Parts of Business Letter-Communication Skills-Lecture Handout, Exercises for Communication Skills. Shri Jagdishprasad Jhabarmal Tibrewala University

Communication Skills

Description: Communication is a process, which involves sharing of information between people through a continuous activity of speaking, listening, and understanding. Communication is important factor in business management. This lecture includes: Parts, Business, Heading, Saluation, Attention, Enclosure, Essential, Body, Address, Signature, Area, Postscipts
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Communication Skills MCM301

Communication Skills – MCM 301 VU

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Lesson 32 Parts of Business Letter

• Heading - letterhead • Date • Inside address • Salutation • Attention line • Subject • Body • Complimentary close • Signature area • Reference initials • Enclosure • Copies line • Postscripts

Parts of letter • Essential parts • Non-essential parts

Essential parts • Letterhead • Date • Inside address • Salutation • Body • Complimentary close • Signature

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Specimen Business Letter Letter Head Company Letterhead

With address/telephone/fax

Date August 5, 2001 Mr. / Ms. First name Last name Title or Department

Inside Address Company Name 2000 Street, Suite 100 City, State Zip

Salutation Dear Mr. / Ms. Last Name: I am writing to request information about Accommodations in the Seattle area. Our company is

Body sending six senior managers to Seattle to attend an executive training program at the University for two months in the fall. I understand that there are several different housing options

Body available for international visitors: university residence halls, home stays, hotels, and apartments. Which would you recommend? I would appreciate any information you could send

Body me.

Complementary Sincerely, Close First name last name Signature First name Last name


Non-essential parts • Addressee notation • Attention line/ Reference • Subject line • Reference initials • Enclosure • Copy notation/Carbon copy (CC) • Mailing notation • Post script

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Heading -letterhead

A heading shows where the letter comes from, and if it is letterhead stationary, it is usually at the top center of the letter. If you are not using letterhead stationary, your return address, but not your name, is typed directly above the date about 2 inches from the top.

A heading includes, most if not all of the following information: - Name of the firm and its full postal address - Name of department - Telephone, fax, telex number and E-mail. -Optional: directors name, logo, trade mark, firm’s starting date

Date The date is typewritten two to six lines below the last line of the letterhead. The date indicates when the letter was written. If your letter is completed over a number of days, use the date it was finished. The date is placed at the left margin or so it ends with the right margin.

Date sequence preferred is: - December 5, 2005 – month, day, year; or in figures like 12/5/05 (American style). In

Europe & Asia – 5/12/05.

Inside address

The inside address is the recipient’s address. Always best to write to a specific individual. Write at the left-hand margin. Includes name & address of the individual, group or organization. If the addressee has no professional title like “Dr.” “Prof.” use courtesy titles i.e. Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms.

Example: Mr. A. R. Qureshi,

General Manager, XYZ Corporation,

P. O. Box 1234


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Salutation and complimentary close

The salutation (or opening greeting) is typed on the 2nd line below the inside address, two lines above the body, & even with the left margin. Salutation is conventionally paired with an appropriate complimentary close ( the ‘signing off’), to end the letter in a similar tone and formality.

Main body

The main body of the letter is divided logically into the paragraphs. Paragraphs are conventionally separated by two line spaces for clarity; whether or not the first line of each is indented from the left hand margin.

Complimentary close

The closing begins at the same horizontal point as your date and one line after the last body paragraph. Most popular closes are: Sincerely, Sincerely yours, Very truly yours, yours very truly. When the letter is informal, additional closes are often used, like Warm regards, Best regards & Best wishes. From UK and Asia closing is; faithfully yours.

Leave four lines between the closing and the sender’s name for a signature.

Signature area

You can include in the signature area several identifications: name of your company, your signature, your typewritten name, and your business tile.

Sincerely, Mohammad Nazim

Close, informal relationships. More personal.

Yours, Yours sincerely, Kind regards. Best wishes. Affectionately,

Dear Jaffer/ Jamila My dear Jaffer/ Jamila etc.

Friendly ( or would-be- friendly, e.g for selling or conciliatory letters). Established relationships. Implied relationships.

Yours sincerely,Dear Dr/Mr/Mrs/Miss Qureshi, Dear Colleague Dear Customer

Formal Situations Recipient not personally known Recipient senior in years, position

Yours faithfully, Dear Sir/Madam/Sirs (Name not used)


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Head, Communication Dept.

Addressee notation

Addressee notation is written to make the readership of the letter restricted. It is written two lines above inside address. It is written in capital letters.





Attention line/ reference

An attention line is useful in the following contexts:

When the writer doesn’t know an individual’s name but wants the message to go to a particular title (sales manager) or department (personnel). When the writer knows only the person’s surname (Mr. Butt) and therefore does not want to use that name in the salutation. When the writer expects that the addressee travels often and wants the letter to be attended promptly by whoever takes care of the addressee’s business. It is written two lines below the inside address.


For the attention of: Mr. Butt

Subject line

Subject gives a few words indication of the main subject of the letter. It directs the reader’s thoughts to the matter in hand. Though Subject line is not an essential part of a letter but it is commonly used in business letters where higher management is your recipient, as they usually don’t have time to read complete letters. However, subject line is essential if you writing in simplified format. The subject line also indicates where to file the letter for future reference.


Subject: Contract No. 12280-051

Subject: Order No. 0012254

The Subject line is usually written one line below the salutation. The subject line can be left aligned, centered or indented as the paragraphs in the body text. Some times the subject line is written above the salutation or at the very top of the page.

Ways to Write subject line:

Giving the heading “Subject”:

Subject: Summer 2005 Sales Meeting

Distinguishing it from other parts of the letter:

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Some writers omit the word subject and upper case to write the subject line, or in a different way so that it is easily distinguishable, i.e. different font type, italics, etc.



Some writers like under lining the subject line or the last line of the subject line if it is long.

Examples: – Subject: Summer 2005 Sales Meeting – Subject: Summer 2005 Sales Meeting – SUBJECT: SUMMER 2005 SALES MEETING – SUMMER 2005 SALES MEETING

Reference initials

As it is very common that one person dictates or writes the letter and the other person types it, therefore reference initials are used to show who helped prepare the letter. Reference initials always appear at the left margin and are typed one or two lines below the last line of the signatures. If the writer’s name is in the signature block then only the typist’s initials appear in the reference initials.

Your initials as the composer of the message along with those of your typist usually appear at the left margin on the same line with the last line of the signature area. The first is writer’s initials and the second is the typist’s initials.

Example: • mn/ mqs • mn: mqs • MN: MAS

Sometimes the writer and the signer of a letter are different people. At least the file copy of a letter should bear both their initials and as well as the typist’s.


mn/ dq/ mqs (signer, writer, typist) Enclosure Putting something other than the letter in the same envelope, such as a cheque, resume, price list, leaflet or any other document for reference is called enclosing something with the letter. Indicate this simply by typing Enclosures one, two or three lines below the complementary close and signature. Enclosure is written left aligned with the margin. One may list the name of each document you are including in the envelope.

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Mailing notation

Mailing notation words such as Special Delivery, Certified, or Registered Mail, when applicable, may be typed a double space below the date line and at least a double space before the inside address.

Postscript To emphasize a point already in your letter or to include a brief personal message unrelated to the letter, a postscript, typed or handwritten may be added (“P.S.,” “PS,” or “PS:”) below everything else typed on the page. Example:

Enc. (or Encs, for more than one item) Enclosures 2 (two documents are enclosed) Enclosed: 1) CV

2) Attested Copy of NIC 3) Attested Final Transcript

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Copy notation

When you want persons other than the addressee to receive a copy of your letter, the names of these persons should be typed just below the reference initials or the enclosure notation, whichever is last. Type “cc” before the copy notation names if you are sending them a carbon copy. On occasions you might want to keep the sending of copies or a copy to one or few persons secret from the person who receives the original letter. In that case place the notation “bc,” “bcc,” or “bpc” for blind copy, blind carbon copy and blind photo copy. Place this on the copies and not on the original in the same place where copy notation appears.


cc: Muhammad Aslam

c: Muhammad Aslam

pc: Muhammad Aslam

Copy to Muhammd Aslam

A second after thought would be designated as P.P.S, meaning post postscript.

Additional rules

Second page Heading: If the letter is long and an additional page is required, a second page heading is used.

The name of the receiving person or organization, page number, and date are included in the second page heading, however reference number can also be included.

Two lines are left empty after the second page heading and then the body is written.

Second page Heading:



May 10, 2005

Page 2


Mr. XYZ, May 10, 2005, Page 2

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