How to Write A Business Letter: Finding the Right Balance

How to Write a Business Letter: Finding the Right Balance

We live in times of constant change, and knowing how to write a business letter yesterday doesn't mean you'll know how to write a business letter today! The styles of years gone by have now gone out the window, grammar rules have been modified and the changes accepted through usage, and yesterday's formality has given way to a more casual, human approach.

The problem with this is that many folks in the workplace today have had no formal training in grammar and basic writing, since these were mostly abandoned by education systems some years ago, so they don't even know which "rules" they are breaking. So now there's a general tendency to kind of make it up as we go along, and that's no way to treat a language.

What we need to do is to find the right balance between the formality of yesterday and the often sloppy "instant messaging" language so prevalent today.

The fact is, a business letter is still a formal document, often constituting the only official written record of business contracts and other occurrences. As such, it should be clearly understood not only in the moment, but also if it is read six months or five years from now. To accomplish this, we need to adhere to certain principles, even actual rules. I'll be discussing these over a number of posts, so if you want to learn how to write a business letter stay tuned!

In the meantime, have a look at this: The Anatomy of a Business Letter.

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