Comparison of American and British Letter

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  • Topic: Typography, Business letter, Valediction
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Compare British and American business letters
 | American Style                            | British Style                                | Heading         | According to the format but
usually aligned to the left| The heading is usually placed
in the top right corner of the letter
(sometimes centred)|
 Date| October 19, 2005 (month-day-year)
According to the format but usually
aligned to the left two lines below the heading)| 19 October 2005 (day-month-year)  Usually placed directly (or 1 blank line)
below the heading.|
 Salutation| Dear Mr./Ms. Smith:
Dear Sir or Madam:
Gentlemen:
After the salutation there is a colon (:)| Dear Mr./Ms. Smith, Dear Sir or Madam,
Dear Sirs,
After the salutation there is a comma (,)|
Complimentary close| Sincerely,
Sincerely yours,
Yours truly,| Sincerely,
Yours sincerely,
Yours faithfully,|

The format (layout) is the visual organisation of a business letter. You can follow many different formats when you create business letters. Be aware that there are often differences depending upon location. The main business letter formats are:

* Full-Block Style - All the elements are aligned to the left margin and there are no indented lines. This is a standard block-style format that is accepted by most businesses. * Modified Block Style - The return address, date, closing and signature start just to the right of the center of the page or may be flush with the right margin. All body paragraphs begin at the left margin. * Indented or Semi-Block Style - Similar to the modified block business letter style except that the first line of each paragraph is indented.

Letterhead
Company Name (and logo)
Address
Phone/Fax number
E-mail (optional)|

(2 blank lines after letterhead)

Current date                                  ---> The date may be written as month-day-year (US style) or day-month-year (UK style).

(4 blank lines)

Mr./Ms. Name of person you are writing, title                        ---> The inside address includs the recipient's name, title, Company name                                                                           company, and full address. Address

City, Zip
Country (use only if writing to another country)

(2 blank lines)

Dear Mr. /Ms. Last Name:   or…   Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,     ---> The salutation is a greeting to the recipient. If you don’t know the name of the individual, address it to the individual’s title in the company or "Dear Sir/Madam".

(1 blank line if there is a subject; 2 blank lines if there is no subject)

Subject Line (Optional): Title of subject            ---> Indicates the subject or purpose of the letter. It may be also placed                                                                                      before the salutation.  (1 blank line)

Body Paragraph 1: Explain who you are and why you are writing this letter.................................................................. ............................................................................................................................................................................................ (1 blank line)

Body Paragraph 2: Use facts, details and experiences to support your opinion or request.............................................. ............................................................................................................................................................................................. (1 blank line)

Body Paragraph 3: Tell the reader what you want him to do or what you will do for him................................................ ............................................................................................................................................................................................. (1 blank line)

Short sentence: End your letter by saying something courteous to your reader.

(2 blank lines)...
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