A business letter consists of 11 parts. They are letterhead, date line, inside address, attention line, salutation, body of the letter, complimentary closes, signature line, and enclose reference. However, most of the letters we write today usually consist of seven parts of business letters which are letterhead, date line, inside address, salutation, body of the letter, complimentary closes, and signature line. A personal letter can consist of less than those of mentioned above. See the following image to see different parts of business letters and their location in the letter.
The first part of a letter is a letterhead. It consists of a name and address of a firm that sends a business letter. It sometimes consists of telephone number, address of branch of offices, names of CEO and It is usually printed on the top of the paper.
The second part of a letter is a date line. It consists of date, month, year or (month, date, year). If there is no letterhead, make sure you put the name of the city before the date line. Examples :
23rd November, 2017 or November 23rd, 2017
28 July, 2017 or July 28, 2017
If there is no letter head in a letter, you must write a full address of the sender, example:
115 Downing Street, London
June 28th, 2017
The third part of a letter is an inside address. It usually consists of 3 or 4 lines:
The name of a person or the firm you are writing to.
Number, the name of the street
The name of city ( A country when applicable)
Mr. Prana Pramudya
115 Downing Street
Mmes. Robert Thompson & Audrey
112, Downing Street
London E.C. 2, England
The fifth part of a letter is a salutation. It is usually to greet the recipient in a polite manner. American and British people have different customs in writing the punctuation for the salutation. See the difference:
If you know the person you are writing to, you can use the style below which is more personal or informal:
Dear Mr. Brown,
My dear Madam Tiara,
The sixth part of a letter is a subject line. A subject line is usually capitalized and underlined:
The seventh part of a letter is the body. A good letter body should fulfill the following requirements :
Concise / short : Never make up sentences just to make a letter look longer.
Simple : Avoid making up complex sentences. Try to make up a simple sentence.
Systematic : Always put your ideas in order from A to Z. ( From opening paragraph to closing paragraph there should not be any repetitions)
the opening paragraph
the content paragraph
the closing paragraph
Name of Firm
| signature |
The elevent part of a letter is enclosure reference. When our business letter has one or more attachments, such as price list, collection letter, brochure, invoice, resume etc., we must make sure that we state it in the main letter. The statement that we send another paper other than the main letter is called enclosure reference. This enclosure reference is usually shortened as Enc. or ENC. or Inc. or Encl. or Incl..
Encl. : 1 (one) Illustrated price list
Incl. : 1 (one) Invoice
Enc. : Our 2010 Catalog
Inc. : Cheque no. 954646/B
See our collection of business letter samples here.