Full Block Layout (See Sample 1). Every component of a full-block business letter (title, address, salutation, content, salutation, signature, identification, and attachments) is aligned to the left. In addition, the first sentence of each paragraph is not indented. Full blocks are created with the Type tool in Adobe Creative Suite.
Letters of business Answer: Business letters are often written in block format. The entire text is left-aligned and single-spaced in block style. A double space between paragraphs is an exception to the single spacing rule (instead of indents for paragraphs).
The term "business letter" applies to documents that are written primarily for communication with other persons, rather than information storage. These documents usually require a formal tone and often use strict grammar and punctuation. They may also include attachments or enclosures.
Documents written in block format are easy to read because all the text is on one line and there are no indentations or margins to distract from the message. Block-formatted documents look best if they are printed in a single column on 8.5 x 11 inch paper using 12-point typeface and 100 percent justification. However, block-formatted files can be viewed correctly in any email program by selecting All Text Only from the File Type menu.
In addition to letters, business documents include statements such as reports, memos, and reviews. These documents too are written in block format.
When writing in block format, it is important to leave a margin at the top of the page to account for any additional text that may need to be added. This ensures that all the text is aligned properly.
Business letters are often written in block format. Figures, tables, and quotations are usually placed in block style as well.
The first line of the letter is called the "headline". This is usually not written in block style. Below the headline is a short description of the topic being addressed. This part of the letter is also left-aligned but with no indentation. Next comes the body of the letter: a list of issues or questions about the company or person being addressed. Finally, there's a footer that includes the sender's address, date, and other information relevant to the letter.
Blocks can be any size up to one full page. Most pages have at least two blocks: a header and a footer. The header shows the title of the document, author, date, etc., and is generally only included on the first page of the letter. The footer contains information about where to send replies and is typically included on all subsequent pages.
Block format is commonly used for formal correspondence because it helps to establish authority by showing that you are not responsible for the content of the letter.
An sample block format letter is presented below and may be found on page 455 of our eBook, The AMA Handbook of Business Writing.
To write a block format letter, begin with a one-paragraph introductory section that includes both a subject heading and a greeting. Then follow with three body paragraphs: the first discussing the issue at hand; the second listing examples of effective action steps for resolving it; and the third presenting alternatives for considering next. End with a two-paragraph conclusion section summarizing the main points and inviting response from the reader.
Block format letters are commonly used to communicate information about events, issues, or projects. They are easy to read and understand because the organization of the letter into blocks makes it clear what part of the message relates to each topic.
What does block writing look like? Here is an example:
Subject: New business opportunity
Dear Ms. Johnson,
Thank you for your interest in our company. Our current staffing needs require that we expand our services and hire additional employees. We believe that you would make an excellent addition to our team. Please review our qualifications listed below and if interested, apply by December 15th.
Answer: Business letters are often written in block format. Figures, tables, and quotations are usually placed on separate pages in block style.
Semi-block letters are similar to "modified block letters," except that the paragraphs are indented. Modified semi-block business letters are less formal than full-block business letters. The Block Format is the most frequent form for a professional business letter (or "Full Block").
The Half-Block Format is used for two types of letters: credit applications and other short documents that don't require full blocks (such as job interviews or reference requests). The indentation on each side is only half as deep as with the Block Format.
There are three main differences between semi-block and full-block letters: paragraph spacing, margin width, and citation style. In terms of paragraph spacing, there is no real difference between the two formats; however, in terms of margin width and citation style, the styles are different.
When writing a semi-block letter, follow these steps: 1 Identify the author and recipient(s). 2 Decide how formal the letter is intended to be. If you want it to be very formal, use the full-block format; if not, use the half-block format. 3 Indent every other line of the text using either the left or right margin. 4 Type your letter in 12 point font or larger. 5 Use sentence case rather than title case for your subject lines and text.
Complete Block Form No lines are indented when writing a letter in block form. Include your name, address, phone number where you can be reached, and the date. The name and address of the person to whom you are sending the letter are then included. Instead of indenting new paragraphs, skip a line. This is called "block" writing.
There are two methods for formatting letters that use block writing: the formal method and the informal method. Use the formal method when you want your correspondence to look professional and concise. It helps if you follow certain rules when using this method. For example, do not use small handwriting or print; instead, write with a pen or typewriter. Make sure that everything is written in legible black ink on one page. Do not use red tape as replacement for ribbon; it does not give an accurate reading of your machine's pulse.
The informal method is used to send quick notes or reminders to yourself or others. There is no set formula for using this method but such messages are usually short and to the point. They may include names, addresses, and telephone numbers but often not much more than that. You can write one-liners or longer notes using this method.
Block writing can be used in other contexts than simple letters. It can also be useful when communicating via email or social media. Here, too, there are two methods available for formatting your messages.