Ineffective Business Letter

Here is a letter I found on the internet that is ineffective and unprofessional.

To: Jane Doe


We have finally reviewed your application for graduate study at Colorado State University. Due to the large number of applicants this year, competition was very tough, but luckily, we have recommended you for acceptance.

Also, to keep our students happy, we were fortunate enough to be able to offer a teaching assistantship, whereby you would work 20 hours a week. This assistantship also comes with a non-resident tuition waiver for the first year. If you don’t do well, though, we cannot give you another assistantship.

It occurred to us that you probably don’t have enough information to make a sound decision. The enclosed flyer provides a detailed description of our Cognitive Psychology Program, including the program of study, degree requirements, mentor ship program, faculty research interests, and laboratory facilities.

Since other qualified students are on a waiting list for admissions, please notify me in writing of your decision to accept or reject admission as soon as possible.

When I first started reading this letter the wording in it made it sound like she was not going to be accepted. The statement “luckily we have recommended you for acceptance” sounds like she just barely got accepted and should be grateful to be accepted.

On the second paragraph they tell her that they are fortunate enough to be able to offer her a teaching assistantship for 20 hours a week. They also tell her that they will not be able to give her another assistantship if she does not do well. They leave out the detail as to what she will be paid for the assistanship.

They also tell her that they realize they did not give her enough information to make a sound decision so they will enclose a flyer so she can see what it is about. They ask her to notify them in writing of her decision on accepting or rejecting the admission as soon as possible.

They should have started the letter off by telling her congratulations on getting accepted and that they could not wait until she joined the University. Then they should have offered her the assistantship with all the details she needed to make a good decision which includes the amount of money she would be making. They did not need to tell her that she had to do a good job or they would not consider her for the next year. Instead they should have waited for her decision on if she wanted to do it or not and then tell her that she had the option of doing it next year if she did well this year.

I am not sure why they would ask her to make a decision when they know that she doesn’t have all the information that she needs. They should have said please contact us for any other information and then give her a date on when they need an answer so that way other students are not waiting to see if they get it or not.


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