Find another article View next article Share this article The old-fashioned personal business letter—written on pristine, high-quality paper, sealed in an envelope, and delivered by post or by hand—remains the single most impressive written ambassador for your company. A letter has a dignity that cannot be equaled by electronic mail. E-mail has a spontaneous, off-the-cuff quality akin to a phone call.
Dixie is sure you have had at least a few instances in your career when you needed to write a multiple page business letter or two. Contract letters, legal findings, claim summaries and some other types of business letters can often run to many pages.
And even in writing not so long letters there are cases when a letter can be squeezed on a single page but it would mean forsaking margins, formatting and white space that the eyes need to discern the writing easily.
In such cases, Dixie would advise you to use two pages. Nowadays with information overload and everyone's busy schedules it is preferable to write shorter business letters and Dixie would encourage you to keep the majority of your letters to one page. But do write multiple page letters when you need them.
The "How to" of Multiple Page Letters When there are more pages than one in a letter it is normal practice to put nothing at the end of the first page.
Since there is no closing line or signature it is obvious that there is another page, so Dixie would say it is quite logical. Subsequent pages do not contain the letterhead and are printed on plain paper. Instead they have a special identification of the letter, which is usually called "header" or "heading".
It usually but not always contains the name of the addressee, the page number, and the date. In the picture below Dixie offers to your attention examples of the subsequent page header.
Be warned though that there might be even more variations of the above. Dixie covered the most widely spread formats, but the header, for instance, can even be placed at the top right margin of the page instead of the left.
For a long time we have been using single sided letters in business.
And the standard multiple page letter formatting is certainly a remnant from those times. Nowadays it is possible to print double sided letters as easily as single sided and Dixie thinks we will probably use double sided printing more and more in the nearest future as it saves paper.
And we will probably drop the multiple page letter heading from the double sided two paged letters. Even now some business writing experts recommend using the header starting from the third page justifying it by the fact that if there are just two pages in a letter it's easy to understand which is which.
But Dixie would like to emphasize that it's still common practice to number any subsequent page in a business letter, page 2 being no exception. And even double sided multiple page business letters, especially those that contain three pages and more would still need at least the page number, preferably on each page.
Dixie invites you to look at the picture of a single sided two paged business letter below which contains all the elements of multiple page business letter formatting accepted by the office standards in the US.
To Format a Multiple Page Letter Properly Use letterhead when necessary for the first page and plain stationery for any additional pages. Place a header containing the recipient's name, date and page number on all subsequent pages one inch from page top.
Go down three spaces or so from the page header on page two or any other continuation sheet and then continue your letter from the previous page.
Try to leave at least two lines on the first page if you must divide a paragraph between pages. It's good to have at least two lines from the divided paragraph on the subsequent page, as well.
If the paragraph is short, it's better to move the whole thing to the second page. Have at least two better three lines of text before the closing on the last page. Don't squeeze the letter onto one page if would look better on two pages. Dixie just wanted to reiterate this point here Follow the first page's format except for the header instead of letterhead.
All margins on the subsequent pages should match the first page as well as the previous ones, Dixie is sure you realize that.
Stapling Pages Together in a Multiple Page Business Letter You may not realize it but there's an ongoing debate whether pages of a multiple page business letter should be stapled or not before mailing.
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