You may need to write a formal letter to apply to -- or resign from -- a job, convince someone to see things from your point of view or even just to express an opinion, such as in a letter to an editor. Formatting a letter that gets the right kind of attention will help convey the message you want to send.
The most formal of the business letters, the block-style format avoids the use of fanciful fonts and spacing, allowing the reader to focus on the content. This is the best form to use if you want to convey a serious and respectful tone. Everything in the letter is typed flush left.
The only exception is when the letter is written on letterhead. In this case, the letterhead is printed at the top and generally centered. The next section is the date. The date should be located approximately two inches from the top of the page.
Spell out the date completely, beginning with month, day and year. For example, January 31,would be correct. Skip a space after the date. This includes the name, title, address and phone number of the person reading the letter.
Type the complete address, phone number and email. Research any information that may be missing to complete this section thoroughly and accurately. Avoid abbreviations if possible. A formal salutation begins with the word "Dear" and is followed by the first and last name of the recipient and then a colon.
The block-format letter errs on the formal side; when in doubt, it is best to use a title, such as Mr. If the recipient is a good friend or associate, using their first name may be acceptable. Following the greeting, skip a line and begin the body of the letter. Paragraphs should not be indented.
Instead, double-space between paragraphs.
This is not the time to focus on creative embellishments. Stick to point font that does not divert attention from the message of the letter. New Times Roman is an acceptable font. Closing Elements Once you have completed the letter, skip a space and insert a closing.
The word "Sincerely" followed by a comma is conventional.
This triple spacing allows you, the sender, to sign your name after the letter is printed. If there are enclosures, such as a resume or other documents, skip a space after your name and title and type the word "Enclosures.
After the colon, list names vertically, one per line. Differences From Other Styles The characteristic that distinguishes the block-style format from other letter formats is the lack of indentation. For example, in the modified block style, the date, sign-off and signature line are centered, and the beginning of each paragraph is indented.
In the semi-block style, all elements are aligned to the left margin except the beginnings of the paragraphs, which are indented.
An extra space is added between the paragraphs, just like the block style.See an example of a letter in block format (pdf). Modified block format. Modified block differs from block style in that the date, sign off, and signature lines begin at the centre point of the page line.
The beginning of each paragraph is indented five spaces, along with the subject line, if used. Depending on the length of the letter, paragraphs may be . The block-style letter uses a minimalist format with no indents; every part of the letter starts at the left margin. The most formal of the business letters, the block-style format avoids the use of fanciful fonts and spacing, allowing the reader to focus on the content.
LETTER FORMATS. Full Block Format (See Sample 1) In a full block business letter, every component of the letter (heading, address, salutation, body, salutation, signature, identification, enclosures) is aligned to the left.
Also, first sentences of paragraphs are not indented. A memo’s format is typically informal (but still all-business) and public. Memos typically make announcements, discuss procedures, report on company activities, and .
The block-style letter uses a minimalist format with no indents; every part of the letter starts at the left margin. The most formal of the business letters, the block-style format avoids the use of fanciful fonts and spacing, allowing the reader to focus on the content.
Block format is typically used for business letters. In block format, the entire text is left aligned and single spaced. The exception to the single spacing is a double space between paragraphs (instead of indents for paragraphs).