Letter writing is an essential part of business communication. A letter should always accompany a cheque, a contract or any other business paper sent by mail. The letter says what is being sent, so that the recipient should know exactly what you intended to send. There exist traditional structures of business letters generally accepted and used throughout the world. A well-composed letter will make a better impression on the reader. Thus good letters make good business partners.

The letters may be subdivided into such groups as: enquiries, offers, orders, refusals, acknoledgements, quotations, letters of complaint/claim, etc.

The firms, as a BUSINESS LETTERS rule, have forms for the letters printed on good paper. The form should have the name of the firm, its address, and also the character of the business of the firm.

Five C’s for Business Letter Writing

* Clearness:Avoid business jargon,use simple, direct language.

* Completeness: Include all necessary information within the letter. Assume that the readers do not know all the facts. Make it easy for the readers to understand your situation.

* Conciseness: Be specific. Say what you meanclearly.Don’t be vague or confusing.

* Correctness: Always proofreadand edit your letters.

Courteousness: Use proper salutations, avoid phrases that BUSINESS LETTERS scold or annoy, end on a friendly note.

Business Letter Layout

Letterhead: Name of the company/Field of activities/Logo

Sender’s address: No. of building, Street, City, State, post/zip code, Country


Addressee’s name/Job title/Company name and address

(For the attention of …)

Your ref:

Our ref:


Salutation: (Dear Mr/Ms Hill)


Body of the letter:

1. Opening paragraph

2. Main part

3. Closing paragraph



(For/p.p. Sender’s name)

Sender’s position


Enc. (Enclosure)

c.c. (Copies)

Task 1. Answer the questions on the text:

1. What is the purpose of a business letter today?

2. Is there any difference between the BUSINESS LETTERS layout of an application letter and a business letter?

3. What does the letterhead of a business letter consist of?

4. Why is the month in the date not recommended to write in figures?

5. What salutation is the most frequent in business letters at present?

6. What is the purpose of using “Re” in business letters?

7. What information is enclosed in the body of a business letter?

8. Whose initials are written at the bottom of the letter?

9. What does the abbreviation “c.c.” mean in business letter writing: a) carbon copy; b) current cost; c) copies to?