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Corporate Communications
 

Marty's Proposed Letter Formats

Access these links to view three different letter styles.

Block Format With Open Punctuation  
Modified Block Format With Mixed Punctuation

Simplified Block Format

Block Format With Open Punctuation

In the block style, all the elements in the letter begin at the left margin. Neither the items nor the paragraphs are indented. This is the style that seems the most popular today. Having every item begin at left margin saves time, and indenting paragraphs in letters is no longer considered that important, since one blank line is left between paragraphs.

With the open punctuation style, no colon is placed after the salutation and no comma is placed after the closing. Open punctuation may be used on either a block or a modified block letter.

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January 10, 1999

QS 

Mr. Gary Frazier
Human Resources Manager
Software Today
1683 N. Moor
Salt Lake City, UT 84055
DS

Mr. Frazier
DS
THE PROFESSIONAL LETTER WRITING SEMINAR
DS
As you requested, here is an update on the writing seminar. Everything seems to be going well! The seminar was very successful. The working professionals in this department know the importance of a good letter and good letter-writing skills.
DS
The conference covered most of the questions the people in our department had. Of greatest interest to them was the discussion of what a good business letter was supposed to contain. I think the seminar helped focus our skills, as you can see from the enclosed writing samples.
DS                         
I was surprised to learn someone on my staff didn’t know how to format a proper business letter. The seminar was very helpful. Thanks for inviting us.
DS
I’ll see you at the quarterly conference.
DS
Sincerely 

QS 

Marty Lewis
Senior Technical Writer
DS
ML:mnr
DS
c Maria Bravo
DS
Enclosures: Writing Samples

 

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Modified Block Format With Mixed Punctuation

The modified block style is a traditional format widely used for many years. With this format, sometimes called semi-block format, letter items begin at the left margin except for the date, the closing, and the signature. These items begin at the horizontal center point. The paragraphs may begin at the left margin or may be indented one-half inch from the left margin. If the letter is not printed on letterhead paper, as in the example below, the return address is placed above the date.

With the mixed punctuation style, a colon is placed after the salutation and a comma is placed after the closing. Mixed punctuation may be used on either a block or a modified block letter.

 

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45 North 32 East
Fargo, ND 34544
January 10, 1999


QS

Mr. Gary Frazier
Human Resources Manager
Software Today
1683 N. Moor
Salt Lake City, UT 84055
DS
Dear Mr. Frazier:

DS
THE PROFESSIONAL LETTER WRITING SEMINAR
DS
As you requested, here is an update on the writing seminar. Everything seems to be going well! The seminar was very successful. The working professionals in this department know the importance of a good letter and good letter-writing skills.
DS                         
The conference covered most of the questions the people in our department had. Of greatest interest to them was the discussion of what a good business letter was supposed to contain. I think the seminar helped focus our skills, as you can see from the enclosed writing samples.
DS                         
I was surprised to learn someone on my staff didn’t know how to format a proper business letter. The seminar was very helpful. Thanks for inviting us.
DS
I’ll see you at the quarterly conference.
DS

Sincerely,

QS

Marty Lewis
Senior Technical Writer

DS

Enclosures: 2

 

 

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Simplified Block Format 

The simplified block letter style is like the block letter style except the salutation and the closing are omitted. The letter address is keyed in all caps without punctuation (except for a hyphen in the ZIP Code) as it would appear on the envelope. A subject line is always used and is keyed in all caps. The writer’s name and title are keyed in all caps a QS below the last paragraph. Reference initials, copy notations, or enclosure notations may be added as needed. This style is considered “modern” because it does not use a salutation or closing, which some people think are outdated. Although this style is easy to format, it has not as widely used as the modified block and block styles.

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January 10, 1999

QS

MR GARY FRAZIER
HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER
SOFTWARE TODAY
1683 N MOOR
SALT LAKE CITY UT 84055-1683
DS
THE PROFESSIONAL LETTER WRITING SEMINAR
DS
As you requested, here is an update on the writing seminar. Everything seems to be going well! The seminar was very successful. The working professionals in this department know the importance of a good letter and good letter-writing skills.
DS
The conference covered most of the questions the people in our department had. Of greatest interest to them was the discussion of what a good business letter was supposed to contain. I think the seminar helped focus our skills, as you can see from the enclosed writing samples.
DS                         
I was surprised to learn someone on my staff didn’t know how to format a proper business letter. The seminar was very helpful. Thanks for inviting us.
DS
I’ll see you at the quarterly conference.

QS

MR. MARTY LEWIS, SENIOR TECHNICAL WRITER
DS
Enclosures: Writing Samples

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