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Letter Transmittal

A letter of transmittal is a brief document that provides a summary of a much longer, attached document. In many ways it is similar to an abstract or an executive summary, yet are slightly less formal. A good letter of transmittal has the following points:

  1. Provides the recipient of a document with the purpose for sending
  2. A summarization of the key points
  3. Ends with a single sentence thanking the recipient for taking the time to peruse the document at hand

This establishes goodwill between sender and recipient.

Letters of transmittal are often only a paragraph or two in length. The first paragraph describes what exactly is being sent and the reason for the sending. Some longer transmittal letters may use the second paragraph in order to summarize the key points, or other information the recipient may find to be useful. Short or long, any letter of transmittal should end with the one-sentence compliment.

Letters of transmittal are often used in the business world. These are formal announcements that acknowledge the completion and delivery of a requested report. At times, this document may be used to explain any differences between the original proposal and the final report. Students being asked to write a letter of transmittal should not overly think the process of attempting to write such a document. In many cases, the term “letter of transmittal” is just a formal term for what many would otherwise consider to be a cover letter.


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