Business Letter Format – 4 Single Most Important Rules
A business letter is essentially a letter from you to another organization, or between those organizations and their clients, customers, or other authorized parties. Therefore, the style of such letter greatly depends on the relationship between these parties involved. For instance, there might be a formal business letter written to an official such as an accountant or a bank with many pages of explanation about the reasons behind a particular decision of yours and your relation to that decision. On the other hand, there may be some sort of a conversation-based letter that contains only a few sentences containing general information about two or more topics. Either of these types of letters is usually informal in nature and written in a business letter format. However, this is not the entire definition of the format; it simply represents the general trend of all types of business letter writing.
Once you have understood the general nature of the format, you need to look at the specifics. The first of them is the inside address of the letterhead. An inside address refers to the uppermost part of any letterhead, which is generally printed on top of the white envelope that contains the text and other details about the sender and the recipient. You can find some business letter format which has the inside address of the letterhead as the top-line of the letterhead, while some have both the address of the recipient and the sender listed under the same line.
There are two common styles of business letter formats, which are the block formats and the dotted formats. The block format is probably the most widely used format among all other styles. In the block format, there is a single block made of three lines for the very top (the inside line), two lines on the right and one line below the right-hand line. There are usually two spaces (two tabs) between these lines for the purpose of keeping track of the date. The rest of the lines are the same color as the background and may be printed with different fonts.
The difference between the dot format and the indented format is that, in the latter, you do not have to use tabs. These are just simply raised dots on top of the normal lines, which makes it easier to read. Actually, these kinds of business letter formats are far more popular than the former ones. However, when it comes to style, they are fairly the same, and for that reason, you should choose only the block types whenever possible.
A dot business letter format has the basic format, which doesn’t change much from the block types. It still starts with the address of the sender (which is usually the very top line), the name of the sender (also called the body of the message), and then the name of the recipient (which is usually the second line). If you are printing the document on a colored background, make sure that your printer is capable of displaying the colored text. Otherwise, the document will look distorted. Then, you can add your text, and then you are ready to send it! You can also insert an image in this kind of document, but in this case, you have to make sure that your font is capable of displaying the image as well.
Then, if you want your message to be legible and sincere, you can use enclosed blocks for your text. The blocks must be enclosed using quotation marks (‘) and then following the rules set forth by Microsoft Word (typographical formatting). Enclosures are optional, and you can add them to your document at any time. The enclosed blocks are placed at the bottom of the page, and you can type whatever you want after these enclosed blocks.