Steps in Writing an Effective Business Letter

Letters are the most widely used media of written communication in business. But writing an effective letter is not easy matter. It requires well planning, imagination, linguistic knowledge, careful and systematic analysis of situations and above all, writer’s writing skills. However, the following are the various steps through which an effective business letter can be drafted.

  • Proper planning: Effective business letter is the product of good thinking and careful planning. In writing business letter, the writer should go through the proper planning regarding what, when, whom and how to write. A well planned letter is likely to best serve the purpose of the organization.
  • Identifying and setting purpose: Before writing, the writer should know, identify and select the purpose of the letter. In business letters are written for different purpose. Therefore, every business letter must be stated in one or two sentences in the letter.
  • Knowing the audience: In this step, the writer should guess the readers level of understanding and knowledge about the message to the inserted in the letter. Here the writer evaluates what the readers known and what will they do after reading the message. In this connection, the writer should put himself in the readers place and look at the message from the reader’s perspective.
    Steps in Writing an Effective Business Letter
    Determining the scope of subject: Here the writer should determine the scope of the message. The scope of message should be determined by considering two points, one is what the reader wants to know and another is what the writer has to convey.
  • Gathering information: After setting the purpose and scope of the letter, the writer needs to collect necessary information. Generally, information is collected form libraries, taking interview of concerned persons, writers own experience, knowledge and education office file, documents and from other convenient sources. Information should be accurate, relevant and reliable so that these can support the message.
  • Organizing the information: In this stage, the writer decides how the information will be arranged in the letter. It depends on the subject and purpose of the letter. There are basically two approaches for presenting information in the letter. These are direct approach and indirect approach.
  • Selecting the format: In this stage the format of letter is selected. Format of letter is a way or means of presenting various paragraphs in the letter. There are some recognized formats of letter.
  • Outlining the contents: After selecting the format, the next step is to outline the message of the letter. It breaks down a large topic into some convenient parts and paragraphs logically.
  • Writing the first draft: After outlining the contents the next step is writing the first draft. While writing the first draft the writer should keep in mind that it is a working draft. The writer can start wherever he wishes he can start from the middle or even near to end. Any weakness in logic or lack of information or any point that is out of place can be corrected in the final revision.

At last it can be said that when the above stated steps are followed in writing letter, one can expect a good and effective business letter.

Various Styles Reading or Techniques of Reading

Reading is a great habit that can change human life significantly. It can entertain us; amuse us and enrich us with knowledge and experiences narrated. There exist some reading techniques, which if mastered at a growing stage can help us, be better and far more comprehensive readers.

These skills might not necessarily be learned as rigid theories or rules but if understood well once they can definitely enhance the reading skills and increase the quality and quantity of output that we get from after reading. The followings are some styles or techniques of reading used in different situations.

Active Reading: Active reading aims to get an in depth understanding of the text. Under this technique, the reader actively involved with the text while reading it. Getting in depth knowledge on the text at hand is not possible by reading to skim through or scan through the text.

Structure-Proposition-Evaluation: This is an interesting reading technique suggested by Mortimer Adler is his book how to read a book. This reading technique is mainly applicable to non-fiction writing. This technique suggests reading as per the three following patterns”

  1. Studying the structure of the work
  2. Studying the logical propositions made and organized into chains of inference
  3. Evaluation of the merits of the arguments and conclusions

Speed Reading: Speed reading is actually a combination of various reading methods. The aim of speed reading is basically to increase the reading speed without compromising the understanding of the text reading. Some of the strategies used in speed reading are as followings:

  1. Identifying words without focusing on each letter
  2. Not to sounding out all words
  3. Not sub vocalizing some phrases
  4. Spending less time on some phrases than others
  5. Skimming small sections.

Skimming: This reading technique is used for getting the gist of the whole text read. We generally use this technique at the time of reading newspaper or magazines. Under this technique, we read quickly to get the main points and skip over the detail. It is useful in getting a preview of a passage before reading it in detail or reviving understandings of a passage after reading it in detail.
Various Styles Reading
Survey-Question-Read-Recite-Review: This method aims facilitating a clear understanding of the text that the reader would be able to teach whatever he has learned during the process of reading. The process involves five different steps, which are as following:

  1. Survey: Survey involves getting a quick idea on the whole writing piece. For example, reading the introduction or summary of a book will be enough to get an idea on the book.
  2. Question: We are not just reading the words or looking at the words but are actually trying to make out the underlying meaning of the text. So we should prepare questions in our mind and look for the answers while reading the text.
  3. Read: The reader should read selectively if they are looking for any specific
  4. Recite: The reader should answer the questions in his own words using only the key words that are required to sum up the complete idea.
  5. Review: The reader should review the entire things in his mind.

Scanning: Scanning through the text is a reading strategy that is used for getting some specific points by looking at the whole text. For highlighting the important points of a look the readers can skim through the summary or the preface or the beginning and ending chapters of that book. For example, this technique is used for looking up a name from the telephone guide book.

Detailed Reading: This technique is used for extracting information accurately forms the whole text. Under this technique, we read every word for understanding the meaning of the text. In this careful reading, we can skim the text first for getting a general idea and then go back to read in detail. We can use a dictionary to find the meaning of every unfamiliar word.