THE THREE BASIC LETTER FORMATS
The three most common formats are block, modified block, and simplified.
In the block format, place all the letter’s elements flush against the left-hand margin. Do not indent the first word of each paragraph. The full block format, may seem unbalanced, but it is widely used because it can be typed quickly.
Modified Block Format
The modified block format, shown in Figure 18.2, is the same as the full block with two exceptions: the date line and closing signature are placed on the right side of the page. The best position for both is five spaces to the right of the center line, but flush right is acceptable. A variation of this format is the modified semi block. It is exactly the same as the modified block except that the first line of each paragraph is indented five spaces.
The simplified format (Figure 18.3) is a recent development that departs from conventional letter formats. Its streamlined form contains no salutation and no complimentary close, but it almost always includes a subject line. It is extremely useful for impersonal situations, or for situations where the identity of the recipient is not known. Because it requires less typing and so’ is faster to produce, it is gaining popularity. In personal situations, writers start the first paragraph with the recipient’s name.