Though most business correspondence is fairly formal, don’t make the mistake of being too formal. There’s no reason to say “In the event that” when “If” will do. You want your writing to sound natural, not stuffy or stilted. Some writers suggest, for example, that it is wrong to use the pronoun “you” or to include contractions in business writing. However, doing so is appropriate in all but the most formal correspondence. In most writing, you should feel free to use such constructs, as they give a conversational, natural feel to your writing.
No matter the subject or the circumstances, you should be positive in your writing, even if the information is negative. Word choice is very important in accomplishing this.
Be honest and sincere.
You must also avoid discriminatory or derogatory language.
Avoid flowery or verbose language. Don’t be wordy in a misguided attempt to be diplomatic or to sound more eloquent or educated. Rather, use clear, concise, simple language without talking down to your readers. For more information on these topics, see the articles “Clarity” and “Conciseness”.
In most cases, it is best to use active rather than passive constructions in your writing. Because the active voice is more direct, it is generally shorter and clearer. Moreover, it portrays confidence and a willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions.
Take the time to write well. Understand that a report to the members of your board is not the same as an e-mail you dash off to your old high school friend; the former requires a great deal more thought and care. When necessary, do research so that you are knowledgeable on the subject about which you are writing and can adequately express your ideas. This too will help you to convey the appropriate tone by allowing you to write with clarity and confidence.
Realize that, in some cases, you may need to give yourself some time before you write so that you can do so objectively; don’t write correspondence when you’re overly emotional.
Adapting Tone for Specific Types of Business Writing
In addition to the general guidelines outlined above,—firm but courteous (address the issue; don’t attack the individual)
Tone depends on these and other questions. In expository, or informative, writing, tone should be clear and concise, confident but courteous. The writing level should be sophisticated but not pretentious, based on the reader’s familiarity with or expertise in the topic, and should carry an undertone of cordiality, respect, and, especially in business writing, an engagement in cooperation and mutual benefit.
Expository writing shares with journalistic writing an emphasis on details in order of priority, so writers should not only organize their compositions to reflect what they believe is most important for readers to know but also use phrasing and formatting that cues readers about the most pertinent information — words like first, primary, major, and “most important,” and special type like italics or boldface, but employ both techniques with restraint.
In creative writing, tone is more subjective, but it also requires focus on communication. The genre often determines the tone — thrillers use tight, lean phrasing, romances tend to be more effusive and expressive, comedies more buoyant, and so on. Some writing guides suggest that if you’re unsure about what tone to adopt for fiction, you visualize the book as a film — doesn’t everybody do that anyway these days? — and imagine what emotions or feelings its musical soundtrack would convey.
Tone is delivered in the form of syntax and usage, in imagery and symbolism, allusion and metaphor, and other literary tools and techniques, but that shouldn’t imply that developing tone is a technical enterprise that involves a checklist. Just as with mastering your writing voice (while being flexible enough to adapt it to a particular project), adopting a certain tone depends on these and many other qualitative factors.
Tone can also be compared to differing attitudes of human behavior — the difference, for instance, in how you behave at work, at church, at a party, and so on.
Importance of Business Correspondence
In a letter what you have to say is obviously more important than all the mechanics combined. As a student, we communicate information to our classmates and others and at the same time received a letter from them. Communication through exchange of letters is known as correspondence. Business Correspondence or business letter is written communication between two parties. Thus, business letters may be defined as a media or means through which views are expressed and ideas or information is communicated in writing in the process of business activities.
Business Correspondence is important because it introduces us students to the basics of letter writing, concentrating on why letters are important in the Internet age, how to select appropriate letter formats, how to organize a letter and why audience’s needs must always be at the forefront. This will take us step by step through the process of finding a job, from preparing for a career while we are still in college through creating print resumes and writing application letters.
Business Correspondence helps us to study different kinds of letter: personal, governmental and business. It gives us an idea about the importance of memos and how to write reports as well as knowing the principles and steps that clarify the ways of writing these reports in addition to the features of a good report.