The Art of Business Writing Letters part 2

Know when to send the correct letter is the first step to achieving the proper response in business writing.

There are 12 general tips for better business writing:

Get organized- make an outline that way your writing is divided into smaller, easy to handle pieces and parts. Stick to the standard format- introduction, body and conclusion.

Know the reader- find out about your reader that way your writing will be built on their needs, interest and desires.

Avoid “corporatese”- don’t use industry jargon. This jargon is only good when speaking to someone in your industry. Avoid cliches and antiquated phrases and technical terms are useless also. No big words when little words will work just as well.

Favor the active voice- be concise in your writing. It will be more understandable to the reader.

Avoid lengthy sentence- keep your sentences short. Use the Fog Index to determine if your sentences are to long. (

Be specific- people want specific facts, figures, conclusions and recommendations.

Be simple- you want to express not impress

Define your topic- knowing the purpose of your document will give you clear and specific details in your writing.

Adequate content- do research on your topic that way your writing is well rounded and back it up with facts.

Be consistent in usage- if you start in first person, use first person through out your whole document

Shun dull/wordy prose- use the fewest words as possible. Avoid redundancies and over blown expressions.

Short Blocks of text- use short paragraphs and sections to break up your writing.

then there are times when standard organizational format will not work. There are 9 other organizational schemes that will work for you:

Order of location- closes to further away

Order of increasing difficult- easiest to complex

Alphabetical order- logical arrangement

Chronological order- facts in order of occurrence

Problem/solution- problem first then write solution

Inverted pyramid- summary then details

Deductive order- start with finding then end with evidence

Inductive order- start with specifics then lead reader to the specific suggestions

List- use when writing about steps

There are many ways to write letters but only a few are correct and will get you your desired response.

The Encyclopedia of Business Letters, Faxes, and Email by Robert W. Bly and Regina Anne Kelly

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