At one time or another, most of us have an occasion to write to others, if it be to thank, complain — or just to send greetings. Here are some tips that may be helpful to you.
1. Consider a refreshing salutation such as “Good morning” or “Good day,” which might capture your reader’s attention sooner. And it’s unique.
2. After making your point, give a reason, then concisely explain the reason. Close with re-stating your point.
3. Give as much attention to correct grammar and punctuation with an email or text as you would with a hand-written or typed letter, particularly for business matters. The response may be sooner.
4. Send a hand-written, thank-you note following an interview for employment. In fact, some companies consider receiving a written expression of gratitude as very important following an interview. Thank-you notes do not need to be lengthy, but they should express appreciation for the interview, and possibly to confirm why you are qualified. The more specific the message the more meaningful it is to the recipient. And the sooner it is sent, the more it is appreciated.
5. Consider using a different adjective than “great” to describe a positive quality. I believe the word “great” is used too much.
6. In a written complaint, simply provide the facts and any accompanying information about your purchase in your opening. Explain your complaint in the middle, then close with a positive remark, such as “thank you” and your expectations. This basic process: positive — negative — positive may earn you an early reply. The same process can be applied to complaints by telephone.
7. Pleasantly surprise someone who hasn’t heard from you in quite a while — and who might be very grateful.
I hope, good reader, you will consider these ideas when writing.
Don Kleinsmith is professor emeritus at Adrian College where he has taught for 45 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-263-6357.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Don Kleinsmith: Writing: ideas for practical use