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 easily matter. It requires well planning, imagination, linguistic knowledge, careful and systematic analysis of situations and above all, writer’s writing skills. However, the followings 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 purposes. Therefore, every business letter must have a main objective and the objectives 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 be inserted in the letter. Here, the writer evaluates what the readers know and what will they do after reading the message. In this connection the writer should put himself in the reader’s place and look at the message from the reader’s perspective.
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.
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 should keep in mind that it is a working draft. The writer start wherever he wishes; 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.
Editing: In this step, the first draft is edited and rewritten for further chants, bringing appropriate tone, accuracy and brevity. Here the draft is read for several times to find error in style, grammar, welling, formation of sentences and other careless mistakes.
Writing the final draft: In this stage, the edited draft is written finally and read carefully so that the reader finds no mistakes. When the final draft is found to be correct, neat and clean and defect less, then it is sent to the receiver’s address by post, or by mail or by any other means.
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.