Shahid Ullah from Bangladesh writes:
I am working as a senior officer in a garments factory which is 100% exports oriented.
So that the business runs smoothly, can you please help and advise me how to write official letters easily?
Roger Woodham replies:
There a number of fairly standard conventions when framing a business letter that it is important to observe.
Your business address
Your business address will normally be printed on your official stationery at the top of the page, perhaps with a logo. If not, insert it at the top, centrally or to the right: name of business, then street number and street, then town and district. There is no need to use commas after each of these categories and do not put your own name with the address.
Where should I put telephone and fax numbers and my email address?
There are two possibilities: either beneath your business address after a space or below at the bottom of the page.
Where should I put the date?
There are three possibilities: directly under your business address, telephone and fax numbers and email address after a space OR above the name and address of the person you are writing to OR beneath the name and address of the person you are writing to.
In English there are various ways of writing the date. The preferred mode in business correspondence is 30 November 2001.
The addressee details
Next come the addressee details. Put the name, designation and address of the person you are writing to on the left-hand side of the page.
Beginning and ending the letter
We can now begin the letter but leave as much space as possible so that the body of the letter sits tidily in the middle part of the page.
If you know the person you are writing to very well or are on friendly terms, begin simply with the first name, Dear Mary or Dear Henry.
If you don't know the person you are writing to so well, but know of him as a named individual, start with title and...
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