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How to Carry On Business Correspondence

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The main principles of the Business Correspondence

When we write something, we usually think of the person we address this writing to. Depending on the receiver, we use certain patterns and words, reveal or conceal some information. We also use a different style. There are four accustomed styles of writing in English, each serving the certain needs of the information sharing. Basis these four “ground” styles the other sub-styles are formed in reply to the demand of certain groups usually joined by their occupation or the style of life: scientific style, medical style, teenager’ slang and so on.

One of such substyles has formed among the people who were initially engaged in trading. Discussing different conditions of trade: quality of goods, their price, delivery and so on, - should had been performed on a singular basis comprehended by all the parties involved. The English language has become such a basis then. Soon its influence widened the other spheres of the people interaction concerning the business activities.

Since then the English business style has formed throughout the centuries in response to the needs of people who communicate with each other about the working issues. It used to develop and change greatly at different stages of its existence, however it always preserved the basic attributes that allowed separating it from other styles. If you face troubles with the styles’ definition and employment in your writing, it may be reasonable to apply to the professionally tailored-cut services of the English editing. Experienced linguists will adjust your style if needed and propose the optimal way of the presentation of your paper.

Today English business style is international and is used for the business correspondence all over the world. Developed through the thousands and millions of deals, discussions, arguments it has formed its own principles that reflect the traditions of the business model of interaction:

1. Briefness. Business people usually are called so because they are busy, indeed. They have to solve a mass of issues all the time, and thus value their time highly. The business correspondence must be brief, outlining only the essential facts and propositions and cutting all superficial details. For example, the passage below would hardly be read until the full stop in the business circle:

With all the respect, let us relay the facts that are also outlined in our presentation and certify the way we conduct our business is a fair and transparent one. We hope that getting introduced to our activities you will find them useful for the needs of your company, and that we’ll be able to conclude a mutually agreeable contract.

This text containing 60 words doesn’t provide any essential information for the reader except the one that his interlocutor is quite talky and superfluous. Such characteristic would hardly benefit the further cooperation, should it happen. To sound businesslike, this paragraph should be deleted and start with the facts themselves or the advantages of the company. However if there is a need for it, it could be rewritten as follows:

Please find herewith enclosed our presentation. Hope that you will find our services useful and we’ll be able to start a mutually beneficial cooperation.

2. Preciseness. This criterion is connected to the previous one as it also serves to the economy of place (in writing) and time (in reading). Do not use multi-sense words or constructions when writing a business letter. Epithets and metaphors are no welcome as well. Just straight and concrete, preferable single-meaning words and sentences. There is no room for long descriptions as well:

Taking this opportunity we would like also to introduce our developing and exciting activities in the entertainment sector, that were praised by many of our customers already. We are engaged in the organization of the magnificent fests that bring joy and happiness to all the categories of people who visit our remarkable events.

This text contains not only the unnecessary epithets (remarkable, magnificent) and long descriptions proving no interest due to the absence of proof (bring joy and happiness to all), but also is too lengthy due to the Passive Voice constructions (We are engaged) and clarifications (that were praised …). If you want to say something, say it with the minimum of words:

Our another occupation is the organization of the entertainment events: fests, sports events, children parties. You can learn more about it and browse the customer’ and visitors’ feedback on our website ….

Briefness is an essential factor in the business correspondence. You need to say something important – do it in the fewer words. It will save both your time and the time of the person who will read your message. Don’t miss the sense, though. Illustrating sense with few meaningful words is not only timesaving and handy for both parties, it also creates an effect of amazement with your preciseness and succinctness. Mastering your words well for writing less will have a curious feedback effect – people will most certainly seek for further communication and business with you. If you’re not sure as to the right use of the words in your business letter, but do not see what changes could be introduced, try our proofreading, editing, revision services. Top-ranked editors will help you to find the best solution for your text!

3. Simplicity. While the business contracts and business activities can be quite complicated, with different stipulations and multi-level agreements, its description must be as simple as possible. The goal implied is to make the text understood to all parties, regardless of their level of education and English communication. If the text seems too difficult for understanding, replace the complex words with the simple one, use the regular synonyms instead of the literary ones, use straight syntax constructions (Subject-Predicate-Object).

The superb adjustability of our large-scope services to the needs of the most exquisite of our customers manifests its profound importance for the further improvement of our activities.

The simplified text will go as follows:

We provide a wide range of services able to satisfy even the most demanding customers. This sets out the direction of our further development.

4. Formality. Though the business correspondence is aiming at the complete understanding by all the parties, it still stays a highly formal type of communication. It has its own patterns of politeness (your respected company), addressing someone (Dear Sir, Dear Mr. Arnold), lodging a request (Kindly ask you to send) and so on. These conventionalities may be skipped in further correspondence on the matter or when you contact a person you are on close terms with, with the business issue. However the good manners require that the first contact would be highly formalized.

Hello! We are the college basketball team and would like to be listed for the Cup. “The Nutcrackers”.

In the business style, this passage would look as follows:

Dear Sirs,

Good afternoon.

Our basketball team from the Stanwick college would like to take part in the Basketball Cup in July. All the supporting data is enclosed. Kindly ask you to confirm our application.

Best regards,

Alan Fowley on behalf of The Nutcrackers

5. Profit-orientation. The last on the list, but not the least in the reality, this clause is the key to all the business style’ correspondence. The goal of the business is gaining profit out of all the interactions and activities. This goal is also reflected in the correspondence. There is no need to write a business letter if you have nothing to offer or at least to ask. For example, it would be useless to send the following letter to the company selling bottled water:

We are experienced clothes-makers with a rich portfolio. Should you require our services, let us know.

Even the information letters aim to build the ground for the further cooperation:

We supply all kinds of the spare parts and bunker to the ships in the Baltic ports. Save our contacts for the future as your good vessels often sail in the area.

We can see the business correspondence has its own inseparable attributes that make it stand out among the other substyles of the English language. These differences manifest themselves in the special linguistic markers, such as the text design, choice of words and grammar categories etc. Let us have a closer look at them.

The business letter. How to compound and send it

The business letter is an important part of the business communication. Due to the development of the Internet connection, the business e-mail letters became much more popular means of connection than the direct call. Moreover they represent the concentration of all the principles of the business correspondence and their formal execution.

The business letter has its set composition and consists of the elements that go in the following order:

  1. Heading title;
  2. Body of the letter;
  3. Signature;
  4. Attachments
  5. Previous correspondence (if applicable)

Let us examine each of these elements more closely:

  • Heading title. It is separated in each of the electronic mail services acting today and can be also written in the frame of the text. It consists of:
  • Receiver name and e-mail address. The name of the company following the word “To:” may also be followed with the line “Attn.:” (short from “Attention of :”) and the name of the person the letter is intended for. The name is usually written with the correspondent abbreviation (Mr., Mrs., Dr.) and the surname, though the initial or even the full name can be also stated (Prof. Lemsey, Mrs. Ela Nickman);
  • Receivers in copy. You can mention only the addresses in the special form of the e-mail service, or also write the line “Copy” in the heading of your text. The receivers in copy are mentioned in the same way that the primary ones;
  • Sender. While the e-mail service automatically shows the receiver who sent the message, you can also include this information into your heading title. Name it “From:” and fill in your name. Important: if you write on behalf of the company, write the company name only.
  • Topic. Filling in this line properly will allow your recipient to determine the direction and the importance of the letter immediately, so this line must be paid a close attention. Indicate this line with a “Ref.:” (short form “referring to”). Do not use many words, try to be brief and concise. Outline the goal of your letter, but don’t be too general, specify your aim. For example, Cooperation request for food supplies, Repairs for the I-phone 7 etc.

If you plan to write the heading title in the body of your message, it would look as follows:

To: MGM Electronics

Attn: Manager Mr. C. Whitney

From: H. Ranhard

Ref.: Request for the repairs under guarantee for the “Norwich” fridge

  • Text. This is the essence of your letter where you relay the propositions, concerns, requests and so on. It also has its own structure and consists of several elements:
  • Duplication of the heading title (optional);
  • Polite addressing to the person. Usually the fixed construction Dear Mr. … is used;
  • Greeting (optional). The greeting must be brief and formal, like “Good afternoon”, “Good evening”. It certainly shouldn’t contain slang or less formal greeting: “Hi there!” is frowned upon;
  • The body of the text. Use the above examined principles of the business correspondence when compiling your text: be brief, precise, formal, simple to understand and outline the profit;

Writing a business letter anticipates to develop the further dialogue, in most of the times. You’ve got to put your ideas straight and clear for your recipient to understand at once what it is all about. It isn’t reasonable, then, to create some flashy design for your message, as such correspondence is first evaluated as to its usefulness for the recipient. Being falsely attracted by the luring topic of the message or sparkling pictures inside, but finding out your letter is of no practical, use the addressee has nothing to do but press the “Delete” button and send your mail to the wastebasket. To avoid excessive decoration and ornateness of words, yet also preventing your text from representing a dull list of services, proofread it before sending. This simple procedure can save you a lot of further effort when you are trying to provide some complementary information or explain that some was indicated wrongly. The experienced linguists on our website work round-the-clock editing business and other papers online. Try this service for your business letter!

Be specific in your message. Use the professional terms and abbreviations if they are adequate in your text and you are confident that your interlocutor knows about them. The accustomed abbreviations include Gd day (Good day), Rgds (Regards,), Tks (Thanks) and others.

Break the information into essential rubrics. Use lists and paragraph division in order to ease up the perception of your message;

  • Polite thanking. In the end of your text briefly thank your reader for his or her attention or for the forthcoming interaction: Thanking you in advance;
  • Farewell line. Put the standard farewell phrase (Best regards, Sincerely). Don’t forget the comma in the end of it.
  •  Signature. If you are an employee of the company, use your corporative signature. If you write as an individual person or do not have a company signature yet, insert the following information there:
  • Your name and surname: Lisa Schaft;
  • Your position (if relevant): Information officer;
  • Your place of work (if relevant): Norfolk College;
  • Your contact information. It may include the working phone number, the mobile phone, e-mail etc. You can also give your postal and/or physical address: 06543, apt. 3, Lily House, Burton road, Liverpool, UK.

Mob.: +440123456789

E-mail: L.Schaft[at]gmail[dot]com.

  •  Attachments. If your letter’s content foresees the attachments, include them. If you do not mention attachments in the body of your message, list them in the end of it:

Attachments: 1. List of the articles published. 2. Curriculum Vitae. 3. References.

As can be concluded from the above, the business letter has rather a rigid structure and allows a lot of formality in its content. However make sure your letter consists not only of the formal phrases, but represents the important or interesting information.

Struggling to improve your text, to make it more concise and meaningful is usually looks like selecting different alternatives, each one being more wordy and sense-blurred than the previous. If you feel you’ve got stuck with some word or phrase, the first aid would be to distract your mind from this problem for a while. Upon some time, you’ll be able to examine it with quite a different view. However if your deadline is pressing already or no acceptable solution was found, it is reasonable to revise the sentence, or even the text. General procedures, pitfalls and useful tips of the papers’ revision can be found in the dedicated article from our blog http://essay-editor.net/blog/easy-revision-of-the-essay-with-us.  

Based on the above, we have compiled the following example of the modern business letter:

To: Mr. G. Clowdell

From: Essay-Editor.net website

Ref.: New Grammar Fixing Service

Dear Mr. Clowdell,

You have used the services of our editing website recently and we hope that you enjoyed working with us. We’d like to offer you the services of the website that fixes grammar – an innovative technology with no analogues in the Web. You can easily use its services just entering our website with your personal Login and Password. Should you experience any problems please contact our support team at support[at]essay-editor.net.

Thank you for staying with Essay-Editor!

Best regards,

Samuel Phillips

Communications Officer

Essay-Editor.net

Ph.: +44 032 954 12 45

E-mail: comoff[at]essay-editor.net

Writing a business letter might become a complicated task, considering its strict requirements and intolerance for the flaws. You can avoid racking your brains for the ideas of the further revision of your text just applying to the professional services of our experts. The following posts from our blog will let you form your own view of our services and make your choice as to ordering some of them for your paper:

  1. Rewrite an Essay and Make the Best of It!
  2. Don’t You Need a Dissertation Editor?
  3. Proofreading Companies: Pros and Cons
  4. Editing Services For Student – Upgrade Your Science
  5. Excellent Text but Weak Wording – Reword My Paper!

The Business correspondence among the other styles of writing

In conclusion, let us draw the final strokes in the picture of the business style of writing in English. We have learned about its specific features and their practical implementation in the business letter. Let us know compare it to other peculiar substyles of the English language.

  1. In comparison with the Colloquial language, the Business language has little in common. Formal style, briefness, absence of emotions are uncharacteristic for the colloquial language. However the business style of writing can be used not only for the business activities. When you’re discussing the conditions of your forthcoming educational course, order or receive some services, or just help a friend with a complicated task in writing, your communication would only benefit the absence of the emotions and coherent and straight review of your ideas and propositions. In other words, any situation concerned with gaining of the profit, even not of material nature, can successfully apply the business style. If you need to check your business correspondence or, let us say, an admission essay to college, our tailor-made MBA essay editing services will be of great assistance for compiling a proper text.
  2. The Literature writing is unlike business correspondence, too. It aims for the means of expression, while the business correspondence strives to relay the sense in the simplest and shortest way. Long descriptions, metaphors, epithets, emotional adjectives and estimates are frowned upon in the business text, but are quite adequate in the Fine Literature. However recently the Fine Literature has become highly reader-oriented: its plot, means of expression, overall style become adjusted to the liking of the people the fiction is addressed to. That’s what makes it common with the business style.
  3. Scientific style. The distinctive features of this style are formality, succinctness, politeness, briefness, specific terminology’ use, absence of emotions. It makes it quite close to the business style, the difference laying in the object and goal. The scientific style aims to reveal the scientific algorithms and is addressed to the scholars or, in some cases, to all the people in the world (popular science). Meanwhile the business style aims for gaining the profit and refers solely to the source of this profit. In the modern world English has become a business language for more than a half of the Earth population. It is described as the global business language used for international communications. It is obvious, though, that these people have a different level of education and of the English language’ knowledge. Some percentage of mistakes pertains to the text of any writer, more or less experienced. If you feel that your letter doesn’t reveal the meaning you planned to put into it, properly, the rewriting may be a key to your problem. Try to relay the idea in other words, using other phrases and sentences. You can also check the rewriting services’ offers currently available; compare their quality and prices, by means of our comprehensive essay http://essay-editor.net/blog/choose-the-best-cheap-rewriting-service.

Thus the business style and business correspondence are the inseparable functions of the modern English language. This style has a lot in common with the scientific style, and is almost opposite to colloquial and Fine Literature styles, however it still preserves its own distinctive features letting it to stand out among the other styles: orientation for profit and cooperation, usage of the simple language, briefness in descriptions and shortage of emotions.

There are plenty possibilities to improve your English language and thus to develop your business English as well. We have gathered the tailor-made comprehensive articles on the ways to master the English language and to check your level in it:

  1. How to Master the Subjunctive Mood
  2. Revision Essay – Is It Worth This?
  3. Do We Need Punctuation Today?
  4. Online Proofread – Make a Wise Choice
  5. Where to Go to Learn English?

Do you happen to write business letters occasionally or it is your primary occupation? Was this article useful for you? What other topics could be of interest? Let us know by means of the contact page on our website!