Format of Business Letter

The Greeting. Also called the salutation. The greeting in a business letter is always formal. It normally begins with the word “Dear” and always includes the person’s last name. It normally has a title. Use a first name only if the title is unclear–for example, you are writing to someone named “Leslie,” but do not know whether the person is male or female. For more on the form of titles.
The greeting in a business letter always ends in a colon. (You know you are in trouble if you get a letter from a boyfriend or girlfriend and the greeting ends in a colon–it is not going to be friendly.)

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TYPES OF BUSINESS LETTER

The Body. The body is written as text. A business letter sample is never hand written. Depending on the letter style you choose, paragraphs may be indented. Regardless of format, skip a line between paragraphs. Skip a line between the greeting and the body. Skip a line between the body and the close.

IMPORTANCE OF SIGNATURE IN BUSINESS LETTER

The Complimentary Close. This short, polite closing ends with a comma. It is either at the left margin or its left edge is in the center, depending that you use. It begins at the same column the heading does.  The block style is becoming formal letter format more widely used because there is no indenting to bother with in the whole letter. The Signature Line. Skip two lines (unless you have unusually wide or narrow lines) and type out the name to be signed. This customarily includes a middle initial, but does not have to. Women may indicate how they wish to be addressed by placing Miss, Mrs., Ms. or similar title in parentheses before their name.

SOME FACTS OF BUSINESS LETTER

The signature line may include a second line for a title, if appropriate. The term “By direction” in the second line means that a superior is authorizing the signer. The signature should start directly above the first letter of the signature line in the space between the close and the signature line. Use blue or black ink. Business letters should not contain postscripts. Some organizations and companies may have formats that vary slightly.

Formatting of Business Letter

Use the “Edit” function in the Help Menu above if you need to make additions to the information on this page.
Final notations: Two lines below your typed signature. For example, if you’re sending copies of the letter to other people, you may type cc:, followed by the alphabetically listed names of those receiving the letter.

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