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The AMA Handbook of Business Letters

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS Preface to the Fourth Edition PART I. The Basics Approaching This Book Approach of This Book Chapter 1. Planning the Letter Researching the Facts Analyzing the Subject and Reader Knowing Your Objectives and How to Accomplish Them Chapter 2. Components of an Effective Letter Language-Clarity Versus Ambiguity Tone-Personality Focus of Attention-The "You Attitude" Length Chapter 3. Structure: The Parts of a Letter Dateline Reference Line Personal or Confidential Note Inside Address Attention Note Salutation Subject Line Paragraphs Complimentary Close Signature Block Identification Line Enclosure and Attachment Notations Distribution Notation Postscript Chapter 4. Appearance of the Letter Stationery Formats Full Block Block Semiblock Simplified Letter Official Style Hanging Indented Envelopes Memorandums Email Chapter 5. Grammar Grammar Wrong Pronouns Pronouns and Antecedents Subject and Verb Agreement Dangling ModifIers Split Infinitives Parallel Structure Punctuation Capitalization Spelling Jargon Cliches Wordiness PART II. The Letters Chapter 6. Sales, Marketing, and Public Relations Letters Letters of Introduction Sales Letters Letter Accompanying Renewal Notice Letter Announcing a Special Presentation Letter Expressing Appreciation to Customers Catalog Letters Sales Inquiry Response Appointment Requests Letters of Interest Letter to Difficult-to-See Prospect Letter to Find Decision Maker Letters Confirming Proposals Follow-Up Sales Call Letters Letter to Renew Contact Letter Welcoming New Client Letter Asking for Referral Letter Promoting Special Sale Letter to Wish Existing Customer Holiday Greetings Letter to Acknowledge Anniversary of a Sales Relationship Public Relations Letters Chapter 7. Customer Service Letters Complaint Resolution Letters Apology Letters Letter Acknowledging Order Letters Correcting Wrong Shipment Product or Service Information Letters Thank-You Letters to Customers Letter to Lapsed Customer Pricing Letters Change-in-Location Letters Project Status Letters Product-Handling Letter Letters Announcing Personnel Changes Subscription Response Letters Letters to Stockholders Letter Dealing with Unreasonable Customer Chapter 8. Credit and Collection Letters Letter Requesting Commercial Credit Credit Information Letters Letters Announcing Credit Policy Change Returned-Check Letters Credit Reference Letters Letter Denying Credit Letters Granting Credit Letter Raising Credit Limit Letter Clearing Disputed Items Stop-Payment Letter Collection Letters Credit-Suspension Letter Letter Reinstating Credit Letters Accepting Partial Payment Letter Acknowledging Payment Letter About Deposit Due Letter to Lender to Renegotiate Payment Terms Letter from Customer About Billing Error Chapter 9. Letters to Vendors and Suppliers Letter Dealing with a Request for Proposal Letters Involved with Presentations Letters Dealing with Vendor Bids Letter Placing Order Letter Requesting Distributor's Name Letter Seeking Information About Product Letter Asking About Quantity Discounts Letters Complimenting Vendors Letters Clearing Up Billing Errors Letters Complaining to Vendors Letter Cancelling Contract Letter Firing Vendor Because of Economic Conditions Chapter 10. Personnel Letters Job Interview Request Letters Letters Accompanying Resumes Letter Withdrawing Candidacy for a Position Letters Responding to Job Applications Letters Thanking People Who Recommended Applicants Job-Offer Letters Letters Accepting or Rejecting Job Offers Letter Welcoming New Employee Recommendation Letters Commendation Letters Letters About Job Promotions New-Employee Announcement Letter 1 Letters Requesting and Refusing Raises No-Longer-With-Us Letters Letter of Resignation Letters to Retiring Employees Letters Regarding Leaves of Absence Letter Offering Employee a Lesser Position Reprimand Termination Letters Letter Acknowledging Anniversary Date Letter Announcing Staff Changes Letter Requesting Mentorship Farewell Letter to Employee Chapter 11. Transmittal Letters Letters Transmitting Payment Letter Transmitting Contracts Letters Transmitting Requested Materials Letter Transmitting Manuscript Letter Transmitting Manuscript to Reviewer Letter Transmitting Final Invoice Chapter 12. Confirmation Letters Letter Confirming Supplier's Oral Instructions Letter Confirming Prices and Quantity Discounts Letter Confirming Arrangements for Speaker Letter Confirming Appointment Letter Confirming Travel Plans Letter Confirming Telephone Conversation Letters Confirming Receipt of Materials Chapter 13. Request Letters Letter Requesting Information About Accommodations Letter Requesting Information About Seminars Letter Requesting Assistance Letters Requesting Return of Material Letter Requesting Material from Speaker Letter Requesting Correction on Charge Account Letter Requesting Reprint of Article Letter Requesting Subscription Cancellation Letter Requesting Free Products Letter Requesting Information About a New Product Letter Requesting Pricing Information Chapter 14. Replies Letter Acknowledging Order Letter Acknowledging Registration for Conference Remittance Letter Response to Request for Clarification Response to Request for Information About Member of Organization Letters Responding to Requests for Materials Letter Replying to a Sales Letter Letter Responding to a Request for Free Products Letter Responding to Request for Information About a New Product Letters Responding to Requests to Be a Speaker Chapter 15. Permissions Letters Letters Seeking Permission to Reprint Letters Indicating More Information Needed for Permission Letters Granting Permission Letters Denying Permission Cover Letter for Contract Letter Requesting Reversion of Rights Chapter 16. Social, Personal, and Miscellaneous Letters Thank-You Letters Invitations Letters Accepting Invitations Letters Declining Invitations Letter Expressing Interest in Speaking Letter Reserving Meeting Facility Letter Requesting Membership in a Club Follow-Up Letter to Speech Attendees Letter Expressing Compliments on an Article Birthday Greetings Letter Public Service and Fund-Raising Letters Letters Declining Requests for Donations Letter Urging Political Representative to Action Congratulations-on-New-Position Letters Letters to Sick Employees, Acquaintances Condolence Letter Letter Congratulating Someone on Opening a Business Letter Announcing Retirement Part III. Appendixes Appendix I. Words to Watch Appendix II. Punctuation Index

About the Author

JEFFREY L. SEGLIN is director of the communications program and a lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School. EDWARD COLEMAN is the English department chair at North Central High School; and was one of fifty-two national Milken Educators honored by the Milken Family Foundation.

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