Chapters 7 & 8

Seven standard parts in business letters (from component chapter A)

  1. Heading
    1. letterhead
    2. if no letterhead is available, type a return address (no name) 2 inches from the top of the page
  1. Date
    1. if letterhead is used, place date at least one blank line below
    2. if letterhead is not used, place date right after the return address (no blank line)
  1. Inside address
    1. at least one blank line below the date line, use more to improve letter's look
    2. use a courtesy title (Mr., Ms.), except if you don't know the gender of the recipient. For short professional title (Professor, Doctor, Director), include them on the name line. Otherwise, type a title line.
  1. Salutation
    1. one blank line below the inside address
    2. follows the model used on the first line of your inside address (Dear Mr./Dear Mrs.)
    3. use first name only when appropriate
  1. Body
    1. one blank line after the salutation and one before the complimentary close
    2. single-spaced, but leave a blank line between paragraphs
  1. Complimentary close
    1. one blank line below the body
    2. Sincerely,/Cordially,
  1. Signature block
    1. leave three blank lines for a written signature after the complimentary close
    2. name and title; use two lines if necessary
When a letter is two pages long

In situations where you represent your company and no letterhead is used, or you need a second page, type the name of the company in capital letters two blank lines below the complimentary close. Then skip another four lines and type name and title (use two lines if necessary)

Possible Letter Formats

When typing the body of a letter Common organization for a good news/routine/goodwill type of letter Common organization for a bad news letter Exercises: what is wrong with these letters (Click here for letters)

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