Business Letter Evaluation

Instructions: Please review the business letter below and then answer the multiple- choice questions that follow. The correct answers and explanations can be found in the Business Letter Assessment Answer Key below.

1. This letter is not the perfect specimen of proper English grammar and diction. Which of the following would describe the style of this letter and how does that style impact the errors it displays?

A. formal and impersonal

B. informal and personal

C. formal, yet personal

D. informal, yet impersonal

E. none of the above

2. Fill in blank #1 with the most suitable salutation.

A. Ms. (or Mrs.) Allen

B. Legacy Client

C. Dorothy

D. Sir

E. Dorothy Allen

3. Fill in blank #2 with the most suitable close. HINT: Your choice should be consistent with the answer you provided for question #1.

A. Sincerely

B. Yours Truly

C. Thank You

D. Cordially

E. As Always

4. Is it appropriate that the signature lines in this letter include the sender’s title? Why or why not?

A. Yes. It is a standard business practice to always use the sender’s title.

B. No. The sender’s title is optional. For example, it is more appropriate to use it B2B (business-to-business) than B2C (business-to-client).

C. Yes. The title communicates the sender’s relevance with respect to the subject of the letter and its central message.

D. No. The title is optional, so you should consider it with respect to the context and tone of the message.

5. The textbook identifies a number of functions a business letter can fulfill. Which of those is the most accurate way to describe this letter’s function?

A. to introduce the business to a potential client

B. to announce or sell a product or service

C. to communicate feelings and emotions

D. to document an event or decision

E. to deliver important or specific information

6. What rhetorical function would you associate with the phrase, “As the holiday season approaches…”?

A. introductory

B. informative

C. persuasive

D. residual

E. transitional

7. In paragraph #2, “good health and good cheer” is a phrase that uses a common communication technique to reinforce a message. What is that technique?

A. alliteration

B. repetition

C. transition

D. coordination

E. none of the above

8. Where else in this letter does a word or phrase use the technique noted in question 6 to reinforce an important idea? HINT: There are at least four additional applications of the technique.

9. In paragraph #2, “good health and good cheer” is also an example of parallel structure—a technique that helps establish coherence and flow in a letter. List three sets of words that use parallel structure.

10. McLean recommends tying the opening paragraph to the closing paragraph. Identify the two ways this letter accomplishes that.

11. Why is there no return address on this letter?

A. Because it is written in an informal style, so such deviations are acceptable.

B. Because the recipient’s familiarity with this business means she already knows it.

C. Because the letterhead’s graphic takes up too much space.

D. Because the address is printed in the footer of this letterhead.

E. All of the above.

12. Technically, paragraph #2 is flawed because it skips from one idea to another when a well-developed paragraph should focus on one and only one idea. You could correct this weakness by using two paragraphs to expand each idea. Would that be an effective solution? Why or why not?

13. Which of the following summarizes best the central message of this letter?

A. We cherish Legacy clients like you.

B. We are thinking of you.

C. We hope you are enjoying good health and cheer.

D. We are proud of being your home away from home.

E. all of the above

Return to top