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Proper Business Letter Format

Business letters are formatted different ways but they all have the same elements. They have a letterhead, a date, an inside address, a salutation, a body, a complimentary closing, signature, and the name of the author of the letter. The three most commonly used are block format, modified block format, and semi-block format.

The first paragraph should state the purpose of the letter. Then paragraph or paragraphs after that should state details that support the purpose. The closing paragraph restates the purpose and contact information maybe stated in this paragraph.

Block Format

The entire letter is justified at the left. The date is put at the top of the paper. After the date there is the inside address. Then there is the salutation, after that there the body of the letter. After the body there is the complimentary closing, then there is the name and the position or the address of the author. The letter is single-spaced except for the different section of the letter. For example, the space between the date and inside address are doubled-spaced. The paragraphs are doubled-spaced also. The space between the complimentary closing and the author's address is quadrupled-spaced.

Modified Block Format

In a modified block format, the inside address salutation, and the body are left justified. The date, complimentary closing, and the authors name are alingned in the center. Modified block format has the same spacing as block format.

Semi-Block Format

A semi-block format is like a modified block format except that the paragraphs are indented.


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