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.

Steps in Writing Business Report

Business report in an essential medium of communicating factual information within and outside the organization. In writing a good report, the writer has to follow some sequential steps. The steps are as follows:

Determination of purpose: The first step in writing a report is to determine the purpose for which the report is being written. Every report deals with specific problem. Therefore, the writer should exactly know the nature of report problem. This step includes the answers of what, why, and when to write to write the report.Steps in Writing Business Report

Developing a working plan: After defining the problem and determining the purpose clearly, a working plan should be developed. The working plan is used as a basis for outlining and writing the report. Here the writer determines and lists down the scope of work to be done for writing the report.

Collecting information: In this step, the writer will select the possible sources of information. Information may be collected form primary and secondary sources. Primary information can be obtained through observation and enquiring. On the other hand, secondary information can be obtained from journals, newspapers, reports, books etc.

Organizing and analyzing the information: Here the collected information is organized according to its nature. In this step, a lot of data will have to be rejected while it may be needed to collect more additional data. In order to organize and analyze the information, the writer takes help of various statistical techniques.

Arriving at conclusions: Basing on the data analysis, the reporter arrives at a conclusion. The final pattern of report depends on this conclusion. If the writer fails to draw correct conclusion, the report will fail to serve its purpose. Therefore, arriving at conclusion is an important step in report writing.

Selecting the method of writing report: Once the writer has arrived at conclusions, the next step is to select the writing method. There are two methods of writing report such as inductive method and deductive method.

a. Inductive method: The inductive method arranges the report contents in the sequence of introduction of background information, discussion and analysis, recommendations and conclusions.

b. Deductive method: The deductive method arranges the contents in the sequence of summary and recommendations, introduction, discussion and analysis.

These two methods are suitable for different situations. After selecting the appropriate method, the writer goes for actual writing.

Writing and submitting the report: The process of writing a report ends with writing and submitting the report. Before drafting the final report, the writer develops rough copy for checking, editing and revision. In the rough copy, the writer checks the accuracy of information, formation of sentences, grammatical accuracy, and style of presentation, sequence of the contents etc. after all these checking and corrections, the final draft is prepared and submitted to the concerned authority.