Formal letter is a form of letter meant for formal purposes and it includes many things. Formal letter is exclusively for official situations and its basic use is for communication. This form of letter writing also captures other forms of letter which are: Business letter, Resignation letter, Invitation letter, Appointment letter etc. Formal letter is totally different from Informal letters based on its structural peculiarities. This form of letter writing has a lot of strict rules guiding it and it is a known fact that language is conventional. This also extends to the aspect of letter writing. The writer has to consider a lot of factors which are guiding the formal letter format; he/she needs to carefully adhere to the rules of punctuation, paragraph and choice of words. To learn how to write a formal letter. Please follow the layout below. There also formal letter samples scattered all over the internet.

Formal letter is concise and the content of the letter should not be too much or long. The choice of words should be formal; the lexicons employed by the writer must depict formality, for example: instead of using “sick” in a context, the writer can use “Indisposed” which is more formal. Formal letter doesn’t take the use of abbreviations or familiarity context. In formal letters it is advisable to desist from the use of contractions which are: we’ve, I’ve etc, these contrastive forms make the letter less formal. The layout for a formal letter can be regarded similar to the business letter format but their differences can vividly be noticed in the content of the letter. All formal letters include the following procedures, but due to the fact that change is constant and language convention changes, new format of writing a formal letter might develop in the nearest future and below is the formal letter layout.

Sender’s address: This should be at the top-right side of the letter.
Recipient’s address: This should be after the sender’s address at the left side of the letter.
Date: It normally comes after the sender’s address, just below it at the top-right side.
Salutation: This involves the greetings offered before proceeding to the content. Here we have: Dear sir/ma which is for an unknown recipient while Dear Mr/Mrs (name) can be used for a known recipient.
Title or Heading of the letter (which is optional in some types of formal letter): This gives the recipient the idea of what the whole letter is about. Some examples include: INVITATION TO ANNUAL ORIENTATION PROGRAMME, Request for School Buses etc.
Body: This is the content of the letter. You state the overall purpose for writing the letter.
Conclusion: Here, you wrap up the content of the letter. It might include appreciation or your anticipation towards getting a reply.
Complimentary close: This comes right after the conclusion of the letter and it goes thus: Yours Faithfully for a recipient the writer doesn’t know while Yours Sincerely is used for a recipient known by the writer. And it can be either at the right-down side or left down side as there are recent development in the format of formal letter.
Signature and Name of the writer: These two come last in letter writing. Right after the complimentary close, we have the signature of the writer and below that is the writer’s name.


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