Writing Correspondence

  • Michael Alley


Correspondence is an effective way to make requests and deliver specific information. When you respond to a job announcement, you write a letter. When you summarize a staff meeting, you write a memo. When you announce a sudden change in a schedule, you send an electronic mail message. Unlike a telephone conversation, correspondence presents the audience with a contract that is dated and can support a claim in court. Besides the advantage of legality, correspondence has the advantage of efficiency when you are trying to reach several people. Writing a single memo will take you less time than phoning twenty-five people. Also, when the message is difficult to phrase, such as a negotiation point in a contract, correspondence allows you the advantage of revising the message until it is correct. Finally, from the audience’s perspective, correspondence has the advantage that it can be reread.


Seed Particle Scientific Writing Telephone Conversation Steel Wool Smoke Visualization 


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  1. Einstein, Albert, letter to President Franklin Roosevelt (2 August 1939).Google Scholar
  2. Pascal, Blaise, Lettres Provinciales, XVI.Google Scholar
  3. Thole, K., memo to Professors David Bogard and Michael Crawford (Austin, Texas: University of Texas, 14 April 1991).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Alley
    • 1
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer EngineeringVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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