A business letter is usually arranged in one of several standard formats. sample business letter format for full block format aligns all text with the left margin; a variation indents the body, or message, paragraphs. Modified Block aligns all text except date line, closing, and writer’s identification at the left margin; the date line, closing and writer’s identification begin at the center of the page. A variation on Modified Block format also indents the body or message paragraphs. Finally, Simplified Style uses a block format and omits salutation and closing.
Business letters consist of combinations of standard elements, some of them optional. And these are combination sample business letter format :
|Heading :Letterhead or return address
|Personal or confidential notificationReference notation
|Opening :Salutation||Attention line|
|Body :Message||Subject line|
|Closing :Complimentary closing
|Company SignatureReference initials
Business letters always begin with a letterhead or return address : the sender’s or company’s logo, name and address, along with other contact information such as a telephone number, fax number, e-mail, or website address.
The date line, including the month, day, and year on which the letter is typed, starts on the second line below the letterhead. The date line is always typed in full, never abbreviated.
Use a personal or confidential notation or mailing notation if necessary on the second line below the date, at the left margin. Type the notation in all upper case or in underlined upper and lower case: PERSONAL or Personal, CONFIDENTIAL or Confidential
The inside address consists of the name and address of the person to whom you are writing. It begins on the second line below the dateline. If a notation falls between the date and the inside address, start the inside address on the third line below the notation.
The optional attention line directs a letter to the proper person (for example, Attention: Director of Marketing) even if you do not have that person’s name. It is intended to ensure that the organization responds to you, even if the person you write to is unknown or unavailable. (Whenever possible, though, address the letter to a specific person in the organization, including the person’s job title and department, if known). The attention line appears either on the second line below the inside address or as the second line of the
The optional subject line or reference line briefly states the subject matter of the letter, possibly by project number or other internal reference. It can appear either on the second line above the salutation as an element of the heading, or on the second line below the salutation as part of the body.
The salutation is an opening greeting like “Dear Ms. Morales:” typed on the second line below the last line of the inside address. A colon follows the salutation. Use a general salutation such as “Gentlemen and Ladies” if you used an attention line because you did not know what person would receive the letter. Simplified Style omits the salutation entirely.
The message is the text of the letter. It begins on the second line below the salutation. Single-space within paragraphs; double-space only between paragraphs. A typical business letter of three paragraphs first introduces the subject, then explains or elaborates, and finally concludes with thanks and contact information. The body always follows standard rules of punctuation.
The complimentary closing is parting phrase like “Sincerely” or “Yours truly.” Type it on the second line below the last line of the message. A comma follows the complimentary closing. Simplified Style omits the complimentary closing altogether.
company signature indicates that the writer is acting on behalf of the company. Type it on the second line below the complimentary closing.
The writer’s identification is the signer’s name and title. It appears on the fourth line below the company’s signature, or, if there is no company signature, on the fourth line below the complimentary closing. (This leaves space for a handwritten signature.)
If someone other than the signer typed the letter, the reference initials of both typist and signer appear on the second line below the signer’s name and title. The typist’s initials are
typed in lower case followed by those of the signer in upper case (vlg/MS).
The optional enclosure notation is a reminder that the letter is accompanied by one or more enclosures. Type the enclosure notation on the second line below the reference initials.
The optional copy notation names those who will receive copies if you want this information known. Type it on the second line below the mailing notation. Use cc for courtesy copy, pc for photocopy, or just c, with or without a colon.
Second page heading sample business letter format
A second page heading includes the name of the addressee, the page number, and the date. They may be arranged across the top of the page as a header, or typed at the left margin on three separate lines. The message continues on the third line below the second page heading.