Top 10 Tips for Effective Letter Writing

One of the things I notice when I review the records to prepare a claim, review claims on behalf of the respondent, or review particulars put forward in a dispute, is the poor standard of letter writing. This ranges from “could have been better” right through to “I have no idea what this letter means”. If your letters fall into these categories, you are not doing yourself or your company any favours. In fact, you could be doing considerable harm. This blog, therefore, contains my Top 10 Tips for effective letter writing.

1. You are not writing the letter for your opposite number on the project. You are writing it as an accurate record to be relied upon in case a claim or dispute arises in the future. The letter must therefore be fully understood by someone who has no prior knowledge of the project or the matters in question.

2. The letter should be a stand-alone document. In other words, a reader with no prior knowledge should be able to understand it without reference to any other documents.

3. Quotations are very powerful, so rather than describing things in your own words, use quotations from other records or the contract. When you do use quotations, make sure that you identify them as such.Read more