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Business Communications - Module 9 Notes

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BUSI 1020U
William Thurber

Module 9: Formatting Hardcopy Letters and Memos Business Communications February 9 2012 - Letters  go to people outside the organization. - Memos  internal messages sent to people within your organization. - Format  the parts of a document and the way they are arranged on the page. - When you are considering how best to deliver your message, remember the principle of all good design: Form follows function. How Should I Set Up Letters? - Letters are written in block and modified block. - 2 more common letter formats are block, sometimes called:  Full block  modified block or semi-block. FIGURE 9.2 lock Format on Letterhead (mixed punctuation; collection letter) FIGURE 9.3 Indented Format on Letterhead (mixed punctuation; employee evaluation letter) How are the Two Formats Similar?  Organizations include their return address in their letterhead.  Written documentation is for the record, so the date is essential.  Readers are addressed by name in the salutation.  Subject and reference lines direct readers' attention to your purpose.  A standard complimentary close (Sincerely, Best, Regards) comes before your signature.  Correct punctuation is essential for credibility.  Continuation pages maintain coherence.  “Enclosure” tells the reader that you have included additional material, like a duplicated document or a résumé. - Salutation  greeting - When you are responding to a letter or memo, use a salutation that mirrors the original sender’s signature, which reflects how the person wants to be addressed. - When writing to people in special groups or to someone who is a friend as well as a business acquaintance, you may want to use a less formal close. (ex. Best, Regards, Ciao). - Mixed punctuation  a colon follows the salutation and a comma follows the close. - Open punctuation  omit all punctuation after the salutation and the close. - Subject line  Tells the readers what they are about to read.  Required in hardcopy memos and all emails, they are optional in letters.  place it after the salutation.  Good subject lines are specific, concise, and appropriate for your purposes and the response you expect from your reader.  When you have good news, put it in the subject line.  When your information is neutral, summarize it concisely in the subject line.  When your information is negative, use a negative subject line if the reader may not read the message, or needs the information to act, or if the negative is your error.  When you have a request that will be easy for the reader to grant, put either the subject of the request or a direct question in the subject line.  When you must persuade a reluctant reader, use common ground, a reader benefit, or a directed subject line (Module 13) that makes your position on the issue clear. - Reference Line  refers the reader to the number used on previous correspondence, or the order or invoice number that this letter is about. - Both block and modified block formats use headings, lists, and indented sections (known as telegraphing, highlighting, bulleting or dot-jotting) for emphasis. - Block is the format most frequently used for business letters; readers expect it; and it can be typed quickly, since everything lines up at the left margin. - Modified block format creates a visually attractive page by moving the date and signature block into what would otherwise be empty white space. - Differences Between Letter Formats Block Modified Block 2 Date and signature block Lined up at left margin Lined up ½ or / over 3o the right Paragraph indentation None Optional Subject line Optional Rare - Letterhead  pre-printed stationery with the organization’s name, logo, address, and phone number. FIGURE 9.4 Modified Block Format Without Letterhead (open punctuation; claim letter) What if my letter is more than a page? - When your letter runs 2+ pages, use a heading on the second page to identify it. - Even when the signature block is on the second page, it is still l
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