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Questionnaire: Do You Write Good Business Letters?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 17 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Letters Business Letters Business

Business letters require their own format and rules of communication. Often, guidelines for business letters are something that individuals pick up along the way rather than receive any formal training in. This means that there are many people who write business letters without knowing if their letters are truly acceptable or not.

To find out if you write good business letters, complete the questionnaire below. Answer 'yes' or 'no' to each answer and then tally your answers. Match your number score to the explanation to find out if you write good business letters or if there are some aspects of these letters that you need to improve.

Questionnaire

1. Do you include your name and organisation's contact details in your business letters?

2. Do you address your business letters to a specific individual?

3. Do you include the recipient's address in your business letters as it would appear on an envelope?

4. Do you personally sign your business letters?

5. Do your business letters use formal salutations and closings?

6. Do you print your business letters on organisational letterhead?

7. Do you address the main point of your business letters in the first line?

8. Do you strive to keep your business letters brief and to the point?

9. Do you proofread and spell check your business letters?

10. Do you use a formal or professional tone in your business letters?

11. Do you date your business letters?

12. Do you use, and list, enclosures as need with your business letters?

Do You Write Good Business Letters?

If you answered 'yes' to between one and four questions then you probably do not write good business letters. Ask your organisation's human resources department if they stock templates of business communications and/or have a formal style guide for business writing.

Study these items to get a sense of your organisation's preferred methods of business communication. If you do not have such resources within your organisation, spend some time reviewing business letter advice on your own. Pay attention to matters of format, writing and style. Your letter recipients will thank you for it.

If you answered 'yes' to between five and eight questions then you may write good business letters. It seems like you have the basics of a good business letter down but that you could benefit from a refresher course on a few aspects of this type of communication. Review your answers to the questions above to determine if your weaknesses relate to the format, writing or style of business letters.

Once you identify you weaknesses you can work on correcting them and making your next business letters even stronger.

If you answered 'yes' to nine or more questions then you probably write good business letters. It is likely that you understand that business letters should follow professional formatting, tone and style guidelines. Review any of your organisation's guidelines for writing business letters or simply address those questions to which you answered 'no' and you will no doubt be writing extraordinary business letters soon.

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