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Writing a Business Letter in American and British Style


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Writing a Business Letter

There are lots of ways to write a business letter and there are lots of critics for them.

Here I am going to provide the two ways (British and American)commonly followed while writing a business letter.

i)Address of the Sender:
Address of the sender is mainly written on the top of the page. There are two ways to publish the address of the sender.

1.Address is used on the top right corner of the page in the British English
2.In the American English address is mentioned on the top left or with the signatures in the bottom of the page.

ii)Mentioning the date:
The date part in the British style English comes under the address of the sender.

While in the American style we normally use date in the top left corner above the address of the sender


iii)Recipient’s Address:

1.In British English, recipients address starts from the line where the date starts in the right side of the page.
2.While in the American style, recipients address starts just below the address of the sender in the right side after providing two line spaces between the addresses.

iv)Salutations:

There are several ways of writing salutations and various ways to address the person.
In British Letters, salutation part just contains the name or salutation you wish to give and has no punctuation mark after the salutation. This starts just below the address of the recipient in the right side of the letter.
While in American English, the style is just the same but we use a semi colon as punctuation symbol.

v)Subject Line:

Subject line is not always important and depends fully on the context of the letter you are writing.
In British Style, the subject line is placed between salutation and body of the letter.
While in American English, the Subject is given in between the recipient’s address and the salutation having a blank line in between.

vi)Body of the letter:

This is generally the portion that has the same style in both English and has to be concise and to the point to achieve the standards of the business.
Generally, there should be three paragraphs in which first part introduces the matter and reason of the writing. In the second paragraph we usually try to elaborate the matter and explain the reason in more detail while in the third and last paragraph we just summarize the contents of writing and make it clear to the recipient what is needed to fill up the requirement.
The main concern lies in that you should write positive and aim of the writing should be clear and concise.

vii)Greetings of the letter:

There are normally various ways of greeting at the last but common salutation which follows grammar is as below:

1.In British English, if the sender has used recipients name in the salutation then this is advised to use the word “Sincerely” for greetings. If no name is mentioned in the salutation then itis a common practice to use “Faithfully” for greetings.
2.While in American English we generally use “Sincerely” for the greetings whatever be the salutation.

viii)Enclosures in the letter:

One can provide the list of enclosures as per the business requirements mentioning in the bottom of the page.


Sample Usage

Example of American English Business Letter:

Nov 26, 2009

ABC Sender
1234 Lane
Love City, IN 12345

XYZ Recipient
123 Love's Road
This Town, PA 12345

Subject: English Sample Letter

Dear Mr. Recipient:

The first paragraph should concentrate on the main point of the letter. Purpose of the letter should be defined. Use a couple of sentences to explain the purpose, but do not go into details until the next paragraph.

Second paragraph, should elaborate the details to explain your purpose. A few short lines are enough to support your reasoning.

In the third paragraph, briefly explain your purpose and why it is important. If the purpose is informational, you can express gratitude for taking the reader's time.

Sincerely,
ABC

Enclosures:


Example for British Style Business Letter:

.................................................ABC Sender
.................................................1234 Lane
.................................................Love City, IN 12345

XYZ Recipient....................................Nov 26, 2009
123 Love's Road
This Town, PA 12345

Dear Mr. Recipient

Subject: English Sample Letter

The first paragraph should concentrate on the main point of the letter. Purpose of the letter should be defined. Use a couple of sentences to explain the purpose, but do not go in to detail until the next paragraph.

Second paragraph, should elaborate the details to explain your purpose. A few short lines are enough to support your reasoning.

In the third paragraph, briefly explain your purpose and why it is important. If the purpose is informational, you can express gratitude for the reader's time.

Yours sincerely
ABC

Enclosure:


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