Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Materials.-- Good pen, ink, and paper. For business correspondence three styles of paper are in general use, viz.: commercial note, about 5x8 inches; pocket note, about 5½x8¾ inches, and letter paper, which is usually 8½x11 to 13 inches. The smaller sizes for short letters and the larger for long ones.
The envelopes most commonly used are Nos. 6 and 6½.
Parts of a Letter. -- for convenience in explaining the form of a letter we call the different parts by the following names:
1. Heading (Place and Date). 4. Body of Letter.
2. Address. 5. Complimentary Closing.
3. Salutation. 6. The Writer's Signature.
The following diagram will show clearly their position.
Heading.-- The heading indicates where and when the letter was written and should contain information the person written to will need in directing his reply. It should be written to the right-hand side of the sheet and about two or two and one-half inches from the top. There is no objection to using two or more lines for the heading if required.
The Address of a letter consists of the name and title of the person or firm to whom you are writing, the residence, or place of business, as the case may be, to which the letter is to be sent.
The inside address, as this may be called, will be the same as the address on the envelope, excepting that on the inside address the city and state may be written on the same line. Begin the address on the left-hand side of the sheet, one inch from the edge of the paper and on the line following the one on which the heading is written. The second line of the address should begin an inch farther to the right than where the first line is begun.
The Proper Use of Titles.-- Two titles of courtesy should not be joined to the same name; as, Mr. John Hartley, Esq.; nor should a title of courtesy be used with a professional or official title: as, Mr. J.B. Wilson, M.D., or Hon. Henry Weston Esq. One exception to this rule, however, is permitted where a clergyman's initials or first name is not known, to write Rev. Mr. (----), giving only the surname.
The Salutation is the complimentary form used to begin the letter. The forms most in use are Sir; Dear Sir or My Dear Sir. In addressing a firm, Sirs, Dear Sirs, Gentlemen or My Dear Sirs. If the person addressed be a lady, Madam, or Dear Madam. If she be a young, unmarried lady, Dear Miss, or it is quite correct to omit the salution where doubt exists as to whether she be married or not, or if the writer has no acquaintance with her.
Follow the salution with a comma and dash, and never write Gents for Gentlemen, or Dr for Dear, etc.
The Position of the Salutation depends somewhat on the number of lines in the address. The examples on next page will illustrate this and the form of letters in general.
The Body of the Letter is that part which contains the message or information to be imparted. In this, good form, penmanship, spacing and paragraphing should receive due care.
The body of a business letter should begin on the same line following the salutation.
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