A business letter is usually written to someone you don't know. You might write a business letter to request information or to let someone know about a problem.

There are six main parts of a business letter: the heading, inside address, greeting, body, closing, and signature.

  • The heading tells the sender's street address, their city, state and zip code, and the date the letter was written.
  • The inside address has the name and title of the person or company who will receive the letter, and their address.
  • The greeting usually starts with "Dear", and is followed by the person's name or title. If you don't know the name of the person you're writing to, you can write Dear Sir, or Dear Madam. The greeting always has a colon after it.
  • The body is where you explain why you're writing. It's the main part of the business letter. This is where you would explain what you are requesting or what the problem is. Most people in businesses are really busy, so try to keep this part pretty short.
  • The closing is where you are ending the letter. Yours truly or Sincerely are good to use. The closing always has a comma after it.
  • The signature is the last part of the letter. You should sign your first and last names.


Here is a sample business letter:

Canyon View Elementary School------- Sender's Address- Heading
San Diego, CA 92129
February 10, 2000

Mr. Tedd Arnold------------------- Person receiving letter -Inside Address
Penguin Books USA Inc.
375 Hudson Street
New York, New York 10014

Dear Mr. Arnold:----------Name of Person - Greeting

The Body of your letter:

We are a group of fifth grade students working on a website design which is about reading and writing. We picked a few of our favorite authors to interview and would like to publish your answers on our website. We would appreciate it if you would respond to our questions and give us permission to publish your answers on our website.

Thank you for taking your time to answer our questions.

1. What made you want to write books?
2. What books did you enjoy as a child?
3. What is the hardest part about writing and illustrating books?
4. What did it feel like when you first sold a book?
5. Besides yourself who is your favorite author and illustrator?
6. Do you follow a schedule when you write a book?
7. Why do you spell your name with two d's?

Thank you for helping us do our project.

Sincerely, ----

Ben, Caitlin, Holeh, Lizzie,

Scott and SoYeon-- Signature[s]

Room 22 ThinkQuest Jr. Team