Business Communication Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 17 October 2016

Business Communication

To communicate with others, to convince and to find the compromise, to listen and speak – those are what the life consists of and the business life especially. Without those important skills no success may be reached, and people gain these skills and improve them during their whole life. I think nobody can remain indifferent to the relations between people, their behaviour and their individuality. It is no matter who are you – the manager of giant corporation or, let’s say, a low-paid employee in a small office – if you are involved into some kind of business activity and have some goals and wishes – you are compelled to have a deal with others, without possibility to stand out from communication.

Business communication involves exchange of information within an organizational setup. It is a continuous process. The more the business expands, the greater is the pressure on the business to find more effective means of communication both with the employees and with the society at large. Business communication is both written and oral. Written communication is important to fix accountability and responsibility of people in organization. This requires more of written communication (much of paper work). Everything should be communicated in written form by the manager to the people in the organization.

Written messages can be saved for future references and cannot be denied. Written communication has great significance in today’s business world. It is an innovative activity of the mind. Effective written communication is essential for preparing worthy promotional materials for business development. Speech came before writing. But writing is more unique and formal than speech. Effective writing involves careful choice of words, their organization in correct order in sentences formation as well as cohesive composition of sentences. Also, writing is more valid and reliable than speech. But while speech is spontaneous, writing causes delay and takes time as feedback is not immediate.

The object of this course paper is written business communication.

The subject is grammatical and stylistic peculiarities of business written interaction.

The aim is to explore the peculiarities of business communication in wide meaning in order to understand all the peculiarities of such type of communication and its necessity in modern world.

In accordance with the aim of investigation the following tasks were set: ✓ To define the concept of business communication; ✓ To analyze the most frequent types of written business communication and to explore them; ✓ To subscribe linguistic and sociocultural peculiarities of the style of business documents.

Chapter I
Characteristic Features of Business Communication

1. Functional Styles and their Classification

Functional styles of language are a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim in communication. Functional styles are thus to be regarded as the product of a certain concrete task set by the sender of the massage. Functional Styles appears mainly in the literary standard of a language. The literary standard of the English language, like that of any other developed language, is not so homogeneous as it may seem. In fact the standard literary English language in the course of its development has fallen into several subsystems each of which has acquired its own peculiarities which are typical of the given functional style.

The members of the language community, especially those who are sufficiently trained and responsive to language variations, recognize these styles as independent wholes. The peculiar choice of language means is primarily predetermined by the aim of the communication with the result that a more or less closed system is built up. One set of language media stands in opposition to other sets of language media with other aims, and these other sets have other choices and arrangements of language means. Functional styles are also called registers or discourses. In the standard literary English we distinguish the following major functional styles are distinguished:

1. The language of belles – letters.
2. The language of publicistic literature.
3. The language of newspapers.
4. The language of scientific prose.
5. The language of official documents.

As it has already been mentioned, functional styles are the product of the development of the written variety of language. Each functional style may be characterized by a number of distinctive features, leading or subordinate, constant or changing, obligatory or optional. Most of the functional styles however, are perceived as independent wholes due to a peculiar combination and interrelation of features common to all (especially when taking into account syntactical arrangement) with the leading ones of each functional style.

Each functional style is subdivided into a number of substyles. Each variety has basic features common to all the varieties of the given functional style and peculiar features typical of this variety along. Still a substyle can, in some cases, deviate so far from the invariant that in its extreme it may even break away. We clearly perceive the following substyles of the fire functional style given above. The belles-lettres functional style is subdivided into:

a) the language style of poetry;
b) the language style of emotive prose;
c) the language style of drama.
The publicistic functional style comprises the following substyles:
a) the language style of oratory;
b) the language style of essays;
c) the language style of feature articles in newspapers and journals. The newspaper functional style falls into:
a) the language style of brief news items and communiques;
b) the language style of newspaper headings;
c) the language style of notices and advertisements.
The scientific prose functional style also has three divisions:
a) the language style of humanitarian sciences;
b) the language style of “exact” sciences;
c) the language style of popular scientific prose.
The official document functional style can be divided into four varieties:
a) the language style of diplomatic documents;
b) the language style of business documents;
c) the language style of legal documents;
d) the language style of military documents.

The classification presented here is by no means arbitrary. It is the result of long and minute observations of factual material in which not only peculiarities of language usage were taken into account but also extralinguistic data, in particular the purport of the communication. The classification of functional styles is not a simple matter and any discussion of it is bound to reflect more than one angle of vision. Thus, for example, some stylicists consider that newspaper articles (including feature articles) should be classed under the functional style of newspaper language, not under the language of publicistic literature.

Others insist on including the language of everyday – life discourse into the system of functional styles. Prof. Budagov singles out only two main functional styles: the language of science and that of emotive literature. It is inevitable, of course, that any classification should lead to some kind of simplification of the facts classified, because items are considered in isolation. More over, sub-styles assume, as it were, the aspect of closed systems. But no classification, useful though it may be from the theoretical point of view, should be allowed to blind us as to the conventionality of classification in general.

1.2 Peculiarities of the Style of Official Documents

The style of official documents aims at establishing, developing and controlling business relations between individuals and organizations. Like their styles of language, this style has a definite communicative aim and, accordingly, has its own system of interrelated language and stylistic means. The main aim of this type of communication is to state the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking. These parties may be: this state and a citizen, or citizen and citizen; a society and its members (statute or ordinance); two or more enterprises or bodies (business correspondence or contracts); two or more governments (pacts, treaties); a person in authority and a subordinate (order, regulations, instructions, authoritative directives); a board or presidium and an assembly or general meeting (procedures acts, minutes).

The aim of communication in this style of language is to reach agreement between two contracting parties. Even protest against violations of statutes, contracts, regulations, can also be regarded as a form by which normal cooperation is sought on the basis of previously attained concordance.

The most general function of the style of official documents predetermines the peculiarities of the style. The most striking, though not the most essential feature, is a special system of clichés, terms and set expressions by which each sub-style can easily be recognized. For example: I beg to inform you, provisional agenda, the above – mentioned, on behalf of, private advisory, Pear Sir, we remain, your obedient servants…

In fact, each of the subdivisions of this style has its peculiar terms, phrases and expressions, which differ from the corresponding terms, phrases and expressions of other variants of this style. Thus in finance we find terms like extra revenue, taxable capacities liability to profit fax. Terms and phrases like high contracting parties, to ratify an agreement, memorandum, protectorate, extra – territorial status will immediately brand the utterance as diplomatic.

In legal language, examples are: to deal with a case, summary procedure; a body of judges; as laid down in. Like wise, other varieties of official language have their special nomenclature, which is conspicuous in the text and therefore easily discernible as belonging to the official language style. Besides the special nomenclature characteristic of each variety of the style, there is a feature common to all these varieties – the use of abbreviations, conventional symbols and contractions, for example:

Ltd – Limited,
B/E – bill of exchange,
Gvt – government,
Appx – appendix,
$ – dollar,
₤ – pound…

Words with emotive meaning are not to be found in the style of official documents. Even in the style of scientific prose some words may be found which reveal the attitude of the writer, his individual evaluation of the facts and events of the issue. But such words are not to be found in official style, except those which are used in business letters as conventional phrases of greeting or close, as Dear Sir, yours faithfully. Almost every official document has its own compositional design. Pacts and statutes, orders and minutes, notes and memoranda – all have more or less definite forms, and it will not be an exaggeration to state that the form of the document is itself informative, inasmuch as it tells something about the matter dealt with (a letter, an agreement, an order…)

Chapter II

Peculiarities of Written Interaction

2.1 Types of Written Business Communication

Written communication involves any type of interaction that makes use of the written word. Communication is a key to any endeavor involving more than one person. Communicating through writing is essential in the modern world and is becoming ever more so as we participate in what is now commonly called the information age. In fact, written communication is the most common form of business communication. It is essential for small business owners and managers to develop effective written communication skills and to encourage the same in all employees. The information age has altered the ways in which we communicate and placed an increasing emphasis on written versus oral communications. The ever-increasing use of computers and computer networks to organize and transmit information means the need for competent writing skills is rising. Dr. Craig Hogan, a former university professor who now heads an online school for business writing, receives hundreds of inquiries each month from managers and executives requesting help with improving their own and their employees’ writing skills.

Dr. Hogan explains, in an article entitled “What Corporate America Can’t Build: A Sentence,” that millions of people previously not required to do a lot of writing on the job are now expected to write frequently and rapidly. According to Dr. Hogan, many of them are not up to the task. “E-mail is a party to which English teachers have not been invited. It has companies tearing their hair out.” Survey results from The National Commission on Writing study back up this assessment. They found that a third of employees in the nation’s “blue chip” companies write poorly and are in need of remedial writing instruction.

The need to develop good writing skills is only highlighted by the fact that in the information age, it is not uncommon to have business relationships with customers and suppliers that are established and maintained exclusively through the use of written communications. In this environment, “the words we write are very real representations of our companies and ourselves. We must be sure that our e-mail messages are sending the right messages about us,” explained Janis Fisher Chan, author of E-Mail: A Write It Well Guide-How to Write and Manage E-Mail in the Workplace, in an article appearing in Broker Magazine.

The key to communication, of course, is to convey meaning in as accurate and concise a manner as possible. People do not read business memoranda for the pleasure of reading. They do so in order to receive instructions or information upon which to base decisions or take action. Therefore, highly literary prose is not desirable in business writing. Overly formal prose may also be counterproductive by seeming stand-offish or simply wordy. A style of writing that is too informal can also convey an unintended message, namely that the subject matter is not serious or not taken seriously by the sender. A straightforward, courteous tone is usually the best choice but one that may not come naturally without practice.

Advantages and disadvantages of written communication

Written communication has great significance in today’s business world. It is an innovative activity of the mind. Effective written communication is essential for preparing worthy promotional materials for business development. Speech came before writing. But writing is more unique and formal than speech. Effective writing involves careful choice of words, their organization in correct order in sentences formation as well as cohesive composition of sentences. Also, writing is more valid and reliable than speech. But while speech is spontaneous, writing causes delay and takes time as feedback is not immediate.

Written forms of communication have several advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that written messages do not have to be delivered on the spur of the moment; instead, they can be edited and revised several times before they are sent so that the content can be shaped to maximum effect. Another advantage is that written communication provides a permanent record of the messages that have been sent and can be saved for later study. Since they are permanent, written forms of communication also enable recipients to take more time in reviewing the message and providing appropriate feedback. For these reasons, written forms of communication are often considered more appropriate for complex business messages that include important facts and figures.

Other benefits commonly associated with good writing skills include increased customer/client satisfaction; improved interorganizational efficiency; and enhanced image in the community and industry. There are also several potential pitfalls associated with written communication, however. For instance, unlike oral communication, wherein impressions and reactions are exchanged instantaneously, the sender of written communication does not generally receive immediate feedback to his or her message.

This can be a source of frustration and uncertainty in business situations in which a swift response is desired. In addition, written messages often take more time to compose, both because of their information-packed nature and the difficulty that many individuals have in composing such correspondence. Many companies, however, have taken a proactive stance in addressing the latter issue. Mindful of the large number of workers who struggle with their writing abilities, some firms have begun to offer on-site writing courses or enrolled employees in business writing workshops offered by professional training organizations, colleges, and community education programs.

2.2 Business Letters, their Types and Components

Business communication is a permanent means of communication and is much easier understanding then oral means of communication. Good written communication contributes to success of an organization. It helps in building goodwill of an organization. Written business communication includes letters, memoranda, agenda, manuals, reports etc. 1. Business Letters: A very large part of the business of the world is conducted by means of correspondents. Therefore it is extremely important to be able to write good business letters – letters that represent one’s self and one’s organization to best advantage. Writing good business letter is a matter of detailed and often quite specialized technique, which is not so complicated as you may have been let to fear. All you need is a supply of visiting cards, some good paper, a pen, a computer and a little good will. It must have a good appealing layout. The content of the letter should be clear in mind of the writer.

The letter must be divided into paragraphs. It must have subject written and should be enclosed in an envelope. It should be surely used for future reference. It should be carefully written as it has an impact on goodwill of the organization. Examples of Business letters are – sales letters, information letters, problem letters etc. 2. Memoranda: Memos are generally short means of written communication within an organization. They are used to convey specific information to the people within an organization. 3. Reports: A report is prepared after lot of investigation. Whatever observations are made, an account of them is written in the report. Reports are important for analyzing the performance of the organization. It helps in taking important decisions within an organization.

4. Agenda: Agenda is an outline about all the contents of the meeting. It tells what is the purpose of the meeting and where are the participants heading. While designing an agenda one should be very specific. Designing an agenda beforehand helps the people to come prepared for the meeting. 5. Electronic Mail. Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the same time, in common with instant messaging. Today’s email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Email servers accept, forward, deliver and store messages. Neither the users nor their computers are required to be online simultaneously; they need connect only briefly, typically to an email server, for as long as it takes to send or receive messages.

The most popular type of written business communication is letter. Letter writing is an art. A letter on one topic can be written in different styles with the help of various formats. Writing a letter is a difficult task for some because of format used for writing. The letter has to have following parts. They are date, name and address of sender and receiver, salutation, main body and complimentary closure. When all these parts are combined together then you will get a well drafted letter. Writing as well as receiving a letter is always special. A Letter is a platform where you can express your innermost feelings in a straightforward manner. Business letters and personal letters are two types of letters. For all official and formal situations, you write business letter whereas letters written to friends, relatives, acquaintances are personal letters.

Both follow the same format only the difference lies in the language used for writing. In business letters, formal language is used and situations discussed are work related. In personal letters language is informal and you discuss personal and intimate topics. A commercial business letter is a letter written in formal language, usually used when writing from one business organization to another, or for correspondence between such organizations and their customers, clients and other external parties.

The overall style of letter will depend on the relationship between the parties concerned. There are many reasons to write a business letter. It could be to request direct information or action from another party, to order supplies from a supplier, to identify a mistake that was committed, to reply directly to a request, to apologize for a wrong or simply to convey goodwill. Even in our modern days, the business letter is still very useful because it produces a permanent record, is confidential, formal and delivers persuasive, well-considered messages The most common types of business letter include:

1. Acknowledgement Letter: This type of letter is written when you want to acknowledge some one for his help or support when you were in trouble. The letter can be used to just say thanks for something you have received from some one, which is of great help to you. 2. Apology Letter: An apology letter is written for a failure in delivering the desired results. If the person has taken up a task and he fails to meet the target then he apologizes and asks for an opportunity to improve in this type of letter. 3. Appreciation Letter: An appreciation letter is written to appreciate some one’s work in the organization. This type of letter is written by a superior to his junior. An organization can also write an appreciation letter to other organization, thanking the client for doing business with them.

4. Complaint Letter: A complaint letter is written to show one that an error has occurred and that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. The letter can be used as a document that was used for warning the reader. 5. Inquiry Letter: The letter of inquiry is written to inquire about a product or service. If you have ordered a product and yet not received it then you can write a letter to inquire when you will be receiving it. 6. Order Letter: This letter is as the name suggests is used for ordering products. This letter can be used as a legal document to show the transaction between the customer and vendor. 7. Letter of Recommendation: This type of letter is written to recommend a person for a job position. The letter states the positive aspects of the applicant’s personality and how he/she would be an asset for the organization. Letter of recommendation is even used for promoting a person in the organization. There are several points that will help one in drafting a business letter: • Make sure that you type the letter. It should not be handwritten. • Always use a letter head to write a formal letter.

• If you don’t have a letter head, then type your name, designation and address at the top of the page. • Mentioning the date in a letter is a must as it serves the purpose of reference in further letter regarding the same topic. • After the date, you need to write the full name, designation and full address of the recipient. • Then you need to insert greeting to the person whom the letter is written. You have to use formal language. Take a look at this example: Dear Mr. Brown, • Now, you can actually begin to write the main message of the letter. In the first paragraph, you have to introduce yourself if the receiver does not know you. You could begin with a sentence like “We had recently met in a conference”, or “I had purchased a SIP from your company two months back.”

• After that you have to clearly mention the purpose of the letter. The purpose may be to lodge a complaint, request for information, compliment a product or service provided, discussing a business deal etc. You have to be brief and precise. • In the end of the letter, you have a complimentary close. The words that are included: Sincerely, thanking you, regards, etc. • The last thing is you need to type your name and sign the letter. • The letter should be printed in a readable font.

Business letter has a specific format. The letter is different from other forms of communication because of the format in which it is presented. The letter has a beginning, middle and an ending. All the areas of the letter have to be organized logical so that the letter is clear, complete and cohesive. A letter has different parts. All the parts have to be neatly drafted so that a meaningful letter is created. The block format is the most popular format of the business letter where all the matter is aligned to the left side and uses single spacing. The letter includes the following parts:

• Letterhead: The formal business letter should always begin with letterhead. Every organization has a letterhead used for all official correspondence. One have to begin the letter on the letter head of the company. The letter head gives the receiver an idea about who has sent the letter. • Date: The date has to be written exactly below the letter head. The date is important part of a letter and can be used as a reference. The date has to be written in full with day, month and year. For example: 25 December 2011 or December 20, 2011 • Receiver’s Address: The next important part is the receiver’s address. One need to include the name of the receiver, his designation and complete address. The inside address and the address on the envelope should always be same.

• Salutation: This is the opening line of the letter. It should begin with a greeting. In a formal business letter, one need to write dear followed by Mr./Ms with his or her name. It looks unprofessional, when a writer includes only the first name of the person. • Body: In the first line itself, a writer has to mention the message of his letter. The letter should be able to convey the message directly to the reader. The letter has no place for unnecessary words. It has to be concise but informative. The letter should consist of paragraphs. Each new point should have separate paragraph. The last paragraph should sum up the letter and ask the receiver to do an action based on the letter. • Complimentary Closure: In the end of the letter one have to use complimentary close. One can use words like “Yours faithfully”, “Yours sincerely”. Comma has to be included after the close. A writer has to insert his/her full name at the end leaving few spaces to sign the letter. After this is done a writer can include the enclosures.

Stylistic and Lexical Peculiarities of Business Letter

The layout of the business letter differs in some respect from that of the personal letter. Not only the sender’s address is given (as in personal letter) but also the name and address of the person or organization to which the letter is being send. This is written on the left-hand side of the page against the margin slightly lower than the date (which is on the opposite side). It should be the same as the name and address on the envelope. A letter written to a man should be add – reseed to, for example, Mr. D. Smith or to D. Smith Esq. (Esquire). A letter to a woman, should be addressed to, for example, Mrs. C. Jones or Mrs. C. Jones. If you do not know the name of the person for from your letter is intended you may address it directly to the company, e.g.: The Branded Boot Co. Ltd.,

5 Rubberheel Road,

Co. and Ltd. Are the usual abbreviations for Company and Limited. However it’s better to address your letter to some individual – The Managing Director, the Personnel Manager, The Secretary, The Branch Manager, The Export Manager – followed by the name of the company. If the person you are writing to is known to you, you should begin with, for example, Dear Mr. Thompson, Dear Mrs. Warren, etc. Otherwise you should begin Dear Sir (S), Dear Madam, or Gentlemen.

The body of the business letter usually includes:
a) Reference,
b) Information,
c) Purpose,
d) Conclusion.
You should begin your letter with a reference to a letter you have received, an advertisement you have seen, or an even which has prompted the writing of your letter. It is sometimes necessary to add some detailed information related to the reference, in a subsequent paragraph. The generally accepted way of writing the data is the following: October 17,200__

17 October,200__
October 19th ,200__
19th October,200__
The subject line is typed immediately below the salutation in the center. It helps to ensure that the letter is passed without delay to the right person or department : Dear Sir,
Your order # 0072/98

Purpose is the most important part of the letter, where you are expected to state clearly and concisely all the questions that you have been asked. As business letter are written on behalf of a firm, use ‘we’ and ‘our’ instead of ‘my’ and ‘I’. Do not use the short forms ‘we’ll’ ,’we’ve’ in all formal and business letters. Extra spacing is used between paragraphs to separate different points more effectively. Try to use short sentences and short paragraphs because it is easier to read and understand . Conclusion usually consists of some polite remark to round the letter off. Then usually follows the complimentary close. If you begin your letter with Dear Sir (s) or Dear Madam you may and it with the words “Your faithfully”. If you address a person by name the words “Yours sincerely ” are preferable.

There is a modern tendency however to use “Yours sincerely ” even to people you have never met. The signature: sing you name clearly, in full, as it should appear on the envelope of the letter addressed to you. If there are enclosures, the word ’Encl:’ is typed at the bottom left-hand corner, with a short description of the enclosure. The postscript (P.S.) should be avoided. But sometimes ‘it has a definite, planned function. It is designed to draw special attention, to emphasize a point made elsewhere in letter, or to make a special offer. Sometimes it may serve as a reply to a further letter that has come in after the letter had been completed.

2.3 Modern Means of Business Communication

People have always tried to convey information. Now, they send letters and documents by post, by fax, by computer and they make phone calls from home or the office or, thanks to mobile phones, from wherever they happen to be. The list of services, thanks to advanced technology, is long and presumably will grow. People can phone and fax from trains and planes. They can buy things, carry out financial transactions, get information – all without leaving their chairs. This is the global information age. The worldwide computer network known as the Internet connects millions of people worldwide. It connects many computer networks and uses common addressing system. The most popular Internet service is e-mail. Using e-mail, you can send messages to anyone with an internet account.

Most businesses today have electronic address because e-mail provides cheap and rapid communication. Since the mid-1990s electronic commerce has become one of the most rapidly growing retail sectors involving the use of computer telecommunication networks for maintaining business relationships and selling information, services and commodities. Although e-commerce usually refers only to the trading of goods and services over the Internet, it actually includes broader economic activity such as business-to-consumer and business-to-business commerce as well as internal organizational transactions that support these activities.

A new form of collaboration known as a virtual company is flourishing now. This type of company is actually- a network of firms, each performing some of the processes needed to manufacture a product or deliver a service. E-mail is cheap and easy to use. E-mail is the transmission and distribution of information through personal computers linked to the telephone system, which allows subscribers to send a message directly to another subscriber that will appear in their electronic mail box. Computer use continues to grow and develop in all spheres of our life. Its applications have had a great impact on the business world. Computers have helped society by increasing productivity and simplifying many services, such as checking, credit cards, and telephone service.

Electronic Mail

Once a person gets comfortable with e-mail, it may seem like the only communication method needed. However, written media are preferred and necessary in many cases as previously described.

In many ways, e-mail messages are formatted and look similar to memos. Most of the e-mail heading portion is quite simple, most of it being handled by the e-mail program itself. The address of the recipient is filled in; addresses for those to receive copies are filled in; and a brief phase indicating the contents or purpose is added. After typing in the body of the message, an additional formatting element to add to a professional e-mail communications is a “signature”. Construct a signature containing your full name, title, company name, e-mail addresses, regular mailing address, telephone number, and other such detail. As for style in e-mail messages, here are some suggestions:

1. Typos and Mistakes. There is some controversy about how much to worry about writing mistakes in e-mail. Except for very formal electronic communications, most people disregard or even expect occasional writing glitches in the e-mail they send or receive. However, e-mail messages can be proofread and edited as easily as most other written documents. Sloppiness in writing can become a bad habit.

2. Formality. The tone of e-mail communications is generally informal. E-mail messages are normally rather short, for example, under a dozen lines, and the paragraphs are short as well. No one likes having to do a lot of extended reading on a computer screen.

3. Specific Subject Lines. If you want your e-mail to be read and have the impact you intend, make the subject line specific and compel ling. It is not uncommon for people to log-in and find 50 messages waiting.

4. Format. Whenever possible, break the message into paragraphs of less than six or seven lines and skip an extra line between them. Use only the characters on the keyboard; anything else may not format properly when the recipient views it. Use headings to identify and mark off the various subtopics. If there is a series of points, use the various forms of lists that are available.

5. Automatic Replies. The reply function in e-mail is a wonderful time-saver. However, e-mail is often addressed to multiple recipients. Know for sure that you want all listed recipients to receive the message. Particularly be careful with replying to group list-serves. It can be highly embarrassing for a sensitive message to go to unintended parties. Thus, sensitive topics probably should not be discussed via e-mail. Remember that e-mail can be quickly forwarded to a huge audience.


A memorandum can be used for most communications internal to an organization with the exception of possibly a full formal report. A memo might contain a status or progress report on a project; it might be a request to an employee to provide information; or it might be the employee’s response to a request for information. Thus, a memo can be very much like a business letter, or it can be very much like a short report. The key is the memorandum format. The memo format is commonly used for progress reports that are required in some engineering courses at ASU. These progress reports in memo format may have attachments as with a business letter. If longer than one page, memo progress reports should have subheading to help organize and present the information.

For example, a progress report on a design project might have subheadings for an introduction, accomplishments, future work, and problems.

The main header words in the memorandum format are usually in al l capital letters and are now commonly shown in bold type for appearance.

1. MEMO Heading. In most cases, the word “MEMORANDUM” is placed at the top, center of the first page. The font size is usually slightly larger than that of the text and other header words, and some provide a space between each letter of the word.

2. DATE Heading. The date used for the memo should be somewhere in the header. The example shown by Figure No. 3 shows the date as the first line, but in some designs, it may be a subsequent line.

3. TO Heading. The name of the recipient or the group name is shown following the TO: heading. Use appropriate names and titles, such as “Susie”, “Susie Jacques”, or “Mrs. Susie Jacques, Executive Secretary”, depending on your familiarity with the recipient and the formality of the situation.

4. COPIES Heading. If copies are sent to others, this heading should also be used. List the names and titles of those receiving copies of the memo.

5. FROM Heading. The sender’s name or the name of the group is placed on this line. The familiarity with the recipient and the sense of the formality dictate how the sender is addressed. In many organizations, the writer of the memo places their initials or first name just after the typed name.

6. SUBJECT Heading. A brief phrase that encapsulates the topic and purpose of the memo is placed in this space. Generally, the first letter of each word in the phrase is capitalized, and there is no punctuation at the end. The actual label for this element varies; some styles use “RE:” or “SUBJ:”

Most of the rules that apply to business letters also apply to the body of a memo. For example, text should be single spaced with double spacing between paragraphs. In more formal styles of memoranda, writers actually insert the same kind of complimentary close and signature block as used for business letters. For continuing pages, some type of header is appropriate with the name of the recipient, date, and page number shown.


So, we defined the concept of business communication and we can surely say, that it takes a huge part in our life. Business communication is very important for every businessman, because communication with business partners, employees, clients is the ground of their success. Written communication is more frequently used type of communication in business life. An exceptional business writing skill is very important in any type of business. Clients frequently base the company’s credibility on the quality of their business communications. These people tend to have negative view of businesses that disseminate written materials with errors or businesses that use vague phrases and misspell names.

Written communication allows businesses to communicate developments, expectations and legalities to employees and contacts in the outside world. While traditional hard copies of written communication in business are still prevalent, email and online communication has become increasingly common. In this course paper we studied and described the peculiarities of business writing – letters, e-mail, memoranda. We clarified the main structural parts of business writing documents, which always are bound by certain accepted standards. Good business letter must be well-planed and built. It is very important to follow the standardized structure of the letter and corresponding language.

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