What does a Formal Letter look like?
1. There are rules or layout and presentation for writing a formal letter that
you must stick to.
2. Take a look at this example then read the table on the next page which
breaks it down into its components and explains them.
|Your address||1. This can be real or invented as long as it appears|
2. Include at least the street name and house number,
city and postcode. You may wish to include other
3. Minimum: 15 Tree Lane, Woodfield, WO1 5TL
4. Fuller: 15 Tree Lane, Oakley, Woodfield, Forestshire,
5. Although not necessary you may wish to follow it with
a phone number and or email address. Use a
separate line for each one.
6. You may also wish to include your name before the
first line of the address:
7. Mrs X. Sample, 15 Tree Lane, Woodfield, WO1 5TL.
|Date|| 1. This HAS to be present on every letter.|
2. In the format and layout of day, date month, year.
3. Don’t forget the punctuation! day COMMA date
month COMMA year FULL STOP.
4. Monday, 21st February, 2015.
|Their address|| 1. This is always a must. Again like your address it can|
be real or invented providing it looks real.
2. If you want you can include the name of the person
you are writing too.
3. The Editor, Oakley News, Oakley, Woodfield,
Forestshire, WO4 6ON.
|Salutation||1. This should be formal but considerate, it is how you|
open the letter and address the reader.
2. Usually “Dear” is used
3. Followed by the name if you know it or their
profession or sir/madam.
4. Dear Mr Pilkington
5. Dear Editor
6. Dear Sir/Madam
7. Conversely you may wish to address it “To Whom It
|Opening line|| 1. This should be short and tell the reader immediately|
what you are writing about.
2. I am writing to you about….
3. This letter it to….
4. In response to….
5. With regards to….
|Paragraphs|| 1. Letters should not be very long, remember they will be|
read by a person and too much information will make
them long and confusing.
2. Aim for about 3-5 paragraphs that solidly explain what
you are writing about.
3. Don’t repeat yourself.
4 Be consistent. Either start a new paragraph with a
fresh line or indentation not both.
|Signing off||1. When closing a letter there are conventions you must|
2. You usually sign off with “Yours sincerely” or “Yours
faithfully”. There is a difference.
3. If you know who you are writing to, then you sign of as
“Yours sincerely” e.g Dear Mrs Hubbard…Yours
sincerely Mr B Brown.
4. If you do not know who you are writing to you sign off
as “Yours faithfully” e.g Dear Sir/Madam…Yours
faithfully Mrs E White.
5. Other sign offs may be considered where appropriate
e.g Yours cordially.
6. Following that you print your own name and if
necessary include a signature.
It may seem complicated but once you remember all the necessary
requirements it is very simple. It is all about presentation.