I recently had to write a few letters and wanted to make sure it was in a professional format. I don’t write letters very often and every time I do I have to search the internet for the correct format. I usually end up on Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) as many searches turn up how to format a letterhead, have horrible websites, or don’t explain the parts of the letter so I can decide what is appropriate for my situation. In addition to the section for Basic Business Letters listed above, they also have a section for Sales Letters, Email Etiquette, Writing a White Paper, writing for North American, Chinese, and Indian audiences, and even an online manual on report formats.
I used OWL extensively while completing my Baccalaureate as they have a research section with tips on conducting research and guides for APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual of Style formatting. Most colleges and universities don’t have an extensive, easy to navigate, writing site. While my school did have an online center of writing excellence with a plagiarism checker, it was difficult to navigate and I always used Purdue OWL until it was time to check my paper for plagiarism.
OWL proves that learning really is a life long process and that the things you learned in your college and university should be directly applicable to the business world. The business world allows you to gain experience in the subjects you studied, and college prepares you to, at a minimum, become familiar with professionalism and industry terminology so that you can do well in an internship or entry-level job that will lead to a rewarding career.
Have a look at the section on email etiquette, and writing for North American audiences, there is more to a business letter than proper formatting and it will help you build your other business communication skills.