Activity Title - Writing – Business Letters
To provide students with the skills needed to recognize and create effective business documents.
Students should understand the purpose for writing a business letter and how choosing the right style and for-
mat can enhance the effectiveness of their writing. Many students indicate that they never write letters, however
it is important that students understand real-life situations where a letter would be required. Solicit from the
students the times that a letter might be the most appropriate form of communication. Business letters are gen-
erally written for one of the following reasons: to request something; to confirm a spoken arrangement; to re-
spond to letter or request received; to follow-up (by reminding someone of something, updating someone, or
thanking someone); or to conduct some type of business (like placing an order).
Distribute some examples of business letters that you have obtained either at home or through work. If possible
provide a variety that includes different formats and style. You may want to include some sample business let-
ters that are trying to get you to apply for a new credit card or purchase something through the mail. Use real-
life letters to provide students an opportunity to work with documents similar to those they will see on the GED
Language Arts, Writing Test. Review the different writing styles (formal and informal) and the proper layout,
from the heading to the postscript using the handout on Business Letters. When the review is complete, have
students write their own business letter in response to a classified ad that you have pulled from the local newspa-
Have students share their letters with their peers. Use the Business Letter Handout to check to see that the stu-
dent used an appropriate style and format.
Have students write two classified ads, one for a