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Chapter: 11th Office Management and Secretaryship : Chapter 8 : Secretarial Correspondence

Business Letters: Meaning, Structure, Types

Correspondence means communication through letter.

Secretarial Correspondence:


Correspondence means communication through letter. Such communications may be between friends on matters of personal interest or between individuals, firms or companies on matters of trade and commerce.


Often all organizational communications are carried over by secretary through office. As being repository of information office has to receive and send communication of wide range. Further it is the responsibility of secretary to authorize and generate all kinds of business letters, memos, reports, circulars and send them to respective institutions in addition to the usual job of filing.


Meaning of Business Letters:


Business people have to communicate with the customers, the suppliers, the debtors, the creditors, the public authorities and the public at large as well as among themselves for the purpose of exchanging their views and of sending and receiving information. This is required to initiate, carry out and to conclude transactions. Most of these communications are made in the form of business letters.


A business letter is usually a letter from one company to another, or between such organizations and their customers, clients and other external parties. The overall style of letter depends on the relationship between the parties concerned.

The writer of the business letter usually aims at conveying to the recipient the message or information about trade or business in the absence of any personal contact. This object can be fulfilled only if the letter is clear, explicit and unambiguous in content because the recipient has only the written words to convey both the meaning and the feeling of the message.


Structure of Business Letter:


The structure of a business letter refers to the proper arrangement of the various parts of a business letter. The lay-out of business letters has been almost standardized in modern business practice. In order to ensure clarity and convenience, a business letter should consist of the following parts;


i.                  The Heading

ii.                  Date line

iii.                  Inside Address

iv.                  Attention line

v.                  Salutation or Greeting

vi.                  Reference or subject line

vii.                  Body or Substance of the letter

·              Introductory Paragraph

·              Main Part

·              Concluding or Closing Paragraph

viii. Complementary close or subscription

ix. Signature

x. Identification initials.

xi. The Post-Script if any,

xii. Enclosure of reference, if any.

Types of Business Letters


Business Corres-pondence is extremely diverse. There is a variety of correspondence that a modern businessman has to deal with his business routine.


It is very difficult to classify the business letters to give an exhaustive list of the kinds of letter a businessman has to write because different situations call for different approaches. However, for the purpose of convenience business letters may be classified into following classes.



·              Letters of Inquiry and Reply


·              Offers and Acceptance


·              Order-their Execution and Cancellation


·              Claim, Complaints, and Settlements of Accounts.


·              Circular Letters


·              Letter relating to Agency


·              Status Enquiries


·              Collection Letters


·              Application for Situation


·              Letters of Recommendation and Letters of Credit.


·              Bank Correspondence


·              Letters Relating to Export and Import.


·              Insurance Correspondence


·              Letters to Editors.


·              Correspondence with Government Departments and Public Bodies.


·              Correspondence of a Company Secretary.


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11th Office Management and Secretaryship : Chapter 8 : Secretarial Correspondence : Business Letters: Meaning, Structure, Types |

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