Business Correspondence SPI 0601.3.12 Select the most appropriate format for writing a specific work-related text (i.e., instructions, directions, letters, memos, e-mails, reports).
Types of Business Correspondence When you become employed you will need to determine which type of communication you should use in different situations. Examples: When is writing a memo appropriate? Should I write a formal letter? Are instructions necessary? Is an e-mail proper?
Instructions a message describing how something is to be done Think of these as orders, commands, advice, or directives.
Instructions Instructions lists steps for doing an activity or completing a task. Instructions may be sent to co-workers when you must be out of the office for an appointment or vacation outlining the tasks your job involves.
Tutorial on Writing Clear How-To Instructions http://www.wisc-online.com/Objects/ViewObject.aspx?ID=TRG700
Directions information, particularly as to how to reach a destination
Tutorial on Writing Directions http://www.wisc-online.com/Objects/ViewObject.aspx?ID=TRG2301
Letters Business letters are formal messages following specific formats. They may be addressed to a particular person or organization. Most of the time business letters are sent outside of your company.
Memos A memo is a document sent within a company. It is presented in short form, highlighting certain aspects.
E-mail An e-mail is a communication sent from one computer to another, usually via a network. It is the least formal method of written communication within a company.
So, when should I write So, when should I write a business letter, a memo, or an email?
Business Letters most formal usually sent to someone from a different company than yours, or a different school, etc.
Memos less formal than letters, yet more formal than e-mails often filed as business correspondence use short sentences, less formal language, and bullet points to convey important information contain a header that tells who it is from, who it is to, the date, and the subject.
E-mails less formal - written in a conversational style sent to your work colleagues or fellow students/professors from the same school
Tutorial on Creating a Memo http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/wcn3902/wcn3902.swf
Reports a written document describing the findings, results, or conclusions of some individual or group
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