Identifying moves and elements of persuasion in collection letters

  • Scot Hanel Universidad de las Américas, Puebla
  • Viviana Cortés Georgia State University
Palabras clave: Move analysis, persuasion, genre analysis, English for specific purposes.


Collection letters are meant to collect balances due and at the same time they attempt to encourage a business relationship and its revenue flow to continue. This type of correspondence is nowadays one of the few types of correspondence that is not maintained electronically because in the different stages of the collection process, these letters can acquire certain legal power. In these extremely difficult days for the financial world, collection letters have become a frequent means of correspondence between collectors and debtors in several countries, which makes it necessary to carefully analyze this particular genre in order to raise awareness of its structural organization and content, particularly to help language users who may not be familiar with this genre in their own cultures. This study looks at the collection letter as business correspondence that consists of specific moves that function together to persuade debtors to pay the agreed-upon amount that is legitimately owed to the creditor. The study also explores the different stages of the collection process and the functional and rhetorical approaches that are found at each of these stages, analyzing the frequency of the moves identified in the letters and the different uses of those moves. The results of this study show that requesting the debtor to communicate with the creditor is undoubtedly the most frequently used strategy for achieving the two major purposes of this type of correspondence. 


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Cómo citar
Hanel, S., & Cortés, V. (2015). Identifying moves and elements of persuasion in collection letters. Revista De Lenguas Para Fines Específicos, 16, 83-108. Recuperado a partir de