Punctuation Styles

Punctuation Styles :


The most common punctuation style in business letters is called open punctuation. It is easy to remember because no punctuation at all is required in the heading, inside address, salutation or closing. The full block format letter above is written with the open punctuation style.

Some offices prefer mixed punctuation. If you are using this style, the only punctuation is a colon after the salutation and a comma after the complimentary close. The sample block format letter is written with mixed punctuation.

An older style of punctuation is occasionally seen. It is called closed punctuation. Closed punctuation requires…

• A comma after each item in the heading and inside address

• A period after the last item in the heading and inside address

• A colon after the salutation

• A comma after the complimentary closing

• Closed punctuation is shown in the modified block format letter above.

Most organizations have a policy about which format and punctuation style will be used on company correspondence. Of course, you will follow company guidelines, but if you have a choice, you may use any of the three formats combined with any of the three punctuation styles.

Punctuation Styles

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