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Formal Letter Writing in English - Definition, Format and Writing Samples

28 June,2024  |  By Brainwonders

Formal Letter Writing in English

The article provides a comprehensive guide on writing a formal letter, including its definition, structure, and examples. Formal letters are professional documents that must be drafted with care. The following topics will help you master the art of writing an effective formal letter.

Table of Contents

  1. Definition of a Formal Letter
  2. Structure of a Formal Letter – Types of Formal Letters
  3. Writing a Formal Letter – Parts of a Formal Letter
  4. Formal Letter Writing Samples
  5. FAQs on Formal Letter Writing Format in English

Definition of a Formal Letter

Formal letters, or business or professional letters, adhere to a strict format and are more formal than informal or friendly letters. They can be written for various purposes, such as:

  • Expressing concerns in a professional setting
  • Providing official information within a workplace
  • Ordering goods or applying for employment
  • Addressing issues to the editor of a newspaper on behalf of different groups

Structure of a Formal Letter

To write a formal letter, you must first understand its purpose. The structure of a formal letter varies depending on its type. Adhering to specific rules is essential to convey your message clearly and precisely.

Types of Formal Letters

Formal letters can be categorized into the following types:

Business Letters: These should be concise and to the point, avoiding any storytelling. Key considerations include:

  • Using simple language for clarity
  • Avoiding business jargon and abbreviations
  • Varying the mode of address based on the letter type and recipient
  • Providing clear and precise descriptions when ordering goods
  • Quoting the date and reference numbers when replying to a business letter

Letters of Application: These are typically employment applications. Important points to consider are:

  • Beginning with a brief introduction, referencing any advertisement
  • Including details about the applicant's age, education, and experience
  • Expressing earnest interest in the job
  • Providing references for the employer to assess the applicant

Letters to Newspapers: Addressed to 'The Editor' and signed off with 'Yours faithfully', these letters express concerns meant for higher authorities. They should be professional and include the writer's name and address.

Writing a Formal Letter – Parts of a Formal Letter

When writing a formal letter, always maintain respect and professionalism. Key components include:

  1. Sender's Address: Start with the sender's address.
  2. Date: Follow with the date.
  3. Receiver's Address: Next, include the receiver's address.
  4. Subject: A single-line statement of the letter's purpose.
  5. Salutation: Use 'Dear Sir/Ma'am' or the recipient's name if known.
  6. Body: Composed of three paragraphs:
    • Introduction and purpose of the letter
    • Detailed information
    • Conclusion with expectations
  7. Closing: Use a complimentary closing such as 'Yours faithfully' or 'Yours sincerely', followed by your name in block letters and your designation.

Formal Letter Writing Samples

Sample 1 – Letter to the publisher ordering books for your store

Read More Book Store
24, Crosby Lane
Bangalore 600045

20th August, 2019

The Manager
Zack Publishing House
Mumbai 400012

Subject: Requirement of new books for the store

Dear Sir,

I have received the books that you sent last week. The books are in perfect condition, and they were delivered on time. Owing to the great service rendered, I would like to order more books, which would be a great addition to my store's wide range of books. Below is a list of books that I would like to purchase:

Title of the Book Author No. of Copies
Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte 3
Treasure Island R L Stevenson 2
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking 4
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! Richard Feynman 2

Formal Letter Sample 2 – Letter to the Editor about a Road Needing Repair


25, SS Street

Cheran Nagar

Coimbatore 641023

8th September, 2019

The Editor

The Hindu


Subject: Repair of the Road in Cheran Nagar


I want to bring to your attention the difficulties faced by the residents of Cheran Nagar due to the poor condition of the roads. Despite our appeals to the Municipality, we are still awaiting a response.

Given the lack of action, highlighting this issue in the media may prompt the necessary repairs. Since the beginning of last month, the roads in Cheran Nagar have become almost impassable. Heavy rains have severely damaged the surface, making it dangerous for vehicles to traverse, especially at night. Additionally, heaps of road metal on both sides leave very little space in the middle, causing further inconvenience.

The situation is deteriorating, with multiple accidents occurring due to these conditions. Please emphasize the seriousness of this matter in your newspaper so that the road can be properly repaired without further delay.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,




FAQ on Formal Letter Writing Format in English

Q1: What is a formal letter?

A formal letter is written for official purposes, such as expressing concerns in a professional setting, sharing official information at your workplace, ordering goods, applying for employment, or addressing issues to a newspaper editor on behalf of various groups of people.

Q2: What is the format of a formal letter?

A formal letter should include the sender’s address, date, receiver’s address, subject, salutation, the body of the letter, complimentary closing, and the signature with the sender’s name (in block letters) and designation.

Q3: How can I write a formal letter?

To write a formal letter, first understand its structure. Include all necessary information related to the topic. Use simple, clear language to convey your message effectively. Ensure the recipient understands your requirements and expectations. Always provide accurate and authentic information.

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