Letter Formats by etssetcf

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									                                                                               Writing Skills Series


Letter Formats

The overall style, structure and layout of business letters are usually similar. However, your
company may have a house style or its own templates, which you should be familiar with.


Structure of a business letter

English business letters usually contain the following information (in this order):

    •   Letterhead or sender's address
    •   Date
    •   Recipient’s address
    •   Salutation or greeting
    •   Subject line
    •   Letter body
    •   Closing salutation (e.g. ‘Yours sincerely’)
    •   Signature, printed name and position of sender


Layout

A left-blocked style is normally used:

                                                                                            San Electronics
                                                                                                The Tower
                                                                                                Edgemont
                                                                                             17 April 20XX
Ms Jan Gale
Bradleworth Consulting
125 Digworth Road
Bradleworth

Dear Ms Gale

Subject line (this is usually in bold or underlined, and can be either left-blocked or
centred)

This is an example of a block style business letter. All major parts of the letter start at the left margin.

Leave one blank line between paragraphs and do not indent the first line of each paragraph.

After the last paragraph, enter the closing salutation (‘Yours sincerely’ or ‘Yours faithfully’). Then leave
enough space for the writer to sign. Then enter a typed name and the writer's title. The letter writer's
title may be one line below the typed signature or on the same line as the typed signature but with a
comma separating them (Radoslaw Sawicki, Office Manager).

Yours sincerely

Radoslaw Sawicki
Office Manager


                                                                                   GnosisLearning, 2008
                                                                      Writing Skills Series


Writer’s address

If you are using company headed stationery, you will not need to include your address.
However, if you are writing on blank paper, the sender’s address should be included. This is
usually located above the date on the right-hand side.


Open vs. mixed punctuation

When using open punctuation, no punctuation is used after the greeting or the closing
salutation:

       e.g.    Dear Ms Jones
               {MAIN BODY OF THE LETTER}
               Yours sincerely

When using mixed punctuation, there is a comma after the greeting and the closing
salutation.

       e.g.    Dear Ms. Jones,
               {MAIN BODY OF THE LETTER}
               Yours sincerely,

Date

The date usually goes between your address and the recipient’s address. In formal business
writing, it is best to completely write out the date to avoid confusion, e.g. 2 October 20XX.
This is because in the US dates are written in a different order to the rest of the world. This
might cause confusion if only numbers are used, i.e. 02/10/20XX. An American would read
this date as 10 February, but the rest of the world would read it as 2 October.


Enclosures

If you are sending additional documents (such as a CV or price list), you should use an
enclosure notation under the name and title of the sender to indicate that the documents are
included with the letter. You should also mention that you have enclosed documents in the
main body of the letter.

       e.g.: Enc: Price List 20XX

Carbon Copy

If you are sending a business letter to people other than the recipient at the top of the
letter, you should note it on the letter with a 'carbon copy' reference at the bottom, under
the sender’s name.

       e.g.: cc: John Smith, Mary Connolly


                                                                          GnosisLearning, 2008

								
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