It is easy to write a formal letter. You just have to follow a standard layout. There are several formal letter layouts, but it is a good idea to follow the most common one. Below are the pieces of information included in the layout of a formal letter.
- Your address – Place this at the top right-hand corner of the letter.
- The address of the person you are writing to – write this on the left below your address.
- Date – Write this below the address of the person. The date should be on the right.
- The salutation – You can use “Dear Sir” or Dear Madam” depending of course on the person you are writing to.
- The body of the letter – Here is where you will place what you want to say.
- Signing off – You can use “Yours sincerely” or other variations.
- Your name – Place your full name under your signature.
The body of the letter is its most important part. Always try to keep it short. In your first paragraph, write the reason why you are writing to the person. Add the necessary details in the second paragraph, and state what you would like the individual to do after reading the letter. You can also use two paragraphs instead of three, if you can make your message more concise.
Remember to organize your thoughts in a logical manner to make your message very clear. Avoid using contractions. The accepted abbreviations used in formal letters include the following:
- ASAP – As soon as possible
- Enc. – This stands for “enclosure”. Use this when you include other documents along with your letter.
- PS – postscript