What is a business letter? ExternalWrittenBusiness communication From a business to another business or individual Usually have a formal tone Used when you want a permanent written record of communication Samples business letters can be viewed at the following websites: http://www.isampleletter.com/ https://www.writeexpress.com/sample-business-letters.html
Letterhead Business letters are normally keyed on special stationery called letterhead. Please review the special letterheads identified on this website: http://www.intersend.com/letterhead/.
Margins Top 2”-2.5” When you begin keying a business letter, first set the correct margins:
2” or 2.5” top margin depending on the length of the letterhead
1” side margins
1” bottom margins
File, Page Setup in Word 97-2003 Page Layout tab-Margins icon in Word 2007 Left 1” Right 1” Bottom 1”
Style Letters can be keyed using two styles: block style and modified block style. Modified Block style: the date, complimentary closing, and writer’s name and title are indented to 3.25”. (You will learn more about modified block in a later assignment) Block style: all letter parts are keyed at the left margin. There will be nothing indented with tabs or the tab key.
Punctuation Letters can use two types of punctuation: open or mixed. Mixed punctuation: a colon is keyed after the salutation and a comma is keyed after the complimentary closing. Open punctuation: no colon after the salutation and no comma after the complimentary closing.
Parts and Spacing
Dateline The dateline the is first part of the letter. It should be typed with the month spelled out and the full year as noted in the sample. The dateline should reflect the date the letter is prepared and signed. Quadruple space after the dateline.
InsideAddress The inside address is the second part of the business letter. The inside address is the address of the person receiving the letter. The inside address should include the name, street address and city, state and zip code of the recipient. Double space after the inside address.
Salutation Also known as the greeting, the salutation is the hello part of the business letter. Salutations should include a greeting word, recipients title and last name. Open Punctuation: no punctuation after the salutation Mixed Punctuation: colon after the salutation Double space after the salutation.
Body The body of the letter is the message in paragraph form. Most letter bodies consist of three paragraphs: statement of purpose, information/facts, call for action. Double space between the paragraphs and single space between them. Double space after the body.
ComplimentaryClose The complimentary close is the goodbye of the business letter. Complimentary closes can vary and include words and phrases such as Sincerely, Yours Truly, Thank you. Open Punctuation: no punctuation after the complimentary close Mixed Punctuation: colon after the complimentary close Quadruple space after the complimentary close.
SignatureBlock The signature block is the writers typed name and title. There will always be a quadruple space before the signature block to allow for the writer to hand sign their name. Double space after the signature block.
ReferenceInitials Reference initials are the typist initials. Reference initials are used when the writer of the letter and the typist of the letter are different people. Reference initials are lowercase and have no punctuation or spaces. Double space after reference initials.
EnclosureNotation An enclosure notation is used when something is enclosed (included) within the envelope with the letter. Enclosures can include anything from a form to a picture to a check. Double space after the enclosure notation.
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