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The AMA Handbook of Business Letters, 4th Edition by Edward Coleman, Jeffrey L. Seglin

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CHAPTER 1

Planning the letter

Planning is a key factor in the accomplishment of any goal. Letter writing is no exception. To successfully construct a clear, effective letter, you need a good plan.

Some letters do not require as elaborate a plan as others. A letter to a customer detailing a proposal for a product purchase will obviously need a more elaborate plan than a thank-you note for a business lunch.

Common sense can usually dictate how elaborate your plan needs to be. If the information you need to present in a letter is limited enough for you to outline it in your head, there is no real need for a detailed outline featuring Roman numeral headings and sub-points beneath sub-points. The elaborateness of your plan should suit the elaborateness ...

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