—Business Letter and Letterheads


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Include all essential letter elements, properly spaced and sized

—All business letters contain the same basic elements

  • —Date line
  • —Inside address
  • —Message
  • —Signature block

—Does not include a letterhead, then the top of the letter should include return address information in a heading.


—Use proper spacing and formats for the contents of the letter below the letterhead


  1. —Size between 8 and 12 point
  2. —Add emphasis
  3. —Bold
  4. —Italic
  5. —Bullets where appropriate
  • —Use tables to present numeric information
  • —Paragraphs should be singled-spaced
  • —Double-spacing between paragraphs

—Date line

  1. —Which consists of the month, day, and year
  2. —Positioned two to six lines below the letterhead

—Inside address

  1. —Place three to eight lines below the date line
  2. —Usually contains the addressee’s courtesy title plus full name, job title, business affiliation, and full geographical address.

—Salutation

—Begins two lines below the last line of the inside address
—If you do not know the recipient’s name, avoid using the salutation…
—“To whom it may concern” ---impersonal
—Use the recipient’s title in the salutation
—Dear Personnel Director

—In a business letter

—Use a colon (:)

—In a personal letter

—Use a comma
—Message
  • —Body of the letter
  • —Begins two lines below the salutation
  • —Within the message
  • —Paragraphs are single-spaced with one blank line between paragraphs

—Complimentary close

  • —Two lines below the last line of the message
  • —Capitalize only the first word in a complimentary close

—Signature block

  • —At least four blank lines below the complimentary close
  • —Allowing room for the author to sign his or her name
—Block letter style
  • —All components of the letter begin flush with the left margin

—Modified block letter style

  • —The date, complimentary close, and signature block are positioned approximately one-half inch to the right of center or the right margin
  • —All other components of the letter begin flush with the left margin

—Modified semi-block letter style

  • —The date, complimentary close, and signature blocks are centered, positioned approximately one-half inch to the right of center or at the right margin
  • —The first line of each paragraph in the body of the letter is indented one-half to one inch from the left margin
  • —All other components of the letter begin flush with the left margin


Example of Letterhead: