Business Letter: Writer’s Checklist
For Business Letters
1. Receiver (Who are you writing this to?)
Someone you know (friend, colleague, business partner, group, company)
Some one you don’t know (To whom it may concern, Dear Sir/Madam)
How do you expect the receiver to respond?
2. Sender (Who are you?)
What is your relationship to the reader/receiver(s)?
What role are you assuming in the letter?
(friend, colleague, etc.)
3. Context (What background information does the reader need?)
Bring the reader up to date first.
Establish a connection
As requested . . .
It was nice meeting you in Toronto last week . . .
I read your article in
Vague Magazine . .
Time frame (sequence of events)
4. Message (What do you want the reader to know or do?)
What do you hope to accomplish with the letter (inform, persuade, initiate action)
I am writing to inquire about . . .
Could you please send me . . .
Please . . .
Would you mind . . .
Could you please . . .
Would you be so kind as to . . .
5. Medium (What is the appropriate format?)
Fax, e-mail, formal business letter, memo, informal note
6. Tone (What tone do you wish to convey?)
7. Other recipients (Are there others who need to be informed of this communication?)
cc: courtesy copy
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