APPEARANCE OF BUSINESS LETTERS:
The criteria for the physical makeup of a business letter relate principally to its (1) Mechanical details and (2) General Appearance.
The factors of mechanical details of a business letter are its (a) Parts and (b) Layout.
Company’s letter head is ordinarily printed at the top of the sheet. It should contain the name, address brief description and telephone number of the business. When a printed letterhead is not used, the address of the writer is typewritten on the right-hand corner at the top of the sheet.
The date should be placed a few spaces below the letterhead, beginning half way across the page or further to the right of the following correct styles of writing down dates, the Americal sytel, is more popular.
American Style : August 22, 1988
English Style : 22nd August, 1988 Oxford University Style : 22 August, 1988
3. Inside Address:
The inside address consists of the name and address of the addressee. It is placed a few spaces below the date on the left-hand side. The name of an individual is preceded by a title of respect (Mr., Mrs., Dr., Professor etc.)
The salutation is a friendly greeting placed on the second line below the inside address. It is generally followed by a colon (:) The following salutations are generally used in business letters.
For individuals: Dear Sir, Dear Madam, Gentlemen, Ladies, etc.
The body of the letter contains the message. It is generally single spaced, with double spacing between paragraphs. When the body of a letter is two or more pages, each page – except the first one should be headed by addressee’s name, page number and date as follows:
Mr. Riaz Agha – 2 – October, 10, 1988.
6. Complimentary Close:
The complimentary close should begin two spaces below the last line of the body of the letter and half way across the page. It is followed by a comma (,). The most frequently used forms of complimentary close are “Very Truly Yours”. “Sincerely Yours”, “Cordially”, “Respectfully” is too formal to suit a business letter.
The signature consists of signature, name and / or designation of the writer. The name of the company should also be written while signing on a sheet without letterhead.
The initials of the typist / secretary should appear below the signature on the left-hand side of the sheet.
In addition to the above-mentioned essential parts of a business letter, the following optional parts may also be included when appropriate.
9. Enclosure notation should be put directly below the initials as follows: Enclosures: 2 or Enclosures: 4 or Enclosures: Blank Form
10. Attention line, considered part of the inside address, directing a letter to a particular person or department, is usually placed between he inside address and the salutation.
11. Subject line, indicating the message, is usually placed below the salutation, wither including omitting the word “subject”.
12. Copy notation, stating the names of the persons to whom a copy of the letter is sent, should be typed below the initials or the enclosures (if any), arranged in order of importance or alphabetically.
13. Reference number of file, account, or case should be typed above the body of the letter.
14. Mailing notation: Words such as “Registered Mail”, “Book Post”, “Special Delivery” may be typed wither below the last line of the letter or above the inside address.