Letter Writing

Letter Writing

Posted by Safe In4 Hub

Parts of a Business Letter

1. Heading

The heading consists of your full address and the date. Depending on the letter format used, it appears about 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the top of the page in the top right or left corner.

1234 Parliament Street, Apt. 408
Scarborough, ON M1M 1X4
September 7, 2002

2. Inside Address

The inside address consists of the name and address of the person to whom you are writing. It usually appears four lines below the heading, and it is always at the left margin.

TIPS

Here are some tips for writing the inside address:

It's up to you whether or not you include Mr., Ms, Dr. etc. before the name. However, if the person holds a high office such as Member of Parliament, the words The Most Honourable must preceded his or her name. Christian religious figures are often addressed with a "the" in an address. For example: The Reverend.
If the person has tittle (Vice-President, Editor, Principal), it should be included after the name, either on the same line (separated by a comma) or on the next line.
If the letter is being sent to the person's workplace, the name of the company or business should be included on a separate line.
John Silva, Program Director
The Kids' Channel
1234 Any Street
Hamilton, ON H8Y 7U8

3. Salutation

The most traditional salutation, or greeting, for a business letter is Dear followed by the word Mr., Ms , Mrs. or Miss. This if followed by the person's last name and a colon (:). All the words in a salutation should begin with capital letters.

Dear Ms MacNeil:
Dear Mrs. Ramekin:
If you are writing to a company rather than a specific person or position, use one of these other salutation:

To Whom It May Concern:
Dear Sir or Madam:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

4. Body

The body is the main part of the letter where you write what you have to say to the person. Skip a line after the salutation, and begin. Generally, begin the body of a business letter with a brief personal greeting, then state your business, and end with a thank-you.

TIPS

Get to the point. After a brief greeting, get down to business. Don't waste time in small talk.
Don't use slang, and try to avoid contradictions. Business letters are usually formal. Increase your chances of making a good impression by using standard English.
Even though it's a business letter, don't be too formal. You will want to sound like you.

5. Closing

The closing is the ending of your letter. In the block format, the closing appears in the bottom left corner of the letter, directly under the body.

Only the first word in a closing should be capitalized. It is always followed by a comma. Here are some typical closings:

? Truly yours and Your truly are the most common closing in a business letter.
? Sincerely and Sincerely yours are less formal and better to use if you know the person.
? Respectfully yours is used only for important officials.

6. Signature

The signature if your full name, signed. Your signature should appear directly below the closing. It should always be written in ink. Below it, write your names in block letter (or type it four liens below the closing, if you're using a computer). This way, if the reader can't read your signature, he or she will still be able to read your name.

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