The three Basic letter formats
Place all the letters elements flush against the left-hand
Do not indent the first word of each paragraph
Modified Block Format
Same as the full block with 2 exceptions: date line and
closing signature are place on the right side of the page
Has no salutation & no complimentary close, but always
has subject line
Useful for impersonal situations, or where the identity of
recipient is not known; involves less typing
Elements of a letter
Heading : your address and name placed
according to the format you have chosen
Spell out words such as avenue, street, apartment
etc. (but use Apt. if the line is too long)
Put an apartment number to the right of the street
address. If street address is too long, put apartment
no. on the next line.
Spell out numbered street names up to Twelfth.
To avoid confusion, put a hyphen between the house
and street no. (1021-14th Street)
4217 East Eleventh Avenue
Spell out the month
Avoid Using use ordinal indicators, such as 1st, 3rd
October 20, 2007
Use correct personal title (Mr., Ms., Dr., Professor etc) and business title
(Director, Manager, etc
Write the firm’s name exactly, adhering to its practice of abbreviating or
spelling out such words as company and corporation.
Place the reader’s title after his or her name or on a line by itself,
whichever best balances the inside address.
Use the title Ms. For a woman, unless you know that she prefers to be
addressed in another way.
Ms. Susan Wardell
Director of planning
Acme Bolt and Fastener
23201 Johnson Avenue
Arlington, AZ 85322
used when you don’t name the reader (“Attention
Place the line 2 spaces below the inside address
Place the word Attention against the left margin. Do
not follow it by a colon.
If the first line names an office, address the office, use
an attention line, or use a subject line.
agrees with first line of the inside address. A colon or
comma always follows it.
If the first line names an individual (Ms. Ann Burdick),
say “ Dear Ms. Burdick:”
If the first line names a company (Dougherty
Contracting), repeat the name of the company
(“Dougherty Contracting:” or just “Dougherty
Contracting:”) or use the simplified format with a
Firari & Firari, Accountants
Dear Personnel Director: (or)
Attention Personnel Director (or)
Follow the word subject with a colon
For emphasis, you may either completely
capitalize or underline the subject
of the Letter
Single-space the body.
Try to balance the body on the page.
It should cover the page’s imaginary middle line.
Use several short paragraphs rather than one long one.
Use 1 inch margin in the right and left
Use simple closings such as “Sincerely” or “Sincerely yours”
Capitalize only the first word of the line.
Place a comma after the close
Place the company name immediately below the complimentary
Allow space for the handwritten signature
Place the writer’s title pr department, or both, below his or her
Planning Business letters
Approaching your audience
The “You” approach
Types of Business Letters
Letters of inquiry
Specification change letters