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Short business letter format

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Short business letter format
November 25, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 3 comments

A business letter is a formal document often sent from one company to another or from a company to its clients, employees, and stakeholders, for example. Business letters are used for professional correspondence between individuals, as well. Writing an effective, polished business.

  • Return Address: Your address (or the address of the company you represent). If you are using preprinted stationery, there is no need to retype the information.

  • Date: Leave two blank lines after the return address. Always spell out the month and include the day, a comma, and the year.

  • Inside Address: Leave two blank lines after the date. Then type the address of the person or company to whom you are writing.

  • Salutation: Type Dear, followed by the person’s name. End the line with a colon. If you don’t know the name of the person, use a title instead (i.e., Dear Editor, Dear Madam).

  • Body: Align your message on the left margin. Skip a line before starting a new paragraph, but do not indent the paragraph’s first line. Make sure that each paragraph is clear and concise.

  • Closing: Leave two lines of space after your last body paragraph, then use a conventional closing, followed by a comma (i.e., Sincerely, Sincerely Yours, Respectfully).

  • Signature: Your signature should appear below your closing. Unless you have established a personal relationship with the person you are writing, use both your first and last name.

  • Name and Position: Four lines after the closing, type your full name. Do not include a title (Mr. or Mrs.). If you are writing on behalf of an organization, type your title on the next line.

  • Abbreviations at the end of a letter: If you send a copy of a letter to someone other than the person addressed, use cc: and the person’s name. Use Enc. or Enclosure if you enclose something with the letter. If someone else types it, put the writer’s initials in capitals, then a slash and the typist’s initials in lowercase: MT/fjr. Just one abbreviation should appear on a line.

  • Block and indented business letter format tips and examples. It is best to keep an initial business letter short. Business people are busy and do not have time.

    Business Letter Template

    short business letter format

    People write business letters and emails for a variety of reasons such as requesting information, to conduct transactions, to secure employment, and so on. Effective business correspondence should be clear and concise, respectful in tone, and formatted properly. By breaking down a business letter into its basic components, you can learn how to communicate effectively and improve your skills as a writer.

    The Basics

    A typical business letter contains three sections, an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. 

    1. The Introduction: The introduction indicates who the writer is addressing. If you're writing to someone you don't know or have met only briefly, the introduction may also a brief reason of why you're writing. Typically, the introduction is only a sentence or two in length.
    2. The Body: The letters body is where you state your business. This section may be as short as a few sentences or several paragraphs in length. It all depends on the degree of detail necessary to describe the subject at hand.
    3. The Conclusion: The conclusion is the final section where you'll call for future action. This can be a chance to talk in person, to request additional information, or to conduct a transaction. Like the introduction, this section should be no more than a sentence or two and must make clear what you would like from the person reading your letter.

    The Introduction

    The tone of the introduction depends on your relationship to the letter recipient. If you're addressing a close friend or a business colleague, using their first name is acceptable. But if you're writing to someone you do not know, it's best to address them formally in the greeting. If you do not know the name of the person you're writing to, use their title or a general form of address.

    • Dear personnel director
    • Dear sir or madam
    • Dear Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms. (Last name)
    • Dear Frank (use this if the person is a close business contact or friend)

    Writing to a specific person is always preferred. Generally speaking, use Mr. when addressing men and Ms. for women in the greeting. Only use the title of Doctor for those in the medical profession. While you should always begin a business letter with the word "Dear," doing so is an option for business emails, which are less formal.

    If you're writing to someone you don't know or have met only in passing, you may want to follow the greeting by providing some context for why you're contacting that person.

    • With reference to your advertisement in the Times...
    • I'm am following up on our phone call yesterday.
    • Thank you for your letter of March 5.

    The Body

    The majority of a business letter is contained in the body. This is where the writer states his or her reason for corresponding. For example: 

    • I am writing to inquire about the position posted in The Daily Mail.
    • I am writing to confirm the shipment details on order # 2346.
    • I am writing to apologize for the difficulties you experienced last week at our branch.

    Once you have stated the general reason for writing your business letter, use the body to provide additional details. For example, you may be sending a client important documents to sign, apologizing to a customer for poor service, requesting information from a source, or some other reason. Whatever the reason, remember to use language that is courteous and polite.

    • I would be grateful to meet with you next week.
    • Would you possibly have time for a meeting next week?
    • I would be delighted to give you a tour of our facility this coming month.
    • Unfortunately, we will have to postpone the meeting until June 1.
    • Enclosed you will find a copy of the contract. Please sign where indicated.

    It is customary to include some closing remarks after you've stated your business in the body of the letter. This is your opportunity to reinforce your relationship with the recipient, and it should just be a sentence.

    • Please contact us again if we can help in any way.
    • If you have any questions, feel free to call me.
    • You can also use the closing to request or offer future contact with the reader.
    • I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    • Please contact my assistant to schedule an appointment.

    The Finish

    The final thing all business letters need is a salutation, where you say your goodbyes to the reader. As with the introduction, how you write the salutation will depend on your relationship to the recipient.

    For clients that you're not on a first-name basis with, use:

    • Yours faithfully (if you don't know the name of the person you're writing to)
    • Yours sincerely, (if you do know the name of the person you're writing to.

    If you are on a first-name basis, use:

    • Best wishes, (if you're acquaintances)
    • Best regards or Regards (if the person is a close friend or contact)

    Sample Business Letter

    Ken's Cheese House
    34 Chatley Avenue
    Seattle, WA 98765

    October 23, 2017

    Fred Flintstone
    Sales Manager
    Cheese Specialists Inc.
    456 Rubble Road
    Rockville, IL 78777

    Dear Mr. Flintstone,

    With reference to our telephone conversation today, I am writing to confirm your order for: 120 x Cheddar Deluxe Ref. No. 856.

    The order will be shipped within three days via UPS and should arrive at your store in about 10 days.

    Please contact us again if we can help in any way.

    Yours sincerely,
    Kenneth Beare
    Director of Ken's Cheese House

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    Writing Business Letters

    short business letter format

    In this section, you will find many instructional materials we’ve developed for our Writing Center teaching.

    However, there are limitations to these materials. Assignments vary, and different instructors want different things from student writers. Therefore, the advice here may or may not apply to your writing situation.

    Finally, handouts can give only a fraction of the customized guidance that an individual conference with a Writing Center instructor can provide. If you have questions about the information in our handouts, please make an appointment to see a Writing Center instructor.

    Block Form

    5 Hill Street
    Madison, Wisconsin 53700

    March 15, 2005

    Ms. Helen Jones
    President
    Jones, Jones & Jones
    123 International Lane
    Boston, Massachusetts 01234

    Dear Ms. Jones:

    Ah, business letter format-there are block formats, and indented formats, and modified block formats . . . and who knows what others. To simplify matters, we’re demonstrating the block format on this page, one of the two most common formats. For authoritative advice about all the variations, we highly recommend The Gregg Reference Manual, 9th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001), a great reference tool for workplace communications. There seems to be no consensus about such fine points as whether to skip a line after your return address and before the date: some guidelines suggest that you do; others do not. Let’s hope that your business letter succeeds no matter which choice you make!

    When you use the block form to write a business letter, all the information is typed flush left, with one-inch margins all around. First provide your own address, then skip a line and provide the date, then skip one more line and provide the inside address of the party to whom the letter is addressed. If you are using letterhead that already provides your address, do not retype that information; just begin with the date. For formal letters, avoid abbreviations where possible.

    Skip another line before the salutation, which should be followed by a colon. Then write the body of your letter as illustrated here, with no indentation at the beginnings of paragraphs. Skip lines between paragraphs.

    After writing the body of the letter, type the closing, followed by a comma, leave 3 blank lines, then type your name and title (if applicable), all flush left. Sign the letter in the blank space above your typed name. Now doesn’t that look professional?

    Sincerely,

     

    John Doe
    Administrative Assistant

    Indented Form

    5 Hill Street
    Madison, Wisconsin 53700

    15 March 2005

    Ms. Helen Jones
    President
    Jones, Jones & Jones
    123 International Lane
    Boston, Massachusetts 01234

    Dear Ms. Jones:

    Ah, business letter format–there are block formats, and
    indented formats, and modified block formats . . . and who
    knows what others. To simplify matters, we’re demonstrating
    the indented format on this page, one of the two most common
    formats. For authoritative advice about all the variations,
    we highly recommend The Gregg Reference Manual, 9th ed. (New
    York: McGraw-Hill, 2001), a great reference tool for workplace
    communications. There seems to be no consensus about such
    fine points as whether to skip a line after your return
    address and before the date: some guidelines suggest that you
    do; others do not. Let’s hope that your business letter
    succeeds no matter which choice you make!

    If you are using the indented form, place your address at
    the top, with the left edge of the address aligned with the
    center of the page. Skip a line and type the date so that it
    lines up underneath your address. Type the inside address and
    salutation flush left; the salutation should be followed by a
    colon. For formal letters, avoid abbreviations.

    Indent the first line of each paragraph one-half inch.
    Skip lines between paragraphs.

    Instead of placing the closing and signature lines
    flush left, type them in the center, even with the address
    and date above, as illustrated here. Now doesn’t that look
    professional?

    Sincerely,

     

    John Doe

    Keep it short and simple. Use simple and succinct words instead of long-winded ones. Business letters need to be pithy; this can be achieved by making use of.

    Business Letters

    short business letter format

    A business letter is a formal letter with six parts:

    The Heading
    The heading contains the return address with the date on the last line. Sometimes it is necessary to include a line before the date with a phone number, fax number, or e-mail address. Often there is a line skipped between the address and the date. It is not necessary to type a return address if you are using stationery with the return address already imprinted, but you should always use a date.  Make sure the heading is on the left margin.
    Example:

    Ms. Jane Doe
    543 Washington St
    Marquette, MI 49855
    Tel:
    Fax:
    Email:
    June 28, 2011

    Recipient’s Address
    This is the address you are sending your letter to. Be sure to make it as complete as possible so it gets to its destination. Always include title names (such as Dr.) if you know them. This is, like the other address, on the left margin. If a standard 8 ½” x 11” paper is folded in thirds to fit in a standard 9” business envelope, the inside address should appear through the window in the envelope (if there is one). Be sure to skip a line after the heading and before the recipient’s address, then skip another line after the inside address before the greeting. For an example, see the end of this sheet for a sample letter.

    The Salutation
    The salutation (or greeting) in a business letter is always formal. It often begins with “Dear {Person’s name}.” Once again, be sure to include the person’s title if you know it (such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr).  If you’re unsure about the person’s title then just use their first name. For example, you would use only the person’s first name if the person you are writing to is “Jordan” and you’re not sure if he or she is male or female.
    The salutation always ends with a colon.

    The Body
    The body is the meat of your letter. For block and modified block letter formats, single space and left justify each paragraph. Be sure to leave a blank line between each paragraph, however, no matter the format. Be sure to also skip a line between the salutation and the body, as well as the body and the close.

    The Complimentary Close
    The complimentary close is a short and polite remark that ends your letter. The close begins at the same justification as your date and one line after the last body paragraph. Capitalize the first word of your closing (Thank you) and leave four lines for a signature between the close and the sender’s name. A comma should follow the closing.

    The Signature Line
    Skip at least four lines after the close for your signature, and then type out the name to be signed. This often includes a middle initial, although it is not required. Women may put their title before had to show how they wish to be addressed (Ms., Mrs., Miss).
    The signature should be in blue or black ink.

    Enclosures
    If you have any enclosed documents, such as a resume, you can indicate this by typing “Enclosures” one line below the listing. You also may include the name of each document.

    Format and Font
    Many organizations have their own style for writing a business letter, but here  are some common examples.

    Block
    The most common layout for a business letter is called a block format. In this format, the entire letter is justified to the left and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs.

    Modified Block
    Modified block is another popular type of business letter. The body of the letter and the sender’s and recipient’s addresses are left justified and single spaced. However, in this format, the date and closing are tabbed to the center point.

    Semi-Block
    The least used style is called a semi-block. In it each paragraph is indented instead of left justified.

    Font
    The standard font for business letters is Times New Roman, size 12. However, fonts that are clear to read such as Arial may be used.
    Sample Letter
    {NOTE: your name goes only at the bottom}
    Your Return Address (no abbreviations for Street, Avenue, etc.)
    Your City, YO [your two letter state abbreviation] zip
    Date (write out either like June 4, 2004 or 4 June 2004)
    First and Last Name of the Person to whom you are writing 
    Address 
    City, ST zip
    Dear Mr./Ms. Whomever:
    In the first paragraph, introduce what you are writing about and what you want from them.
    In the subsequent paragraphs, explain the nature of your problem and what they can do for you. Be non-combative and straight to the point.
    In the last paragraph, be sure to thank him/her for his/her time and efforts on your behalf. Also, let them know that you will contact them or that they can contact you with any questions.
    Sincerely yours,
    {four spaces so that your signature may appear here}
    Jane Doe
    A business letter is not restricted to one page; the letter should be as long as it needs to be.

    Parts of a Standard Business Letter Format The body of the letter is usually composed of one to three brief paragraphs, each with a specific.

    short business letter format
    Written by Mezinris
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