You are on page 1of 11



3.1 Introduction: structures in correspondence

Any form of correspondence must be clear, concise and complete, whether it is a formal letter, a
letter to a friend, a Curriculum Vitae or a report, with the correct choice of words, grammar,
spelling and punctuation.
Sentences should be made short, and difficult words should be avoided where simple words will
do. The best letters and reports will be written when the writer puts himself in the readers place.

3.1.1 Opening of a letter

Dear Mr Clark
Dear Sir
Dear Sirs
Dear John
Dear Mrs de Vries / Dear Miss de Vries (unmarried)
Dear Madam
Dear Mary
Dear all

3.1.2 Closing a letter

Awaiting your reply, we remain,
Yours truly / Yours sincerely / Yours faithfully, ..
Meanwhile we remain,
Yours truly / Yours sincerely / Yours faithfully, ..
Sincerely yours, / Faithfully yours,
With kind regards,

3.2.1 Formal letter

Name + address of the writer

Name + address of receiver
Place + date
Reference number


introduction (reason for writing the letter / general information)
body (chronological order of information, names, specific data etc.)

Senders name (function) and signature

References to enclosures.

3.2 Letter of applicant: cover letter and Curriculum Vitae

The cover letter introduces you to the employer and describes your interest in the company.
It should attract the employers attention and should persuade the employer to hire you.
The letter should cover your job-talents and should contain a request for an interview.
Express enthusiasm, but keep your letter short.
Learn as much as possible about the company before sending your letter.
Demonstrating your knowledge of the company and its line of business is always very helpful.
Keep a copy of your letter for future reference.
The cover letter should be accompanied by a Curriculum Vitae.

Cover letter
Name + address of the writer
Name + address of the receiver
Place + date
Reference number
short introduction (How did you learn about the job that is offered? Why are you interested?)
reference to the enclosed CV
Senders name (function) and signature.

1 Do not go into details too much when writing your CV. Remember: there will be an interview
in which you will be able to present yourself and talk about aspects and details of your plans and
2 Use dynamic action verbs such as: accomplished, collaborated, encouraged, established,
facilitated, founded, managed etc.
3 Do NOT use the subject I. Example: Conducted routine inspections in engine room.

Curriculum Vitae

Family name:
First name (s):
Address, telephone number, E-mail address:
Date and place of birth:
Civil status:
Education and training (where and when; mention degree (s) and certificates that you
have acquired):
Present position and employer (with details about work, time of entry etc.):
Professional experience-record (include companies, dates and important aspects):
Key qualifications:
Transferable skills (skills similar to the job you are applying for):
Language skills:
Additional skills (e.g. computer skills):
Membership of organizations:
References available on request.

3.3 Reports


List of contents

Explanation of terms

Preface and purposes (reason why the report was written)

Summary of main points

Body (divided into chapters and paragraphs)

relevant data and information about methods and procedures; statistics, graphs, tables,
drawings etc.
causes and consequences

Summary: conclusions, final opinion, judgements and recommendations

References and bibliography


The most important part of any report is its final summary that contains conclusions, final
opinion, judgements and recommendations!

3.4 Glossary: sentences and phrases in letters and reports

Key words in the sentences that you wish to write down are in alphabetical order:

advertisement With reference to your advertisement in Seaways (dated.) I hereby apply

for the job/position/post of
apologize Please accept our apologies for the delay.
appear It appears that the cargo was not delivered in time.
appear It has appeared to us that your company still owes us money.
applicable The conditions applicable will all be stated in the contract.
application Thank you for your application for the position of first engineer.
apply This applies to the agreement that we made.
apply I hereby apply for the position of first mate.
appointment We hereby confirm your appointment as first engineer.
appreciate We would appreciate a prompt delivery of our goods.
arrange We request that you arrange a meeting.
as of As of next year our company will be residing in London.
ascertain We have ascertained the quality of the goods delivered.
assume We assume that you will refund the money that we paid you.
assure We assure you that we will do everything to avoid any problems.
attached Please find attached the document that you requested.
available The items that you wish to buy are no longer available.
await Awaiting your reply, I remain, Yours Truly,..
aware We are aware of the fact that a mistake has been made by us.
basis On the basis of your offer we no longer wish to work with you.
behalf On behalf of our staff we thank you for doing business with us.
business We no longer wish to do business with you.
cancel We hereby cancel our order.
cancelling date We hereby declare that we regard.......(date) as the cancelling date for the
claim We will lodge a claim against your company for the damage incurred by
compelled We will be compelled to purchase the goods elsewhere.
completion We will inform you upon completion of the examinations.
compliance Delivery of the cargo was not in compliance with what we agreed.
comply with We will comply with your request.
concern To whom it may concern:
confer We will confer our position in this matter.
confirm We hereby confirm our appointment with you.
congratulate We congratulate you with (on) your appointment as chief mate.
consequences The consequences will be for your account.
consider We are considering (contemplating) a new approach.
contact Please contact as soon as possible.
conversation During our telephone conversation on.
convinced We are convinced that we will not make this mistake again.
co-operation Our cooperation with you has not led to the expected results.
costs Please inform us about the costs of delivery of the materials that we have
count on You may count on our support.
damage Damage suffered will be paid by those responsible.
decide We have decided to sign the agreement.
decide This has led us to decide to agree with your proposal.
declare We hereby declare that we were unaware of the dangers.
default We hereby declare you in default.
delay The delay was caused by extremely adverse weather.
delivery Delivery according to arrangements made by contract will not be possible.
demand We demand you to inform us about your plans.
developments Developments have shown that transportation can be much cheaper.
discount We can offer you a discount of 8% in case of an early payment.
due to Due to the adverse weather we sustained damage to cargo and ship.
effective The arrangement will be effective from January 13.
effort We thank you for your efforts.
emphasize It must be emphasized that you will not be held responsible.
enclosed Please find enclosed a copy of the contract / my Curriculum Vitae / .
end To this end we have decided not to cooperate anymore.
expect We expect that the cargo will be delivered in time.
expenses Expenses made due to late delivery to be paid within one month.
fact In view of the fact that we cannot be held responsible, we ..
following Following our telephone conversation I hereby inform you that
following The following information must be regarded as confidential:
forced We have been forced to cancel our deal.
forward I am looking forward to meeting you.
Please be advised that the goods will be forwarded to you by the end of
this week.
hereby I hereby declare that.
hoping Hoping to hear from you very soon, I remain, Yours Faithfully,..
however However much we regret it, we cannot agree with your proposal.
however However, if you do not meet our demands, we will.
in case of In case of damage to the cargo, we cannot be held responsible.
in spite of In spite of our efforts, the cargo was severely damaged.
in the event of In the event of damage to the cargo, please contact our office.
inconvenience We hope that this will not cause any inconvenience.
indicate As we have indicated during our conversation, we..
inform We regret having to inform you that there will be a short delay.
information For further information please refer to our office.
informed We will keep you informed.
insist We insist on receiving a copy of the document.
interested We are very interested in your services.
interview The interview will be held on
invite We hereby invite you to attend our meeting on..
kind Please be so kind to confirm this.
kindly We kindly request you to confirm as soon as possible.
looking forward We are looking forward to hearing from you.
make reservations I would like to make reservations for a single room.
meet This does not meet our demands.
mention As mentioned before, we will not be able to attend the meeting.
notify We hereby notify you of the fact that minor damage was caused.
opportunity We will have the opportunity to meet and discuss our plans.
order We would like to order the following goods:
participation Our participation in this project will not be continued.
payment Payment of the damage has been postponed.
penalty This is to inform you that the penalty for late delivery will amount to 1000
per w.w.d.
policy Our policy is aimed at services of high quality.
postpone The meeting will be postponed.
prefer We would prefer to have someone else handle the matter.
previous We refer to our previous correspondence.
previously As we previously informed you,..
proposal Your proposal to meet this very week will be accepted.
propose We propose to have a meeting by the end of this week.
protest We protest to the quality of the cargo delivered by your company.
provide We will provide you with the latest information.
ready The goods are ready for dispatch.
receipt We hereby confirm receipt of your letter dated
recent In recent years we have proven to be a trustworthy company.
recommend We recommend a second opinion from an expert.
records Our records show that you still have not paid your debts to us.
refer For further information please refer to our manager.
reference With reference to your advertisement I inform you that.
referring Referring to your letter dated.
refuse We refuse to pay for expenses for which we are not responsible.
regret We regret having to inform you that some damage was caused.
remedy We will remedy the mistake.
reply Thank you for your reply dated.
report The report will be forwarded to you.
request We request you to deliver the goods to the following address:
resort to We will have to resort to methods that will harm our relationship.
response In response to your letter I have to inform you that
response Thank you for your response to our advertisement.
responsible You hold you responsible for this damage.
satisfaction The affair was settled to our satisfaction.
see to it Please see to it that delivery will be prompt.
service We can offer you our free service during the warrant period.
services We would like to offer you our services.
settle We will settle this matter to your satisfaction.
should Should you wish to contact us please write to.
state We emphatically state that we cannot be blamed for the incident.
stipulate We stipulate for (that) this is not our responsibility.
sympathize We sympathize with you in this loss.
thank We thank you for your letter
transfer We request that you transfer the amount to our account.
trust We trust that all will be received in good order.
undersigned We the undersigned declare, that .
unfortunately Unfortunately we will not be able to render this service.
urge We urge you to settle the count presently.
urgently We urgently request you to get into contact with us.
validity The period of validity will expire in one week.
willing We will be quite willing to render you this service.
wish We no longer wish to do business with you.
wishes Please inform us of your wishes.
worsen The situation has worsened.
would like We would like to get into contact with you.
3.5 Comprehension Exercises

Exercise I. Give the right order of the following paragraphs of cover letter:

Contact Name
Company Name
City, Zip Code

Dear Contact Person:

I'm writing to express my interest in the Web Content Specialist position listed on I have experience building large, consumer-focused health-based content
sites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the
social value of the non-profit sector and my business experience will be an asset to your

Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments at an
organization. I have the ability to work within a team as well as cross-team. I can work
with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements,
work with the development department to implement design and functional
enhancements, and monitor site statistics and conduct search engine optimization.

My responsibilities included the development and management of the site's editorial

voice and style, the editorial calendar, and the daily content programming and
production of the web site. I worked closely with health care professionals and medical
editors to help them provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of
patients. In addition, I helped physicians learn to utilize their medical content to write
user-friendly, readily comprehensible text.

Thank you for your consideration.

Your City, Zip Code

Your Phone Number
Your Email


FirstName LastName
Exercise II. Write a cover letter and use the folowing layout:

Contact Information
The first section of your cover letter should include information on how the employer
can contact you. If you have contact information for the employer, include that.
Otherwise, just list your information.
Your Contact Information
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Employer Contact Information
City, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
First Paragraph:
The first paragraph of your cover letter should include information on the position you
are applying for, including the job title.
(space between paragraphs)
Middle Paragraph(s):
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the
employer. Mention why you are qualifed for the job and how your skills and experience
are a match for the position for which you are applying.
(space between paragraphs)
Final Paragraph:
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the
position. Include information on how you will follow-up.
Sincerely yours,
(double space)
Handwritten Signature (for a mailed letter)
(double space)
Typed Signature

4.1 Formal letters

De Hoop Shipyard (address: 22 Hagastraat, 3134 MS Schiedam Netherlands)

Is currently building a new salvage vessel for Belgian account (Inter-Salvage in Antwerp).
The Engine room is being fitted out and the fuel-pumping arrangement has to be purchased.
They require 8 high pressure fuel plunger-pumps with a 300-bar working pressure each and
provided with volume-controls.
Furthermore they require 2 low pressure fuel pumps (booster pumps) with pressure regulating
valves + electromotors. The pumps should have a capacity of 100 cub. mtr. per hr. a max.
discharge pressure of 10 bar each. Spare set to be included.

1 Enquiry asking for information

R. v.d. Burg, Managing Director of Die Hoop Shipyard, writes a letter (dated April 10) to
Berkley Engineering Ltd. (address: 16 Hampton Road, Northampton NNS 9SL England) in
which he requests information about prices of the materials required.
He wants to know costs of delivery, warrant and possible discount. He clearly states that the
cancelling date for delivery is July 31 of the current year.
(Write the letter; use the format given in the introduction; be sure to mention all the relevant
aspects and data).

2 Response giving information

Mr. P.C. Logie, Sales-Manager at Berkley Engineering Ltd. (intermediary for several trade
marks), answers on April 24 and provides the following information.
- 8 high pressure fuel plunger-pumps by Bosch with a 300-bar working pressure each,
volume-controlled: 1853 each (totaling 14,824 - - VAT excl.)
- 2 low pressure pumps by Borg Warner, fitted with pressure regulating valves,
of 100 cub. mtr. per hr. and a max. discharge pressure of 10 bar each, together with a spare set
and electromotors to drive the booster pumps: 3580 for each pump + motor,
and 3840 for a complete spare set without electromotors.
Delivery costs 285 - VAT excl. ex factory delivery guaranteed as requested before July 31.
Warrants: 2 years.
Service on board within warrant-periods.
Discount of 8% if paid within a fortnight after delivery.
(Write the letter; use the format given in the introduction; be sure to mention all the relevant
aspects and data).

3 Placing an order
R. v.d. Burg orders the above materials on April 29. Proviso: the assurance that the materials will
be delivered before the last day of July.
Penalty for late delivery: 8000 per working day.
(Write the letter; use the format given in the introduction; be sure to mention all the relevant
aspects and data).
4 Letter of confirmation
Mr. P.C. Logie, sales-manager at Berkley Engineering Ltd., in agreement with the penalty for late
delivery, confirms the order on May 5, stating that the materials will be forwarded by the end of
the month of May of the current year.
(Write the letter; use the format given in the introduction; be sure to mention all the relevant
aspects and data).

5 Making a claim
De Hoop Shipyard has suffered considerable damage because the pumping systems have been
delivered 9 days too late by Berkley Engineering Lt .
R. v.d. Burg writes a letter in which he protests against their failing and claims damages of 8000
per working day.
(Write the letter; use the format given in the introduction; be sure to mention all the relevant
aspects and data).

6 Letter of apology
Mr. P.C. Logie of Berkley Engineering Lt. writes a letter of apology, stating that, due to
unforeseen problems with the manufacturers (workers went on strike for 1 week) the items were
delivered too late. He has claimed compensation with the manufacturer and has already received
news that their insurers will compensate all parties concerned for losses that have been suffered.
In his letter mr. Logie apologizes and hopes that (etc. etc.)
(Write the letter; use the format given in the introduction; be sure to mention all the relevant
aspects and data).

7 - Letter of application: cover letter and Curriculum Vitae

You finished your studies 5 years ago, have been working since then for one and the same
company, have gained experience and acquired specific expertise and different skills for the
position that you are applying now.
Write a cover letter + your CV referring to an advertisement of your own choice.

4.2 Reports

On November 19, 2002, the oil tanker Prestige, carrying 77,000 tons of fuel oil, broke in two and
sank off the Spanish coast, creating huge slicks of oil. As she was towed away from the coast, the
tanker left behind a trail of thousands of tones of thick fuel oil that coated Spanish beaches,
devastating wildlife and shellfish and putting thousands of fishermen out of work. Some experts
and environmentalists said it would have been better to take the tanker into port where the oil on
board could have been pumped out even though that would have undoubtedly polluted a section
of the coast. Now the 26-year-old vessel became an environmental time bomb 130 miles off the
Spanish coast and two miles below the surface.

1 Report of the Prestige-disaster

Make a report about the Prestige-disaster.
Use the format given in the introduction; be sure to mention all the relevant aspects,
circumstances and data that you can find about this disaster.
Make use of internet facilities and publications as much as you can.
Be sure to compile a proper summary of your own, with conclusions, final opinion, judgements
and recommendations.
2 Report of an investigation, event, accident or disaster of your own choice

Make a report of a marine-related occurrence (navigation, engineering or naval architecture).

Use the format given in the introduction; be sure to mention all the relevant aspects,
circumstances and data that you can find.
Make use of internet facilities and publications as much as you can.
Be sure to compile a proper summary of your own, with conclusions, final opinion, judgements
and recommendations.

Comprehension Exercises

Exercise 1. True or false?

1. A CV should be word-processed and never handwritten.

2. A CV can be used for any application.
3. Your CV should be laid out in reverse chronological order (most recent items first).
4. A CV should never be more than one side.
5. A bright orange CV will attract attention and improve your chances.
6. CVs should always be accompanied by a covering letter.
7. You should only include the most important and relevant information about yourself on
your CV.
8. You should compose a different CV for each employer.
9. Education and Qualifications should be separate sections on a CV.
10. You should only include education at secondary-school level or above in the Education

Exercise 2. Find the right place for the folowing words and phrases:
motivated /position / university/ organisational / assets / friendly / management /
administrative / own / prioritise
I am a ...(1), adaptable and responsible graduate seeking an entry-level ... (2) position in
public relations which will utilise the ... (3) and communication skills developed during ...(4).
My reliability, communication skills, responsibility and ... (5) nature are ... (6) I would bring
to the work. I have experience in project ... (7) and strong organisational and ... (8) skills with
the ability to work independently and use my ... (9) initiative. I also have the ability to ... (10)
whilst under pressure meeting tight deadlines.

Bibliography / Webography

1. Georgescu, M. , Maritime English VII, Students Coursebook, (on

2. Georgescu, M., Glossary of Cargo-related Terms, (2016), Nautica Press, Constana,
ISBN 606 681 078 - 2;
3. Sweeney, S., (2004) English for Business Communication, Cambridge University
4. Van Kluijven, P.C. The International Maritime Language Programme, Alk &
Heijnen Publishers, Alkmaar, 2005