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Complex correspondence (own letter) layout example

It's sometimes unavoidable that long, complex letters have to be written. The complexity is an indication of the degree of difficulty.

The most important elements of any complex correspondence are clarity and quality of information.

Complex correspondence can be an extremely demanding task, and there is a real risk of inaccuracy in lengthy text.

Writing the letter: Structure

It's best to consider a complex letter's structure as a type of report, with headings, page numbers, and if necessary an index to make information easier to find.

Big, complex letters are much like reports, and should be formatted the same way. (If you have a macro for reports, that's the best basic word processing format, and is very easy to adapt into a letter.)

The structure must be clear to the reader.

Complex correspondence is difficult enough to read without additional problems finding information.

Writing the letter: Content

  • Use plain language as far as possible.
  • Use 12 point font or better.
  • Do NOT use fine print. (It's an actual obstacle to readability.)
  • Make sure the signatory is able to review and edit text easily.

The example here is of a complex letter containing a range of issues for the reader. Because of the amount of information involved, the writer has included a summary / index of the materials in the letter.

Example:

Addressee

Your reference
Our reference
Contacts

Dear

Smith Inc. and Brown Corp: City Tower property dispute

We have been appointed to act for Smith Inc.

We submit herewith a proposal for negotiation of settlement of this dispute.

Please find attached:

Summary of Smith draft proposal      Page 2
Smith Inc's minimum requirements      Pages 3-4
Cost analyses of draft proposal      Pages 5-10
Statutory requirements of draft proposal      Pages 11-14
Perceived benefits to both parties      Pages 15- 20

Enclosures

  • Full draft proposal
  • Plans for new subdivision under draft proposal
  • Environmental Impact Report
  • Surveyor's Report City Tower Property 2010
  • Provisional property valuations from Greene and Blue Licensed Valuers

Please notify the writer immediately if any of these materials are not received.

The City Tower property dispute has been under discussion for ten years.

We hope that we will receive a favorable response from your firm to our proposal. We believe that this draft proposal addresses the interests of both parties beneficially.

Yours sincerely

Sign
Title
Date

Disclaimer

Please note:

  • This text is intended for advisory and guideline purposes only.
  • Any business letter can become a legal document, so check your content properly before issuing.
  • Any executable or statutorily defined document should be checked for compliance with legal requirements, and you should seek legal advice regarding its contents.