Q:

How do you format a business letter?

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Quick Answer

A business letter is formatted with the sender's address followed by the date on the date line, inside address (recipient's address, including his or her name), salutation, body, closing and any enclosures. The parts of a business letter may vary slightly, and if the sender's address is listed on the letterhead, it can be omitted.

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Full Answer

When writing the sender's address, never include the sender's name or title. This will be included in the closing. Only the street, city and zip code are needed.

The date line should be written based on the location of the sender. For example, dates in the United States should be written as "January 5, 2015," while U.K. dates should be written "15 January, 2015."

Next comes the inside or recipient's address. This should be addressed to the specific person to whom the letter is written, using any titles as necessary. The salutation comes next, using the same name and title as in the inside address.

The body of the letter should be single-spaced and left-justified. The letter should be concise and get straight to the point. Finally, the closing's first letter should be capitalized, and four lines should be left blank between the closing and the sender's name, leaving room for a signature. Indicate any enclosures added to the document at the bottom.

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