Block style letters are usually used for business purposes. They are a more formal means of correspondence. There are three main variations of block style writing, namely standard block style, semi-block style and modified block style. The more modern approach is to use the simplified block style, which is based on the standard block style of writing.
To effectively write a block style letter, follow these steps.
- First and foremost, look for a template to guide you. Regardless of which variation of block style lettering you choose, the best way would be to follow a sample. You could easily find them on the internet. Base your letter on these templates or simply copy and paste, then modify the information.
- In a standard block style letter, everything is lined up on the left margin. Put your full address on the first two lines of the paper. Note that if you are going to use a letterhead, you do not need to indicate your address on the letter.
- Put one line of space after your address and specify the date. Separate with more lines of space and indicate the full name, followed by the address of your correspondent. Add one more space, address your correspondent following this format, "Dear: [Title] [Name of Correspondent]." Do not put punctuation after his or her name. Leave another line of space, and you may now form the body of your message.
- Remember to be polite, concise and direct to the point. You are writing a formal letter of correspondence, not a personal letter to your parents.
- Keep 1" margin on all sides. Your paragraphs should be single-spaced, but keep a single empty line between paragraphs. Use standard font styles, such as Times New Roman or Arial. Avoid the fancy ones. Recommended font sizes are 11 and 12 point.
- After your message, place a closing remark, such as "Sincerely," or "Regards." Remember not to put any punctuation after these words. This is followed by several empty spaces for your signature. Then, indicate your full name and position.
- Print on standard short bond paper, which is 8.5" by 11" (for US letter). Use only black or blue ink to sign the paper.
- If you want to follow the semi-block letter format, indent the first line of every paragraph. If you want to follow the modified block letter format, you must place the return address, date, closing remark and signature on the center right of the letter. Simplified block letters are more similar to emails, since they contain a subject header and remove the salutation and closing remark. You may see more samples on the internet to see these variations in block letter writing.
- Note that block style letters are usually typewritten. Handwritten letters are too informal and fail to look professional. Your correspondent would not take you seriously if he receives a handwritten letter, even if you follow the block style format.
Following this format gives your letter a clean, professional look that is needed when making business correspondences.