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How To Write Letters
It is needless to say that the current century is progressing in every field. social, Economic, industrial, educational, cultural-only to name some of them, in such a faster rate that we feel as if we are moving in the same speed as the astronauts going to moon and come back to the earth. In short, new things of today become old things on the very next day. So, it is everybody's problem to-get acquainted and deal with such circumstances, In the realm of writing too, we find the newer styles, phrases, methods and so on Added to this thirst, there is vastly developed tele-communication system and modern transportation to assist and augment the trade . and commerce. So, one can contact with a person residing at a far distant place either by letter or by personally.
So naturally the modern trade arid commerce is virtually dependent on this infrastructure of tele-communication. Everybody is to make contact with others by writing various kinds of letters. It is also an art of writing without which no letter can fetch good business or convey the things as they are. Many people face this problem, when they are dealing with such a problem.
A good business letter fetches good business prospects and a good love-letter brings two hearts nearer to each other, and a good phrased, written in lucid manner, conveys the things as they are actually in existence. So, there are some most important things that should not be forgotten while writing a letter. Always you must remember them and write letters accordingly.
(a) In the first place, you must put your address clearly as the recipients are required for further correspondence, Or it is for ready reference and hence reduces the unnecessary delay in reply. And you must write your address clearly and legibly.
(b) Insert the date just below your address, Both your address and the date must be placed at right hand corner of the letter. You should not forget about writing the date as it is also got considerable importance for further references,
(c) The next step is salutation which must be written at left side of the letter but parallel to the date
which is on the opposite side. Salutation defers in accordance with the relationship that you have with the person concerned. However, in business letters you can write "Dear Sir," "Dear Sirs'' or merely "Sir." These are the commonly used salutations. But the address of the recipient is given above the salutation in the case of application letters and· sometimes in dealing with the government officials.
(d) Then you come to the body of the letter which the most important part of your letter. The first
sentence of the letter must be express fully impressive. Then start writing the matter clearly and briefly with out ambiguity. Avoid unnecessary explanations and examples.
(e) Lastly, you must conclude the letter with bidding farewell to the recipient, such as- "yours faithfully," "yours truly," "yours obedient," "yours sincerely" as the case may be.
But remember that you should revise the letter carefully and read-out once again and check up the
address properly. And the address must be written fully and clearly. In case you are writing to officials you must mention their office and rank. Now-a-days, pin code numbers arc introduced for quick and correct deviltry. You can use them for your own benefit.
Now we come direct to the heart of our subject matter i.e. letter writing. We have divided the whole
book into four parts namely- General letters, Business letters, Appealing letters, and Official letters,
Of all of them, the chapter dealing with General letters is the most important and useful to everyone. So, it warrants much attention for clear understanding.
- To a friend on success in examination
- To a friend on her engagement
- To a friend on winning a prize
- From a boy conveying his best wishes to his friend's birthday
- Congratulations on promotion
(b) Condolence Letters
- To a friend, who has recently lost his father
- To a friend whose sister died in an accident
- Sympathy to a friend who has been failed in examination
- Experssing sympathy to a friend who has been defeated in selection
(c) Letters to relatives and friends
- From a boy to his mother telling his dislikes of a boarding
- From a mother enquiring her daughter's health
- To the father requesting money
- Letter from a teacher to a parent
- To a friend describing the historical visit
- To a friend asking financial help
- Letter to brother requesting his good offices in getting an appointment for a friend
(d) Letters concerning public relation
- Requesting a professor to preside over a function
- To station master requesting reservation
- To an editor requesting the publication of news
- To a police officer seeking help
- To the Health Officer informing cholera
- To a famous sportsman
- A resolution on the retirement of a chairman
- Booking seats for Cinema
- Booking for Air passage
- Invitaion to a singer at a concert
(e) Letters concerning financial matters
- Requesting sometime for clearing the bill
- Over due payment
- Asking reduction in rent
- Requesting for a Demand Draft
- Receipt of money
- Stopping the payment of a cheque
Business or Commercial Letters
In business or commercial letters, every word has got its importance. A wrong or incorrect word may cause huge losses or inconveniences. So, businessmen always care for good letter writing with precise words. Great efforts are made to promote business and care is taken to maintain "goodwill" "honesty" and "business tactics". Keeping good record is as essential as promoting business. Every transaction has its record in duplicate copies, if the business house is to be kept in a good condition. Oral agreements have no place in business. So in business, only letters and records have got utmost impermanence and they can play a decisive part While replying for complaints, great care and tolerance should be taken. Harsh words will spoil the whole matter, In any way, the letters should be persuasive, convincing and meaningful.
In Short, the business letters have to function mainly to maintain old customers, to attract new onces, to sell goods in competitive markets, to promote business and to remove complaints. In order to achieve the above stated objectives, every business letter should carry the following qualities, correctness, courtesy, clearness, simplicity, tact and promptness.
The form of a good business letter should contain letter head, date, the address of the receiver, subject of the matter, reference No, salutation and signature. Encloses should be attached if any.
To sum up, a good business letter should carry its high qualities winning over its customers.
(a) Ordering for Goods
- Order for fruits
- Ordering for furniture
- Ordering for books
- Ordering for Clothes
- Ordering for electric appliances
- Ordering for sports goods
- Ordering for ready made dresses
- Ordering for Laboratory materials
- Ordering for Mobile Phones
- Ordering for computer and Laptop tables
(b) Rejecting, Cancelling Orders
- Rejecting an order without advance
- Cancelling an order as stock is over
- Rejecting a dealyed order
- Changing the given order
- Withholding the supply
- Postponing the Supply
- Wrong delivery
- Redirecting goods
- Increasing Sales
- Recommending higher pay-scales
- Recruitment for temporary posts
- Convening a meeting
(a) Applications for getting jobs
Now a days commerce, trade, and industries are progressing rapidly and opening new doors for seeking employment. But, at present, getting a job is not easy. It requires a particular technique to secure a job suitable to your qualification and experience. So, you must remember that before applying for any job you should make yourself sure whether your qualifications and other attainments are suited to the job. that you are to apply for. Because the present demand for laborers is going to specialize in every industry and commerce. For example, a.science graduate may not get a job in business houses as they prefer particularly Commerce graduates. Likewise, an Arts graduate may become unwanted thing in chemical industries.
So, it is very important to know whether you possess the right type of qualifications and other requirements for a particular job. And lastly it is equally important to know the essentials of writing a letter of application. The following points must be remembered while writing an application.
Firstly, the opening lines of the letter should be written in such a manner as to create a good impression on your prospective employer. So, when your employer is well impressed by the opening lines he will naturally read your application in a favorable mood.
Secondly, good hand-writing is an asset. So legible and good-hand writing will make impression on the employer. Precise words must be used and ambiguity in language should be avoided. Simple words should be used.
And finally, you should request your prospective employer to refer to your present employer, if you are on any job, in connection with your characters, honesty and confides. This frankness will create a good impression on your employer
(b) Follow up letters
Letters addressed to officials are the most formal of all, and generally begin with such formal phrases, as "I have the honor to call your attention to", "l respectfully beg to report" etc.
The proper form of address and subscription, also, must be strictly attended to. Where in a business letter you put the name of the firm you are addressing, but here you must write the name, titles and designation of the official to whom you are writing. For example:-
R.Somashekar Esq., M. A., I. C. S.
And the letter must then begin with the very formal "Sir", but not "Dear Sir " or "My dear Sir", etc. Lastly, proper subscription is - '' I have the honor to be, Sir", "Your Most Obedient Servant" etc,
Always official letters are typed in duplicate or triplicate copies as the case may be. No errors should be permitted. Unnecessary description or personal things must be avoided. The letter should begin with the subject matter and ambiguity words should be avoided as far as possible. Main body of the letter should contain the central point of the letter.The letters should be as short as possible. Lengthy letters with unnecessary explanations will not take much attention. And the letters must be drafted in a correct grammatical form. Correct and full addresses should be written on the letters. The letter should be revised very carefully before it is sent out. And finally leave no place between the body of the letter and your signature, Because if there is any blank space above your signature and something is written therein, it may become a legal commitment.
Decisions of Government on matters of policy that arise in the course of day-to-day administration are known as Government orders.These orders are definite and containerized in their reference. They are in fact known as "Proceedings of the Government.
Decisions of Government relating purely to internal matters of administration, such as postings and transfers, regulating matters of procedure, discipline, or prescribing holidays, working hours etc., are generally known as "Official Memorandum".
Powers conferred on Government under various legislative enactments arc exercised by Government as and when deemed necessary, by means of Notifications. Quotations are invited for executing works of public utility by the Govt. This is called "Tender notice" or ''Tender notification" Such tender notifications arc also issued by various autonomous bodies like corporations etc. Remember that official letters always are written in accordance with the rules and regulations guided by certain
(a) Letters to Government Concerns
(b) Government Circular
(c) Miscellaneous Letters
(d) Some World-famous Letters
1. Sir Henry Sidney, to his son, Philip Sindney (1566).
(In this letter a fat her writes to his son about the hard facts of life and also advises him how to lead a happy and prosperous life.)
I have received two letters from you, one written in Latin, the other in French, which I take in good part, and will you to exercise that practice of learning often, for that will stand you in most stead in that profession of life that you are born to live in. And since this is my first letter that ever I did write to you, I will not that it be all empty of some advice, which my natural care of you provoked me to
wish you to follow, as documents to you in this your tender age.
Let your first action be the lifting up of your mind to Almighty God by hearty prayrer, and feelingly digest the words you speak in prayer, with continual meditation and thinking to Him to whom you pray, and of the matter for which you pray. And use this as an ordinary, and at an ordinary hour, whereby the time itself will put you in remembrance to do that which you are accustomed to do. In that time apply your study to such hours as your discreet master doth assign you, earnestly, and the time, I know, he will so limit as shall be both sufficient for your learning and safe your health. And mark the sense and the matter of that you read, as well as the words. So shall you both enrich your tongue with words and your wit with matter, and judgement will grow as years groweth in you.
Be humble and obedient to your master, for unless you frame yourself to obey others, yea, and to feel what obedience is, you shall never be able to teach others how to obey you. Be courteous of gesture, and affable to all men, with diversity of reverence according to the dignity of the person. There is nothing that winneth so much with so little cost.
Use moderate diet, so as after your meal you may find your wit fresher, and not duller, and your body more lively, and not more heavy. Use exercise of body, but such as is without peril of your joints or bones. It will increase your force and enlarge your breath. Delight to be cleanly, as well in your body as in yor.r garments. Give yourself to be merry, for you degenerate from your father if you find not yourself most able in wit and body to do anything when you be most merry; but let your mirth be
ever void of all scurrility and biting words to any man, for a wound given by a word is often times harder to be cured than that which is given with the sword.
Be rather a hearer and bearer away of other men's talk than· a beginner or procurer of speech, otherwise you shall be counted to delight to bear yourself speak. If you hear a wise sentence or an apt phrase, commit it to your memory with respect to the circumstances when you shall speak it. Let never oath be heard to come out of your mouth, nor words of ribaldry, detest it in your self. Be Modest in each assembly, and rather be rebuked of light fellows for maiden - like shame - facedness, than of your sad friends for pert boldness. Think upon every word that you will speak before you utter it, and remember how nature hath rampired up, as it were, the tongue with teeth and lips, betokening reins or bridles for the loose use of that member. Above all things, tell no untruth, no, not in trifles, the custom of it is naughty. And let it not satisfy you that for a time the hearers take it for a truth for after it will be known as it is to your shame; for there cannot be a greater reproach to a gentleman than to be accounted a liar.
Study and endeavor yourself to be virtuously occupied. So, you shall make such an habit of well-doing in you that you shall not know how to do evil though you would. Remember, my son, the noble blood you are descended of.by your mother's side, and think that only by virtuous life and good action you may be an ornament to that illustrious family.
Well, my little Philip, this is enough for me, and too much, I fear, for you. But if I shall find that this light meal of digestion nourish anything the weak stomach of your young. capacity. I will. as I find the same grow stronger, feed it with tougher food. Your loving father, so long as you live in the fear of God.
Your most lovely,
2.Samuel Johnson to the Right Hon The Earl of Chersterfield.
( Here Samuel Johnson narrates his bleak days of life and throws light on the struggles he faced without help.)
February 7, 1755.
I have been lately informed, by the proprietor of "The world" that two papers, in which my Dictionary is recommended to the public, were written by your Lordship. To be so distinguished is an honor, which, being very little accustomed to favors from the great, I· know not well bow to receive or in what terms to acknowledge.
When upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your Lordship, I was over - powered, like the rest of man-kind, by the enchantment of your address, and could not forbear to wish that I might obtain that regard for which I saw the world contending, but I found my attendance so little encouraged that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. When I bad once addressed
your Lordship in public, I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which I retired and uncouthly scholar can possess, I had done all that I could, and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.
Seven years, my Lord, have now past, since 1 waited in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door, during which time, I have been pushing on my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to complain and have brought it, at last to the verge of publication, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement or one smile of favor. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never bad a patron before.
Is not a patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water and
when be .has reached ground, encumbers him with, help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labors, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it, till I am solitary and cannot impart it till I am known and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not. to confess obligations where no benefit have been received, .or to be unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for myself.
Having carried on my work thus with so little obligation to any favourer of learning, I shall not be dis appointed though I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less, for I have been long awakened from that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation.
Your Lordship's most humble
Most Obedient Servant,
3. Thomas Carlyle to the Right Hon. B. Disraeli.
( In this letter, Carlyle refuses a baronetcy and the Grand Cross of Bath offered by Disraeli in franc and meaningful words.)
5, Cheyne Row,
29th December, 1874.
Yesterday, to my great surprise, I bad the honour to receive your letter containing a magnificent proposal for my benefit, which will be memorable to me for the rest of my life. Allow me to say that the letter, both in purport and expression, is worthy to be called magnanimous and noble, that it is without example in my own poor history; and I think it is unexampled too, in the history of governing persons towards men of letters at the present, as at any time, and that I will carefully preserve it as one of the things precious to memory and heart. A real treasure or benefit it, independent of all results from it.
This said to yourself and reposited with many feelings in my own grateful mind, I have only to add that. your splendid and generous proposals for my practical behoof, must not any of them take effect, that titles of honour are, in all degree of them, out of keeping with the tenor of my own poor existence hitherto in this epoch of the world, and would be an encumbrance, not a furtherance to me, that as to money, it has, after long years of rigorous and frugal, but also (Thanks God, and those that are gone before me) not degrading poverty, become in this latter time amply abundant, even superabundant; more of it, too, now a hindrance, not a help to me, so that royal or other bounty would be more than thrown away in my case, and in brief, that except that feeling of your fine and noble conduct on this occasion, which is a real and permanent possession there cannot anything be down that would not now be a sorrow rather than a pleasure.
I have the honour to be
Yours obliged and obedient Servant