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Steps in How to Write an Effective Letter

Updated on March 8, 2013
Make an outline, draft then edit for the final letter
Make an outline, draft then edit for the final letter

Business Letter

In writing a letter it was not just writing something. Or sending thoughts to your reader, writing letter requires the competence of an individual. He/she must give its commitment about it. Because making a letter was not just a simple task. You are sending information that would influence the past, present and future, in terms of decision or judgment making. Also other things that the letter is being subject with and therefore require a serious action on how to write it successfully. In today’s generation there are less people who are using letter for conversational purposes or simply sending thoughts to one another. Generally letter today are commonly used for formal or business purpose letters. It can be everyday business letter, persuasive and social letters. So, the everyday business letter is the day to day letter that business industries are responsible of. Then the persuasive, it is the types of letter that persuade its reader take an action. And the third which pertains to the kind of letter where business world has nothing to do with it, or simply socializing letters.

Did you ever write something without consideration?

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In writing business letters, it should possess these following characteristics:

1. It should be formal

The letter must have the formality within, meaning this is a letter that uses formal wordings and thoughts. For example; instead of using the colloquial word “nice” use wonderful.

2. Has an objective

It should always have an objective for the reader to understand why you wrote the letter in the first place.

3. Should be contemporary

It must be written for the purpose of current situation or the letter should be relevant.

4. Be factual and accurate

The information that the letter has, should be realistic, true, and informative.

5. Clear

And it should be clear or understandable and comprehensible by your reader for him/her to response or take action whatever subject you have in your letter particularly in business industry.

Having those five characteristic should attain a percentage of an effective business letter. Securing them would also give way to the foundation of your letter and must consider other factors to make it perfect the way you write it. If the business letter has those particular characteristic it also has its 10 C’s for understanding on how to write an effective business letters and they are:

1. Clearness - The reader can understand the letter immediately

2. Conciseness - should be brief

3. Concreteness - It should be specific

4. Courtesy - aims to promote goodwill between the writer and the reader

5. Consideration - the ability to see every transaction from your reader’s point of view rather than your own point of view.

6. Consistency - unity of ideas and purpose.

7. Coherence - pertain to the quality of words to be use together.

8. Character - select proper symbol that would represent your writings

9. Completeness – the thoughts must be complete

10. Correctness – error free.

Five Steps

After considering the ten C’s, you may now proceed on the actual writing following the five steps for effective quality letter writing. So the five steps are:

1. Determine your purpose.

Before writing anything, first you must know what you want to write. You can start by asking yourself if why you are writing the letter anyway.

2. Know your reader

After identifying your purpose, next thing you need to do is to know who your readers are. Knowing your readers give you the idea of how to write your letter applying the 10 C’s you can consider things for your letter to avoid any misunderstanding like cultural offense.

3. Outline and organize your ideas

List all the possible ideas that you want to include in your letter.

4. Write the first draft

After doing your outline, you may now write it on a paper all the ideas that you had come up with without minding the grammars.

5. Edit your paper

Since in writing your drafts you are not concern with grammars, this time you would check all possible errors that it has to make it clear, complete, correct and other C’s that would make your letter effective.

Doing those five consecutive steps, you might still want to review it as many as you can to assure its effectiveness. Consider these factors to check possible errors:

A. Content

You must review every paragraph whether proper capitalization is observed, the accuracy and completeness and the application of subject verb agreement.

B. Grammar

Go back from the top to review spelling and proper punctuation.

C. Clarity

Evaluate your work on how you use clear transition and correct modifiers.

D. Conciseness

You should use an active voice and use straight forward language.

E. Style

You can either use a personal or conventional tone.

There it is! Your steps on how to make an effective business letter, again consider all the things from above. Like what is your objective? Determine your purpose; know your readers, and all the staff mentioned. But what's truly important is. In sending the message that contains the information that you want say, personal or business subjects. Always assure that you would observe proper guideline for you letter to be effective.


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    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      @DDE thank you. Glad you find it helpful.

      and @Moonlake thanks for dropping by and voted my honor to share information that also learned.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Good information. Voted up and more.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Helpful tips in how o write an effective letter. A good approach and well advised.

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      Thank you. Hope it can help you in your business transactions

    • Rehana Ferdinando profile image

      Anne Ferdinando Perera 4 years ago from Colombo

      hey good stuff !