Typing a Business Letter in Full Block Format

Typing a Business Letter in Full Block Format


Full block format is used for formal business letters. This format is
characterized by the fact that every line starts at the left margin. None of
the lines of type are centered, or on the right. The only exception is in the
case of a pre-printed company letterhead. Full block format would be a great
format to use if you were to write a letter of resignation, a professional
thank you letter, a letter of recommendation, or perhaps resume a cover

is an explanation of each line in the letter:

  1. Return Address:  If your stationery has a
    letterhead, skip this. Otherwise, type your name, address and optionally,
    phone number. These days, it’s common to also include an  email address.
  2. Date: Type the date of your letter two to six lines
    below the letterhead. Three are standard. If there is no letterhead, type
    it where shown.
  3. Reference Line: If the recipient specifically requests
    information, such as a  job reference or invoice number, type it on one or
    two lines, immediately below the Date (2). If you’re replying to a
    letter, refer to it here. For example,
  • Re: Job # 625-01
  • Re: Your letter dated 1/1/200x.
  1. Inside Address: 
    Type the name and address of the person and/or company to whom you’re
    sending the letter, three to eight lines below the last component you
    typed. Four lines are standard. If you type an Attention Line (7),
    skip the person’s name here. Do the same on the envelope.
  2. Attention Line: Type
    the name of the person to whom you’re sending the letter. If you type the
    person’s name in the Inside Address (6), skip this. Do the same on
    the envelope.
  3. Salutation: Type the
    recipient’s name here. Type Mr. or Ms. [Last Name] to show respect, but
    don’t guess spelling or gender. Some common salutations are

    • Ladies:
    • Gentlemen:
    • Dear Sir:
    • Dear Sir or Madam:
    • Dear [Full Name]:
    • To Whom it May Concern:
  4. Subject Line: Type the
    gist of your letter in all uppercase characters, either flush left or
    centered. Be concise on one line. If you type a Reference Line (3),
    consider if you really need this line. While it’s not really necessary for
    most employment-related letters, examples are below.

  5. Body: Type two spaces
    between sentences. Keep it brief and to the point.
  6. Complimentary Close:
    What you type here depends on the tone and degree of formality. For

    • Respectfully yours (very formal)
    • Sincerely (typical, less formal)
    • Very truly yours (polite, neutral)
    • Cordially yours (friendly, informal)
  7. Signature Block: Leave
    four blank lines after the Complimentary Close (11) to sign your
    name. Sign your name exactly as you type it below your signature. Title is
    optional depending on relevancy and degree of formality. Examples are

    • John Doe, Manager
    • P. Smith
      Director, Technical Support
    • R. T. Jones – Sr. Field Engineer


  • Readability
    of a business letter body depends on the chosen font. The generally
    accepted font is Times New Roman, size 12, although other fonts such as
    Arial may be used.
  • Try
    to keep your letters to one page, if your letter
    requires more than
    one page all of the salutation and signature items would go on the second
    page at the end of the letter.
  • How
    many blank lines you add between lines that require more than one, depends
    on how much space is available on the page
  • The
    same goes for margins. One and one-half inch (108 points) for short
    letters and one inch (72 points) for longer letters are standard. If there
    is a letterhead, its position determines the top margin on page 1.
  • If
    you do not type one of the more for
    mal components, do not leave
    space for them. For example, if you do not type the Reference Line (3),
    Special Mailing Notations (4)
    and On-Arrival Notations (5),
    type the Inside Address (6) four lines below the Date (2).


Business Letter Templates

Viderity offers a large collection of business letters
written by business professionals to help you achieve your desired message when
writing business letters. The letters will give you and your company a
professional image.  View
our Business
Letters Kit

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