Company Name Company Address City, State Zip hone Number
Name of Individual Individual’s Title Individual’s Company Name Address City, State Zip
Dear Ms. Individual: Use the information from Exercise 11.20 and write a letter in the modified block format. Refer to Figure 9.3 on page 129 for more information. The first paragraph explains, but does NOT give the bad news. Explain the circumstances behind the bad news. Provide detailed reasons that give a full explanation. Don’t place blame or refer to company policy; instead offer reasons. Write using positive emphasis whenever possible. (Make this paragraph 5-7 lines in length.)
In the second paragraph, give the bad news clearly, compactly, and as positively as possible. Do not apologize. Do, after you give the news, provide detailed alternatives. Use “you attitude” for your alternatives and write phrases such as “You can…” and/or “You might consider….” (Make this paragraph 5-7 lines in length.)
Provide a goodwill ending, that gives one or two positive, forward looking statements and an offer of contact. Avoid insincere statements such as “If you need any additional assistance,” or “I look forward to doing business with you.” (This paragraph should be 2-3 lines in length).
Note: Double-space between paragraphs, and include 3-4 spaces between “Sincerely,” and “Your Name.”
A note on using passive voice in negative letters: When you give negative news, you don’t want to put emphasis on any negative actions. Therefore, you may use passive voice verbs when giving bad news and when explaining the circumstances for the bad news. In other words, you may use is, are, was, were, be, been, being, or am in the first paragraph–the explanation–and in the second paragraph where you give the bad news. However, for the alternatives, use action verbs. Alternatives offer positives for the reader, so you want to emphasize those actions.