How To Write Formal/Official/Business Letters

How To Write Formal/Official/Business Letters

Formal letters are also known as business or official letters. They are usually written to public organizations, government offices, the press, business firms and letters of application for employment.

The language and tone of formal letters are supposed to be formal as well as impersonal or non -personal. This is because the letter is being sent to an official position.

PARTS OF FORMAL/ OFFICIAL/ BUSINESS LETTERS

✅ ADDRESS OF THE WRITER AND DATE.
✅ ADDRESS OF THE RECIPIENT
✅A FORMAL SALUTATION
✅ TITLE/HEADING
✅INTRODUCTION
✅BODY/ MAIN BODY
✅ CONCLUSION
✅ A FORMAL SUBSCRIPTION
✅ SIGNATURE AND FULL NAME WRITTEN UNDER IT

How To Write Formal/Official/Business Letters

✔️ ADDRESS AND DATE
Two addresses are required in formal letters. The writer's address and the recipient's address. The writer's address should be at the top right hand corner.

The styles of address are:

i. block/straight
ii. slanted/indented

The punctuation styles:
i. punctuated
ii. unpunctuated

Examples of the writer's address

BLOCK/STRAIGHT(PUNCTUATED)

Asanteman Senior High School,
Post Office Box 3776,
Suame, Kumasi.

9th March 2021.

SLANTED/INDENTED (UNPUNCTUATED)

Wesley Girls Senior High School
      Post Office Box 82
          Cape-Coast, Ghana.

9th March 2021.

NB: The date is not a part of the address; hence it should be punctuated.

✔️ RECIPIENT'S ADDRESS
This address is often written at the top left side . It always shows designation of the office.
Examples

✅The Headmaster,
✅The District Chief Executive,
✅The Director,
✅The Minister,
✅The Chairman, 

The Headmaster,
Asanteman Senior High,
Post Office Box 3776,
Suame, Kumasi.

NB: DON'T ADD A DATE TO THE RECIPIENT'S ADDRESS.

The Minister,
Ministry of Finance,
Post Office Box 33,
Accra, Ghana.

✔️ SALUTATION
Use the following greetings for formal letters: Dear Sir, or Dear Madam, ( You use Sir for editors of newspapers too).

✔️THE HEADING/TITLE
Any official letter must have a heading or title. The heading is supposed to be a summary of the subject matter or theme of the letter. The title always comes below the salutation.

NB: It should be written in block capitals. I will be posting one question which happens to be last year's WASSCE question. It's going to serve as a summary of what we have learnt here before we move on.

Question: As the senior prefect of your school, write a letter to your principal, explaining to him the reasons why your school should take part in sporting activities. (WASSCE 2020)

NOW LET'S EXAMINE THE QUESTION ABOVE

WRITER'S ADDRESS

Asanteman Senior High School,
Post Office Box 3776,
Suame, Kumasi.

9th March 2021.

RECIPIENT'S ADDRESS

The Principal,
Asanteman Senior High,
Post Office Box 3776,
Suame, Kumasi.

Dear Sir,✅
         Dear Sir, ❌

HEADING
It should start from where the comma ends in the salutation.

REASONS WHY MY SCHOOL SHOULD TAKE PART IN SPORTING ACTIVITIES

NB: Kindly desist from ending the heading with a  FULLSTOP.

✔️ LET'S CONTINUE WITH THE BODY OF A FORMAL/ OFFICIAL/ BUSINESS LETTER.

✅ The body of a formal letter, like any other letter, should be arranged logically in paragraphs.

✅ Each paragraph must contain a single idea well explained.

✅ The use of acceptable connectives should be used; e.g., Firstly, Secondly, Moreover, Furthermore, In addition to, Finally etc.)

❌Avoid these (To start the ball rolling, To begin with, In a nutshell)

✅ After  the connective, every word that follows should begin with a small letter.

Example:  Firstly, drug✅Drug❌ abuse is one of the causes of teenage pregnancy.

✅ The use of a topic sentence must be encouraged. A  topic sentence is a  sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph in which it occurs.

Let's look at this example.

If the question was on the causes of teenage pregnancy, it's going to be like this.

Firstly, drug abuse is one of the causes of teenage pregnancy.✅

Firstly, drug abuse.❌

That's the difference✅

Therefore, Our connective is the Firstly, our point is the drug abuse, and our topic sentence is one of the causes of teenage pregnancy.

✅ Some contracted forms of words (aren't, won't, couldn't, haven't etc.) and colloquialisms must all be avoided in formal letters.

The tone or the language should be formal as well as impersonal (non-personal).

✅ The use of polite words must be encouraged.

For Example:

Can❌ Could✅

Shall❌ Should✅

Will ❌ Would✅

THAT'S ALL FOR THE BODY OF A FORMAL/OFFICIAL/ BUSINESS LETTER.

✔️ CONCLUSION OF A FORMAL/OFFICIAL/ BUSINESS LETTER

✅It is imperative to conclude your letter or essay always. A good conclusion will make the recipient feel like wishing to read more from you.

✅ Your conclusion should be in just one paragraph, and it should be a summary of what the body entails or talks about.

✅ If the question demands a solution to a certain problem, you can add it up.

Now let's look at this.👇

✅Introduction (1 paragraph)

✅Body(3 paragraphs or more, not less)

✅Conclusion (1 paragraph)

✔️FORMAL SUBSCRIPTION, SIGNATURE AND FULL NAME WRITTEN UNDER IT

✅ The subscription comes just after the last word of  the letter. For formal letters, it should be Yours faithfully.

Yours faithfully,✅
Your's faithfully,❌
Yours' faithfully,❌
Yours faithfuly,❌
Yours faithful,❌

✅ You are reminded that only the first word in a subscription is capitalized.

✔️ SIGNATURE AND FULL NAME

✅ The writer's signature follows the subscription. Then comes the writer's full name.

Yours faithfully,
..............
Jeffery Boahen.


Yours faithfully,
 ...............
David Amewornu.


Yours faithfully,
...............
Stallone Clarks.


Yours faithfully,
.............
Mary Boateng.


Yours faithfully,
..............
Agnes Yeboah.

Yours faithfully,
.................
Misty Joe.


© Jeffery Boahen.
(Tutor, Asanteman Senior High)
Five Ways to Turn Your Stammering into Your Biggest Strength

Five Ways to Turn Your Stammering into Your Biggest Strength

Five Ways to Turn Your Stammering into Your Biggest Strength
One of the reasons most people shy away from public speaking is the fear of stammering or stuttering. A person who stammers or stutters has difficulties in speaking. There is often the repetition of a particular sound involuntarily during speech. This leads to delayed speech, or inability to flow or pronounce certain words. Because people naturally expect spoken language to flow easily, they see stammering as a speech defect, and are usually tempted to mock or get irritated by people who stammer. This act of embarrassment and non-acceptance kills the confidence of stammerers. But there is some good news if you have this challenge. It is a savable situation! There are sterling speakers who are chronic stammerers yet they are doing so well. Do you know that the best interpreter I have come across is a stammerer? Are you asking how? Stammering is not a defect; it is a blessing in disguise; you can have control over it. It can be managed! 

In this article, we shall look at five ways to turn your stammering into your biggest strength. We shall also look at ways you can support people who stammer. 

1. Self-acceptance: No matter what your abilities or inabilities are, you need to accept who you are and work towards becoming the better version of yourself. Self condemnation leads to inferiority complex. Inferiority complex is a twin of low self-esteem and this is one of the negative triggers of stammering. Self acceptance gives you confidence, and confidence is a resistant to people's mockery, bullying, and non-acceptance. When you look down on yourself wherever you find yourself, you are easily intimidated and more likely to stammer when you are required to speak. However, if you see value in yourself, you are able to take control of how you speak. It doesn't mean you won't stammer when you speak, but it means you will be unashamed even when you stammer. When you have this positive outlook of yourself, stammering would never be a barrier to your quest to speak in public.

2. Breath control: The cause of stammering is unconscious; you don't do it on purpose. It may not be entirely curable, but it can be manageable. One of the surest ways of managing stammering is learning to take time to breath in and out in the course of speaking. "Taking smaller breaths with your diaphragm can help you relax and may help you speak more fluently." Stress, anger, and fatigue are triggers of stammering. Whenever you find yourself in any of these situations as a stammerer, you need to slow down when talking. Speaking at a fast rate will only worsen the case. Learn to time yourself. Speak at regulated intervals. You can choose to pause (take some breath) after every three words you mention. It works well as you practice. 

3. Avoid Triggers: The anticipation to stammer is most likely to make you stammer. You must therefore psyche your mind that you are in control. Avoid triggers (activities that are likely to make you stammer). For example, unnecessary arguments, loquaciousness (talking too much), anger, over excitement, self condemnation, verbosity, show offs, stress and fatigue, unpreparedness to speak, etc. If you are able to avoid these triggers, you would definitely reduce the chances of you stammering in public. 

4. Accept the opportunities to speak in public: There is the tendency to use stammering as a reason to shy away from speaking in public. Whereas it is quite understandable, it is not an excuse enough to miss out on the immense benefits of being able to speak in public. Ask yourself, how long am I going to run away from public speaking? I dare you to challenge yourself today. Motivate yourself, psyche your mind, work on your breath control and timing, avoid triggers, prepare for whatever you are expected to speak on, and mount that stage with confidence. Once you break that ice, I tell you, there is no stopping you! You may experience embarrassing moments from the beginning, but you will get better; I promise you. Practice makes perfect.

5. Be kind on yourself: It is natural to get upset and devastated if one public speaking experience (especially the first) goes terribly bad for you. That in spite of your preparation and application of all the tips given here you stammer as never before -- Be kind on yourself! One bad day does not define you or your capabilities; it only shows that you are trying. The embarrassment you feel today is not pretty or fun; but it is not enough reason to quit public speaking for the rest of your life. If you know your aspirations in life, you wouldn't allow temporary shame to stop you from achieving them. 

© Eric Nuamah Korankye (Hamlet) (Writer/Editor)
9 New Words/Phrases #EndSARS Gave Nigerians

9 New Words/Phrases #EndSARS Gave Nigerians

The protest against police brutality in Nigeria left behind some words and phrases which have become popular with most Nigerians to date. Which of these words or phrases is your favourite?
#EndSARS Protest in Nigeria
1. WE MOVE
This phrase (which is usually used as a phrasal verb) simply means to continue an action.

The presence of the "verbalised" subject "we" makes it impossible to add another subject when using this phrase.

Example: We were attacked by hoodlums at Rumuokoro Junction while protesting police brutality. We move, regardless.

2. SELINA
–noun
black magic; voodoo

Example: In Port Harcourt, EndSARS protesters who didn't have selina were asked to stay behind.

3. SORO SOKE
–verb
i. To speak loudly or plainly

Example: This is not time to murmur; it's time to soro soke.

ii. To express one's opinion openly and unreservedly.

Example: The protesters were never afraid to soro soke when it was something they believed in strongly.

–adjective
bold; fearless; brave

Example: This is a soro soke generation, not an off-the-mic generation.

4. BUHARI HAS BEEN A BAD BOY
This implies that President Buhari has failed in his mandate as the leader of Nigeria.

This phrase was first used by a 21-year-old Nigerian girl during an interview with Hip TV. In her words, “Buhari has been a bad boy, and we will come for him next.”

5. WEREY WAN DISGUISE
This phrase is used when someone displays false attitude towards something in order to hide their true nature.

Example: SWAT is just a change of name; werey wan disguise.

6. FEM
This word became popular with Nigerian youth after Davido used it to title one of his singles. Most #EndSARS protesters used it instead of "shut up" to silence some politicians who addressed them for hours.

"Fem" is used as a verb to mean "shut up".

Example: Olu talks too much. I think he should fem.

7. WAHALA FOR WHO
 –pidgin phrase
Trouble for someone

This expression is usually used to achieve humour and to indirectly get the attention of someone. If, for instance, you come across a girl flaunting her engagement ring unnecessarily, you can get her attention by saying "Wahala for who no get fiancé.” The girl will definitely look at your direction while you and your friends laugh about it.

8. NO DEY LOSE FOCUS
–pidgin phrase
To concentrate on the goal without wavering

This phrase came into existence when the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums, giving rise to other criminal activities. It served as a constant reminder to protesters as regards the goal of the protest.

9. SELINA-TESTED
–adjective
If you are selina-tested, it means you have an invisible bulletproof vest on your body through voodoo practices.

Example: Selina-tested protesters led the protest in Port Harcourt. 
Easy Way To Link Your Phone Number with Your NIN

Easy Way To Link Your Phone Number with Your NIN

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given telecommunications operators in the country two weeks to block all SIM cards that are not registered with the National Identity Numbers (NIN).

Easy Way To Link Your Phone Number with Your NIN

Failure to do so will lead to your line being blocked or disconnected by the 31st of December 2020.

However, to avoid going into a new year without a blocked sim, please read through this article carefully.

What is NIN?

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said NIN is a set of numbers assigned to an individual upon successful enrolment.

Enrolment consists of the recording of an individual’s demographic data and capture of the ten (10) fingerprints, head-to-shoulder facial picture and digital signature, which are all used to cross-check existing data in the National Identity Database to confirm that there is no previous entry of the same data.

How to Get your NIN?

If you have registered for your NIN, you should have your slip with you.

However, if you have misplaced it, you have to pay N500 through REMITA at any bank nearest to you; provide your Remita Teller to any NIMC Enrolment Centre (ERC) near you and request for a NIN slip print.

Alternatively, you can use the NIMC USSD service to retrieve it by following these steps:

Dial *346#; from the options displayed, select “NIN Retrieval”, by typing in ‘1’, if you are using the same phone number you enrolled with for your number.

Follow the steps displayed on your screen and provide the required inputs

Note: Using this service attracts N20 (twenty naira) fee-only (deducted from your phone credit balance).

However, Glo users might encounter some difficulties, a message from the service provider at about 10: 53 am today stated that their subscribers would not be able to retrieve NIN for now:

The message reads: “The code to verify your NIN is *346 on the registered mobile number. This service cost N20. However, you would be unable to retrieve your NIN on Glo for now. Sorry for this inconvenience.”

How to Link Your Phone Number With Your NIN

Linking your phone number to your number is very easy.

For MTN users, simply dial *785# and get it done in few seconds.

For Airtel users, simply dial *121*1# to link your Airtel SIM with your NIN.

For glo users, send “UpdateNIN, NIN, FirstName, LastName” to 109. For example, UPDATENIN 12345678903 Chidera Abdul-Ola

9mobile users should be calm as we patiently wait in haste to hear from their service provider as regards this issue.

FG will block the numbers that is not linked to NIN.

This Is How Nigerian Banks Will Charge Customers for Failed Transactions

This Is How Nigerian Banks Will Charge Customers for Failed Transactions

The rumour making the rounds is that you (and the rest of us) will now be charged for failed debit  transactions.
This Is How Nigerian Banks Will Charge Customers for Failed Transactions
Um, no. That’s not right.

Let's break down the facts.

1. Yes, there is a charge, but this charge is for failed direct debits, not all debit transactions.

You won't be charged if a bill payment, airtime (or data) purchase, outward transfer, ATM withdrawal or card payment fails.

You get the picture.

2. A direct debit needs your permission. For a direct debit to be made on your account, you have to give your bank a written and signed instruction to pay on your behalf at a specific time.

If, for example, you pay a certain bill every quarter, you can instruct your bank to pay the billing company every time the bill is due.

This isn't common because banks settle most bills on a pay-as-you-go basis, but it's an actual thing.


3. A direct debit fails when an account doesn't have enough money in it. If this ever happens to you (hopefully never), you will be charged 1% of the amount you were supposed to pay or 5,000 naira – whichever figure is higher.

That's a Central Bank rule, as you must already know.

4. Therefore, if you have an active auto-renewal payment in your account, it is necessary you cancel it so you don't get charged if it fails due to insufficient funds.

5. You can breathe easy. Really, you can. No one is going to charge you for “insufficient funds,” at least not today.

© Kuda Times