Formal Letter Format | How to Write Formal Letter

Formal Letter Format | How to Write Formal Letter


Letter writing is the oldest form of communication as people use this medium to communicate with each other. Today, with the advent of e-mails and modern technology, the concept of writing letters has taken a back seat but the style still persists and people use it while writing e-mails. Letter writing is an art that needs meticulous attention. People need to be very careful about what they write and how they write before sending it to their near
and dear ones. There are certain rules and procedures that are to be followed and observed while writing a letter.


Letters can be broadly classified into formal and informal letters. Formal letters, as the name suggests, include business letters, official letters, applications, complaints, letters to the editor, letters written to people to whom we want to convey certain important information. On the other hand, informal letters include personal letters, letters that are written to our friends and family. While formal letters follow certain format, one can be flexible while writing informal letters. Nonetheless, letter writing is a skill that needs to be honed over time, with practice. A novice, trying to write a letter, should observe the basic rules and procedures of writing a good letter. It is a pleasurable task once you know the basic rules.

Purpose of a Formal Letter


A business letter (or formal letter) is a formal way of communicating between two or more parities. There are many
different uses and types of business letters. Business letters can be informational, persuasive, motivational, or promotional. Business letters should be typed and printed out on standard 8.5″ x 11″ white paper.


Elements of a Good Letter


The most important element of writing a good letter is your ability to identify and write to your target consumers. If you are addressing your letter to the managerial department would understand, even if your letter is addressed to an engineering company, chances are that the personnel in human resources does not have an engineering background. Use a normal, genuine and easy to understand language which makes your purpose clear.

The next element is that you make sure your present your objective in a concise and clear manner. Don’t be vague bout your objective, most people will not have the patience to sit there and guess at the meaning of your letter or the time to read a long-winded letter, just get to the point without going into unnecessary details.


Another important element to remember is to remain professional. Even if you are writing a complaint letter, remain polite and courteous, simply state the problem(s) along with any other relevant information and be sure that their should not be any threats and slander.

Purpose of an Informal Letter – Formal Letter Format


A friendly letter (or informal letter) is a way of communicating between two people (sometimes more) who are usually well acquainted. There are many uses and reasons for wiring a friendly letter but friendly will usually consist of topics on a personal level. Friendly letters can either be printed or hand-written, depends on the compatibility between the sender and receiver both.

Friendly Letter Writing – Formal Letter Format


The friendly letter is typically less formal in comparison to a business letter. Usually, the first paragraph of the body will consist of simple introduction which will give the recipient an idea about why you’re writing to them with a short summary of the main topic of your letter. If you don’t know the person you are writing to you, may want to introduce yourself in this introductory paragraph as well, asking about him as well.

The next few paragraphs will usually consist of that message you may want to convey with any details. The last paragraph will usually be the conclusion where you warp everything up. You can sum up your main idea in the last
paragraph for a short review paragraph, thank the recipient for their time, wish the recipient well, and/or ask any questions.


Since, no formality is required in friendly letters, hence, you can feel free to write it however you like but ihe above format is fairly common.


Letters Format: A brief

  1. The context of letter writing is very much different for on any other kind of writing.
  2. It can be formal and informal. Discussed before.
  3. In is an art; A well written letter is always a pleasure to read as it conveys the message.
  4. There are some essentials that are to be noted, as to whom letter is addressed the things should be very much clear, so that the purpose of writing makes the sense.
  5. Letter received from a loved one or a surprised connection is always a pleasant feeling. Here, though formality or indexing has to be followed but hand written letter with love and care are also appreciated as they gives a personal touch, in the electronic world.
  6. Letters going to long distances needs to have the complete address and codes.
  7. Always make sure to write the date in an indexed form.
  8. Formal letters always require a subject line which clears that, for what the letter is all about. Example:- Sub : Disconnection of the internet.Or Sub : EMI of my loan Account No.
  9.  Letters serves memories, therefore envelopes are also important, which keeps them safe and protectedly hidden.
  10. Make the letter clear and simple-use short, simple and easy to understand words as much as possible.
  11. Always avoid slangs, jargons or vague words which may confuse the reader of the letter.
  12. Make the letter short and brief as much as possible, as the long letters are avoided because they waste the time of the reader.
  13. Try to address the letter directly to the reader, Imagine yourself talking to him with the help of your letter, therefore write things pleasantly and clearly.
  14. Make the letter correct as much as possible-Avoid spelling mistakes, errors, poor grammer, in your letter, as it gives and reflects your bad image or reflection.
  15. Try to prepare your letter from electronic media, so that the clarity of your message reveals.
  16. A well-structured and informative letter forms the most excellent medium to express your words to the reader.
  17. Be clear with what you want to write in your letter and the reason why you want to write it to that recipient. This avoids the confusion and provide the clear thought of the reader about the writer.
  18. Emphasize your points, so that the letter commands the attention from the reader.
  19. Avoid using monotonous sentences, as it will lead to loose interest of the reader.
  20. A good letter will have a salutation which is customary as well as polite wherein you can greet the recipient in some way or the other.


Some more points to emphasize are


Envelope Format The following picture shows what an addressed envelope should look like. The address is represented by the horizontal lines. Follow this format regardless of the setter style you use:


Stamped, Addressed and Envelope


Postage The postage (stamp to prepaid imprint) goes in tie upper right hand corner of the envelope. Do not cover a stamp with adhesive tape. Make sure the stamp is positioned properly so that its cancellation ink will not affect the address.

Be sure that the envelope is sufficiently stamped as per norms. Always check the letters of more than three pages, letters with inserts, or letters to foreign countries, for correct postage. If the envelope is not-properly stamped, the correspondent is likely to face the inconvenience of pick up and pay for penal postage, which is irksome for the correspondent. Address The name and address of the recipient should be centered on the envelope. Make sure the address begins far enough down on the face of the envelope so that, it will not be covered by the ink of the cancellation of stamp. If you are using envelopes with windows, make sure the address is visible clearly through the window.

Addresses on envelopes are normally single-spaced. For example:


Mrs Anita Bekham,
Department of Biology
University of Punjab
Chandigarh (UT)

In short, we can say that a well-written letter not only conveys your message to the receiver clearly but also reflects your overall personality. Everyone needs to communicate in a written way in his/her day-to-day life, so one must master the art of letter writing.


A letter, in general, consists of the following 5 parts.

1. The Heading
2. The Greeting
3. The Body
4. The Complimentary Close (The Subscription)
5. The Signature Line

We are going to discuss the above points separately in details for different types of letter.

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