The Styles of Business Letters (Layouts of Business Letters) have undergone changes over the period of time. In the old times, the style was followed strictly. But recently liberty has been given to the business people to follow their own styles. Although no room was allowed for deviation form the standard form an effective letter during old days, the letters written then was more effective. There are still many business houses which use the old layout. But things have become much easier and business people have taken liberty in their approach towards adopting the layout of their business letters.
1. Full Block Style
Full block format is considered the most formal of the three styles. In full block format or style, every line is left justified. The dateline is placed two to six line spaces below the last line of the heading or letterhead. The inside address placement varies depending upon the length of the letter. A common spacing is four line spaces below the date line. The salutation is placed two lines below the attention line (if an attention line is provided). The first line of the body is placed two lines below an attention line or two to four lines below the last inside address line. When using full block, paragraphs are single spaced, with a double space between paragraphs.
2. Block Style
The block style is also known as the Full block style. In this style, all elements of the letter are justified to the left.
This business letter style is becoming very common, for the obvious reason that typing in this manner is easier, especially on a computer.
3. Semi Block Style
Semi-block format or style is frequently called modified semi-block because it is a slightly less formal modification of full block format. This letter style places the date line in alignment with, or slightly to the right of dead center. Another option for placing the date line in semi-block is flush right. Similar to full block, semi-block places the inside address, salutation and any end notations flush with the left margin. However, unlike full block, each body paragraph of semi-block is indented five spaces. The complimentary close and signature block are aligned under the date.
4. Indented Style
Indented style is somewhat more complicated than other popular styles of business writing. In indented style, new paragraphs in a piece of writing are indented that is, they begin about 1.5 centimeters to the right of the left margin. Other parts of a business letter are moved farther to the right half of the page. Indented style is one of the older formats for business writing currently in use, though other formats are becoming more popular. Indented style is a format that many of today’s business people were trained to use.
5. Simplified Style
Simplified format or style unlike full block and semi-block has fewer internal parts. This format is also the most widely used format in professional correspondence. Simplified format is focused and professional without unnecessary formality. Simplified format places all internal parts in left alignment; however, the traditional salutation is replaced with an all-caps subject line that is also placed flush with the left margin. Body paragraphs are left aligned and single spaced within and double spaced between. In simplified style, the writer’s name and title, if necessary, are aligned with the left margin and typed in all caps at least five spaces below the last line of the body or message of the letter.
6. Hanging Indentation Stye
A hanging indented letter style is when a paragraph is indented so that the first line hangs over the rest. Normally you would see a first line indent. This is when the first line is moved to the right and the rest of the paragraph starts at the margin. The most common place hanging indents are used is on a bibliography reference page. When typing you can change the indentation by either formatting the paragraph or changing the page margins.