Final Exercise: Business Letter Layout
You're about to learn something important about the layout of a business letter. You need to know this before you can begin the fifth stage of the Writing Process.
The layout - or format - of a business letter refers to its design. The layout affects the way the words of the document are placed on a page.
There are a number of different layout styles. HSBC uses the full-blocked style.
In the full-blocked style, all parts of the letter start at the left margin. As a result, it's easy to type and easy to read. It is one of the most common styles used in business today. Writers and readers both like it.
HSBC also uses open punctuation.
In open punctuation, no punctuation is used in
l the reader's address
l the salutation (Dear...)
l the complimentary close (eg Yours sincerely).
Whenever you write a business letter, you should use the full-blocked style with open punctuation... like the letter below.
Ms Fiona Green
100 Clearwater Bay Road
Sai Kung NT
22 April 200X
Dear Ms Green
Phone Payment Service (PPS)
I refer to your telephone enquiry yesterday.
I would like to tell you the details.
We sent you the Phone Payment service (PPS) details and application form on 20 April.
If you complete and return the form to us, we can process your application immediately.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Writing a Letter: Stage 5 - Editing
You've finished revising your document. You also know the layout of a business letter. So, you're ready to begin the fifth stage of the Writing Process.
You're ready to start editing your letter to Billy Ng. This is your final step. Make sure you use
l the full-blocked layout style and
l open punctuation.
In addition, remember to check your document for the four most common grammar problems:
l verb + verb (two verbs in a sentence)
l verb + preposition
l countable/uncountable nouns
l word class.
You will also find it helpful to work with a friend... and to use a dictionary and a grammar reference book. If you need more help, you can refer to Chapter 8.
You can compare your letter with an example provided by HSBC.
An example provided by HSBC
4 July 200X
Mr Billy Ng
Dear Mr Ng
Visa Card 4966 0400 0125 5672
Thank you for your letter of 30 June. We are very sorry to hear that you are unhappy with our service.
Please let me explain the situation.
We have checked our records carefully. Although your letter with the cheque for HKD19,900 was post-marked 24 June, it did not reach us until 1 July. As a result, on 26 June the available balance was only HKD100. Therefore, the transaction for HKD3,200 exceeded the limit of HKD20,000 and was not successful.
To avoid a similar situation in the future, may I make several suggestions. You may want to settle your account by using one of our automated teller machines located all over Hong Kong. You might also consider using our auto-pay service. If you would like to do this, simply complete the enclosed form and return it to us. We will do the rest.
I hope this information is helpful.
You have now completed this course!
Now that you've finished, three things should have happened.
First of all, you should have improved your English reading skills. Second, you should have improved your English writing skills. Finally, you should have learned how to learn by yourself.
HSBC hopes that this course has helped you and that you will be able to use what you've learned.