Learn to Cite Formal Letter Enclosure

For people who send business letters on a regular basis, knowing how to cite a formal letter enclosure is essential.

What Is a Business Letter Enclosure?

A formal letter enclosure is a separate document that you attach to a business correspondence to provide additional information.

You make a good impression on the recipient when you follow the proper structure and etiquette in professional documents. Note that attachments and enclosures are not the same.

Enclosures are stand-alone documents, whereas attachments usually expand on the letter’s content. Examples of enclosures include images, articles, resumes, and other documents.

Why Should You Cite a Business Letter Enclosure?

An enclosure does not need to be mentioned in the body of the letter. If you include attachments in a business letter, make sure to cite them at the bottom of the document.

The goal of citation is to remind the presence of the enclosure so that it is not overlooked. Citing enclosures help the recipients absorb the letter better and locate the required information quickly.

A white printer paper and a brown envelope on a table
Photo by Mediamodifier on Unsplash

How to Cite a Formal Letter Enclosure

Enclosure citations in business letters have a precise format. To demonstrate your professionalism, make sure you accurately cite them. Follow these steps below to cite an enclosure in your business letter:

Give a Proper Closing to your Letter

You must write a proper closing to your letter before citing an enclosure. Sign off with a phrase like “sincerely” or “best,” and then include your signature at the bottom of the document. This step is vital because all enclosures are typically placed at the bottom of the document’s last page.

Write the Enclosure Beneath Your Signature

You can see the enclosure beneath your signature, aligned with the left edge of the page. You can write “enclosure” in its entirety or use abbreviations such as “Enc.” or “Encl.” No matter which abbreviation you prefer, try to be consistent with the style if you regularly write letters with enclosures.

Include a Title for Each Enclosure Document

You must write a clear title for each enclosure so that it matches the documents inside and are understandable to the recipient.

After you write the enclosure, make sure to include the title of the document. This is not always necessary, but it helps the recipient understand the enclosed document and what to expect in it.

Adding a title is helpful when you have multiple enclosures and the recipient need to locate a specific one.

Write a Description If Necessary

You can include a description in your enclosure if necessary. Though this is an optional step, it helps the recipient understand the contents of the enclosure.

If you have many documents, adding descriptions can assist recipients in finding the right one and distinguishing between them.

To Wrap Up

A letter enclosure is any document attached to your letter as an appendix.

It may be a letter, a memo, or an article. Enclosures are often printed on paperwork, but you may also find appendices on PDF or chart paper attached to your letter.

You can also find units of work, report summaries, and even sample letters in your letter enclosure. This guide is written to help you learn more about enclosures in letters.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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