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Activity 2

Have a think about the people to whom you could write a formal letter to.

Then think about reasons why you would write a formal letter to them.



Fill them in the table below.

People Reason
Headteacher1. complain about uniform
2. ask about exams
3. complain about holidays
4. ask about job vacancies
Newspaper Editor 1. complain about an article
2. inform them about a newsworthy event
3. applying for a job
College1. letter of application
2. asking for information about the college
Business Company1. applying for a job/asking about vacancies
2. complaining about a product
3. complaining about an employee
Post Office 1. complaining about: missing parcels, damaged
parcels, price of stamps
2. asking about jobs
Charity Organisation1. donating money
2. letter of thanks for their help
3. asking about how to volunteer
Employer1. terminating your employment
2. asking for a reference for your new job
3. letter of thanks for your employment


After you have mastered the layout of the text, the next important thing is the

content. You need good sentence starters, good use of a variety of

techniques and well thought out points. Aim for variety.


Below in the table are some revision points and help.

Salutation1. Dear Sir, Dear Madam, Dear Sir/Madam
○ Use this if you do not know the persons name
2. Dear Mr Brown, Dear Master Green, Dear Mrs White, Dear
Miss Red, Dear Ms Black
○ Use the title Mr/Master for men, Mrs for a married
woman, Miss for an unmarried and Ms if you are unsure
○ Even if you know their first name only use their surname
3. You may also use job titles:
○ To the Manager, To the Editor
○ To Whom it May Concern
Opening Lines1. I am writing to complain/thank/ask/inform…
2. This letter aims to…
3. With regards to…
4. In response to…
5. After reading…
6. After coming across…
1. Furthermore…
2. However…
3. Despite the…
4. Moreover…
5. The inconvenience/joy/pleasure caused by…
6. Even though…
7. As a prominent business I would expect that…
8. Similarly…
9. Therefore I expect…
10. I would ask that you…
11. Considering the…
12. As a company/charity/school you have…
13. Last year/month/week…
14. In the future…
15. We are all aware…
Techniques1. Statistics, List of 3
2. Hyperbole, Repetition
3. Rhetorical questions
1. The chance for a brief introduction of who you are (if relevant)
and what you are writing about.
2. This should be short and to the point.
1. Order your points coherently and sensibly, make good use of
techniques and vary sentence starters.
2. Should contain relevant information to the purpose of the letter.
1. Summarise your main point and sign off considerately.
2. It should also state what you want to happen next e.g If you are
complaining about a bad holiday do you want a refund

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Related topics

Writing to Argue                                                                   Writing to Persuade

Writing an Informal Letter                                                 Writing a Review