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Formal Letter: Writing Guide (with Sample Letter & Email)

Formal letters are written as part of official communications and follow a specific format. These letters are unlike the informal letters you write to friends, family, and relatives that don‘t have any prescribed format. People use formal letters for professional communications such as job application, business communication, recommendation, complaint, and invitation letters. When writing these letters adhere to the set guidelines.

If you want to craft a formal letter, it’s necessary to refer to a sample or a template to know what to include in the letter and the format to use.

What to include in a formal Letter

Your address

At the top right corner of the page, include your contact details. These details must be up to date and accurate. In case the recipient wants to contact you they will use these details.

The date

Include the date of writing the letter immediately after your address. Remember to include a space between your address and the date.

Recipient’s address

Leave a space after the date and write the recipients address starting with their title or name.

Salutation/ Greeting

After the recipient’s address, you need to formal salute the recipient. The greeting must be respectful. Common salutations include; Dear sir/ madam/ Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. / Respected, etc.

Subject

The subject informs the reader of the purpose of the letter. After the word subject, include a colon and then write the purpose of writing the letter. The subject helps the reader to understand why you have written the letter.

The body

After the subject, you go ahead to the body of the letter. In this section, you discuss the main idea of the letter in two or three paragraphs.

The first paragraph introduces an apparent reason for writing the letter. As you write the body of the letter, use a formal tone and language. Keep your letter precise; avoid been wordy.

Closing the letter

A formal letter must end with a complimentary close. Common phrases used in this section include; “Yours Faithfully,” “Yours truly,” “Sincerely,” “Most respected,” “Yours,” etc.

Signature and name

The last section of the letter includes the writer’s official signature followed by their names underneath. Sometimes you may include your designation and company/ business name. These details inform the reader who wrote the letter.

Sample Formal Letter

John Treece

457 Ed Barest Street

Hazel Green, Alabama 35750

USA

01/02/2019

Admissions and Enrollment Manager

University of Otago

361 Leitch Street

Dunedin 9154

New Zealand

Subject: Accepting study offer

Dear sir/ madam

My name is John Treece; I write this letter to accept the offer to study a bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism at the University of Otago. Am glad for this chance, and I am confident that my journey in the Media is on course.

Kindly, find attached all the documents you have requested in the offer letter.

Once more thank you for the chance.

Yours faithfully

John Treece

Sample Formal Email

To: tracy@email.comFrom: Dorothy@email.com

Subject: Arrival of new trucks

Ms. Tracy,

As we had discussed in the managerial meeting, we have ordered seven new vehicles to cater for the increased business.

The trucks will be delivered to our Satellite Offices on 12/03/ 2019 at 10.00a.m, kindly be available to receive and sign the relevant documents.

In case of any clarification, contact my office.

Sincerely,

Dorothy Patman

Managing Director

Pathways logistics

517- 122- 5779