Business letters are letters used for business purposes. The letters take the formats of either block format or the semi indented format.
The full block format
It is the easier of the two and is the most used format in business letters. This format is left aligned that is, the addresses and the closing.
This is your address that is written and aligned in the left side of the page. But the address is not needed if the letter contains the letterhead of the company. Skip a line and type the date.
This is the date at which the letter was written. The format of the letter should be month, day, year and it should not be abbreviated like April 3, 2010 . Skip 3 lines and type the receiver’s address.
The name of the recipient should be included in the address if it is known. The title of the person should follow this, after that (this usually stand in as name when the name is not known) include the company’s name.
You should use “dear me/MS (name of the receiver specifically the last one) or “dear director (name of the department) you could use “to whom is my concern” if the name is unknown.
This is optional but it is good for the recipient to know what the letter is about.
This is where you could include all the details of the letter, your reasons. The paragraphs should be separated by a line and in good font.
There should be one line between the body and the closing. You could use any complementary closing but it usually ends with “sincerely”. Skip 3-4 lines after the closing and include your name, signature which should be in blue or black. And include your title.
This is where you show the attached document if there is any. Your letter should contain the word ‘enclosure’ to show there is another document attached.
You could include the initials and the person who typed the document (if you did not do it yourself). You type your initials in upper case and the person who typed initials in lower case.
Punctuation of the letter
The address should be well punctuated; the commas should follow each line of the address except the last line. The salutation should have a full colon after it. The complementary close should have a comma after it and the first letter of it should be capitalized.
The semi-blockletter format(indented)
This format is usually used in friendly letters, but also they are widely used in business letters. They are different from the full block format because the address is indented and also the paragraphs. They are also called the modified semi –block format.
The format includes everything in the full block format except the alignment.
The sender’s address, the closing, the signature and your name are right aligned as they are indented. The paragraphs are also indented.
In semi-block format, the salutation is followed by a comma, not a full colon.