• Writing formal letters


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  • FileName: formalletter.pdf [read-online]
    • Abstract: This is a basic guide to writing formal or business letters using Microsoft Word. ... Basic structure of a business letter. Since the introduction of word processing programmes, ...

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BUSINESS LETTER business letter Business Letters business letters Sample Business Letter Contents Page INTRODUCTION formal letters Guide to….
Writing formal
letters
Aug 2010
Business Letters Page 3
Contents
Page
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 1
BASIC STRUCTURE OF A BUSINESS LETTER ............................................... 1
Sample Business Letter .................................................................................... 2
USING WORD TEMPLATES TO CREATE A BUSINESS LETTER ................... 3
FURTHER RESOURCES .................................................................................... 6
Business Letters Page 1
Introduction
This is a basic guide to writing formal or business letters using Microsoft Word. The
basic structure of formal letters is the same whether you are writing by hand or using a
computer, but this guide does assume that you have a basic familiarity with Word.
Basic structure of a business letter
Since the introduction of word processing programmes, which have a wide variety of
layout features, rigid layout rules have become more relaxed and you will see a number
of different styles of business letter. A sample letter is shown on the next page with the
key elements highlighted. Listed below are further notes on the key features.
Addresses -The name of the postal town should be in capital letters and the Post
Code on the last line. Traditionally your own address goes at the top right and the
recipient’s address underneath and at the left.
Date - It is best to write the date in full as the convention when simply using numbers
varies from country to country, e.g. in the USA the month comes first.
Reference - This is not always included. If you are replying, do use the reference
from the original letter (if there is one) after: “Your Ref”. If the reference is from your
own business then use “Our Ref”.
Salutation & Signing off - If possible get the name of the person within the
organisation that you are writing to. “Dear Mr Shawcross” … is concluded with “Yours
sincerely”, other starts and finishes are listed below.
There is a spectrum of (descending) formality listed below with corresponding sign off
Most formal Dear Sir/Madam Yours faithfully
Dear Mr/Ms Jones Yours sincerely
Least formal Dear Emile Yours truly or Regards
Subject or attention line - This should be conspicuous with capital or underline
emphasis.
Main body of a letter - If you are replying then at the outset refer to the original
letter. Otherwise be as precise as possible. Conclude the letter by highlighting what it is
Aug 2010 ABERDEEN COLLEGE
Formal letters.doc Screenshots Microsoft INFORMATION SERVICES
that you want from the person or company. Be specific, for example: “Please send me
a price list for your computers”.
Sample Business Letter
C. Farnes-Barnes
Sender’s
Address
42 Valentine Gardens
ABERDEEN
AB55 8ZZ
Your ref: AB55/pm Reference
02 June 2004
Date
S. Entwhistle
Crimmond Insurance International Recipient’s name &
High Street address
CRIMMOND
CR1 7GB
Dear Mr Entwhistle, Subject
CAR POLICY REFERENCE: XYZ1
Thank you for forwarding me my car insurance policy. You told me that the cover
included 90 days of travel in Europe and asked me to let you know the dates we will be
travelling abroad. We will be driving in France from 22nd to 24th June 2004.
Yours sincerely, Closing Main Body
..
Space for your
signature
Charles Farnes-Barnes Your Name
Aug 2010 ABERDEEN COLLEGE
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Business Letters Page 3
Using Word Templates to create a business letter
You can just start with a blank page in Word and set out the letter yourself like
the one on the previous page. However Word 2007 also has a selection of letter
templates where the layout is already done for you.
To use a template, start up WORD, click the Office
button in the top left corner and from the drop down
menu select New, as shown on the right.
Next choose Installed templates from the list on the left and then pick the
style of letter you want. The style in the example below is Urban letter. Now
click the Create button in the bottom right corner.
If you don’t like any of the installed templates you can choose to search
Microsoft Office Online by clicking on Letters in the left hand list (provided
you are online of course).
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Once you have created a
document from your
chosen template you can
replace the text with your
own.
Clicking a line or field in the
document will highlight it
ready for you to type in
your own text. As soon as
you start typing in a
highlighted section the
template text will go.
If you want to remove a field altogether, (e.g. the sender company name) click
on the handle to the left of the field and then use the delete key on your
keyboard.
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Business Letters Page 5
Creating your own template
You can also create your own templates. Create a letter as you want it which can
include headers and footers pictures and text you will always want (such as your
address). Go to the Office button and choose Save As and then choose Word
template. Choose a location and a name for your template and click Save. If you are
on a College PC do not save it to Templates.
Next time you want to use the template letter, just open it and it will automatically
create a new document based on it but will leave the original template in as it was for
use next time.
If you would like help, please ask a member of IT Centre or Library+ staff. The next
page list some books and websites that can also help you to write different sorts of
letters.
Aug 2010 ABERDEEN COLLEGE
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Further Resources
Books
Below are some of the books on letter writing held by Aberdeen College Library+.
Oxford handbook of commercial correspondence, A Ashley; 2003
Shelfmark 6851.75 ASH
Write that letter, Ian Maitland; 2000
Shelfmark 651.75 MAI
How to write letters, Celia Warren; 2007
Shelfmark 395.4 WAR
Writing business letters, Ann Dobson; 1999
Shelfmark 651.75 DOB
Internet Resources
Ask Oxford.com (http://www.askoxford.com/betterwriting/letterwriting/?view=uk)
- This site gives general letter writing advice, plus sample letters and useful phrases.
UsingEnglish.com (http://www.usingenglish.com/resources/letter-writing.html )
- This site gives general information and guidelines on letter writing, and also includes
the option to send questions to someone on a writing forum.
Letter Writing Guide (http://www.letterwritingguide.com/ )
-This one page site gives instruction on how to write many different types of letter
(both business and social) and includes sample letters.
Aug 2010 ABERDEEN COLLEGE
Formal letters.doc Screenshots Microsoft INFORMATION SERVICES


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