We are already living in a world wherein people are getting more and more dependent on technology especially in the means of how we formally communicate with other people. But before e-mails dominated the way we formally communicate, formal letters dominated the whole scene of formal correspondence.
Formal letters are the foundation of e-mails and without knowing how to write one, you will have a difficulty in writing even the most basic e-mail. But worry not for in this article, we are going to help you learn the basics as well as brush up your skills in formal letter writing.
If you want to ensure that your words in your formal letter will be considered and taken seriously by the receivers of your message, then make sure that you will adhere to the standards of a formal letter. To start strong, you must follow that you are going to include the following vital elements of a formal letter.
1. Heading: The heading is where you are going to place your address and the date of when you are writing the letter. While not required, you can also include your contact number as well as your e-mail address. If you are using the block format of a formal letter, this element is found at the top left-hand corner of the page.
2. Inside Address: The inside address is where you can write down the full name and the full address of whom you are addressing your formal letter to. In the event that you do not know his or her full name, you can just put there his or her title. This element is found right after the heading.
3. Salutations: The salutation is the element found after the inside address where you are to greet the recipient of your formal letter. Your choice of salutation depends on whether you know the recipient of the letter or not, but the most common of salutation is “Dear” and followed by the recipient’s name and a colon. In cases where you do not know the full name and the gender of the recipient, you can just use “Dear Sir or Madam” and a colon. If the person you are sending to has a specific title such as “Engr.,” “Dr.,” or “Atty.,” then make sure you would also include this.
4. Body: The body is the main part of the letter where you are going to input the message you want to deliver to the recipient. The body consists of three paragraphs, each with a purpose, namely the introductory paragraphs, the body paragraph, and the concluding paragraph. Keep in mind to observe brevity and coherence, and it is also suggested to write in short but logical sentences in order to effectively state your reason for writing. You may also see official letter examples.
5. Closing Remarks and Signature: This is the final element that can be seen in your formal letter. The common closing remarks are “Yours sincerely” and “Respectfully yours.” Make sure you only capitalize the first letter of the first word and add a comma after the last word. After the closing is where you are going to input your actual handwritten signature and your full name in print below.
Since we have provided you formal letter templates, we might as well give you the steps on how to make the most out of these.
1. Choose your most preferred formal letter template: Not all formal letter templates here are suitable for the kind of formal letter that you are ought to create. In deciding a formal letter template, make sure that it suits to the kind of theme or concept of how you want your formal letter to look like. And yes, you can make your formal letter look aesthetically pleasing to make it a look a little less boring.
2. Add your own content and fill in the vital elements: Since you are going use a template, it just means that you are to add your contents. Your contents here are the vital elements of every type of formal letter, namely, heading of your letter; the inside address; salutations; body of the letter which contains introduction, body, and conclusion; closing remarks; and your full name in print and signature.
3. Proofread, edit, and finalize your added content: If you have already placed the contents you want to put in your formal letter, you should never forget about proofreading, editing, and finalizing everything that you have added in your chosen formal letter template. There are some templates that contain place holders to fill in the space of an element, so make sure you have edited or deleted it already.
Consider heeding to these simple tips when you are finally going to write your own formal letter:
Always be concise: The receiver of your formal letter may not have the luxury of time to read a letter that goes for more than a page. In the first paragraph of the body of your letter, ensure that you will automatically get straight to stating the purpose of your letter so that the succeeding paragraphs that follow can also focus on supporting it rather than introducing another topic that will only prolong the entire content of your formal letter.
Additional tip: you will know that you have written a concise formal letter if it no longer contains anything unnecessary such as unnecessary words unnecessary sentences, unnecessary paragraphs, unnecessary lines, and unnecessary parts.
Proofread your formal letter: Proofreading is so important especially if you are making a formal correspondence such as sending a formal letter. Before handing your letter to the post or to the actual receiver, you must ensure that you have checked that you had used the right terms, the right spelling of your those terms, and the right grammar. Failure to do so can actually and seriously affect your credibility.
Additional Tip: if you think your formal letter no longer needs proofreading, you are totally wrong. Ask a friend or just another person who can help you in proofreading your formal letter because, chances are, you just missed seeing even glaring mistakes after having read your letter countless times. You may also see formal writing examples.
Observe proper format and presentation: Always keep in mind that a person’s first impression of you will usually last. While it does not apply to every single case, you just have to make the best impression to be safe and sure. In order to do so, ensure that your formal letter is following the proper format, containing the necessary elements, and being presented well to the receiver.
Additional tip: do not forget to sign your formal letter! Even if you have correctly addressed the receiver of your formal letter but you have failed to sign the letter, it will still do you no good and would still yield a bad impression on you.
Whatever your purpose is for writing a formal letter, there is a specific type for it. Here are some of the types of formal letters that you can use for your formal correspondence.
Your formal letter could be in A4, which has the dimensions of 210 × 297 mm. You could also have your formal letter in the US letter size which has the dimensions of 216 × 279 mm.
A formal letter is a written document that is used in formal cases, often in business, and follows a specific format. Formal letters are commonly used for official purposes such as communicating with authorities, colleagues, dignitaries, and anyone who holds an esteemed position. This is not the kind of letter you can send to your friends and family.You may also see business formal letters.
Like any other kind of letter, formal letters are used to communicate; to deliver a message from you as the sender to your receiver. Formal letters can serve as a way to formally make a request, to order, to invite, to inform, and the like. A formal letter is the best medium of information exchange that is effective when it is used in the business setting.
Despite you are living in an email-driven society, we hope that you are able to create even the most basic formal letter you can come up with. Knowing how to write a formal letter is the best foundation you can secure for your self to ensure that when the moment comes that you are ought to do a formal correspondence, you will have no problems at all and you will even create a good impression.