Indenting text adds structure to your document by allowing you to separate information. Whether you'd like to move a single line or an entire paragraph, you can use the tab selector and the horizontal ruler to set tabs and indents. Optional: Download our practice document. Watch the video below to learn more about how to use indents and tabs in Word. In many types of documents, you may want to indent only the first line of each paragraph. This helps to visually separate paragraphs from one another.
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The key to using indentation in a letter is the purpose of the letter. Personal letters are more casual than business correspondence and allow for a different style. Most letters are written following the American Psychological Association APA Manual, a style sheet that governs three elements of writing style: page formats, text rules and documentation. Whether you are typing or writing a letter, begin each paragraph with the same indentation to maintain consistency throughout. Business letters are almost always written in full block style and have no indenting. Full block style is easier to do for people typing on personal computers because it requires no tab key movements. Every line of the full block style is flush left, including the date, addresses, salutation, body and closing.
Chelsea, a reader of my monthly e-newsletter, Better Writing at Work , asked me to write about indenting paragraphs in business letters. She wrote, "When writing letters, what is the 'proper' protocol on indenting? There are several proper ways to format a traditional business letter. Only one of them indents paragraphs, and it is not popular these days. I have described three ways below.
Just like copywriting , writing great fundraising letters is not for amateurs. While businesses can often afford to pay the big bucks for great copywriting, nonprofits often depend on in-house staff to write that important letter and to put together a direct mail package. Don't despair. You can do it even if you're no more than a one-person shop. Here to help are the cardinal rules of writing a fundraising letter, adapted from Mal Warwick's immensely useful " How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters ".