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Whether it’s in a formal letter or through email, it’s impossible to conduct business without clear written communication. A large part of how you present yourself—and your organization—is through correspondence. You may be brilliant at giving presentations or negotiating the finer points of a contract over the phone—but as accomplished as you are in other areas of your work, you’re not alone if you freeze up at the prospect of writing a business letter.
The AMA Handbook of Business Letters is here to help. Filled with more than 370 flawlessly written, customizable model letters—also accessible online—this invaluable resource puts words to work for you.
Now revised and updated, the book takes into account all of the developments in the business landscape since publication of the last edition. The fourth edition contains a wider range of letters than ever before, representing a broad spectrum of communications that professionals commonly use in a variety of industries. Covering every conceivable business scenario, the book provides you with ready-to-use correspondence for areas including:
• Sales, Marketing, and Public Relations
• Customer Service
• Credit and Collection
• Vendor and Supplier Relations
• Transmittal and Confirmation
• Personnel Issues
• And many more!
From appointment requests to contract renewals, project status memos to letters to stockholders, price change notifications to job offers to new employee announcements, this classic reference supplies you with a pre-written letter for every situation.
In addition, The AMA Handbook of Business Letters offers guidelines and tutorials on the basics of letter writing, from addressing and formatting to style and grammar. You’ll also find helpful appendixes listing common mistakes in agreement, word usage, and punctuation. You’ll learn the components of the most persuasive letters, how to plan before you write, how to clarify your objectives, and how to avoid clichés and ambiguity.
The book takes you through every possible letter writing format and ensures that you select the appropriate appearance for every piece of correspondence you send.
Why spend your time writing hundreds of letters a year... when they’ve already been written for you? Arming you with the skills that can make any business person a better writer, as well as hundreds of models on which to base your own communications, this extensively updated edition of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters is destined to be the most important resource in your office.
Jeffrey L. Seglin is a lecturer in public policy and director of the communications program at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He is the author or coauthor of more than a dozen books on writing, ethics, and business. He also writes “The Right Thing”, a weekly ethics column distributed by Tribune Media. He lives in Boston with his wife, Nancy.
For the past 17 years, Edward Coleman has been an English teacher at public high schools in Georgia and Indiana. Currently, he serves as the English Department Chair at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. In 2009, he was honored as one of 52 national Milken Educators by the Milken Family Foundation.
|Edition description:||Fourth Edition|
|Product dimensions:||7.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.60(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
Read an Excerpt
PART I: The Basics
All letters methinks, should be as free and easy as one’s discourse a not studied as an oration.…
—Dorothy Osborne (Lady Temple), letter to Sir William Temple, October 1653
Successful professionals know the importance of effective letter writing. You can’t have a good business relationship with customers if they don’t know what you’re trying to tell them in a letter. The services or products of a company can’t be marketed if a prospective customer is baffled by the service or product described. How can a salesperson expect to make a sale when, because of a muddled letter, the prospect can’t even understand what it is that’s being sold?
Letter writing is crucial to the success of every professional. Without letter-writing skills, the professional’s effectiveness is stymied.
Approaching This Book
Our objective in The AMA Handbook of Business Letters is to help you write effective letters. Ineffective letters are a waste of time and money. This realization should be enough to convince every professional of the need to be a good letter writer. Letters may not seem like the crux of your business, but if you consider that effectively written letters can increase the quality of working relationships and the quantity of business you can attract, as well as decrease wasted hours and money, you can begin to see the importance of learning to write letters well.
You should be prepared to approach this book with one chief goal in mind—to learn how to write more effective letters. Remember, too, that although letter writing is not a simple skill, with practice you can become a good letter writer. Once you learn the basics and put them into practice, your letters will get better and begin to flow more easily.
Approach of This Book
Before you begin to write more effective letters, you must learn what makes up a good letter. The first part of this book takes you step-by-step through the basics of letter writing. You’ll learn the importance of planning a letter and gathering all the information you need. The plan is put into practice when you decide on the approach your letter will take and the components necessary to achieve the selected approach. The components of a letter are effective only if you know the proper mechanics involved in a letter’s structure and appearance.
Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and language usage are important if your letter is to be understood and well accepted by its reader. You needn’t fear an extensive course in grammar. What you’ll receive here are the fundamental “commonsense” rules of grammar, which are easily learned and should become natural not only to your letter writing, but to all of your other writing as well.
The second part of this book consists of more than 370 sample letters, divided into categories reflecting various aspects of business. Each chapter also contains brief analyses of the strong points of many of the sample letters. Most of the sample letters are based on actual letters written and used by professionals. Names of people or corporations have been changed, but the content remains essentially unaltered. The letters chosen serve as models for ones you may have to write in your everyday business life. You can adapt them to meet your needs or use them as a touchstone to aim toward in your letter writing. The appendixes to this book consist of helpful lists and rules to refer to in your letter writing.
As with all things, perfection can be reached only with practice. If you apply the basics learned in the first part of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters, and study the examples presented in the second, your letter-writing skills will improve greatly. The end result will be a letter that makes your readers think that what took much thought and planning on your part flowed as smoothly and effortlessly as discourse.
Table of Contents
"PART 1. The Basics
1. Planning the Letter
2. Components of an Effective Letter
3. Structure: The Parts of a Letter
4. Appearance of the Letter
5. Grammar and Usage
6. Word Processing
PART II: The Letters
7. Sales, Marketing, and Public Relations Letters
8. Customer Service Letters
9. Credit and Collections Letters
10. Letters to Vendors and Suppliers
11. Personnel Letters
12. Transmittal Letters
13. Confirmation Letters
14. Request Letters
16. Permissions Letters
17. Social, Personal, and Miscellaneous Letters
PART III: Appendixes
I. Words to Watch
IV. Grammar Hotline Directory"
What People are Saying About This
Joyce Lain Kennedy, nationally syndicated columnist: "Of the countless books on how to write business letters, a thoroughbred emerges from AMACOM Books, the publishing arm of the American Management Associations. The AMA Handbook of Business Letters not only covers virtually every business situation in more than 365 ready-made, customizable letters, but packs a CD-ROM to help you crank out a letter as quickly as you can look it up in the book and load your computer. For every business person who hates to write letters, this is what you want for your birthday."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I wish this book has nook edition.