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Part: II The Letters

Part II: The Letters

A basic structural design underlies every kind of writing. The writer will in part follow this design, in part deviate from it, according to his skill, his needs, and the unexpected events that accompany the act of composition.

—William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White From The Elements of Style

You have learned the basics. From planning and structure to appearance and grammar, you have learned what it takes to write a good letter.

Part II of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters takes you a step further. In Chapters 7 through 17 you will see the basics of letter writing at work in more than 365 business letters.

These letters, which show you the application of the basics discussed in Part I, were chosen for two major reasons. First, this sampling of letters gives you access to many of the more common letters written in everyday business. Second, the letters are particularly well-written examples upon which you can model your own letters.

Many of the letters in Part II can be used as form letters or as prototypes in word-processing programs (see Chapter 6). If names, numbers, and addresses are changed in these letters, they can be used for many different customers.

All of the letters in Part II are models of good letters. By reading them you will learn how effective letters in various business settings should be written.

The captions to each of the sample letters give you a concise description of their purpose. The narrative interspersed among the letters gives you a brief analysis of each letter's strong points.

I don't expect many readers to diligently read through every sample letter in every chapter of Part II. Read those sample letters that can best help you improve or increase the scope of your letter writing. Study them and, if you apply the basics learned in Part I, you'll be well on your way to writing better, more effective letters.



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