One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Letter formats: block, modified block, and semi-block
Most letters are written in block, modified block, or semi-block format. This page details how each of these formats differs.
See an example of a letter in block format (pdf).
Modified block format
Modified block differs from block style in that the date, sign off, and signature lines begin at the centre point of the page line. The beginning of each paragraph is indented five spaces, along with the subject line, if used. Depending on the length of the letter, paragraphs may be separated by a single or double line space.
See an example of a letter in modified block format (pdf).
Semi-block is similar to block but has a more informal appearance. All elements are left-aligned, except for the beginning of each paragraph, which is indented five spaces. Paragraphs are separated by a double line space.
See an example of a letter in semi-block format (pdf).
Back to How to lay out a letter.
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