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Education Resources

Structure of a Business Letter from Business Communication MB0023 of SMU MBA

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We already have discussed about the writing letter. Now, let us come to the arrangement of a business letter. To make your letter effective remember that your presentation of the letter also to be effective. Usually, the letter is drafted in two styles – Blocked and Semi Blocked.

Blocked – Every line in this style begins flush with the left hand margin. Paragraphs are differentiated by leaving a blank space in between them.

Semi Blocked – The first line of each paragraph is indented in this style of writing letters.

The structure of letter contains the following elements:

Heading: Many organizations use their letter head for writing business letters. This covers one fifth of the total space of the page.

Date: This is very important as it might act as a proof that you wrote on a particular date. Type the date two spaces below the last line of the heading at the left hand margin of the letter.

Reference: The advantage of writing a reference is that it helps to trace the letter at a later date. Writing reference number is of two types – one indicates the reference number what you allot for the letter that you write; the other indicates the correspondent’s previous letter to which you are replying now.

Inside Address: The complete address of the person whom you are writing to should be written. You should place it two line-spaces after the date.

Salutation: This is the vital part of the letter which is a good as wishing the person. It is important that you address the name of the person if you know it.

Subject: This indicates to the reader of the letter what the letter is about. It saves the time of the reader. The subject of the letter is written two line-spaces after the salutation.

Body: This contains the text of the letter that you write. You should organize the body of the letter into paragraphs depending upon the matter of your communication.

Conclusion: The conclusion is also known as ‘complimentary close’. You should always end the business letter with a firm or positive note.

Signature: You should place your signature below the complimentary close. Four line spaces are left after the complimentary close to write your name in full.

Enclosure: If you have to enclose any documents along with the letter, you must mention it. The word in abbreviated from encl. is typed two line space below the name / position that you had specified after the signature.

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