Lesson: Basic Format Conventions for Letters

A letter is an external communication addressed to someone outside your organization.  It has addresses for both the reader and the writer.  Letters can be as short as a half-page note to a vendor requesting a price, or as long as a seven-page proposal to a client.In longer letters, it is appropriate to include headings and subheadings.In the left column below you will find a sample of letter format conventions.  Notes on the conventions are found in red, both in the letter and in the column to the right.

Letterhead
Date

 

Name and title of person being addressed
Full address of person being addressed

 

Dear _________________:   This is called the salutation or greeting
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Wisi enim
Ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Wisi enim ad minim veniam. Dolore eu satasfeugiat. Esse lestie drerit in atsvulputate.

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At consequat vel satillum dolore eutta feugiat nostrud exerci. Ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Hendrerit in atsvulputate velit esse molestie at consequat. Exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit vel ali lobortis vulputate velit exercitation ullamcorper et suscipit lobortis vulputate esse molestie.

Molestie
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UMBRA 0,000.00

Sincerely,     This is called the complimentary closing

Your Signature

Your Name, typed
Your Company Title or Role

enclosures: if you include more than one item, name each

If you are not using a letterhead, then put your full address in place of the letterhead.  The date is part of the sender’s information. So is a phone number, if not at the top, in the letter itself, where it seems appropriate.


After the Full name, title, and full address of the person you are writing to, put two spaces, then continue with the salutation or greeting.Put two spaces after the salutation and begin the text.


The nonsense text used in the letter is called lorem ipsum and is used for filling in spaces when designing a document, before putting in the actual text.  I’ve used it here to deemphasize the text, to emphasize the format.


For details about how to deal with titles, abbreviations and differing letter styles, see theBusiness Writer’s Handbook under correspondence, parts of a letter.


The Complimentary Close is typed two spaces below the last line in the text.


If including one enclosure, the notation is singular;  if  more than one, it is plural.  If you include more than one enclosure,  list all items.