPING ERROR
Sample Letter #1
Last Saturday I visited your showroom in Springfield and ordered an oak desk and two matching
three-drawer filing cabinets for my study. When I arrived home this evening, I found the furniture
had been delivered in my absence, but the filing cabinets were the four-drawer style.
Unfortunately, I can use only the three-drawer style because I lack room for anything higher.
I will appreciate having these cabinets picked up and exchanged for the ones I ordered as soon as
possible. Please call to arrange a time when I will be home. I trust this matter can be resolved
very quickly, so I can get my files organized soon.
Sample Letter #2
On March 17 I ordered a box of letterhead stationery for our central office in Springfield. We
received your shipment within one week, but the letterhead carried another firm's address.
I am returning the stationery under separate cover, with the needed correction noted. I will
appreciate your sending me the correct stationery as soon as possible. Also, I trust you will credit
my account with $4.86, the cost of returning the stationery.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
COMPLAIN ABOUT RECEIVING DAMAGED GOODS
Sample Letter #1
A few weeks ago I ordered a terra cotta vase through your mail order catalog, but when it arrived
it was shattered into several small pieces. It appeared that the box had been crushed by something
quite heavy. I hope you have another just like it, because I would still like to receive the vase.
I am returning the invoice that was in the box, and will return the broken pieces, if necessary, to
receive a replacement. Otherwise, I will eagerly await the arrival of a new vase. If it can be
delivered before Christmas, I will be most grateful.
Sample Letter #2
We appreciate your willingness to deliver our new copy machine a day early. Unfortunately, it
arrived with some damage to the front door. The machine works, but the door is an eyesore and
doesn't close all the way. I have enclosed a Polaroid photo of the door so you can see the
problem. I trust you will send someone to replace the door as soon as possible.
COMPLAIN ABOUT POOR FACILITIES OR EQUIPMENT
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Sample Letter #1
We wish to express our concern regarding the bathroom facilities in Doe Park on Main Street.
Because of the park's convenient location, our neighborhood children spend many hours after
school playing on the playground equipment. Although we ask them to come home to use the
bathroom, they sometimes use the park bathroom.
Some of us visited the facilities this morning and were horrified to see their condition. Vandals
have broken the toilet, leaving a gaping hole over the exposed sewer. The children claim it has
been that way for weeks. The graffiti is appalling. Until something is done, the bathroom is
definitely off limits for our neighborhood kids.
Please, either close the facility or repair it immediately. It presents a clear danger to the public
health, to say nothing of the moral pollution it represents. We the undersigned ask that your office
take swift action. We will be happy to cooperate in any way we can.
Sample Letter #2
I have enjoyed my membership at the fitness center for the past two years, but I have recently
avoided the spa because it is so unpleasant. The shower room is especially bad. The floors have
become grimy and littered with paper towels and partially used bars of soap. The non-slip mats
between the stalls are disintegrating. It simply does not look or feel clean anymore.
I would like to retain membership in the center, but I also want to get good value for my money. I
hope these conditions can be improved for the benefit of all concerned.
COMPLAIN ABOUT A BILLING ERROR
Sample Letter #1
On January 23 I had my 2002 Oldsmobile serviced in your Springfield Lubrication Center, and
charged it to my Doe credit card. I have just received my credit card statement and notice that the
charge appears twice on the same date. I remember the technician having problems with the
computer, so I assume the double-billing was the result of some mistake at that time.
I am enclosing a copy of my bill. I believe the best way to correct the problem would be for you
to credit my card account with the amount charged for the service. If you will handle this problem
immediately, I think everything will be okay. Thank you.
Sample Letter #2
When I attended your clearance sale last month, I opened a credit account in order to receive the
free gift. Earlier in the day I had made a cash purchase for $39.99. Somehow that purchase
showed up as a charge on my credit card bill this month. I am not sure how such a mistake can
happen, but I trust you will correct the error immediately by crediting my account with the
$39.99.
Enclosed is a copy of the receipt showing that I made a cash purchase of the item that appears on
the bill. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter--and thanks for the toaster.
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RESPOND TO A COMPLAINT
Sample Letter #1
Thank you for your letter alerting us to the problem you have been having with our store in
Springfield. I am sorry you have been subjected to such a frustrating series of events. We pride
ourselves on responding to customers' concerns very quickly, so what you have experienced is
inexcusable.
I have spoken with our manager in Springfield and have instructed him to give you a full refund
plus 20% off your next purchase. I extend my own apologies for the inconvenience this problem
has caused you. It is apparent that we need to train our holiday help more thoroughly.
I wish you an enjoyable holiday season.
Sample Letter #2
I certainly understand your frustration at being sent the wrong order last week and realize that you
need some of your order immediately to satisfy demand. I hope the merchandise we rushed to you
on Monday arrived in time to get you past the crisis.
Please accept my sincere apologies. We will make every effort to see that this never happens
again. We appreciate your business and will do everything we can to serve your needs.
WRITE A COMPLAINT LETTER TO A SUPERIOR
Sample Letter #1
Because I know you do a great deal to help the members of my section, I feel I can turn to you
with a matter that has caused us much personal frustration and even more wasted time. For
several weeks now, the Vice President's secretary has been sending people to do his copying on
our machine. We want to cooperate, but sometimes they occupy the machine for two or three
hours, making our own people wait. At this rate we are falling behind in our own work, and our
production figures are suffering.
Would it be possible for the Company to buy another copy machine, either for our use, or for the
vice president's projects? I suppose his secretary could send people to other offices, but it would
simply mean transferring the problem to someone else. I think another machine would be the best
solution for all concerned.
I know my staff would sincerely appreciate being able to use their time more efficiently. I look
forward to your response so I can tell them what to expect.
Sample Letter #2
I am writing in behalf of several employees who have expressed concern over the problems we
have had in receiving our checks on the last day of the month. Of course all of us have financial
obligations we must meet on a regular basis, so we count on getting paid on that day. The delays
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during the past months have caused a great deal of frustration, and I fear that employee morale is
suffering. Some even fear that the company will not stay in business long.
It would be very helpful if someone could explain what has delayed check preparation, and
otherwise allay the fears that many have. I wonder if, in addition, it might be possible to begin
printing checks a few days earlier to allow for problems that may come up.
I assured my group that you would be responsive to their concerns. I'll let them know what to
expect as soon as I hear from you. Thank you for your consideration.
APOLOGIZE FOR A LATE PAYMENT
Sample Letter #1
Enclosed is a check for $100.00 to complete payment on invoice #123. This check should cover
the entire overdue balance. Please accept our apologies for this oversight. We are truly sorry for
any inconvenience it may have caused you.
Sample Letter #2
By now you are aware that we did not make our March rent payment of $650. We have
scrambled for weeks to meet our expenses, but will not be able to get the payment to you until
March 20. We apologize for our late payment and hope you can work with us during this difficult
time.
We appreciate all you do for us and want you to know we could not ask for a finer landlord.
Thank you for your understanding. Please look for the check to arrive in the mail soon.
APOLOGIZE FOR A DEFECTIVE, DAMAGED, OR INCOMPLETE PRODUCT
Sample Letter #1
We are very sorry that your toaster does not function as you expected. Before we ship any toaster,
we double-check every function, so your problem may be one you can solve quite easily.
When the bread does not go down, you can usually correct the problem by rotating the screw on
the bottom of the toaster a turn or two to the right. If that adjustment does not solve the problem,
simply return the toaster to our nearest outlet to receive a replacement or a refund. Your Doe
toaster should give you many years of trouble-free service.
Sample Letter #2
We regret the keyboard you purchased is causing you difficulties. Because Doe products are
tested thoroughly before shipping, it is a rare instance when one is found defective. We have
enclosed a replacement keyboard for your convenience. Please return the original to us in the
enclosed mailer. If you need further assistance, please call us at 555-5555. We want you to be a
satisfied Doe customer.
APOLOGIZE FOR A MISSED DEADLINE
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Sample Letter #1
I am truly sorry and very embarrassed about not finishing the report by the deadline. I know you
are eager to have the entire study completed by June 1, so I am working nights to have this to you
by May 25. You can count on it being delivered by special mail on or before that date. I will do
everything I can to make this project a success. I appreciate the opportunity to work on it, and I
thank you for your patience.
Sample Letter #2
My response to your January 5 survey is enclosed. I apologize for missing your January 15
deadline. Our students returned to school on January 7, and I have been very busy with the new
semester. Still, I have made every effort to give you accurate information. Even though my
response is late, I hope you will be able to use it in your final document.
APOLOGIZE FOR A SHIPPING DELAY OR ERROR
Sample Letter #1
Our sincere apologies for the mix-up on your fruit tree order. It was clear that you ordered dwarf
trees, and we mistakenly sent regular stock. We are sending you dwarf replacement trees
immediately. You need not return the trees you have received. Thank you for your understanding.
We appreciate serving your garden needs.
Sample Letter #2
We are sorry you did not receive your package as promptly as you expected. We experienced an
unusually large number of orders, which disrupted our normal delivery schedule. To serve you
better and faster, we are busy expanding our staff. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience we
might have caused and look forward to filling your future orders in timely manner.
WRITE A BUSINESS APOLOGY
Sample Letter #1
I am sorry that we no longer carry replacement sections for canvas tents. I understand your
frustration, because I, too, have a similar tent that I want to repair. But, with the recent
developments in lightweight fire resistant fabrics, most camping enthusiasts are turning to the
new Doe line of camping equipment.
In case you might consider replacing your current tent with a new lightweight one, I am sending
you the Doe spring catalog. You will notice we are offering special savings on orders submitted
before June 1. Best wishes for an enjoyable camping season.
WRITE A PERSONAL APOLOGY
Sample Letter #1
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I feel I must apologize to you personally for misquoting your comment on the bond issue. I know
how frustrating it can be to work hard for a cause and then have it misrepresented to those who
will benefit most from it. The misunderstanding came when we transcribed your comments from
a damaged tape recording of your talk Thursday evening.
As soon as we realized we had made a mistake, we printed an explanation and clarification of
your position and gave each student a copy to take home. We are also printing a retraction in the
local newspaper. I apologize for the misunderstanding and wish you success with the bond issue.
DISMISS AN EMPLOYEE FOR POOR PERFORMANCE OR UNACCEPTABLE
BEHAVIOR
Sample Letter #1
As you and I have already discussed, your receipt of this letter represents your official dismissal
as an employee of Doe Pharmaceutics, effective today. A company such as ours has an obligation
to adhere to the most exacting standards of scientific integrity. Since you have demonstrated a
willingness to compromise these standards, we cannot in good faith accede to your continued
employment with us.
Realizing the delicate nature of this situation, I nevertheless need to inform you that Doe will
maintain a confidential file detailing the events that have led to your dismissal. This file
documents your manipulation of research findings with the aim of a personal shortcut to
advancement within the company. While we will not attempt to hinder your future career in any
way, protection of Doe's legal interests and sound reputation requires us to preserve an internal
record of all your actions relative to project no. 5555.
It is also appropriate for me to inform you that we cannot recommend you to potential future
employers upon their inquiry. For this reason we ask you not to present our company's name or
the names of company personnel as references. Please contact my secretary for further
information concerning your severance.
In spite of your unfortunate false start here at Doe--and because we recognize your very real
talent--we genuinely hope you find a bright new beginning for your career.
Sample Letter #2
During your five months of employment with the Doe Corporation, your supervisor has evaluated
your performance three times. After each evaluation, she informed you that your performance
was not meeting the standard necessary if you were to continue in your position. Unfortunately,
your performance has not improved. After serious consideration, we have decided to ask for your
resignation effective immediately. According to company policy, you will receive two months'
severance pay and the opportunity to continue certain benefits, as outlined in the attached
summary.
Decisions like this are never easy, but in light of your poor performance, we see no alternative.
Despite this action, we feel you have significant potential and hope you will find work more
compatible with that potential.
RECOMMEND A SERVICE OR PRODUCT
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Sample Letter #1
My experience with several brands of space heaters in my own garage has led me to recommend
the Doe unit. This heater comes in several output levels and seems to produce the most heat for
the least electricity. I have used one for over 10 years with no maintenance problems, so I can
recommend it very highly. Please let me know if you want me to go ahead and order the five units
we would need for your warehouse.
Sample Letter #2
Subject: Recommendation to Purchase a Doe 4000 Computer System
At your request, I evaluated several computer systems to determine which one we should
purchase for the office. I believe that the Doe 4000 system, when configured for office use, will
best serve our needs at the price we budgeted.
The next closest system, the Doe 5000, offers many extra features, but we would have little use
for them, and the system is more expensive. I have attached a detailed comparison of these
systems, as well as a list of criteria I used to arrive at my recommendation. I believe the Doe 4000
is right for us at this time and will make arrangements to purchase it with your approval.
REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT AN APPLICANT
Sample Letter #1
In response to an advertised job opportunity, we have received many resumes for the open
position of (Name of Position) at our company. Of course, some applicants stand apart from the
rest. (Name of Applicant) is one such individual. The experiences and qualifications detailed on
his resume suggest that he would expertly perform the requirements of the (Name of Position)
position. However, in addition to considering the applicant's documented experiences and
credentials, in the process of finalizing our decision, I am contacting all of the references listed on
the his resume.
Since you are one of the applicant's primary professional references, I am writing today to request
your personal insight into (Name of Applicant)'s abilities and qualifications. At a time convenient
to you, I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about the applicant, either over the
phone or in person. My personal contact information is listed above. I thank you in advance for
your cooperation, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Sample Letter #2
Jane Doe has listed you on her resume as her first business reference. I am considering Ms. Doe
for a position in our aluminum window plant management team.
The successful candidate for this position must have experience in multilevel management and be
able to regulate workloads in circumstances of fluctuating demand. If you could offer your candid
evaluation of Jane Doe's abilities in these areas, I would be most grateful.
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We are considering several candidates and want to fill the position by August 15. If it would be
more convenient for you to telephone me, my office number is 555-5555.
OFFER SYMPATHY FOR THE DEATH OF A FRIEND OR RELATIVE
Sample Letter #1
I just read in the paper that Jane passed away. I feel a real loss in her passing and want to extend
my sympathy to you and your family. I will always remember Jane as an honest and cheerful
woman who loved to work with young people. Our family is privileged to have known her. In the
months to come, please know that our family loves and cares about you. We will be in touch.
Sample Letter #2
I was deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. John was a fine man and a significant influence
for good in others' lives. I will miss him a great deal. Please remember that I am here to help
however I can. Don't hesitate to call if you need help with funeral or estate matters or if you
simply need a listening ear.
THANK SOMEONE FOR A FAVOR
Sample Letter #1
I want you to know how much I appreciate your taking care of little Eric on Tuesday. It is rare to
find such kind friends, especially ones who you can call at the last minute. With your help I was
able to get to my doctor's appointment on time and get the medication I needed.
I'm glad we've become such good friends. I really think the world of you and your entire family.
Call me when you need a favor.
Sample Letter #2
Thank you for your kindness last Saturday. After my accident I was worried about how I could
water the Doe's lawn while they were on vacation. It will be two months before I can resume my
normal duties, but I certainly want to return the favor. Thanks for being such a great friend.
APPROVE A PROPOSAL
Sample Letter #1
We have read your innovative plans to improve our tax deductible investment procedures and are
very interested in your proposal. We believe your ideas are workable and would like to have you
serve on our board to implement them.
Enclosed is our policies and procedures handbook. Please read it carefully and call me if you
have any questions. If you can comply with our work requirements, please call me before Friday
to discuss the legal implications of your proposal.
Welcome aboard. I will be delighted if you accept this exciting challenge.
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Sample Letter #2
The trustees have approved your proposal to upgrade the lighting in the south parking lot as soon
as we start a new budget year. Before work begins we need to finalize plans for rerouting traffic
during the digging phase. We have scheduled a meeting with the construction supervisor for
11:00 a.m. on August 10. We would like you to attend. Please inform Jane if this is not a good
time, so we can reschedule the meeting. We want to have the new lights in before the end of
October.
APPROVE A LOAN
Sample Letter #1
I am happy to inform you that Doe International has approved your loan application for $33,000
with interest to be paid at a 9.8 Annual Percentage Rate. As indicated in earlier correspondence,
we expect the loan to be paid in full within seven years. An amortization schedule is enclosed.
Please call me sometime during the week so that we can draw up the final papers.
Sample Letter #2
We have approved your request for a home equity loan in the amount of $10,000. The term of the
loan is fifteen years. The interest rate on the unpaid balance will be calculated according to our
standard formula and will start at 9%. Your first payment of $210 is due on July 25. Thank you
for choosing Doe Savings and Loan. Please call us at 555-5555 if we can serve you further.
INVESTIGATE AN APPLICANT'S CREDIT REFERENCE
Sample Letter #1
Mr. John Doe recently applied for credit with our firm and listed you as a credit reference. We
would appreciate your completing the enclosed form so that we may evaluate your experience
with him. Your responses will remain confidential. Thank you for your prompt reply.
Sample Letter #2
Mr. John Doe has requested a line of credit with our company and has listed your company as a
credit reference. We would appreciate your assistance in making this decision by filling out the
accompanying credit report form and returning it in the postage-paid envelope. Any information
you provide us will be kept confidential.
Thank you for your cooperation and prompt attention in this matter.
FOLLOW UP AFTER A MEETING TO REVIEW DECISIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Sample Letter #1
Our meeting on September 17 proved to be a very productive step toward strengthening and the
University's General Education program. In addition to getting a better understanding of why the
program needs strengthening, we were successful in organizing three important subcommittees to
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get the work going. Suzanne Johnson will head the subcommittee responsible for handling
student and faculty surveys, while Jane Doe will head the subcommittee that will draft the initial
proposal for the Academic Vice President's office. In addition, John Doe will head a
subcommittee that will evaluate the effectiveness of alternate tracks.
We will meet again on October 18 for these committees to present their initial reports. Let me say
that I sincerely appreciate the good will and willingness to serve that I sense from each of you.
Sample Letter #2
At Tuesday's meeting, the planning committee discussed this year's company picnic, and decided
to accept John's suggestion to hold it in the Doe Woods. I personally think it is a wonderful place,
especially for families. We appreciate so many of you accepting assignments to help out. Jane
will determine whether the area is available on August 21, and she will handle the publicity.
Robert will organize a committee to handle our entertainment needs, with the goal of providing
fun activities for all ages. Beth will look into our catering options. We will meet next Tuesday,
May 17, at 10:00 a.m. in the conference room to hear your reports and make our final plans.
FOLLOW UP AFTER A SALES APPOINTMENT OR TELEPHONE CONVERSATION
Sample Letter #1
During our last meeting, we came to some preliminary decisions about working together. I
believe I have a good understanding of your needs and you have a clear view of my services.
Therefore, I am asking that we sign a simple Letter of Intent so we can move toward a final
contract. This letter would state your intent to contract with me and to make payments according
to the schedule I described in my proposal to you. Once we sign this Letter of Intent, I will begin
to process the final contract.
I will call you at the end of this week to set up an appointment to sign the Letter of Intent. I look
forward to working with you.
FOLLOW UP ON A SALES OFFER
Sample Letter #1
It was our pleasure to see you again at our Doe dealership on March 15. We know you recognize
quality at a good price when you see it, and we want to help you get that new van! Our salesman,
John Doe, contacted you March 20 to inform you that your credit looked good. He said you
would contact us with a decision, and we are still eager to hear from you.
Since we have a long-standing professional relationship with you, we are in a position to offer
you a special lease on a light green luxury van with leather interior. With the trade-in value of
your present van, you can lease this van for $329 a month, $40 less than our new customer rate.
However, our regional manager will let us extend this offer for only one more week. Please call
us or come in to the dealership as soon as possible.
Sample Letter #2
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Last month I sent you our catalog and gave you the opportunity to order merchandise at a
drastically reduced price. This offer ends soon, and I haven't heard from you, so I can't help but
think you have overlooked this unusual opportunity.
You have often mentioned how satisfied your customers have been with our merchandise, and I
know how important it is for you to please them. Maybe this is the time for you to take a minute
and browse through our catalog again.
In addition to offering a payment plan to fit your budget and a discount of 25%, we will take an
extra 5% off if you order before the end of the quarter. But hurry! The quarter is over in just a few
short weeks!
ANNOUNCE A SALES CONTEST
Sample Letter #1
Anyone for a Caribbean cruise? The winner of our holiday sales contest will receive two tickets
for a week-long Caribbean cruise aboard the Doe Queen. It's simple. Whoever achieves the
highest sales volume between December 1 and January 2 wins the cruise with all expenses paid.
As always, our major concern is with customer satisfaction, so for the purpose of this contest all
merchandise returns that were purchased during this period will be deducted from contest records.
Even if you don't win the first prize, you may qualify for one of the several consolation prizes
worth hundreds of dollars. Pick up detailed information on all prizes from the main reception
desk.
Sample Letter #2
Doe Furniture offers all-expenses-paid weekends for two in Las Vegas for the first five
salespersons who reach $20,000 in sales during our Spring Furniture Blowout, January 15-19.
The contest officially ends at the close of business on January 19, and the winners will be
announced in the sales meeting the following Monday.
Good luck to each of you.
CANCEL AN ORDER
Sample Letter #1
Please cancel my order for a set of encyclopedias. Enclosed is a copy of the order dated March
13. The cost is too much for my family at this time, so I am exercising my right of cancellation
within the three-day period as stated on the order form. I have stopped payment on my check for
$300, which I gave to your salesman, John Doe. I am sorry for any inconvenience this
cancellation may cause.
Sample Letter #2
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RE: Rush order on color photocopies
It is imperative that I receive the following color copies by Monday: (Please see the back of each
original for the reference numbers listed below.)
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
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#1 - 20 copies
#2 - 20 copies
#3 - 46 copies
#4 - 22 copies
#5 - 15 copies
Each should be a color copy. I understand there may be additional expenses as a result of the rush
order and I will pay them as well as the copy costs when I pick the copies up Monday at 10:00
a.m.
CHANGE AN ORDER
Sample Letter #1
On November 15 I ordered thirty-five holiday wreaths from your autumn catalog (copy of order
enclosed). I need to increase that order by fifteen for a total of fifty wreaths. Our high school band
is selling the wreaths to raise funds, and we would like to know whether there is a price break on
orders of fifty. Please send your response, including the invoice, directly to me. I regret any
inconvenience this order change may cause. If you have any questions, please call me at 5555555.
Sample Letter #2
I apologize for the inconvenience, but I need to change the order I placed yesterday. The table
coverings that I ordered in royal blue must be changed to rose. Please simply change the color;
the dimensions, number and shapes are fine. Sorry for the mix-up.
I don't believe this change will affect the sum I owe you so I am sending a check for the balance
you quoted me yesterday, $235.67. Thank you for your cooperation. Please notify me if there are
any problems with this change.
12 TIPS FOR WRITING A WINNING PROPOSAL
The words "send me a proposal" are music to the ears of many consultants. The invitation to write
a proposal is a milestone in the sales cycle — an opportunity to get one step closer to a client and
a new project. Even though they might not really enjoy writing proposals, most consultants jump
at the chance because they believe that exciting, lucrative work might be right around the corner.
A great proposal can be decisive in winning a project, while a poor one can cause you to lose a
project, even if everything else in the sales process has gone flawlessly. Follow these 12 tips to a
write a killer proposal every time.
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
Create a powerful, but concise executive summary
Decision-makers start with and focus
on the executive summary, so create this section with that fact in mind. When writing the
executive summary, assume that the reader knows little or nothing about the proposed
project.

Quantify the results that the client can expect from engaging you
Some consultants
create proposals that overemphasize their consulting process and methodologies. Clients buy
results, not tools or methodologies.

Be generous with your ideas
You may fear that revealing your ideas about how to solve a
problem during the proposal process could result in clients taking those ideas and completing
the project themselves. In rare cases, that may happen. But you'll have more success if you
don't hoard your ideas. Use them to show clients that your team thinks and approaches
problems in creative and innovative ways.

Size does matter
Keep your proposals as short as possible, while meeting the client's
request. Think quality, not quantity.

Focus on the client
Many proposals begin with a long discussion of the consulting firm,
describing its qualifications and history. Focus your proposal on the client's needs first, and
then describe your firm's capabilities. Remember, clients care only about how you'll address
their issues, so show them how you'll do that.

Beware of best practices
The client may view your liberal use of "best practices" as a
convenient crutch. Instead of relying on answers that worked for a previous client, find a
blend of outstanding practices and innovative solutions that fit your client's particular needs.

Be accurate
If you are using client data to support aspects of your proposal, double-check
and triple-check that information. It's easy for facts to be misunderstood and misused in a
proposal. You'll risk turning a winning proposal into a loser if you present inaccurate data to
the client.

Sweat every detail
Watch for typos, use high-quality materials, and make sure that the
right people receive the proposal on time.

Rewrite your resume for every proposal
Highlight the skills in your resume that
demonstrate your qualifications for the project at hand. A boilerplate resume is rarely up to
the task.

Finish early
Let your proposal sit for a day after you've completed the final draft, and then
reread it completely before sending it to the client. You're likely to come up with some new
ideas that enhance your work, and you may find errors that you missed earlier.

Let your personality shine through
Give clients a sense of your firm's culture and its
style of working. The traditional, stilted language of many consulting proposals doesn't help
clients answer the all-important question: What will it be like to work with these consultants?
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
Don't let your claims outdistance your true capabilities
Some proposals tout the
expertise of the consulting firm by referring to past successes with similar projects. These
testaments to past achievements are important, but be sure that the capabilities of the
proposed consulting team can live up to your firm's claims.
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HOW DO I WRITE A BUSINESS REPORT?
Business reports are a standard part of any business professional‘s kit. So, how do you write a
comprehensive business report? To begin with you need to make sure you know the answers to
the following three questions:
1.
What is the report about?
2.
Who‘s going to read it?
3.
Why is it needed?
These are very important questions to answer. If you don‘t have a clear idea in your mind before
you begin, you‘ll not be able to produce a clear, concise report. Once you have the answers to the
three questions you can start the process of creating the report.
The Seven Steps to Create a Business Report
There are seven steps you must complete to create a comprehensive business report. These are:
 Planning the outline of the report – you need to make brief notes about the subject and
contents of the report. They can be as simple as the title of the report, the main aims and the
purpose at this stage. It‘s really useful to decide on your title at this early stage as it‘ll help
to focus your mind on what needs to be included in the report.
 Gathering the information to go in the report – now that you know what you want to include
in the report you can set about gathering information using a number of sources including:
o previous reports
o reference books
o internet
o articles
o letters
o surveys
o personal observations
o organisations
At this stage don‘t be concerned about what will or will not go into the report, just gather as
much relevant information as you can.
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



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54
Organising the information into a logical, chronological sequence – once you organise
your information into a logical sequence you‘ll have a rough outline of what‘s going to
be in your report and how long it‘s likely to be. You should also check the information
you‘ve gathered for accuracy and make sure it‘s not out of date.
Selecting what information you‘ll include – deciding what is and what is not going into
your report is best done by dividing the information into three categories determined by
their importance:
Your final report usually has a mixture of all three, with all from group one, some of
group two and maybe some from group three.
Interpreting of the information, then drawing conclusions making and
recommendations. Review all the information you have and make your conclusions,
being careful to remain logical and objective even if the process leads to a conclusion
you do not like. Make sure you keep accurate and detailed notes during this process.
Writing the report – use your notes to draft the report making sure that you justify what
you‘ve written with logical arguments and supporting data.
If you need to, you should read it through four times, making notes on each of the
questions as you go. There are also a number of other questions you should be asking
yourself as you read through the report, such as:
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Written Communication Notes
o Has the report met its aims?
o Does it present the important information in a clear concise way?
o Are the arguments logical and easy to follow?
o Is the style suitable?
 Presenting your report – this is the time to show off your presentation skills. Make sure
your report is neat, clean, well-typed and in a suitable folder. Ensure the layout is clean
and easily understood by using diagrams, charts and graphs, headings, subheadings and
numbered points. It‘s also easier for the reader if you leave plenty of ‗white space‘ i.e.
broad margins and large spaces between the paragraphs and sections of the report.
Now you‘ve completed your report, put it aside for a couple of days, then come back and read it
again, aloud, to yourself. This final check should pick up any errors with the content, design, text
and style of the report. Once, this final check is done you can hand it to your boss with the
confidence that you have produced a comprehensive and professional report.
HOW TO WRITE MEETING MINUTES
What is the purpose of minutes?
Minutes are written as an accurate record of a group's meetings, and a record decisions taken.
They are useful because people can forget what was decided at a meeting if there is no written
record of the proceedings. Minutes can also inform people who were not at the meeting about
what took place.
Who writes the minutes?
It is normal practice for one person at each meeting to be given the task of writing the minutes. It
may be the same person each meeting, or the task may be rotated.
What do the minutes contain?
Before each meeting an agenda should be drawn up, detailing the matters to be discussed at the
meeting. A set of minutes should normally include the following information:

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




time, date and place of meeting;
list of people attending;
list of absent members of the group;
approval of the previous meeting's minutes, and any matters arising from those minutes;
for each item in the agenda, a record of the principal points discussed and decisions
taken;
time, date and place of next meeting;
name of person taking the minutes.
Meeting Minutes Format
These days, many of us find ourselves in the position of taking meeting minutes without a clue of
how to go about it. The following is a guide for making this task easier:

55
Make sure that all of the essential elements are noted, such as type of meeting, name of
the organization, date and time, name of the chair or facilitator, main topics and the time
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Written Communication Notes


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

of adjournment. For formal and corporate meetings include approval of previous minutes,
and all resolutions.
Prepare an outline based on the agenda ahead of time, and leave plenty of white space for
notes. By having the topics already written down, you can jump right on to a new topic
without pause.
Prepare a list of expected attendees and check off the names as people enter the room. Or,
you can pass around an attendance sheet for everyone to sign as the meeting starts.
To be sure about who said what, make a map of the seating arrangement, and make sure
to ask for introductions of unfamiliar people.
Don't make the mistake of recording every single comment, but concentrate on getting
the gist of the discussion and taking enough notes to summarize it later. Remember that
minutes are the official record of what happened, not what was said, at a meeting.
Use whatever device is comfortable for you, a notepad, a laptop computer, a tape
recorder, a steno pad, shorthand. Many people routinely record important meetings as a
backup to their notes.
Be prepared! Study the issues to be discussed and ask a lot of questions ahead of time. If
you have to fumble for understanding while you are making your notes, they won't make
any sense to you later.
Don't wait too long to type up the minutes, and be sure to have them approved by the
chair or facilitator before distributing them to the attendees.
Don't be intimidated, you may be called upon many times to write meeting minutes, and
the ability to produce concise, coherent minutes is widely admired and valued.
SAMPLE STATUS REPORT
POSTED ON JUNE 8, 2012 BY JULIA
Below is a sample status report for an IT consulting company. Regular status reports from
employees provide good evidence that a petitioning company maintains control of an employee.
USCIS likes to see reports like the one below because they help to demonstrate that an employeremployee relationship exists. The format below has not been endorsed by USCIS, but is merely
an example of how such a report might be structured. All persons, organizations, and activities
mentioned below are fictional. Other formats may be better suited to the individual petitioner‘s
needs.
MONTHLY STATUS REPORT
From: Sebastian Arnold
To: Victoria Edmonson – Director of Human Resources, Thermancis Enterprises
Subject: Status Report, May 2012
ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR LAST MONTH
1. Develop the search template.
2. Set parameters for the search program.
3. Remedy search failures.
ACTIVITIES ACCOMPLISHED LAST MONTH
1. Developed a new search program for the user system with user friendly parameters.
2. Responded to reported errors in the system in a quick and efficient manner.
ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR NEXT MONTH
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Saranya PB | Assistant Professor | KVIMIS
Written Communication Notes
1. Develop a user friendly system to update clients on pending transactions.
NEW ISSUES
No new issues to report this month.
ON-GOING ISSUES
Non
HOW TO WRITE A SURVEY REPORT
A survey report is a formal piece of writing based on research.
I Structure:
Introduction
State the purpose/aim of the report, when and how the information was gathered.
Main Body
All the information collected and analysed is presented clearly and in detail (break down the
respondents into groups according to sex, age and place of residence, state the main differences
between groups). Subheadings, numbers or letters can be used to separate each piece of
information.
Conclusion
Sum up the points mentioned above. If necessary a recommendation can be included as well (one
way of summing up is making some general comments).
II Useful hints and phrases:
Present Tenses, Reported Speech and an impersonal style should be used in survey reports. Use a
variety of reporting verbs such as claim, state, report, agree, complain, suggest, etc.
When reporting the results of a survey, the figures gathered should be given in the form of
percentages and proportions. Expressions such as ―one in four‖ or ―six out of ten‖ can be used,
or exact percentages e.g. 25% of the people questioned, 68% of those who filled in the
questionnaire, etc. Less exact expressions such as: the majority of those questioned, a large
proportion of, a significant number of, etc. can also be used.
III Useful language for reports:
To introduce: The purpose/aim of this report, As requested, This survey was carried out/
conducted by means of…,the questionnaire consisted of etc.
To generalize: In general, generally, on the whole, etc.
To refer to a fact: The fact is that…, In fact, In practice, etc.
To conclude/ summarise: In conclusion, All things considered, To sum up, All in all, It is not
easy to reach any definite conclusions, If any conclusions may be drawn from the data, It is clear
that, The survey shows/indicates/demonstrates, etc.
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Saranya PB | Assistant Professor | KVIMIS
Written Communication Notes
IV A Sample Survey Report
Survey of Academic and General Reading in English
On 8th February 1999, a survey was conducted among 16 overseas postgraduate students at
the University of England. The purpose of the survey was to discover the reading habits in
English of the students.
The survey was conducted by means of a questionnaire given to the students to complete. The
first part of the questionnaire dealt with the type of reading and its frequency. The second section
was concerned with newspapers: the type of items read and those that were read first.
From the table of data, the most significant items are as follows. In the first section 81% of the
students regularly read academic books" while 44% regularly read academic journals. Nothing
else is read regularly or often by 40% or more of the students. The following comments can be
made about the reading of newspapers, magazines and fiction. 75% sometimes read regional or
local newspapers, 69% sometimes read books of fiction, 62% sometimes read general magazines,
and 56% sometimes read national daily newspapers. On the other hand, 37% never read Sunday
newspapers and 31% never read fiction.
In the second section, not surprisingly, 100% read news about their own country in
newspapers and 56% read this first. 94% read international news,
25% read this first. 81% read about Britain and look at radio and TV information. The only other
item that is usually read by more than 50% of the students is current affairs (read by 56%).
If any conclusions may be drawn from the data, they are, perhaps, as follows. Overseas
students presumably have little time for general reading: most of their reading time is spent on
books and journals on their own subject. Outside their studies, apart from reading news about
their own country, international news, and news about Britain, they probably spend most time
watching TV and listening to the radio.
/from Academic Writing Course by R.R. Jordan/
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Saranya PB | Assistant Professor | KVIMIS