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Why Would 8,000 People Read an Article about Letter Formatting?

Robin Henry

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Since beginning as a contributor to Ezinearticles. Com I have written 61 (now 62) articles. Most of them have had solid viewing figures, many have been downloaded by ezine publishers and several have had comments posted. But none has had such high levels of views as my article “Writing Business Letters - Tutorial 1: Letter Format" which has had over 8,000 views since I published it on 10/7/2005.

I've been wondering why an item about something as common place as letters could create so much interest. And I think I've found the reasons.

Before I go into those reasons, however, I'd like to tell you the short story about a young lady who graduated from one of Australia's finest universities with a Bachelor of Communication degree. She contacted me one day and asked if I could teach her how to write a business letter. She'd been applying for jobs, but had no idea about writing a cover letter or any other type of business letter. I was astonished. I asked myself, “How could someone do three or four years at university, especially in a communication discipline and not know how to write letters?"

I think I already knew the answer. You see, I'd been a teacher in the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) (post-secondary) sector in Australia for 10 years and one of my key teaching areas was business communication. In TAFE we taught students the fundamentals of business communication including writing letters, memoranda, minutes of meetings and so on. These were topics not then covered in Australian universities.

So, I believe that my article about letter formatting is popular because, while everyone is required to write letters, most people have never been taught how to format and write a letter properly.

All you need do is read some of the system-generated letters distributed by banks, insurance and large government agencies to realise that there are still people who have no idea about letter writing. And unfortunately they are being let loose to write letters that portray an image of the organization for which they work.

Recently, for example, my daughter sent me a letter she had received from Centrelink, the largest Australian Government agency and asked me if I knew what it was about. She's pretty smart and I'm well versed in the written word, but we decided after reading it several times that it was incomprehensible. I suggested she contact Centrelink and ask someone to translate.

Letter formatting and writing is such a simple and essential art that everyone should make a small investment of their time and energy in learning how to do it. There are numerous templates one can buy or acquire that help with layout . . . even MS Word comes with numbers of templates for different types of documents. And learning how to construct the essential elements of letters isn't all that hard.

If you haven't learnt how to produce a well written, well presented letter, make it one of your goals to achieve this year. I challenge you.

Copyright 2007 | Robin Henry

Robin Henry is an educator, human resources specialist and Internet entrepreneur. He helps home-based businesses and individuals improve performance by applying smart technology and processes and developing personally. He runs his business Desert Wave Enterprises from his home base at Alice Springs in Central Australia, although at present he is on temporary assignment in the United Arab Emirates.

His other business interests are: and


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