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#InfographicInspiration: What Goes Into a Letter

#InfographicInspiration: What Goes Into a Letter published on 10 Comments on #InfographicInspiration: What Goes Into a Letter

This week, the daily posts focus on correspondence in general. You will find posts that apply to letters, memos, and email messages—all of which you write in the workplace. Since none of the course projects focuses on correspondence, these posts will cover this important topic.

Most of the time, the workplace letters you write will be formal letters. You will use letters for things such as job applications, official requests to someone inside or outside your organization, documentation of complaints and reprimands, and recognition of special achievements. Here are some more specific examples that you are likely to see early in your career:

  • cover letters that are part of a job application packet.
  • thank you letters to those who are part of your job search (e.g., interviewers, HR staff, those who write recommendations).
  • recommendation letters for those you work with.
  • cover letters (or transmittal letters) that accompany reports and proposals.

In all these cases, you will want a formal letter. You may occasionally write informal letters in the workplace, but it’s typical for informal correspondence to be handled in email messages. Before considering today’s infographic, watch this short video from Rasmussen College to find out “How to Write a Formal Letter” (3m49s):

Next, from the website The Visual Communication Guy, our #InfographicInspiration provides an annotated explanation of what goes into a letter and how to format letters that you write. Note that the image on this page is minimized; here is the enlarged (and more readable) version.

How To Format a Letter, from The Visual Communication Guy


Note: This infographic is explained on the related website, so it does not need a transcript.



I found this video very informative. I think it’s pretty much common sense on how to write a formal letter. However, I think people should use discretion when they decide whether or not they should add their address, and how exactly they should sign off of an email. Saying sincerely to someone who is high up in the corporation might come off a little weird, but sending something like best regards might make more sense in this situation. Also the general body paragraph should have the correct language and grammar.

While I agree that sincerely sounds too informal to me, I will say that is always the sign-off that I see in formal correspondence that I’ve gotten. For letters that we’re writing (when we don’t have an associated company), are we still supposed to use some sort of logo as the header?

I agree with Dean Doherty that writing formal letters has become a lost art in today’s society considering the rise of instant messaging and emails in a professional setting. Luckily, my high school did a good job of teaching us how to write letters, and how they should be arranged. So I can say with a fair amount of confidence that I am already informed enough to write a formal letter in a professional setting whenever it becomes necessary. There were a few points of emphasis that I took away from this video, however. The first being that when you do your introductory line with the “Dear” part, I didn’t know it was more appropriate to use a colon to end the introductory phase instead of a comma. This makes sense and is a way of distinguishing a personal letter from a formal letter. Also I found it intriguing that he still tries to keep a formal letter to only one page, usually when you think of a letter, I think of multiple pages, but it makes sense to try and condense a formal letter to a single page so that you are concise and efficient with your words so you avoid rambling and don’t lose the readers interest.

Professional email writing always has been difficult for me to write. Since the medium of the email is written letters, it’s hard to clear the intentions professionally. I always try to google the professional format for each settings such as rejection emails, job acceptance email, thank you letters, or interview requests. Every professional email has its own format to fit. I strongly agree that that nowadays email is the very majority of the professional conversation. I like the way he used the colon instead of comma as the name base, and that was something i’ve never used before

The timing of this video is perfect. I am following it to write a thank you note after my interview! The video goes along with the infographic but the infographic has some elements not inflicted in the video. First, the video doesn’t have a logo up top. Should that logo not be flush with the rest of the text? I was interested to see that there are “no exception to Dear.” It just sounds so intimate and so I am surprised that this should always be the greeting. The signature block is important and I think a lot of people forget about that, but it makes the note more personable, especially if it is a real signature and not a electronically created one. I like the footer with the contact information, I want to try and recreate that myself but Im not sure it would be appropriate in my life right now.

I have been a while didn’t writing a letter. Most of time I write emails instead. However, letters are a very first formal English writing I learn in English. The video has basically go through how to write a letter and refreshed my memory. However, there are still something new to me like the business letter.
I have received a lot of business letters, but I never really payed attention on the format of the letter. The article How to Write a Letter in Business Letter Format has given me a quite detailed introduction on writing a business letter.

This video is educative due to the contents it explain. Our generation seems to pay more attention to electronic form of communication without realizing the importance of actual paper form of communication. I personally have not been in a situation where I have to write an official letter because I always communicated via emails at my workplace. However, I know I will definitely make good use of this information when the time comes up.

I deffinitely agree in that writing professional letters is a lost art. With constant emails or even texting in the workplace, writing a professional thank you letter has become alien to some people. When I think of professional letters I still think of them to be about 1 page in length. But I do not agree with using “sincerely” for much the same reason Mariel specified. I typically stick with “Best” or “Regards.”

This post has good timing as I am required to write a thank you letter to the donor for my scholarship in order to receive the money. I never know what to write them apart from thank you. These templates shared in the video and the infographic will be incredible resources when constructing this letter. The video gave a great blurb on what each paragraph should cover that enlighten me on what to include to make this letter formal yet effective for its intended purposes.

This video is really helpful for me. I always send letters to my professors and academic advisors, which makes me be anxious. I always worry about the format of letter and words in the letter, and I want to show my respect to the receiver. Sometimes, we spend lots of time on writing a professional email to others, but we still make some unforgivable mistakes on it, which will annoy others. Therefore, this video gives a great format of the professional email, which will reduce the mistakes on my emails.

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