Format of a Business Letter

      For a business letter (letter of application, thank you, complaint, invitation, etc.), line everything up to the left margin. Make sure you pay attention to the punctuation used.

 

1. Heading

The heading consists of your address and the date

 

501 Spring Street

Regina, SK R3T 4N7

January 3, 2007.

 

2. Inside Address

The inside address consists of the name and address of the person you are writing. It usually appears four lines below the heading if a word processor is used, or one line below if your letter is handwritten.

 

Sam Hunt, Director

The Knitting Mill

1409 3 Avenue

Toronto, ON L3V 7O1

 

3. Salutation

The most traditional salutation or greeting for a business letter is Dear followed by Mr., Mrs., or Miss, the person's last name, and ending with a colon.

 

Dear Mr. Smith:

Dear Ms. Black:

Dear Mrs. Brown:

Dear Miss Green:

 

4. Body

The body is the main part of the letter in which you can write what you have to say to the person. Skip one line after the salutation. Skip one line between paragraphs. You may indent the beginning of each paragraph or you may choose not to. Make sure that you include enough information so that your purpose is clearly understood. Always be polite. Business letters are usually formal, so the language that you use should also be formal. YOU MUST WRITE 3 PARAGRAPHS.

 


Body Paragraph #1:

Indicate who you are and why you are writing.

 

Body Paragraph #2:

Details -- 10 points about your topic (minimum of 10 sentences)

 

Body Paragraph #3:

What kind of a response do you expect from the reader and how can you be reached (phone, fax, email), as well as the date you expect a response by.

 

5. Closing

The closing is the ending to your letter. It appears at the bottom of the letter, directly under the body. Only the first word in the closing should be capitalized. It is always followed by a comma.

 

Yours truly,

Sincerely,

 

6. Signature

The signature is your full name signed. Your signature should appear directly below the closing. It is always written in ink.

 

7. Your name printed

This should come about 4 lines after the closing; the signature is in between the closing and your name printed.

 

8. Commonly Used Abbreviations for Provinces and Territories

Province/Territory

Abbreviation

Alberta

AB

British Columbia

BC

Manitoba

MB

New Brunswick

NB

Newfoundland & Labrador

NL

Northwest Territories

NT

Nova Scotia

NS

Nunavut

NU

Ontario

ON

Prince Edward Island

PE

Quebec

QC

Saskatchewan

SK

Yukon Territory

YT