English for Business Writing
Prepare for
Adlink Technology INC.
Prepared by
Yu Tao (Tom)
Morgan English
May 2, 2006
Contents
1. Introduction
2. Part One – Email Writing Techniques (21 Course Hours)
① Features of Email Writing






Efficiency
Cost-saving
Humanness
Documentation
Multi-recipients
Recycling
② Structure of Emails
 Header
 Text Area
③ Business Email Writing
 Request Email
 Follow-up Email
 Reminder Email
④ Abbreviations and Smiley Faces
⑤ Remarks on Common Email Errors
English for Business Writing
2
Contents (cont’d)
3.
Part Two – Business Letter Writing (18 Course Hours)
①
②
③
④
Role of Business Letters

Effective Communication

Impression of Professionalism

Formality and Courtesy
Basic Features of a Good Business Letter

0% Error = 100% Reliability


Accuracy
Brevity, clarity, courtesy and interest
Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters

3 Parts – Contacting Details, Body and Supporting Information

18 components – 13 obligatory, 5 optional

3 Styles and Layout - Block, Semi-block and Indented
Introduction to Some Common Business Letters

Enquiry Letter

Response Letter

Application Letter

Confirmation Letter
English for Business Writing
3
Contents (cont’d)
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (9 Course Hours)
①
Basic Features of Meeting Notice and Record
②
Standard Structure
③ Techniques on Shorthand and Symbol Writing
5.
④
English vs. Chinese Conversion
⑤
Use of Idioms
Final Examination
This will be done on July 25 or 27, 2006. Exam questions all relate
to what have been taught in class. Students should be able to do well
as long as they grasp what they have learned from the course.
6.
Course Completion Ceremony
English for Business Writing
4
1. Introduction
Good business writing not only helps commercial partners establish cooperative
relationship and reach successful deals, but also creates effective internal
communication to enhance understanding and efficiency. This program tailored for
Adlink Technology aims to improve its key personnel’s English business writing in the
fields of email construction, official letters, meeting notice and record. The entire
material is programmed into 48 course hours, during which students are trained to
achieve standard and effective business writing in English. While delivering the
techniques, the instructor will also spend a significant amount of time in allowing class
interactivity, on-spot writing and evaluation on students’ writings.
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One – Email Writing Techniques
①
Features of Email Writing

Efficiency
Computer is everywhere in our life. It is most efficient to construct and edit an
E-letter. It gets delivered and received at the same time.

Cost-saving
It only needs a connected PC and gets to everywhere in the world
at the same cost.

Humanness
It’s not restricted by time and distance, and people can have live
communication.

Documentation
Regardless whether they are small or large, few or many, email letters are
easily saved and documented.

Multi-recipients
An email can be received by multiple individuals at the same time.

Recycling
Email letters are of recycle use as long as the communication is same subject
related.
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
②
Structure of Emails
An email letter is normally comprised of 2 parts – header and text area.
They can be explained as follows:

Header
Header includes From, To, Cc, Blind Cc and Subject, of which
From, To and Subject are obligatory items, others can be optional
depending on the needs of the actual mail.
An original email can be used to either reply to the sender, or reply to
the sender and some (or all) recipients in the mail. It can also be
forwarded in the same text to anyone it is supposed to go.

Text Area
The text area usually consists of Salutation, Body, Complimentary
Close and Signature. They have different functions and each has its
own characters.
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
② Structure of Emails
 Text Area (cont’d)
 Salutation
Salutation are usually classified and written as follows,
Recipient Name Known
Dear Mr. Smith:
(or Dear Ms. Smith)
Dear John Smith:
(or Dear Jenny Smith)
Dear John,
(or Dear Jenny)
John (or Jenny),
Recipient Name Unknown
Dear ABC [email protected]:
(Dear ABC 1234)
Dear Sales Manager:
Dear Sir / Madam:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
②
Structure of Emails (cont’d)

Text Area (cont’d)

Message Body
There are no distinct rules for the writing of the actual message
body. However there are certain tips a writer may find useful. For
instance, the following contents tell some of the Dos and Don’ts:

The Dos:
•
Be brief. People nowadays do things in rush, let them finish your
mail.
•
Make it easy for your recipient to reply.
•
Make the appearance more attractive to read.
•
End with either a deadline or a positive goodwill statement.
•
Make yourself good online. Remember, your email can easily be
forwarded by your recipient to anyone else in the company (or
the world).
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
②
Structure of Emails (cont’d)

Text Area (cont’d)

Message Body (cont’d)

The don’ts
•
Use all capital letters.
•
Forward a 3rd person’s email to someone else without careful
thinking.
•
Bears unpleasant news.
•
Requires immediate response.
•
Could be misunderstood.
•
Send an email you consider as secret.
•
Forward message without a comment.
•
Overrun with smiley faces or other emotions. They are less
appealing to business associates.
•
Use discriminative terms.
•
Press “send” without checking for mistakes.
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
② Structure of Emails (cont’d)
 Text Area (cont’d)
 Complementary Close
Depending on the relationship with the recipient, the writer can
put the complementary close in the following ways:
Careful mail (usually the
1st or a formal one)
Yours sincerely,
Yours faithfully,
Yours truly
Sincerely,
Faithfully,
Truly,
Regular mail (to someone
with a reasonable
relationship)
With best (or kind) regards,
Best (kind) regards,
Regards,
With best wishes,
Best wishes,
Personal mail
Yours,
As ever,
Cheers,
Take care,
Bye for now,
Bye,
The writer can also use the “Thank You Exit” mode as
complimentary close to end the message. It means that, instead
of using any of the terms in the above table, the writer can also
just say “Thank you” at the end of the message.
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
② Structure of Emails (cont’d)
 Text Area (cont’d)
 Signature
Subject to the relationship with the recipient, the writer can put the
signature as classified in the following:
Simple signature (first
name)
John, Tim, Jenny, Nancy
Simple Signature (full
name & email address)
John Smith <[email protected]>
Full signature (formal
personal mail)
John Smith [email protected]
Adlink Technology INC.
Unit 801, Building E, Yingchuangdongli Plaza
No. 1 Shangdidonglu, Haidian District, Beijing
Phone: (86-10) 1234-5678, Fax: (86-10) 8765-4321
Full signature (formal
business mail)
John Smith [email protected]
Manager, Project ABC
Adlink Technology INC.
Unit 801, Building E, Yingchuangdongli Plaza
No. 1 Shangdidonglu, Haidian District, Beijing
Phone: (86-10) 1234-5678, Fax: (86-10) 8765-4321
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
③
Business Email Writing
There are some fundamental elements in business email writing people need to pay
attention to, and they can be found in the following:
 Make sure email is the right method for communicating the particular message.
 A good body of a business email usually contains facts (or backgrounds), the
writer’s comments and conclusion.
 Think about the reader before composing the message.
 Try to give a personal touch if possible.
 Try to make the subject line descriptive and interesting.
 Get the reader’s attention in the first paragraph.
 Include only the necessary details and avoid everything else.
 Try not to write long paragraphs.
 Use lists to convey a series of ideas.
 Make all the names, dates, times and figures accurate.
 Check for spelling mistakes and use correct punctuation.
 Try to minimize the number of attachments in one mail.
 Send the message only to the people who need to receive it.
Below we will read some business email examples in the sort of request, follow-up and
confirmation.
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
③
Business Email Writing (cont’d)
 Request Email
Example of a Request Email
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Booklet of Tour Information
Comments
The subject talks about the
reader’s business, and thus
attractive.
Dear Jenny:
Thank you for sending me the booklet which describes the tour products your
company is selling. It is really helpful to me and my colleagues when we sit down
and plan our vacation. Unfortunately, however, I have by chance misplaced this
useful material and a thorough search has not recovered it.
Do you think you could send me a replacement copy. This time I promise to take
good care of it. I would appreciate your kind understanding in this matter and
hope to receive the booklet soon.
Thank you and kind regards,
The 1st paragraph
compliments the products of
the reader’s company, and it
most likely gets the recipient
to read on.
Use “could” to show
politeness, and “soon” to
express the anxious need.
Say “thank you” again to
further strengthen the
request.
John
ABC Company
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
③
Business Email Writing (cont’d)
 Follow-up Email
Example of a Follow up Email
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE Booklet of Tour Information
Dear John:
Thank you for the interests you and your colleagues have shown on our products. It is my
pleasure to send you a replacement booklet and I will do it before the end of business today.
As a matter of fact, besides what you have read in the booklet, our company provides various
special offers to the market in different seasons. For instance, for the month of March, we are
selling a special air fare for only $599 from Beijing to Seattle on Northwest Airlines. If you are
interested in any of our specials, please visit our website at www.tour.com, or simply give me a
call at 1234-5678.
Thank you again and hope you will use and enjoy our products.
Best regards,
Comments
The subject
talks about the
reader’s
interests.
The 1st
paragraph
confirms to
send the
replacement as
requested.
The 2nd
paragraph
takes the
opportunity to
further
advertise the
products in a
natural way.
Jenny
Tour Company
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
③ Business Email Writing (cont’d)

Reminder Email
Example of a Reminder Email
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Reminder of Most Recent Air Fare Specials
Dear Jenny:
Thank you for organizing the incentive tour for our company last week to Sanya. That was
really a good experience. We now have a further understanding on your company and the
products.
I recall in Sanya you told me that you would send me your most recent air fare specials to
the US. As we will soon organize a trip to Los Angeles and New York, I would appreciate
you send me the fares as soon as possible.
Thank you and await your response.
Comments
The subject talks
about the reader’s
business and gets
immediate attention.
The 1st paragraph
states some
background
information which
relate to the
message subject.
The next paragraph
gets to the point and
expresses the
urgency.
Kind regards,
Say “await your
response” to
reiterate the
reminder.
John
ABC Company
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
④
Abbreviations and Smiley Faces
Since email is a less formal way of communication, writers can type in abbreviations in the
message text to the extent that they are not overused. The following are some commonly
recognized abbreviations and smiley faces:
Abbreviations
AAMOF
ASAP
B4
BFN
BTW
CU
EOM
FAQ
FWIW
FYI
IOW
NRR
OTOH
TTYL
TGIF
Meanings
As a matter of fact
As soon as possible
Before
Bye for now
By the way
See you
End of message
Frequently asked questions
For what it’s worth
For your information
In other words
No reply required
On the other hand
Talk to you later
Thank God it’s Friday
Smiley Faces
:)
:(
;-)
:-7
:D
:-o
:-(O)
:-<
:-I
{}
{{{***}}}
English for Business Writing
Meanings
Happy
Sad
Sneer
Doubt
Laugh
Surprise
Scream
Anger
Don’t care
Hug
Hug & kiss
17
2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
⑤ Remarks on Common Email Errors
 Structure









Leave the subject line blank.
Confusing style of message writing.
Use all capital letters - it means you are either desperate, or out of
control.
Talk in a roundabout way - it means you don’t know what you are
saying, or you are not confident on what you are saying.
Get to the point on the first word - it could mean that you are not
civilized.
Frequently use emotional adverbs, like very, indeed, really, etc.
Improper use of humor – it could be rude to people if they don’t get
what you mean.
Overuse smiley faces and abbreviations.
Grammar and spelling
Such mistakes could make people feel you are not from a high-class
organization, and you don’t care much about details. So always check
grammar and spelling before you send the message.
English for Business Writing
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2.
Part One (cont’d) – Email Writing Techniques
⑤ Remarks on Common Email Errors (cont’d)
 Punctuation




Overuse brackets.
Leave no space after punctuations.
Omit punctuation after abbreviations, like e.g., vs., i.e., etc.
Idiom use
Some idioms do not mean what they appear in writing, so be careful
and make sure you know the meaning before sending them out. For
instance, “give me a break” means “I don’t believe you”, “pull my leg”
means “mock at me”, etc.

Culture
Cultural gap exists between people of different native languages. If you
are not sure about the cultural background of the recipient, then try to be
neutral to avoid embarrassment. For example, not all people in the world
celebrate Chinese New Year or Christmas, so rather than saying “Happy
New Year” or “ Merry Christmas”, you can say “May the joy be with you
during the holiday seasons”.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two – Business Letter Writing
①
Role of Business Letters

Effective Communication
Business letters play an essential role in a company’s correspondence with the
outside world. Such correspondence is often the most important means by which
business relations with clients and associates are established.

Impression of Professionalism
Through a company’s letter, the reader forms an impression of the company. The
image of the company may relate greatly to its business writings.

Formality and Courtesy
Despite the growing use of telephone and other electronic media, business letters
provide the most personal contact between the public on the one hand and business
organizations and government agencies on the other. For example, although
enquiries can be made by telephone, telex, postcard or email, if you wish to lodge a
formal request or demand more information, you may have to write a letter.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
②
Basic Features of a Good Business Letter

0% Error = 100% Reliability
It is crucial that letters should create a good impression. They must be
well organized, attractively displayed, and as far as possible, free from
errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. A clean and error free letter
most likely encourages the reader to put credit and trust on the writer.

Accuracy
If a company maintains high standard of accuracy in its letters, it usually
suggests that high standard of service are also provided.

Brevity, clarity, courtesy and interest
A well-written letter may well pave the way for an essential relationship.
Every letter should have an aim. A letter is often judged by whether or
how well it fulfills its aim. Moreover, a well-written letter normally embodies
the following features: brevity, clarity, courtesy and interest.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters
This section examines the component parts, and investigates the
format and layout of business letters.
 A business letter has 3 parts, which are Contacting
information, Body and supporting information.
 In the 3 parts of a business letter, there are 18 components, of
which 13 are obligatory and 5 are optional.
 A business letter can be formed in 3 different styles and layout,
which are Block, Semi-block and Indented.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③
Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters

3 Parts of a Business Letter (13 OB – Obligatory, 5 OP – Optional)
3 parts of a business letter
Description
Writer’s or return address (OB)
File references (OP)
Date line (OB)
Reader’s or inside address ((OB)
Attention line (OP)
Contacting
details
Salutation (OB)
Subject line or heading (OB)
Introduction (OB)
Body (OB)
Conclusion or “stated intended action” (OB)
Complimentary close (OB)
Signature (OB)
Name & title of the writer (OB)
Position of the writer (OB)
Actual message
Enclosures (OP)
Copies to others ((OP)
Writer and typist references (OP)
Indication of page to follow (OB)
Supporting
information
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components
Many of the components listed on slide 23 are obligatory in a
good business letter. Others are optional and could either be
included or omitted according to the purpose of a particular letter.
For instance, if a letter is sent with documents enclosed, an
indication of its enclosures should be provided. On the other hand,
if nothing is enclosed, the letter should not include any enclosure
reference. A description of each of the components on slide 23 is
provided below.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③
Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 The Writer’s or Return Address (obligatory)
♪ This is an essential piece of information that has to be included
in a letter as this informs the reader where to send his or her
reply.
♪
You can choose between the open and the closed styles.
1.
♪
48 George Street
2.
RANDWICK NSW 2031
48 George Street,
RANDWICK NSW 2031,
Australia
Australia.
The return address of business organizations is usually provided
in pre-printed Letterheads similar to either of the above.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 File References (optional)
♪
File references are optional elements of a business letter.
♪
File references are usually provided under the following
headings:
Our Ref.:
Your Ref.:
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Date Line (obligatory)
♪
The Date Line is an obligatory component of a letter since it is
the most convenient way of providing a reference to your letter.
♪
There are a vast number of ways of writing dates. Some
examples are given below:
1. 23/7/2006
4. 23 July 2006
2. 23 – 7 – 2006
5. 23rd July 2006
3. 23.7.2006
6. July 23, 2006
Example 1-5 above are British format, and example 6 is
American format.
♪
No matter which date format you use, you should be consistent
throughout. For example, a mix of British and American formats
in the same letter not only gives an impression of poor
organization and lack of consistency, but could also cause a
good deal of confusion and result in great inconvenience.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Reader’s or Inside Address (obligatory)
The reader’s Address or the Inside Address is an obligatory
component of a business letter. It usually appears beneath the Date
Line, next to the left-hand margin. Its major function is to provide the
writer with a record of to who and where a letter is sent.
 Attention Line (Optional)
The Attention Line is an optional element. Some institutions require
all incoming letters to be addressed to their chief executive such as
the Managing Director or the Commissioner. Suppose you have to
send a letter to a client’s firm which requires all correspondence to be
addressed to its Managing Director that the letter will not be
misdirected to another person when it reaches the firm, you could
include Ms. Lee’s name in the Attention Line:
Attn (or attention) : Ms. Lee
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Salutation (obligatory)
♪
The Salutation begins the second part of a letter where
the actual message is given. If you know the name of
your reader, you should salute him or her by writing Dear
followed by his or her title and family name, e.g.,
Dear Mr. Wilson
Dear Ms. Young
Dear Dr. Robinson
Dear Prof. Lee
♪
If you do not know the name of your reader, you should
use either Dear Sir or Dear Madam. Sometimes Dear
Sirs may be used if you are addressing more than one
person in your reader’s firm.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Subject Line or Heading (obligatory)
♪
The Subject Line or Heading is a preferred element in a
business letter. It enables the reader to identify the topic
of the letter at a single glance.
♪
It facilitates effective communication.
♪
Learners of letter writing might find selecting an
appropriate phrase for the Subject Line a very difficult
task indeed and often choose to omit it.
♪
It is not difficult to learn and master the technique. With
most letter, a noun phrase describing the topic will be
satisfactory, such as Order No. BR2013 or Computer
Laboratory Hire.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 The Introduction of a Letter (obligatory)
♪
The actual message of a well written business letter
should be presented in three distinct parts: Introduction,
Body and Conclusion.
♪
The first paragraph of a letter is normally reserved for the
Introduction. It compliments the Subject Line and spells
out the topic clearly, preparing the reader for the details
to follow in the Body. It usually refers to a previous
medium of communication such a letter, another
document, a telephone call, an advertisement or some
other contacts. Experienced writers often keep their
Introduction brief.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③
Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 The Body of a Letter (obligatory)
♪
The second paragraph begins the Body of the letter. It is the part where
supporting details of the topic are specified.
♪
Some common topics found in the Body of business letters may include
requesting or offering information, providing instructions, and confirming
business deals or arrangements.
♪
The Body may take one or more paragraphs.
♪
For easy reading, such information may be presented in columns or subparagraphs.
♪
Use simple words and sentences.
♪
The tone of language used in contemporary business letters is usually
friendly, personal and sincere. For this reason, active structure rather than
passive ones are preferred. Compare the two examples below.
1. Enclosed herewith are a brochure and a price-list.
2. I enclose a brochure and our price-list for your reference.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Conclusion or “Stating Intended Action” (obligatory)
♪
It is the next step of the letter, and it should not take too
long to appear.
♪
You may specify, for example, some communication you
hope to receive in the future.
♪
You should provide a message of appreciation and / or
offer a parting note such as “with good wishes”, “ Merry
Christmas”, etc.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Complimentary Close (obligatory)
♪
♪
It is an obligatory component following the salutation. See
below the corresponding relations:
Country
Salutation
Complimentary Close
United Kingdom and
Australia
Dear Mr. Carrington
Dear Sir / Madam
Yours Sincerely
Yours faithfully
United States
Dear Mr. Carrington
Dear Sir / Madam
Yours truly
Yours truly
From the above table, we can tell that British and
Australian writers are more formal than the Americans.
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Signature (obligatory)
♪
It is an obligatory component. The name is word-processed in
the letter, so never forget to actually sign the document.
♪
An unsigned letter does not carry any legal weight.
 Name and Title of the Writer (obligatory)
Signatures are often difficult to make out. So beneath the
signatures, writers often have their names typed out. Some
examples are provided below:
Chris Craig
Jenny Carter (Ms.)
Peter Long (Dr.)
Helen Pennington (Prof.)
English for Business Writing
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3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Position of the Writer (obligatory)
♪
The position is often provided beneath the name and title.
♪
Some examples of positions include Director, Managing
Director, Manager, Marketing Manager, Sales Executive,
Financial Controller, etc.
 Enclosures (optional)
♪
This element is included if additional information or
documents are enclosed.
♪
The abbreviation forms as “Enc.” or “Encl.” are placed at
the left side of the page bottom. The following is an
example:
Enc. ZX99 brochure
English for Business Writing
36
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Copies to Others (optional)
♪
“Copies to others” appears in letters as c.c. (carbon copy).
♪
Both the reader and related parties will know who else has
received copies of the letter.
♪
The mark is normally placed at the lower left-hand margin of a
letter.
 Writer and Typist References (optional)
♪
This is an optional component. It appears under the c.c. list.
♪
The references can be one of the following forms:
1. AB / gw
2. CFG / AB / gw
AB could be Alan Brown, who takes full responsibility of the
first form. CFG could be Christina Florence Gordon, who shares
responsibilities with Alan in the second form. gw could stand for
Grace Wilcock, the typist.
English for Business Writing
37
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③ Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

13 Obligatory and 5 Optional Components (cont’d)
 Indication of Page to Follow (obligatory)
If the letter takes more than one page, an Indication of the Page to
Follow is normally given at the bottom of the first page. It usually
takes one of the following forms:
1. cont./…
2. cont./…2
3. cont./…133
Form 1 indicates that there are page(s) to follow. While form 2 and
3 respectively means that there are 2 and 133 pages to follow.
English for Business Writing
38
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③
Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

3 Styles and Layout of Business Letters
The block style
Contacting details
Subject
Dear Jenny:
Thank you for sending me the booklet which describes the tour products your company is selling. It is really
helpful to me and my colleagues when we sit down and plan our next vacation. Unfortunately, however, I have
by chance misplaced this useful material and a thorough search has not recovered it.
Do you think you could send me a replacement copy. This time I promise to take good care of it. I would
appreciate your kind understanding in this matter and hope to receive the booklet soon.
Complimentary close
Signature
Title
Supporting information
English for Business Writing
39
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③
Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

3 Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)
The semi-block style
Contact details
Date
Subject
Dear Jenny:
Thank you for sending me the booklet which describes the tour products your company is selling. It is really
helpful to me and my colleagues when we sit down and plan our next vacation. Unfortunately, however, I have
by chance misplaced this useful material and a thorough search has not recovered it.
Do you think you could send me a replacement copy. This time I promise to take good care of it. I would
appreciate your kind understanding in this matter and hope to receive the booklet soon.
Complementary close
Signature
Title
Supporting information
English for Business Writing
40
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
③
Parts, Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)

3 Styles and Layout of Business Letters (cont’d)
The indented style
Contact details
Date
Subject
Dear Jenny:
Thank you for sending me the booklet which describes the tour products your company is selling. It is really
helpful to me and my colleagues when we sit down and plan our next vacation. Unfortunately, however, I have
by chance misplaced this useful material and a thorough search has not recovered it.
Do you think you could send me a replacement copy. This time I promise to take good care of it. I would
appreciate your kind understanding in this matter and hope to receive the booklet soon.
Complementary close
Signature
Title
Supporting information
English for Business Writing
41
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
④ Introduction to Some Common Business Letters

Enquiry Letter
 Letter written to enquire about information are know as Letters of
Enquiry.
 In the commercial sector, a dealer could write to a distributor to
enquire product information. An importer could write to an oversea
supplier enquiring about terms of business.
 At an individual level, a student could write to a university asking for
course scholarship. A parent could write to a primary school enquiring
about children’s enrolment information.
 Normally, a Letter of Enquiry can be divided into three parts –
Introduction, Body and Conclusion.
 Introduction may include the subject line and the first paragraph. Body
may take one or more paragraphs. Conclusion usually spells out the
writer’s wish to the reader after reading the letter.
The following is an example of an Enquiry Letter,
English for Business Writing
42
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
④
Introduction to Some Common Business Letters (cont’d)

Enquiry Letter (cont’d)
Example of a Course Enquiry Letter
Parts
Writer’s Contacting Information
15 May 2006
Reader’s Contacting Information
Dear Sir
English For Business Communications Course
Introduction
I am writing to enquire about the above course which was advertised on the website of
your
Institution on 5 April.
I am interested in the following course details:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Body
Dates;
Fees;
entrance requirements; and
enrolment procedure.
I would appreciate it if you could send me the above information at your earliest
convenience.
Conclusion
Yours faithfully
John Smith
English for Business Writing
43
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
④ Introduction to Some Common Business Letters (cont’d)

Response Letter

In the commercial sector, a supplier could respond to an enquiry of an overseas
distributor. In turn, the distributor could forward a reply to a local dealer.

At a personal level, you could respond to the requests of business firms,
professional bodies, government agencies and other institutions to provide
information or documents.

Like the Letter of Enquiry, the Letter of Response consists of three parts –
Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

The introduction normally consists of the subject line and the first paragraph. It
identifies and addresses the topic of the enquiry.

The body includes supporting details. This part of letter can be quite brief if the
information requested is straightforward.

You may regard your response as an excellent opportunity to stimulate the
reader’s interest in your products. Therefore, in the conclusion, you should aim
at attracting your reader to return for business.
The following is am example of a response letter,
English for Business Writing
44
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
④ Introduction to Some Common Business Letters (cont’d)

Response Letter (cont’d)
Example of a Response Letter
Parts
Writer’s Contacting Information
15 June 2006
Reader’s Contacting Information
Dear Mr. Lee
Introduction
Your Reference: DR2378/HL
Thank you for your letter of 12 June asking me to provide a statement regarding a minor
road accident which involved my car on 5 June in Stanley.
I now enclose the following:
1.
2.
Body
A car condition report;
A traffic accident investigation report.
I trust this will facilitate the processing of my claim. Meanwhile, please let me know if you
require further information.
Conclusion
Yours sincerely,
Michael Chiu
Enc.
English for Business Writing
45
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
④ Introduction to Some Common Business Letters (cont’d)

Application Letter

Letters of Application are written when people apply for jobs, courses, services,
etc. You are to an extent acknowledging the authority of your reader.

You are aware that the reader, or the institution the reader represents has full
authority to either approve or reject your application.

At a personal level, you could apply for a job. You could also, on behalf of you
child, write to the Headmaster of a school to apply for enrolment.

An Application Letter consists of 3 parts - Introduction, Body and conclusion.

The introduction often comprises the Subject Line and the first paragraph. The
topic in the letter is normally specified in the Subject Line. The first paragraph
may provide some background information regarding the application.

The Body of a letter provides details in support of the application. This could
include references to supporting documents and key points of such documents.

The conclusion often requests the reader to provide a prompt reply.
The following is an example of an Application Letter,
English for Business Writing
46
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
④ Introduction to Some Common Business Letters (cont’d)
 Application Letter (cont’d)
Example of an Application Letter
Parts
Writer’s Contacting Information
10 March 2006
Reader’s Contacting Information
Dear Ms Wong
Installation of the New Anti-virus Software in my PC
Introduction
Further to my telephone conversation with you yesterday, I am writing to lodge a formal
application for the installation of the above software on my PC.
As discussed on the phone, I used to have an anti-virus program on my PC for a while. But
I finally removed it because the software made a real slow start whenever I turned the PC
on. Unfortunately, my PC then got no protection against virus. I hope your new software
could solve my problem, or at least makes the situation improved.
Body
Please advise me on when your technician can visit my place to install the software.
Conclusion
Yours faithfully
Peter Yeh
ABC Project Manager
English for Business Writing
47
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
④
Introduction to Some Common Business Letters (cont’d)
 Confirmation Letter
 Letters of confirmation are written when people wish to put down
things or items in writing which they have previously discussed and
agreed upon. Such letters could then become formal records of the
agreements. They could also serve as reminders for the reader.
 At a personal level, you could write to the Principal of your child’s
school to confirm his or her absence.
 A confirmation may consists of 3 parts – Introduction, Body and
Conclusion.
 The Introduction often refers to some previous communication such
as a phone call or a letter to the topic provided in the Subject Line.
 Details to be confirmed usually follow. Such details constitute the
Body of the letter.
 In the conclusion, the writer usually checks with the reader to see if
he or she has any questions or requires further information.
The following is an example of a Confirmation Letter
English for Business Writing
48
3.
Part Two (cont’d) – Business Letter Writing
④ Introduction to Some Common Business Letters (cont’d)
 Confirmation Letter (cont’d)
Example of a Confirmation Letter
Parts
Writer’s Contacting Information
10 November 2006
Reader’s Contacting Information
Dear Mr. Walker
Introduction
Our order No. MTC/001
Further to my telephone conversation with you yesterday, I would like to thank you for
allowing us a special discount. This makes it possible for us to confirm the above order.
I am pleased to enclose our order form. We would appreciate it if you could
acknowledge receipt by signing and returning the duplicate to us.
Body
Please advise if there are any questions to this matter.
Conclusion
Yours faithfully
Gary Goh
Chief Buyer
Enc.
English for Business Writing
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4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record
Meetings are common means of communication in an organization,
particularly when there are needs for consolidated information to be
distributed on the one hand, or confusing situation to be cleared on the other.
In order for all relevant participants to be prepared and be at the meeting on
time, the organizer needs to send out a well-drafted notice. A good notice is a
good beginning of a meeting.
Meeting is not for the purpose of meeting, it is to have the issues discussed,
and to get the actions implemented and examined by real life. No matter how
successful or effective a meeting is, the result will not be seen if the meeting
subjects are not noted and carried out. Therefore, a good meeting record is
necessary for all participants. It serves not only as reminder of the matters
discussed, but also clarifies responsibilities so confusions are minimized.
The below contents talks about the method and techniques on how to send
out a clear and meaningful meeting notice. Moreover, the principles and skills
on making a good and concise meeting record are also discussed.
English for Business Writing
50
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
①
Basic Features of Meeting Notice and Record



There are some fundamental principles for meeting notice and record, which are
found in the following:
 Clear and accurate on venue, time and participants of the meeting.
 Simple but clear description of the meeting agenda.
 Prioritize the issues and tasks discussed at the meeting.
 Action plan for outstanding issues discussed at the meeting.
In particular, a meeting notice should pay attention to the following:
 Administrative Information on meeting time, venue and participants
 Background information on issues relating to the meeting, and sometime
the reason(s) for the meeting
 Meeting agenda and preparations required
 Follow-up actions and evaluating method
Meanwhile, a meeting record should take notes on the following:
 Prioritize the issues and tasks at the meeting, so the after-meeting follow
up could be more reasonable and effective. Issues can also be listed in
the timely manner.
 When fast notes need to be taken, try to divert your attention to both
listening and writing. The split could be 70% listening and the rest writing.
 Highlight responsibilities.
 Use bullet points for easy reviewing of the meeting.
English for Business Writing
51
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
②
Standard Structure

Meeting notice usually consists of 3 parts – header, agenda and follow
up notes. Header includes information on venue, time, organizer and
recipients of the meeting. Agenda tells the issues to be discussed at the
meeting. Follow up notes normally explains what actions need to be taken
after the meeting.

Meeting record usually consists of 3 parts – header, contents and
follow up notes. Header contains information on meeting time, venue,
organizer and participants. Contents includes issues and problems
discussed at the meeting. It sometimes combines the record taker’s
comments on his or her pro-activeness and responsibility. Follow up notes
record the plans for actions required after the meeting. Usually the follow
up notes are in accordance with that of the meeting notice.
The next 2 slides are respective examples of meeting notice and record.
English for Business Writing
52
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
②
Standard Structure (cont’d)
 Meeting Notice
Example of a Meeting Notice
Parts
To: All Area Sales Managers
From: Nancy Chang, Assistant to the General Manager
Cc: Gordon Clark, General Manager, Greater China
Subject: Meeting on Market Analysis
Time: 14:00 – 17:00, 12 June 2006
Venue: Board Room 3, Corporate Head Office Tower
Header
Dear Sales Managers:
Gordon would like to conduct a market analysis meeting with all of you. Please find
meeting agenda as follows:
1.
Update on Corporate Business Status (Gordon Clark)
2.
Area market report and sales goal update (each Sales Manager)
3.
Area issues which need head office support (each Sales Manager)
4.
Other subjects (all)
Please be prepared to discuss issues of your respective area with Gordon at the meeting.
Contents
The meeting will decide a future mechanism on how to evaluate yours and your team’s
performance on a monthly basis. So bring ideas to the meeting and you are required to
submit the performance evaluation form in the future after this meeting.
See you all in the meeting.
Regards,
Nancy
Follow up Notes
English for Business Writing
53
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
②
Standard Structure (cont’d)
 Meeting Record
Example of a Meeting Record
Parts
To: All Area Sale Managers
From: Nancy Chang, Assistant to Gordon Clark, General Manager, Greater China
Subject: Meeting Record on Market Analysis
Meeting Time: 14:00 – 17:00, 12 June 2006
Venue: Board Room 3, Corporate Head Office Tower
Participants: All Area Sales Managers
Header
Dear All:
Gordon is very happy with the meeting and the following are the notes taken,
1.
The company has done well in the first quarter, but the increasing fuel price puts threats on further
development. It’s been decided that all corporate designed products will have a surcharge starting next
month.
2.
Head office will send 2 yield management analysts to Shanghai to better understand the market from
its standpoint. Staff brainstorm required for YM improvement.
3.
Competitor is planning a season’s special to boom sales. We need to join the race so not to be left
behind. This needs head office approval.
4.
Mr. EVP plans for a China visit in late July and would like to meet his counterpart at HP and have
dinner with Mr. Watson at Goldman.
Contents
To follow up, please find below the actions assigned to you. Please update me with development of the tasks.
1.
Brief staff of the fuel surcharge news.
2.
Set up meeting schedule with key accounts for the YM visit. (Esther)
3.
Do a quantitative analysis on a season’s special in reaction to competitor’s similar offer. (Norton)
4.
Need to talk to Susan and Jeannette on arrangements for MR. EVP. (Robert)
5.
Design a evaluation form for the team and submit to Nancy at the end of each month. (all)
Please let me know if there are any questions to the above.
Follow up
Notes
Thank you and regards,
Nancy
English for Business Writing
54
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
③ Techniques on Shorthand and Symbol Writing
Taking notes during the meeting for a complete record requires fast
and accurate writing. The following will discuss the skills on shorthand
and symbol writing.
 Shorthand Writing
There are 4 primary principles for shorthand writing, which are:
 Attention Diversion – The writer should split his / her attention
to 70% in listening and 30% in writing.
 Replacement – For same word, subject, issue, use symbol to
replace.
 Simplicity – It is not necessary to take down all details. The
important thing is to write down major issues, and items easy
to forget, i.e. figures, dates.
 Abandonment – When there are too much information, take
down the ones which are most relevant and easiest to forget.
Don’t panic.
English for Business Writing
55
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
③ Techniques on Shorthand and Symbol Writing (cont’d)

Symbol Writing
There are many symbols which can be used in fast writing. Many smiley
faces in email writing can be used. Besides, the following summarizes a
group of easy to recognize and grasp symbols:
Symbols
Meanings
Letter Symbols
Meanings
Letter Symbols
>
<
Bigger, better
Smaller,
worse
Plus,
moreover
C
Y
M
W
D
H
M
S
d.
.d
.2y
N
T
V
Century
Year
Month
Week
Day
Hour
Minute
Second
Tomorrow
Yesterday
2 years ago
Many, much
Think
Victory,
achievement
Al
Bz
Co
Congrats
CN
Demo
Doc
Edu
Eg
Info
Grad
Gym
RU
UK
US
+
_
Minus, except
[ ]
Among, within
X
Wrong,
mistake
:
Speak,
express
!
Danger, alert
English for Business Writing
Meanings
Although
Business
Company
Congratulations
China
Demonstration
Document
Education
Example
Information
Graduate
Gymnasium
Russia
Britain
The united
States
56
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
④
English vs. Chinese Conversion
There are certain techniques for English vs. Chinese conversion. The following discuss
them in separate.

English to Chinese Conversion
 Each sentence usually has more than only a couple of words, make sure you
get the key word and know what it means.
 Word to word conversion sometimes does not make sense in Chinese, so get
the meaning of the contents and say in your own words.
 Do not exaggerate, do not undermine.
 Practice makes it perfect.

Examples – English to Chinese:
 What about calling him right away?
马上给他打个电话,你觉得如何? (增译主语和谓语)
 You will be staying in this hotel during your visit in Beijing.
你在北京访问期间就住在这家饭店里。(省译物主代词)
 I‘m all for you opinion.
我完全赞成你的意见。(介词转动词)
 Too much exposure to TV programs will do great harm to the eyesight of
children.
孩子们看电视过多会大大地损坏视力。(名词转动词)
English for Business Writing
57
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
④ English vs. Chinese Conversion

Chinese to English conversion
 There are many ways to express a Chinese sentence in English, so
don’t be stuck if you think you don’t know the one way.
 A Chinese sentence can also be expressed in different words. Try to
think if there is another way of saying which is easier to be put into
English.
 Form a habit of thinking in English. It will help you with the language
sense when needed.
 Practice makes it perfect.

Examples – Chinese to English:
 时间不早了,我们回去吧!
We don't have much time left. Let's go back. (句型转换)
 在美国,人人都能买到枪。
In the United States, everyone can buy a gun. (正译)
In the United States, guns are available to everyone. (反译)
English for Business Writing
58
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
④ English vs. Chinese Conversion (cont’d)

Examples (cont’d) – Chinese to English:
 可以从因特网上获得这一信息。
You can obtain this information on the Internet. (正译)
This information is accessible/available on the Internet. (反译)
 他突然想到了一个新主意。
Suddenly he had a new idea. (正译)
He suddenly thought out a new idea. (正译)
A new idea suddenly occurred to/struck him. (反译)
 他仍然没有弄懂我的意思。
He still could not understand me. (正译)
Still he failed to understand me. (反译)
English for Business Writing
59
4.
Part Three – Meeting Notice and Record (cont’d)
⑤
Use of Idioms
Idioms are often used in daily languages, particularly when people speak or write
informal notes to each other. In business writing, idiom use is not recommended in most
cases, unless the writers are good acquaintances. However, since meeting record taking
could be time-stricken, some simple language idioms can be used to achieve fast writing.
The following are examples of some commonly used idioms:
Idioms
A pain in the neck
A piece of cake
Beat a dead horse
Big headed
Break the ice
Bull in a China shop
Burn night oil
Bite the bullet
Apple polish
Come down in sheets
Cross the line
3-dog night
Get the ball rolling
Give me a break
Goose bumps
Meanings
A problem
Easy to do
Do in vain
Arrogant
Pro-activity
A rough person
Overuse one’s energy
Take the bad result
Flatter
Heavy (snow, rain)
Too much
Cold night
Start
I don’t believe it
Scared
Idioms
Hit the road
Hold your horses
In the dark
Not lift a finger
Out of the pan and into
the fire
Poker face
Put all of one’s eggs in
one basket
Pull my leg
Rubber neck
Stab in the back
Tell me about it
Up in the air
When pigs fly
English for Business Writing
Meanings
Start
Slow down
Do not understand
Do not help
Trouble one after
another
Unchanged face
Big bet
Mock at me
Diverted attention
Do back things against
someone secretly
I agree
Outstanding
Impossible
60
5.
Final Examination
Everybody wants to be a member of Adlink Technology.
6.
Course Completion Ceremony
Say “CHEESE”.
English for Business Writing
61
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