This is a letter with the same contents addressed to different people. Like an ordinary letter, it is an interpersonal written communication, with a general content, for which there is no specific provision in the processing of an administrative procedure. It allows various different matters to be dealt with and is written in a flexible style.
Format: DIN A4 (210 x 297 mm).
GENERAL DRAFTING CRITERIA
A circular, like a letter, allows the writer to deal with various different matters. Because of this, its structure is more flexible, and therefore more complex, than other administrative documents.
Generally speaking, the main features that need to be taken into account in writing a circular are as follows:
- Make sure the language you use is appropriate to the degree of formality required depending on the type of relationship between you and the people you are writing to. The degree of formality will always be somewhere on the continuum between a respectful, neutral tone and a cordial tone.
- Make sure the salutation and valediction (the greeting at the beginning and the formula with which you sign off at the end) and the personal treatment you use in addressing the people you are writing to are appropriate to the general tone of the circular.
- Give the contents of the circular a logical structure by separating it into short paragraphs: introduce the reason for the circular; present the facts, arguments or considerations in detail; end with a conclusion based on a synthesis, a request, a proposal, etc.
- Express your ideas clearly, precisely and concisely.
- Use the first person singular (I): I would like to inform you ..., I am grateful for ..., etc.
- However, in certain cases, the first person plural (we) may be appropriate, as it conveys the idea that you are writing on behalf of the institution, or your unit within it, as a whole: we would like to inform you .., we are grateful for ..., etc.
- I am writing to inform you / tell you ...
- We are writing to inform you / tell you / let you know that...
- For your information, I am pleased to inform you / tell you that ...
- For all these reasons, I would ask/request you to ...
- If you would like any further information ...
- Please do not hesitate to contact me/us if you need anything...
- Thanking you in advance...
- I am very grateful to you / would like to thank you for your interest / the time you have given to this matter ...
- I would sincerely like to thank you for ...
1. Identification of the document
The details identifying the document must be written in the upper right-hand margin. They are as follows:
- Ref. ("reference"): the document's classification code for the issuing body.
The formula used in the salutation must be appropriate to the tone of the relationship expressed in the body of the circular. Since a circular is addressed to a variety of people, both men and women, the formula must cover both genders. In some cases, one term is sufficient (Colleague), in others, two terms will be needed (Sir/Madam).
Some common formulas, in decreasing order of formality, are:
Dear Sir or Madam,
The information should be set out in the most logical way:
- Introduction: presentation of the reason for the circular
- Development: description/explanation of the facts, arguments, etc.
- Conclusion: request, summary of the facts, etc.
The formula used for the valediction must be appropriate to that used for the salutation, and both of these must accord with the overall tone of the circular. Some common formulae used for the valediction are listed here, in decreasing order of formality, together with the corresponding salutation:
Dear Sir or Madam, ⇒ Yours faithfully,
Dear Colleague, ⇒ Yours sincerely, / Kind regards, / Best regards,
Dear Friend, ⇒ Yours sincerely, / Kind regards, / With best wishes,
This section must include the following items in the following order.
- Name and surname(s)
- Post or unit
This must include:
- The place where the letter is written.
- Date: the day (in figures), the month (in letters) and the year (in figures and in full).
7. Additional information
Postscript (PS): The abbreviation PS is used at the end of the document to introduce any additional information, such as references to documents. You can also indicate the presence of any material enclosed with it by the abbreviation "Encl.", followed by the name or brief description of the enclosure, at the end of the circular.
Subject: a brief description of the subject to which the circular refers. This information should go at the top of the letter, after section 1.
As in previous years, I am pleased to tell you that Pompeu Fabra University has planned various activities to help students in their final year of secondary school to decide on the best choice of university course.
This year, we would like to highlight a new initiative - tutorial sessions to be held by lecturers from each of the courses with a view to providing personal guidance for students requesting it. These tutorials will be held from 3.30 to 8.30 p.m. between 25 April and 6 May. All students interested in attending need to do is to phone the Course Guidance Helpline on (93) 542 23 18 to arrange a time.
We would also like to offer you the chance, as we did last year, to install one or more Pompeu University multimedia information screens in your school during March, April and May. The instructions for requesting the installation of such screens and the relevant terms and conditions can be found on the enclosed form.
I would also like to tell you that you will shortly receive specific information about the following activities: the sending out of information brochures about the University and the courses taught at it, the University's presence at the Saló de l'Ensenyament (Education Show) in Barcelona and the holding of the usual information sessions at our premises in April.
Thank you for your inestimable help. If you have any queries or would like any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Barcelona, 16 February 1994