Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Writing Personal Note

Six Steps to Writing a Great Personal Note

If you've ever struggled to write a meaningful, effective personal note to someone (and who hasn't?), authors Angela Ensminger and Keely Chace have the solution for you. They have outlined the key steps in putting together that perfect note for someone - regardless of the situation. These steps are detailed in their book, "Note-Worthy: a guide to writing great personal notes."

Ensminger and Chace describe six steps that will walk you through writing a personal note, whether it's for a friend, business associate or customer.

    • One: Greet the recipient - one line that lets the recipient know the note was written just for him or her.
    • Two: Clearly state why you are writing - simple and straigtforward reason for the note
    • Three: Elaborate on why you are writing
      - let your personality shine through to make your note distinguishable
    • Four: Build the relationship - let the recipient know you appreciate the relationship now and into the future
    • Five: Restate why you are writing - bring the note full circle to end where you began
    • Six: Give your regards - tone can vary from business to personal
As experts in understanding what truly moves people to help businesses create and strengthen healthy, rewarding and enduring relationships, we at Hallmark Business Connections encourage you to use Ensminger's and Chace's tips when writing your own personal notes.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Writing letters of excuse

Some employers may ask employees for a formal letter explaining when and why they missed work. Sometimes these letters are written before an absence and sometimes they are written after.
Employees often also have to write excuse letters for longer leaves of absence or other extended time off.
Formal excuse letters are used in other situations too, such as an absence from jury duty or an absence from school.
Read below for tips on writing a formal excuse letter, as well as two sample letters: one sample to send an employer before you miss work and one for after.

Tips for Writing a Formal Excuse Letter

  • Follow business letter format. Use the official business letter format when writing your letter. You want this letter to be professional.
  • Understand your employer’s policies. Before you miss work, make sure you know the policy for letting your boss know that you will be absent. Know whether you need to tell your boss, and how you should get him or her that information (i.e. a phone call, a letter, an email). Also look into how far in advance you need to tell your employer.
  • Send the letter as soon as possible. If possible, send your excuse letter before you miss work. You want to give your employer time to reassign any of your tasks. If you are asking for a longer leave of absence, send this letter as early as possible. If you don’t have time to send a formal letter, consider sending an excuse email instead.
  • Keep it brief. Do not go into great detail about why you are missing work (such as a long list of your symptoms if you are sick or a detailed story about a personal problem). Instead, simply briefly state the day or days you will be absent, and explain (briefly) why.
  • Offer to help. You might consider helping make up for your absence in some way. For example, you might say that you will still be on email during your absence, or you might offer to work an extra hour or two later to complete some missed projects. If you can prepare your absence in advance, ask one or two of your colleagues or employees for help completing any assignments you will be missing. This will be particularly important when you are asking for a longer leave of absence.

Sample Formal Excuse Letter (After Missing Work)

Employer's Name
Employer's Title
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Please accept this letter as formal notification that I was unable to attend work on September 1, 20XX due to illness. I have already completed the tasks for this week that I missed during my absence.
Please let me know if I can provide any further information. Thank you for understanding.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name

Sample Formal Excuse Letter (Before Missing Work)

Employer's Name
Employer's Title
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Please accept this letter as formal notification that I will be unable to attend work from September 1, 20XX to September 5, 20XX. I will be attending the professional development conference that I spoke with you about earlier this week.
I have arranged to be on email during work hours, and I will call and check in with the office once a day to see what I missed.
Please let me know if I can provide any further information, or if you need anything else from me to make my absence run smoothly. Thank you for allowing me to take this terrific opportunity.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name

Sending an Email Message

If you would prefer to email your excuse, here's how to send your email message.
More Absence Excuse Letters

Employees may need to provide an excuse letter when they miss time from work to interview or for other reasons. Here are more sample excuse letters that can be edited to fit your personal circumstances.
Please Note: These samples are provided for guidance only. The provided information, including samples and examples, is not guaranteed for accuracy or legality. Letters and other correspondence should be edited to fit your personal situation.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Spoken English - Responding to suggestions

The following English phrases and expressions are all used to make suggestions and give advice to people.

Making suggestions:

  • Let’s revise our lessons.
  • What about going to the cinema tonight?
  • How about playing cards?
  • Why don't we do our homework?
  • Couldn't we invite your grandmother to our party?
  • Shall we have a walk along the river?
  • What would you say to a cup of coffee?
  • Don't you think it is a good idea to watch TV?
  • Does it matter if we use your car?

Accepting suggestions:

  • Ok. Yes, let's.
  • Yes, I'd like to.
  • Yes, I'd love to.
  • What a good idea!
  • Why not?
  • Yes, with pleasure.
  • Yes, I feel like taking a walk.
  • That sounds like a good idea.  

Refusing suggestions:

  • No, let's not.
  • No, I'd rather not.
  • I don't feel like it.
  • I dislike going for a walk.
  • What an awful / bad idea!

Things to remember about suggestions:

1.The verb "suggest" can be followed by either:
  • should + verb = I suggest (that) we should go to the theater.
  • a verb (in the subjunctive form)= I suggest (that) we go to the movies.
2."That" is optional:
  • "I suggest that we should visit Paris."
  • "I suggest we should visit Paris."

Describing a process


This document describes how to write a process description,a variation of the short report designed to convey to the reader how a change takes place through a series of stages. The process description examines an event over time; by contrast, the mechanism description focuses on an object in space.
Use a process description when your intended reader wants to learn about the action in question. You might use a process description to examine the photosynthesis of plants, the migration of animals, or the impeachment of presidents.
A process description generally involves events that take place regardless of the reader’s actions. To help your reader actually perform the action, write instructions instead (that is, a series of commands: “Insert tab A into slot B”).
In general, break the whole process up into smaller stages, and describe each stage in order. If the process is part of a continuing cycle (such as the evaporation and condensation of water), say so.
Caution: If you are writing a process description for a classroom exercise, avoid writing “helpful hints,” by which I mean a collection of many details that do not need to take place in any particular order.

Brief Description

In another brief paragraph (or possibly the same one as the introduction), answer the question, “How does it happen?” Provide any necessary context (who or what performs the action, and under what conditions; what is its significance?). Give a concise overview of the process. This brief description should stand alone — that is, it should not refer to details, facts, or terms that aren’t explained within the summary. You will probably have an easier time writing this section if you save it until you have written out the complete description. Conclude this section by breaking the process up into stages: “The principle stages of writing process are planning, drafting, revising, and proofreading.” Then, focus on each step in turn.

Step-by-step Description

For each step in your description, write a miniature process description:
  • define the step
  • state its purpose (or function within the process)
  • providing the necessary context, and
  • include brief mechanism descriptions
    for any components that may be involved
Divide this stage up into substages, if necessary.

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