If you are a student or graduate, if you are an office worker or a top manager, no matter on what stage of life you are, sooner or later will have to learn how to write a formal letter. The name of this task just speaks for itself. The tone should be formal, no personal opinions included, only straight facts and no humor at all. You need to be clear and simple as possible. In this article our experts will tell you more how to keep yourself in a proper format and do everything right.
How to Write a Formal Letter Step by Step
Formal letters often have various formats that depend on the occasion, recipient, and even the region. It is not an essay or any other type of academic paper. You may find lots of various details about this type of writing but the most obvious requirements lays right in the name. This paper should be formal with no signs of personal opinion, jokes or anything like that.
There are few main points that should be included into your formal letter. All of them will build the structure of your letter. Check each of them below:
- Your Address - Your address is important in case the person you are writing to wants to reply. It should be written in the upper right corner of the letter.
- Address of the second person - Place it below your own address in the left corner to identify the person you are writing to.
There are no clear rules regarding this one. Writers place it in different parts of the letter. Usually, it is placed in the lower right corner or right below your address. Please note, that it is better to write the month as a word.
This stage is very important as it is the first information that really matters to your recipient. There are two cases with different types of salutation:
- You know the person - You may use standard titles like Dr, Mr, Mrs, and so on. Then write the second name. You can use Ms in case you do not know if the woman is married or single. Example: Dear Ms Williams.
- You do not know the person - Here you can use only Sir or Madame. Also, if you don't even know who you are writing to, you can use a “representative” word. Example: Dear Sony Music representative.
There are lots of ways you can end your formal letter. You may wish a nice day or anything typical will be enough. Also, do not forget to mention your name under your best wishes. You may also add your title to let them know who you are in case they want to reply.
Formal Letter Paragraph by Paragraph
The number of paragraphs you need to include into your letter may vary regarding the content and goal of your letter. The first one should be quite brief and inform the main request or any other goal. All the paragraphs in general should be brief with just two or three sentences there. There is no use of making long paragraphs in such latter or just gather everything in one big piece to read.
All other paragraphs should just describe and explain your request or complaint. Use as many paragraphs as you need but try to make them clear and not too long. Include relevant information only. And your letter in general should not be very long. Try to include only relevant information and explanations. Do not use too many conjunctions.
If there are few points in your latter, you should separate them from each other with a new paragraph. There are also some requirements for the last paragraph. You need to identify what exact action or reaction you are expecting from the person you are writing to. Due to some standards the whole letter should take just one page.
More Formal Letter Writing Steps
- If you are a representative of some company and writing not from your person, you need to include the address of your office or official address of the company.
- Also, check what phone number you should include: your private, office or company’s official.
- You can also use a corporate pages of your company with a logo or place your logo near your address.
- The date should be placed below the address of the sender. There are lots of reason why you need to include the date of your letter. Usually, it is for your recipient to set the time frame for the reply or to include to the report.
- If you decide to use some certain format in your letter, you should use it all over it with no exceptions.
- Do not forget to set a comma between the year and month.
- Sometimes it is useful to include recipient’s job title after their name.
- There is nothing wrong if you use recipient's first name only in case you know them well.
- Usually, this type of papers is written with just one draft with no editing afterwards. But, of course, you may create few drafts and proofread the entire letter. It is always useful.
Dear Mrs Richards,
I am writing to inform you that I was very disappointed with my visit to your restaurant two days ago. I read your advertisement in the newspaper and decided to spend an evening there with my friend. Unfortunately, I have a couple of complaints concerning this visit.
According to your advertisement the place is perfect for having private conversations in relaxing atmosphere. However, it turned out that the music was so loud that I could hardly concentrate on the chat with my friend. The waiter asked to turn the music down shrugged his shoulders and said that other guests liked it that way. Is that what you mean by 'discreet service'?
To make matters worse, the place was crowded and waiting for an ordered meal was intolerably long. I must admit that the cuisine was quite good but the prices were way too high.
I would like you to take my points under consideration and I expect a refund from your restaurant. I trust you will give this matter immediate attention. I look forward to receiving a reply from you.
The format of such task as formal letter may vary. Requirements are often not clear for various institutions and occasions. But we can say for sure that the main rule of keeping the formal tone and using business language are the most important rules here. Do not forget to include your address and date when the letter was written.
The team of our experts know well how to create a proper formal letter with all the requirements. Just provide our experts with all important instructions and information, and they will create a perfect piece of writing delivered on time.