Do You Need a Guide For Writing Business Correspondence?


Alya Leuca

Strange as it might seem, there are very few resources on the web about writing business correspondence as a whole. There are a lot of sites about business letters and maybe even more about email, with good advice on how to write both. Web pages about memos are not so common, and you would need to look real hard to find sites about writing faxes. You could argue that faxes are dying a slow death and that is almost true, they are also merging with email, but nowadays they are still used by a lot of businesses and individuals.

So, there are four distinct types of business correspondence:




memos and


And those of us who write business correspondence (and that’s practically anyone who works in a contemporary office), whether every day or from time to time, would really like to have a comprehensive resource with recommendations on writing all types of business correspondence, samples, formats and such.

Each type of business correspondence has its own place and role, and its own peculiarities.

Business letters are the most formal of all, there are quite a few rules that you need to remember or at least be aware of in writing business letters. They have a few distinctive formats and business letter formats are slightly different in the US and the UK. They can also be subdivided into two huge groups, business-to-business and business-to-customer letters (or customer-to-business, though we usually don’t distinguish those). There’s also such thing as an envelope… And since business letters are now less common than about ten years ago it would be great to just have at hand a reference resource that would outline all those small but important issues.

Writing a business email message is easier than writing a business letter. The email message is formatted for you, so there are much fewer format related peculiarities to take into consideration. But on the other hand, email is a relatively new means of communication and it is sent instantly, those are probably the major reasons for so many email blunders. Email’s inherent ability to pile up is also something everyone of us needs to learn how to deal with, and this problem is becoming more and more serious.

Memos are now often sent by email, but they are still a separate type of business correspondence. They are usually printed out and filed, which is less common in dealing with email (though it happens to email messages, too). Memos have also preserved their format and are mostly sent as email attachments, not email messages as such.

Faxes… They resemble memos a lot, but mostly in format. Faxes have a cover page which makes them different from other types of business correspondence. They also include page count, and somehow we often wonder whether the cover page needs to be included in the fax page count (oh yes!). Faxes are still very good for transmitting hand written forms, signed pages, newspaper clips, handwritten notes, etc.

There’s nothing complicated about writing any and all types of business correspondence. But there are some little things that people don’t really like to remember and would prefer to look up just as they need to write a letter, an email message, a memo or a fax.

Want advice on writing all types of business correspondence? Alya Leuca offers it at based on over twelve years experience in business including business consulting.

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Do You Need a Guide For Writing Business Correspondence?