Communication is as vital to our human existence as breathing and eating. Throughout the years, we’ve established numerous ways to express ourselves to each other, but one that has stood the test of time is letter writing. Today, formal letters are still used by businesses, schools, and other organizations to let their intentions be known. For more information and examples, feel free to scroll through.
A formal letter is any letter written with a professional language that follows a specific format that serves a formal purpose. It is the standard genre in letter writing used in professional and academic settings. It is normally used for recommendation letters, inquiry letters, complaint letters, cover letters, and so on. Although all business letters are formal letters, it is impossible when applied vice versa. Business letters are used for various reasons like making a complaint or inquiry, applying for a job, or any other related purpose.
If you want to learn how to write a formal letter, then you’ve certainly come to the right place. As great as it can be to get a formal letter example online or download a formal letter template from our list, knowing how to write from scratch is always going to be a useful skill. With that said, take note of the following tips:
A formal letter does not need to be lengthy. The people you write formal letters to are very busy people and will appreciate brevity. Stick to the key purpose of your letter and only include relevant supporting details. The main goal of your letter is to deliver the information as efficiently and as simply as you can. In fact, it is well known that shorter letters have a higher chance of being read and entertained than lengthy ones.
The letters do not need to be complicated, either. It is best to avoid using jargon as much as possible and avoid using jargon. The simpler and not complicated your sentences and paragraphs are, the easier for you to get your point across. Avoid using long words and complicated sentence constructions, and use terms that are easy to understand at first glance to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.
Make sure you follow the appropriate letter format. If you fail to do it may result in your letter going straight in the garbage. Ensure that whatever mistakes you made in writing the draft gets corrected through proper proofreading. Even if you stuck to the format perfectly, glaring mistakes within the body of the letter will still reflect badly on you.
If you still have enough time after writing your letter, let rest for a while. If you are writing to complain or are addressing a topic that you feel particularly passionate about, apply this technique. Taking time to let it rest can help you read your letter in a more relaxed manner and can easily spot what you don’t want in your letter and what you want to include.
ASAP, which means ‘as soon as possible,’ is one. CC or ‘carbon copy’ is another. There’s also PP (per procurationem), PS (postscript), and RSVP, which basically means ‘please reply.’ As you may have noticed, many of these are common in emails as well.
First of all, formal letters are written for official or professional communication. While informal letters are used for casual or personal communication. Writing a formal letter also requires following a specific formal letter format. There is no such need for a format when writing informal letters.
The most common examples include a formal cover letter for a job application, along with the formal letter of resignation. There’s also a formal thank you letter or an acknowledgment letter. Documents such as business proposals also fall into this category.
To conclude everything, letters are still vital communication tools even with the advent of greater and faster technology. We’ve adapted them into emails and even the likes of social media posts have taken inspiration from letters in some shape or form. However, there’s still a lot of room for formal letters in all our lives. With that said, be sure to take what you’ve learned here and apply it wisely from here on out.