Business English Writing 02 In this lesson you look at different types of styles of writing in terms of tone (being formal, neutral or informal). You may be surprised to find out that nowadays letters are less than formal than in the past, and that a friendly but business-like tone is more important. In the previous lesson you wrote a letter and a fax.
You need both of these for this lesson. Look at the letter you wrote to Ms Smith asking her to be the guest speaker, and your e-mail to Vinay Dudakia. Or did you use the examples to help you? Here are six different types of correspondence.

Choose from the list of reasons below. Which of the above is • complaining about something • advertising • giving a personal message • apologising • providing information • asking someone to do something Read the six types of correspondence again and decide which of the above is • very informal (the two people know each other very well) • very formal (it is written to an individual the writer does not know) • neutral (the two people are work colleagues) • informal (it is written as if the writer knows who they are writing to) • formal (it is written to an individual the writer knows but not very well) • very formal (the two people know each other well) Anita Keedwell, a training officer in Sri Lanka, wants to arrange a course on negotiations.
Read the two correspondence below (A is an e-mail and B is a letter) and answer the following questions. Which message is written to somebody the writer knows well, and has an informal tone? If the tone is too formal, especially if the reader is somebody you have met, the writer can seem unfriendly.
One has been done for you. Mary McCartney works for an international publishing company (Blackbird Books) which have their headquarters in Liverpool.

However, as you have worked with your boss for a number of years now it is far too formal.
The e-mail to Vinay Dudakia needs an informal tone as he is a work colleague you know well.

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