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Part V: The Business Letter > A Checklist for the Business Letter

Chapter 28. A Checklist for the Business Letter

  • Tell what your letter is about in the first paragraph.

  • If you’re answering a letter, refer to the date it was written.

  • Read your letter aloud when you are done to see if it sounds natural.

  • Have a sense of humor, but don’t be cute or flippant.

  • Be specific.

  • Use the active voice instead of the passive.

  • Keep the letter short.

  • For emphasis, underline important words.

  • Make the final copy perfect.

  • Don’t exaggerate or try to pass off opinions as facts.

  • Be clear and honest.

  • Read the first draft of your letter and edit ruthlessly.

  • In the final paragraph, tell the reader exactly what you want him or her to do, or what you are going to do. Don’t omit this important “action step.”

  • Close with something simple like, “Sincerely.”


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