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Guidelines for business letters

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Presentation on theme: "Guidelines for business letters"— Presentation transcript:

1 Guidelines for business letters
Obj Digital Communication Systems

2 Margins When you begin keying a business letter, first set the correct margins: Open a new document in Microsoft Word Set the correct margins: 2” or 2.5” top margin depending on the length of the letterhead-1” side margins-1” bottom margins File, Page Setup in Word Page Layout tab-Margins icon in Word 2007

3 Style Letters can be keyed using two styles: block style and modified block style. Block style: all letter parts are keyed at the left margin. There will be nothing indented with tabs or the tab key. Modified Block style: the date, complimentary closing, and writer’s name and title are indented to 3.25”. (You will learn more about modified block in a later assignment)

4 Punctuation Letters can use two types of punctuation: open punctuation and mixed punctuation. Open punctuation: no colon after the salutation and no comma after the complimentary closing. Mixed punctuation: a colon is keyed after the salutation and a comma is keyed after the complimentary closing.

5 Letter Parts & Spacing Letterhead or Sender’s Address Date
DS (Double space—2 blank lines) Date QS (Quad space—4 blank lines) Letter Address DS Salutation Body Complimentary Close QS Name of Writer Reference Initials Attachment or Enclosure notation--optional

6 Example of a Formal Business Letter in Block Style

7 What are these letter parts?
Letterhead or Sender’s Address—with most business letters, the address of the sender is already included in the company’s stationary. Therefore, the sender’s address is not required.

8 What are these letter parts?
Dateline—The dateline is used to indicate the date the letter was written. However, if your letter is completed over a number of days, use the date it was finished. When writing to companies within the US, use the American date format. (The US-based convention for formatting a date places the month before the day. For example: June 11, 2001.) Write out the month, day and year two and one-half inches from the top of the page. For a block-style letter, the date begins at the left margin.

9 What are these letter parts?
Letter address—The letter address (sometimes called inside address) is the recipient’s address. It is always best to write to a specific individual at the firm to which you are writing. If you do not have the person’s name, do some research by calling the company and speaking with employees from the company. Include a personal title such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr. Follow a woman’s preference in being addressed, use Ms. If there is a possibility that the person to whom you are writing is a Dr. or has some other title, use that title. Usually, people will not mind being addressed by a higher title than they actually possess. The inside address begins four returns (three blank lines) below the date. It should be left justified, no matter if you are using block or modified block style.

10 What are these letter parts?
Salutation—The salutation is sometimes called the greeting. Use the same name as the inside address, including the personal title. If you know the person and typically address them by their first name, it is acceptable to use only the first name in the salutation (i.e., Dear Lucy:). In all other cases, however, use the personal title. DS after the salutation.

11 What are these letter parts?
Body—For block and modified block style letters, single space and left justify each paragraph. Leave a black line (DS) between paragraphs. Be careful to remember that conciseness is very important. First paragraph: friendly opening and statement of main point. Second paragraph: justify the main point. Third and fourth paragraphs: continue justification with background information and supporting details. Last paragraph: restate the purpose of the letter and, in some cases, request some type of action.

12 What are these letter parts?
Complimentary Close—This is often referred to as the “goodbye” of the letter. Capitalize the first word only (i.e. Sincerely) and leave three blank lines (quad space or 4 returns) between the closing and the sender’s name for a signature.

13 What are these letter parts?
Signature Block and Title—The author’s name is keyed a quadruple space below the complimentary close. The author’s name and title may be on the same line separated by a comma OR placed on two separate lines with no comma. The quadruple space allows room for the author to sign the letter.

14 What are these letter parts?
Typist Initials—Typist initials are used to indicate the person who typed the letter. If you typed the letter yourself, omit the typist initials. Typist initials are typed in lowercase letters (i.e. sca) a double space below the author’s name and/or title at the left margin.

15 What are these letter parts?
Enclosure Notation—If you have enclosed any documents along with the letter, such as a resume, you indicate this simply by typing Enclosure a double space below the typist’s initials. If typist’s initials are not used, it is keyed a double space below the author’s name and/or title. As an option, you may list the name of each document you are including in the envelope.

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