12. Written communication
Definition of a Business Letter
The business letter is the basic means of communication between two companies. It is estimated that close to 100 million business letters are written each workday. It is a document typically sent externally to those outside a company but is also sent internally to those within a company. Most business letters have a formal tone. You should write a business letter whenever you need a permanent record that you sent the information enclosed. Because you generally send business letters to other professionals, always include a formal salutation and closing. Purpose of a Business Letter
You will write business letters to inform readers of specific information. However, you might also write a business letter to persuade others to take action or to propose your ideas. Business letters even function as advertisements at times. Consider the letters long-distance phone companies send to those not signed up for their services or the cover letter to your resume. Both of these serve to promote or advertise.
Business letters can be challenging to write, because you have to consider how to keep your readers' attention. This is particularly the case if your readers receive large amounts of mail and have little time to read. Writing business letters is like any other document: First you must analyze your audience and determine your purpose. Then you gather information, create an outline, write a draft, and revise it. The key to writing business letters is to get to the point as quickly as possible and to present your information clearly. Determining your Audience Type
Writers determine their audience types by considering:
Who they are (age, sex, education, economic status, political/ social/religious beliefs); What level of information they have about the subject (novice, general reader, specialist or expert); The context in which they will be reading a piece of writing (in a newspaper, textbook,...
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