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How to Use Proper Punctuation for Business Letters

by Elizabeth Wolfenden, Demand Media

    Everyone knows proper punctuation is important, but it is particularly important in business letters. The sender of a business letter is usually trying to convey that he is professional, but one overlooked punctuation mistake may make the writer come across as sloppy, lazy or even ignorant. However, using proper punctuation in business letters and avoiding common mistakes is actually quite simple and can be achieved with just a few steps.

    Step 1

    Write a rough draft of your business letter. It is usually easier to write the basic content first, and then find and correct any punctuation errors afterward.

    Step 2

    Insert the proper punctuation for the salutation and the closing. In business letters, the proper punctuation mark to use after the salutation is a colon, and the proper punctuation mark to use after the closing is a comma.

    Step 3

    Correct any punctuation errors you may find in the body of the letter. Conventional punctuation rules apply to the content, so consult any reputable source of punctuation and grammar guidelines if you are unsure about whether you are using punctuation appropriately.

    Step 4

    Proofread your letter. Because business letters are used for professional purposes, it is important that you take a final opportunity to review your letter to ensure you did not overlook any punctuation mistakes. If you are still concerned about your punctuation use after proofreading it yourself, have a friend or family member look over your letter as well.

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    Tip

    • Although punctuation is important, do not forget to use proper spelling and grammar as well. Most importantly, include high-quality content, and convey your message carefully.

    Warning

    • Punctuation, spelling and grammar rules may vary depending on geographic location. Therefore, if you are sending a business letter to another country, check the specific rules for that country before you mail the letter.

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Wolfenden has been a professional freelance writer since 2005 with articles published on a variety of blogs and websites. She specializes in the areas of nutrition, health, psychology, mental health and education. Wolfenden holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University.

    Photo Credits

    • http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1163735 (Scyza )

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