Writing a letter has become less and less common due to the advent of new technology, but still you will write a letter for some especial aspects like applying for a job, teaching or questionnaires. Indeed you are sending a letter to a person or organization that you are not familiar with, therefore you should try to write as simple and as clear as possible, and not to make the letter longer than necessary. Remember no to use informal language like contractions. In this article you will learn how to write a formal letter.
How to write a formal letter?
The steps below detail the general layout of writing a formal letter.
1. Your address
Your address, but not your name, usually goes in the top right hand corner. You would not usually include your telephone number or email address here, but this would be permissible.
2. The address of the person you are writing to
This address should be written on the left, below your address, remember to include the name of the person that you are writing to (if known).
People write the date in different places of the letter, it can go on the left or the right on the line after the address of recipient. The format of the date is flexible; it could be written: 13 May 2016, 13th May 2016 or 13/5/2016.
4. Salutation or Greeting
A) Dear Sir or Madam,
If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, use “Dear Sir or Madam”, it is better to find out the name and write in the greeting.
B) Dear Mr. Jalali
If you know the name, use one of the following titles:
- Mr – for a male
- Mrs – for a married female
- Miss – for an unmarried female
- Ms – for a female whose status is unknown or would prefer to remain anonymous
- Dr – for a person with the status of a doctor
This should be followed by the surname only (not the first name)
5. Ending a Letter (conclusion)
A) Yours Faithfully:
If you do not know the name of the person, conclude your letter with “Yours faithfully,”
B) Yours sincerely:
If you know the name of the person, conclude your letter with “Yours sincerely,”.
C) Your Signature:
At the end sign your name then print it, below the signature, if the recipient doesn’t know or potentially unclear what your title would be then include this in brackets next to your name.
Once you have written your letter recheck your letter in case of spelling or grammar mistakes and for the quality of your content try to write your letter in the correct format, short and to the point, and your letter should be relevant and polite even if you are complaining.