3.3: Writing in plain English

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The Writing Process
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Use of language

 

Write the way you talk in words your reader will know

Imagine you’re actually standing in front of your reader.
– What would you say?
– You will want to talk to your reader in everyday language that is
• friendly,
• honest and
• easy to understand.

Start to write in the same kind of language you would use if you were talking directly to the reader.

Here are some examples of expressions commonly used in email communication:

Formal
.
Greeting
Dear Sir or Madam
Dear Mrs. Smith
.
Previous contact
With reference to your email of…
Regarding your email of…
Concerning your email of…
.
Reason for writing
I am writing with regard to …
.
We would like to point out that …
.
Giving information
I’m writing to let you know that…
We regret to inform you that…
.
Attachments
Please find attached…
.
Asking for information
I am writing to enquire about…
.
Requests
I’d be grateful if you could …
.
Promising action
I will …
I will contact you again shortly.
.
Offering help
Please let me know if I can be of
further assistance.
Feel free to contact me if you have any further
questions. My direct line is …
.
Closing remarks
I look forward to your reply.
.
Farewell
Your faithfully
Yours sincerely
Faithfully yours
Informal
.
.
Hi Jane, Dear Jane
.
.
.
Thank you for your email of…
About your email of…
.
.
.
I’m writing about…/Here’s the …
you wanted.
.
.
.
Just a note to say
Unfortunately, …
.
.
I’ve attached…
.
.
Can you tell me …
.
.
Please could you
.
.
I’ll …
I’ll get back to you soon.
I’ll look into it.
.
.
Do you want me to …?
Shall I?
Let me know if I can help in any way,
my cell phone number is…
.
I hope to hear from you soon.
.
.
Bye for now
Best wishes
Kind regards

 

Activity
Please respond to the following email in a formal and an informal email.

1st May 20XX
Dear John Doe:
Thank you for your reservation request at Sample Hotel. We are pleased to confirm that we are holding the following accommodation for you:
May 25 – 27, 2 nights, superior double room with breakfast, 2 guests
Check-in time is as of 1 PM. Check-out time is by noon.
Please transfer the outstanding amount of 200 USD to our bank account within the next 5 days.
We look forward to your stay!
Cordially,
Jane Smith

Imagine that you were offered a discount of 10% as a frequent guest during your last stay at the Sample Hotel by the manager Peter Roberts. Further, you were told that you could pay on arrival. Please formulate a formal and an informal email in response.

Click here to show/hide a sample version of Formal Email.


Dear Mrs. Smith:
With reference to your email of May 1, I would like to point out that Peter Roberts offered us a discount of 10% during our last stay at your hotel. He also confirmed to us that we could pay on arrival. I’d be grateful, if you could check that with him. I look forward to your reply.
Yours sincerely,
John Doe


Click here to show/hide a sample version of Informal Email.


Dear Jane:
Thank you for your email of May 1. During our last stay, Peter Roberts, offered us a discount of 10% and told us that we could pay in cash. Please check that and let us know. Have a great day!
Best wishes,
John



Activity
Create a template of some standard phrases you may use in your email communication regularly.

 

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The Writing Process
        Next to 3.4 >
Use of language