Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions

47 8 0
  • Loading ...
1/47 trang

Thông tin tài liệu

Ngày đăng: 14/03/2020, 09:50

Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions 1 ABSTRACT This research was presented with a view to finding out difficulties in writing business refusal letters as well as suggesting solutions to improve business refusal letter skill Throughout the research, the researcher found out the answers for two questions: “What problems the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University face in writing refusal letters?” and “What should the fourth year English-majored students to improve their business refusal letter writing skill?” This study was done in both quantitative and qualitative methods The main method of the study was quantitative method – questionnaire which was set up to collect viewpoints of students about business refusal letters Furthermore, in order to find out mistakes specifically, qualitative method was applied in collecting 40 business refusal letters which were written by the fourth year students majoring in English The letters were checked thoroughly to find out the mistakes that students usually made The study demonstrated the difficulties in writing business refusal letters of fourth year students majoring in English at Thuongmai University, who had written business letters in Business Correspondence module in their last year They met a lot of difficulties which most came from vocabulary, format, grammars and expressions Based on the findings of the study, solutions to improve refusal letter writing skill were given They were learning more about business expressions, planning before writing, and reviewing and revising the letter after writing ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First of all, I wish to express my profound gratitude to my supervisor, Mrs Pham Thi Phuong who has always been willing to give me valuable support, guidance, and encouragement while I was doing this research I would like to give my sincere thanks to all the teachers at Thuongmai University, who gave useful lessons and valuable knowledge in this field of the study In addition, I would also like to thank students of Thuongmai University for their enthusiastic cooperation during the time I collected data and information for my research, especially students in English Faculty for their participant in order to complete the questionnaire Last but not least, I am grateful to my friends and family who always support, encourage and help me during the process of this research Hanoi, April 2019 Nguyen Thi Loan TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS HANU Hanoi University LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1: Frequency of writing business letters Table 3.3: Mistakes of writing business refusal letters Table 3.4: Difficulties in writing business refusal letters Table 3.5: Suggested solutions to improve business refusal letter writing skill Table 4.1: Syntactic changes in writing business letters Table 4.2: Some frequent punctuation mistakes in writing business letters CHAPTER ONE: OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY 1.1 Rationale Nowadays, with the continuous growth of commerce and industry, usefulness and importance of business letter are increasing gradually Business letter serves as a formal method of communication between people, providing valuable information on business related matters, and serving a legal purpose Business letter does not only secure, promote business, but it also maintains cooperation without complications With the help of business letter, entrepreneurs can easily exchange information with employees, partners and clients Business letter plays an important role in establishing and maintaining relationships over a wide area to enlarge the scope and the extent of the business Moreover, it also promotes goodwill and enhances the prestige and the image of the organization Realizing the importance of business letter, Vietnamese students in general and Thuongmai University students in particular have been studying hard in order to improve their English business letter writing skill, especially in the today’s context of international economic integration Business letters are written for the fulfillment of several purposes, so they are divided into different types such as: enquiry letter, order letter, complaint letter, refusal letter, quotation letter, … Each of these types, besides the characteristics of a business letter, also carries some specific characteristics Among the types mentioned above, refusal letter is a letter written to notify the reader about the decision of the writer to decline an invitation, an offer, a claim, a request or any other matter As this letter contains something negative, a lot of writers have difficulties in conveying the message without hurting the sentiments of the addressees Besides, they also encounter some difficulties which are common difficulties in writing English business letters The reasons may come from cultural differences, knowledge and writing skill of each individual Moreover, it seems quite complicated for students to write perfect business letters in general and business refusal letters in particular when they not have a chance to access and practice in office environment Therefore, the researcher decided to choose “Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions” as the topic for her research with the hope that the learners will be able to write business refusal letters in more professional and effective way 1.2 Previous studies The author has found a lot of notable works about business letters in general that expressed the writers’ concern about difficulties in writing business letters and solutions to deal with the difficulties, but the author has not found previous studies which research on business refusal letters "Refusal letter" is a type of business letter Hence, one when writing refusal letters also encounters difficulties which are similar to the difficulties in writing business letters in general The studies below had been conducted to analyze and find out mistakes as well as difficulties that writers often encounter when writing business letters The findings of these studies share many similarities and can be divided into the following three main groups: language usage, format and writing process Below are the summaries of those studies’ results “Business letters writing in business communication: A case study of Intermat company”, written by Aggoune Amina, offers business letters influencing recent and an examination present practice in of written communication as well as illustrates the range of features that exist in business letters at present in order to know what makes business letters effective He found that there were mistakes and workers faced difficulties when they communicated and interacted with non-English speaking colleagues all over the world The typical mistakes are related to special spelling; abbreviations and special acronyms; punctuation; and format of the letters Shafa Firda Nila (Problems in writing English business letter: errors and factors: Third semester of Bina Bangsa Economics students majoring in Manageme) analyzed the student’s errors in English business letter writing Her research results indicated that there are eight types of errors found in English business letter written by third semester students: verb, noun, article, word choice, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization; and word choice error is the highest frequency of error type (20.3%) She also found that there are three major factors that cause the errors, they are: language transfer, language style, and context of learning “An analysis of some techniques to improve writing English business letters”, written by Vu Thi Huong Giang (Haiphong Private University), she emphasized on techniques in writing English business letters The essential techniques given in her conclusion belonged to four categories: you-attitude; positive emphasis; tone; and language The study “Writing business letters” of Nguyen Linh Chi (HANU) aims to share some tips to write successful business letters, focusing on the type of formal letters She classified the mistakes that majority of students met into three main groups: mistake of format; mistake of planning; mistake of language usage as well as suggested solutions helping to overcome those mistakes The thesis “Suggested solutions to improve business letters writng skill for the fourth year English major students at Thuongmai University”, written by Nguyen Minh Thuy (K50), seems to be closest to my study It aims to find out difficulties and some common mistakes in writing English business letters of the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University; then analyze the problems in writing business letters and suggest solutions to improve English business letter writing skill The writer of this work found out problems related to the format of business letters; the usage of appropriate words, technical terms, abbreviations as well as tenses and personal pronouns in writing business letters; and the determination of purpose for the letters The solutions the writer suggested to each problem are also realistic and highly feasible However, besides similar difficulties in general business letter writing, students also encounter other specific difficulties in writing refusal letters, and so, there are unique solutions needed For this reason, this study was carried out to find out those difficulties and suggest solutions to improve business refusal writing skill 1.3 Aims of the study The aims of this study are: 1.4 - Giving theoretical background of definition, importance, purpose, format and some - types of business letter as well as business refusal letter Finding out difficulties and some common mistakes in writing English business - refusal letters of the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University Analyzing the problems in writing business refusal letters and suggesting solutions to improve English business refusal letter writing skill The research Subjects The subjects of this study were students at Thuongmai University They were 50 fourth year students majoring in English The students were around 22 years old, 14% were male and 65% were female Most of them have a good command of English in four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing All of participants had studied subject Business Correspondence at Thuongmai University 1.5 Scope of the study There are many different material resources and studies that require a lot of time and hard labor while the researcher’s personal experience is limited Therefore, this study could only focus on difficulties in writing English business refusal letters, involving a small number of the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University 1.6 Research methodology Nowadays, the “Mixed methods” is a research approach that is used widely in studies on social science, whereby researchers combine elements of qualitative and quantitative research approaches within the same study In consideration of the research’s purposes, this study was done in the light of both qualitative and quantitative methods in which data were collected and analyzed The main method of the study was quantitative method – questionnaire which was set up to collect viewpoints of students about business refusal letters The questionnaire written in English was delivered to 50 fourth year Englishmajored students The questionnaire was divided into two parts: the first part was designed to gather general personal information about the respondents such as name, age, gender; the second part included five more specific questions with an aim to get information about common mistakes and difficulties in writing business refusal letters as well as suggestions to improve refusal letter writing skill Furthermore, in order to find out mistakes specifically, qualitative method was applied in collecting 40 business refusal letters which were written by the fourth year students majoring in English The letters were checked thoroughly to find out the mistakes that students usually made A combination of the two methods above provided reliable data, based on which the conclusions and suggestions were made in the latter parts 1.7 Organization of the study The study consists of four main chapters: Chapter one, Overview of the study, provides an overview of the study in which the reasons for choosing the study topic were focused It also includes previous studies, research subjects, research methodology and the aims, scope, organization of the study Chapter two, Literature review, provides the theoretical background for the study, which is about definition, importance, purpose, format and some types of business letter as well as business refusal letter Chapter three, Research findings, aims to describe information about current situation and difficulties of writing English refusal letters of the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University A detailed data analysis and discussions are also given Chapter four, Suggestions, gives solutions to each problem as well as recommendations for further studies CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Business letter 2.1.1 Definitions of business letter 10 Refer back to your outline and turn each fragment into a full and complete sentence expressing a single thought or idea In order that your thoughts and ideas are conveyed in a cohesive manner, you should write in as natural a sounding voice as possible Make sure that the scope of your letter contains all the necessary information included in your organizational list Open your refusal letter with a sincere expression of regret as you state exactly what you are refusing You can use some remarks like “Our sincere apologies that we will not be ”, “You could have been a real asset but…” , “It a loss to accommodate such an offer”, etc You should close the letter professionally and courteously Once your last paragraph is written, sign off between a complimentary close such as "Sincerely," or "Thank you," and your printed name Additional information such as dictation remarks, notification of attachments, enclosures and copies sent to other individuals should be placed beneath the title line 4.1.3 Solution 3: Improving grammar, spelling and punctuation 4.1.3.1 Grammar Jeffrey Gitomer – an American author and business trainer – said that your grammar is a reflection of your image, and so, good or bad, you have made an impression Business letters will be the first impression that a businessman makes on someone and grammar plays an important role in deciding whether he can create positive impression in the mind of the reader Reading may be the number one way that you can improve your grammar skills in general When you read, you reinforce correct grammar in your mind In addition to improving your grammar, reading will help with all aspects of your writing, from sentence fluency to increased vocabulary You should regularly read business letters, through which you will better understand how language is used to convey messages in different situations The way you construct your statements has a great impact on how your messages are conveyed to the receivers Hence, improving grammar in written materials in general and in business letters in particular, you should first pay attention to sentence structure matters Sentence structure matters in English occur because of the usage of modifiers A modifier is a word or phrase that 33 provides description in a sentence However, if the modifier is put in the wrong place, it can add confusion instead of clarity to your sentence Business letters are formal documents, and so they require characteristics that are different from informal ones In the process of going from the informal to the formal, there are some certain syntactic changes often take place, which you should consider when drafting a business letter: Syntactic changes Examples I received  I acknowledged receipt I am reluctant to resort to such measures Personal becomes impersonal  We are reluctant to resort to such measures Active voice transforms passive You haven't settle your bill yet  Payment of your bill is still outstanding voice I'll have to Contractions are replaced by  I shall have to full forms I refer to your letter of 10th November In it we asked you to clear the balance of $456.35 This amount has been outstanding since last August Short, simple sentences become  With reference to your letter of 10th longer and more complex November, we would like to remind you again to clear the balance of $456.35, which has been outstanding since last August Table 4.1: Syntactic changes in writing business letters \ Verbal style tends to become nominal 4.1.3.2 Spelling In most cases, the students misspell the words because they not check the correct spelling in the dictionary There are many kinds of dictionaries available, both in print and online An English dictionary designed for English language learners, such as Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English or Oxford’s Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, can be very helpful for non-native speakers These dictionaries give more information and often many more examples of words in context to help students select and use words appropriately You should be consistent about using British or American spellings throughout your letter Spelling is not about how a word sounds, it is about how it looks on the page, which means that you have to look at a lot of words on the page to learn how they are spelled As we learn spoken language by hearing a lot of people 34 speaking, we learn written language, including spelling, by reading what lots of people write Therefore, there is no substitute for reading a lot Being exposed to English words on a regular basis will help new spellings sink in and improve your vocabulary Thus, more frequent contact with the words used in the writing business letters will help you become familiar with the spelling of different expressions which you usually meet but easy to spell wrong in this type of documents Your perceptions also need to be accompanied by practical activities You should practice writing business letters a lot and pay special attention as you write to the words that come up wrong If you catch yourself spelling certain words wrong over and over, consider learning from your mistakes by creating your own personal list of frequently misspelled words Keeping this list close at hand as you write will save you time and probably eliminate many of your common spelling mistakes Sometimes the best way to learn is to know the rules, and then becoming aware of English spelling rules can help you avoid some common spelling mistakes There are many writing handbooks and style guides which contain a complete list of spelling rules You can learn and practice one or two rules at a time until you understand them and the next time you find a word that you 4.1.3.3 cannot spell, let’s try finding out if that word follows a rule Punctuation Punctuation marks help the reader make sense of our sentences, and then poor punctuating will confuse and irritate your reader Accurately placed commas and periods help you say what you want more clearly, and in fewer words Therefore, it is important to know the rules of English punctuation when you write There are not many rules to master, and they are quite simple when someone explains the difference in plain English In writing business letters, the punctuation mistake is mostly in terms of using commas and periods Here are some of the most frequent punctuation mistakes to watch out for: Mistakes Forgetting commas Examples We tried emailing them but there was no reply 35  We tried emailing them, but there was no reply I haven’t applied for a job before , but I’ll give it a try now I’m not sure if I’m qualified, though Using too many or not enough  I haven’t applied for a job before, but I’ll spaces give it a try now I’m not sure if I’m qualified, though I was extremely upset when I received a faulty product! Using exclamation marks  I was extremely upset when I received a faulty product Table 4.2: Some frequent punctuation mistakes in writing business letters After all, you should take a review of your draft as the final inspection to see whether your objective is clearly stated and your scope concisely defined and remove any mistakes including word choice mistakes, grammatical mistakes or format mistakes Check for grammatical mistakes like wrong spelling, incorrect punctuations, incomplete sentences and so on Examine your word choices carefully The usage of abstract terms, ambiguous words, clichés, etc may lead to misunderstanding or no understanding and then obscure your objective Ask yourself if your letter includes all the essential parts and necessary information Recipient’s address or date is often easily forgotten You should also check the structure and tone of the letter Make sure that the transitions between paragraphs are smooth and your point of view, tone and style are consistent throughout the text Your refusal should be direct and to the 4.2 point, so assure that you have used a strong active voice Limitations of the study Due to the lack of time, the data was only collected through one main instrument, with questionnaire, supported by documents collected from 40 real business refusal letters of students Therefore the result of this study might only reflect a part of situation of writing business refusal letters of the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University There are many things that need to be considered and investigated thoroughly Mistakes and shortcomings 4.3 are unavoidable so any comments or extra contributions are welcome Suggestions for further studies 36 Business correspondence still remains a wide room to study Further research may focus on other subjects like officers As for a field of exploiting business letter writing skills, the researcher would suggest that research on developing an item bank of suggestions and sample business letters for a particular textbook would contribute to deal with the shortage of applicable materials for English-majored students 37 CONCLUSION This research was presented with the aims to find out difficulties in writing business refusal letters as well as suggesting solutions to improve business refusal letter writing skill The research was based on the survey questionnaires and collected documents The results of the research have made it possible to come to these following conclusions: It was found that all the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University have written business letters in general and refusal letters in particular However, all of them met difficulties in writing It was also interesting that using wrong grammar, spelling, and punctuation is the highest frequency of mistake type Moreover, the students also coped with many problems when writing refusal letters Regarding the problems, the two biggest challenges to all the students were word choice and grammatical issues Based on the findings of the study, some solutions were given in the hope of resolving the problems They were learning more about business expressions, planning before writing, and reviewing and revising the letter after writing All things considered, every fourth year English student at Thuongmai University agreed that business letter writing skill were essential and they want to improve their skills It is hope that the study may be useful for fourth year English students at Thuongmai Univeristy in particular and any groups of students of English in general 38 REFERENCES Andrea B Geffner (2010), Business English – The Writing Skills You Need for Today’s Workplace, Barron’s Educational Series “Business letter”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_letter “Business Letters: Meaning, Qualities and Layout”, http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/business/letters/business-letters-meaningqualities-and-layout/75906 “Business Letters”, https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/business5 letters/ “How to Write the Perfect Refusal Letter”, https://www.writeexpress.com/How-to-write-the-perfect-refusal-letter.html “Refusal Letter”, https://targetstudy.com/letters/refusal-letter/ “Refusal Letter”, https://www.letters.org/category/refusal-letter “The Basic Qualities of a Business Letter”, https://smallbusiness.chron.com/basic-qualities-business-letter-22556.html “The Qualities of Effective Business Letters”, https://bizfluent.com/info8370483-qualities-effective-business-letters.html 10 “What Is the Importance of Business Letters?”, https://www.reference.com/business-finance/importance-business-lettersd4aa6ff876ca08c 11 Aggoune Amina (2015), Business Letters Writing In Business Communication: A Case Study Of Intermat Company 12 Alison Doyle, retrieved from “The Best Formatting for a Business Letter”, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-format-a-business-letter-2062540 13 Ashley, A (2003), Oxford handbook of commercial correspondence, Oxford: Oxford University Press 14 J H Hanson, M Omar Ali, W J Weston, retrieved from “What is Business Letter or Commercial Letter?”, https://thebusinesscommunication.com/whatis-business-letter-or-commercial-letter/ 15 Jeffrey Seglin (2002), the AMA Hand book of Business Letters, Amacom 16 Nguyen Linh Chi (2006), Writing business letters 17 Nguyen Minh Thuy (2018), Suggested solutions to improve business letters for the fourth year English major students at Thuongmai University 18 Shafa Firda Nila (2017), Problems In Writing English Business Letters: Errors And Factors (Third semester of Bina Bangsa Economics students majoring in Management and Accounting) 19 Thuongmai University, Faculty of English (2018), Business Correspondence 20 Vu Thi Huong Giang (2010), An analysis of some techniques to improve writing English business letters APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE Dear fourth year English-majored students of Thuongmai University, the following questionnaire is designed for my research on “Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions” Thank you so much for fulfilling this questionnaire and helping me complete my research Please answer the questions below Part 1: Personal information Full name: Class: Age: Part 2: Questions Please circle the letter before the opinion that you agree with With questions 3, 4, 5, you are allowed to circle more than one answer How often you write business letters? a – letters per day b > letters per day c – letters per week d Other What is the length of a business refusal letter that you usually write? c 100 – 200 words b 200 – 300 words c > 300 words During the Business Correspondence lessons, students have time to apply knowledge right in the class by practicing letter writing, and then the letters will be checked and fixed by teachers So, what mistakes you usually make when writing business refusal letters? a Using wrong grammar, spelling, and punctuation b Using unfamiliar abbreviations or overly technical terms c Using impolite expression and poor tone d Giving an unreasonable reason for the refusal e Lacking information or long and rambling content f Lacking essential parts of the letter g Others What difficulties you meet in writing business refusal letters? a Not knowing how to establish a logical order in which you present your information b Not knowing how to write in a courteous and tactful tone c Having difficulties with word choices: being confused when choosing words to express your attitude and your content d Encountering grammatical difficulties related to plural markers, articles, verbs, tenses, … e Not grasping the essential parts of the letter f Others Here are some suggestions to improve English business refusal letter writing skill Which of them you agree with? a Learning more about business expressions to reduce word choice mistakes, grammatical mistakes and improve your tone b Establishing your objective, determining your scope and making an outline before you begin to write the letter c Reviewing and revising the letter after you draft it d Others Thanks a lot for your help! APPENDIX BUSINESS REFUSAL LETTER SAMPLES Ngo Thi Nguyet – K51N2 Dear Mr Edwards, I am very pleased with the invitation that I received from your inviting me to make a speech for the inauguration ceremony on July 14 th Unfortunately, I regret that I cannot attend the meeting on July 14 th I feel that I not have sufficient time to prepare myself because I received your invitation on July 10th and it is not enough time to prepare myself completely for the speech If you not have another person in mind, you might consider inviting Michael Hobbs, who recently returned from an assignment in Oslo I think you would find his insights very interesting In any case, I wish you a very successful afternoon Thank you for thinking of me and hope to see you soon Yours sincerely, Robert Lake Nguyen Thi Thu – K51N2 Dear Mr Carrington, Thank you very much for the kind invitation you sent to attend the award ceremony being held next week at Claremont College Although I would have liked to have come, I have a business engagement in New York that week Please accept my apologies for not being able to attend I am sure it will be a great event Wish you all the best and hope we can meet in other occasions Yours sincerely, M.Morreau Bui Thi Lan Anh – K51N2 Glaston Manufacturing Ltd 1150 Poulevard Calbert F_54016 Nancy Cedex Mr Merton Merton Enterprises Grant Road Bombay INDIA Dear Mr Merton Thank you for your order, No HE 11567, which we received yesterday Unfortunately, we are completely out of this item, and we realize that other models will not suit your requirements Hopefully the dispute will be settled soon so that we will be able to supply you You can rely on us to keep you informed of the developments Yours sincerely M Glaston Managing Director Pham Thi Be – K51N2 Mr J Causio Causio-Mason Inc Borough Road London SE1 0AA Dear Mr Causio Thank you for thinking of us as a sponsor of the Summerfield Gala We agree that this is indeed a worthy cause, but unfortunately we will not be able to help this year Our company has already contributed to several charitable organizations this year and our funds are drained Please contact us again early next year, and we may be able to help you then Please accept our sincerest wishes for success Yours sincerely Ian Evan Manager Nguyen Thi Mai Ly – K51N5 Mr K Close Homemakers Ltd 56-58 Riverdide Cardiff CF1 UW Dear Mr Close I regret to inform you that we will not be able to offer the credit of $95,000 you asked for our meeting on 25 May in order to expand your business While it appears that your business holds good financial promise, several entries on your credit report show payments over 60 days delinquent In considering credit application, we hope to find no payments in the past years that are over 30 days May I suggest that you approach a finance corporation as this type of organization might be in the better position to help in the current finance climate? I am sorry that we have to disappoint you in this matter, and hope that we may be of more help in the future Yours sincerely Donald Panton Manager ... mistakes in writing English business - refusal letters of the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University Analyzing the problems in writing business refusal letters and suggesting solutions. .. great difficulties in writing business letters in general and refusal letters in particular The writers sometimes find that they not have enough essential parts in their letters Containing format... Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year English-majored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions as the topic for her research with the hope that the
- Xem thêm -

Xem thêm: Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions, Difficulties in writing business refusal letters for the fourth year Englishmajored students at Thuongmai University and some suggested solutions

Từ khóa liên quan

Mục lục

Xem thêm

Gợi ý tài liệu liên quan cho bạn