How to Write a Business Letter – The Block Format Explained

Laura Ginn

25 Rockhill Lane
London, SW1 4ER

February 22, 2013

Mr. Tony Callister
Camden & Foster, Inc.
528 Rochester Lane
London, N1 2RD


Dear Mr. Callister:

There are many different approaches to writing a business letter. All of these can be a bit difficult to separate and try and utilise correctly. The letter format used here for business purposes is known as the block format, not to be confused with the modified or indented formats that can also be utilised. This is an important format to grasp because it is one of the most popular formats utilized when writing a business letter. There are many great reference tools available, both online and in book format, if wanting an explanation on the other types as well. The nuances of each of these approaches can be different, from when to skip a line and when not to, so be prepared that your research may lead to different results.  Knowing the block format here, however, will be helpful when you begin to focus on writing your own business letters.

The block format utilises a set amount of margin. Specifically, there is a one inch margin that is present around the perimeter of this type of letter. Everything is pushed as far left as possible against this one inch margin. As noted above, you begin this type of business letter with your personal address. A one line break is then included before you begin writing the date. Another line is then spaced in before the recipient’s address is placed. Please see the above example of Mr. Callister in order to get a clear picture of this spacing. It is important to remember that if your stationary already includes the company or your information, you do not need to reiterate it along the top. Simply let it stand as is.

The greeting of your letter should begin after a line space from the recipient’s information. Be sure that after your salutation that you include a colon. From here, then, you can begin to write your letter. Make sure that you do not put an indentation at the beginning of the paragraph and that you include a line space between the different blocks of text. Again, this letter shows you the differentiation that your letter should have.

The closing is the next step in the letter. After finishing the body of the letter, then you can begin your closing. The symbol that should follow this is a comma and then you can continue with your name. The name should be typed after you have given three lines of blank spacing. Be sure to include your title if you have one. Again, all of this should be placed to the left side of the page in line with your other writings.



Laura Ginn