Formal letter format - A letter is a message that is conveyed for communication purposes.
A formal letter and an informal letter are the two types of letters that one can write. In this blog, we will be discussing how a formal letter format looks like?
A formal letter is a letter written for the formal conversation mostly between lower authority to higher authority and sometimes higher authority to lower authority.
This letter is widely taught to a student in the school as this letter has wide usage in the current technology world.
A formal letter is the most basic model of communication in the government and acts as written proof. In this letter, a formal tone is used for communication.
An example of a formal letter can be an application letter to the mayor of your municipality regarding the setup of street lights in your locality.
When we compare the formal letter to the informal letter, we can see that this form is widely used in today's technological advancement.
As a result, knowing how to write this sort of letter becomes increasingly crucial.
There are various formats of writing this letter. So in this blog, I will mention all types of formal letter format. But this format is fixed, so you can’t use any other form.
In this article, I'll show you how to write a proper formal letter step by step. Along with that, I'll go through all the formal letter example and formal letter writing samples in English.
However, these formats are set in stone, and you can't use any other format. I'll also provide you with some formal letter templates, so let's get started.
Types of Formal Letter Format
First, we'll look at the different types of formal letter format. In general, three formal letter formats are the most popular. So that's all we'll talk about in this blog. Let's take a look at it one by one.
The initial format of a formal letter is to align the sender's address and signature on the right side of the page, while the rest of the elements, such as the receiver's address and salutation, are aligned on the left side. Here the subject part comes at the center.
This layout is also known as a semi-block style layout in a business letter. The skeleton of this sort of letter format is shown below.
The second format of a formal letter aligns all of the formal letter's elements on the left side of the page.
I'll go through the format structure in more detail in the sample below. This format is also considered in CBSE Board.
Formal Letter Format in CBSE
The third format of a formal letter is one in which the elements such as the sender's address, the receiver's address, and the salutation are aligned on the left side of the page.
And the rest part, i.e., a signature, is aligned on the right side of the page. The subject is aligned in the center of the page in this case.
Kindly go through the format's skeleton shown below.
Apart from these three formats, one should use none of the other formats while writing a formal letter.
Elements of Formal Letter Format
Now that we have a firm grasp on the format of formal letters, we can consider the various types of formal letters.
We know that the letters are written for communication purposes, but we also understand that communication takes many other distinctions.
So formal letters are classified into five categories depending on distinct communication demands. So we'll be discussing all of this in this blog.
They're all identical in terms of formatting, salutation, and conclusion. However, the information you provide in these letters varies.
In this part, I'll go through each of these kinds in depth. So let's have a look at them one by one.
1. Inquiry Letter
Inquiry letters are written for inquiry purposes. This letters are sent to organizations and institutions seeking information, advice, names, directions, quotations, orders, and tenders for material for the company or firms' needs.
Such letters inquire about fundamental issues such as the availability of specific instruments or vast quantities of products.
2. Complaints Letter
Complaint letters are written for the aim of filing a complaint. Complaint letters are written to express dissatisfaction with a product or service.
Essentially, complaint letters are sent by purchasers to alert suppliers to any errors that occur during the delivery of a product.
Defective products, shortages of goods, and commodities damaged in transportation, among other things, might be the source of the problem.
This letter's purpose is to get compensation for the goods transaction. However, one thing to keep in mind when writing this letter is to use optimistic tones.
Never use a harsh tone while writing a formal complaint letter because it might be perceived as disrespectful towards the merchants, which one should avoid.
3. Application letter/Cover letter
An application letter is a letter that is written in response to a job application. It's a sort of personal statement that you send with your resume when applying for a job.
This letter is sometimes referred to as a cover letter. It is a form of a letter that presents a job seeker's work history, professional qualifications, and personal interest in applying for a position.
This letter is addressed to the employer and explains why you are qualified for the position and should be summoned for an interview.
Essentially, this letter assists the job seeker in explaining in depth everything that is mentioned in their resume.
4. Order letter
An order letter is a letter that is intended to provide a person or organization with a precise set of instructions.
The buyer writes this letter to the merchant after responding to his inquiry letter, asking for a specific product.
In this case, an order letter can also be viewed as a response to an inquiry letter.
A higher authority may also write an order letter to a lower authority to pass an order.
A letter issued by the nation's government for its citizens is an excellent example of this type of letter.
5. Reply letter/Sending quotation
A reply letter, also known as a quote letter, is written in response to a request for quotations.
In simple terms, it is a response to an earlier letter that asked a question or sought information.
The sender should include all of the information that the receiver requires. This form of a letter is commonly used in commercial correspondence.
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How to Write a Formal Letter?
1. Sender Address
The sender's address is the first element of a formal letter. It is a spot where a considerable number of people become confused.
And the reason for their bewilderment is that they don't know where to write the sender address.
The position of writing the sender’s address differs from one format to another format of letter writing.
In some letter writing formats, it is written on the left side, while in some, it is written on the right side.
So while writing the sender address, make sure which format of the letter is followed in your exam, then write the address accordingly.
However, if the format is not specified in your examination, write the sender’s address on the right side.
One must write the address in 3-4 lines only. Don't forget to include your Pin-code in the address.
If you're sending a letter to someone who lives overseas, you must include the country's name.
You must place the date at the end of the address. You can write the date in a variety of ways, such as:
13th August 2021
13 August 2021
August 13, 2021
Other than this, one should follow no other form. Do not forget to put a comma(,) after every address line. And after writing the date, put a full stop(.).
An example is:
Veermata Jijabai road,
28th February 2021.
2. Receiver Address
The receiver address is the formal letter's second component. It is written on the left side of all formal letter format.
In the first line of the receiver address, we write the term To, then put a comma(,), and then move on to the following line.
In the following line, we write the profession of the receiver person. In the examination, the profession of the person is generally mentioned in the question.
For example, if you are writing a letter to your school/college about some issue. Then you will write:
After that, you'll write that person's address. When I say address, I'm referring to the location where the person works.
Let me explain with an example. I'll use the school mentioned above example only. Thus we may write as
New Model English High School,
You can see that instead of mentioning the complete address of that person's workplace, I only specified the location of his institute.
In the receiver address area, you may also specify the Pin Code. If you use the Pin Code, the address will be as follows:
New Model English High School,
Remember, at the end of each line, don’t forget to put a comma (,) and a full stop (.). It is a fundamental concept, yet students frequently overlook it, resulting in precious marks.
The most important part of the letter is the subject, and it is usually written in the center.
However, it is different in specific formats, so you can insert the subject according to it if you're using one of them.
It is the most essential part of the formal letter as it explains the reason for writing the letter.
Because formal letters are primarily used in business communication and business activities, people are usually busy and don't have time to read your entire letter.
Instead of that, they sometimes prepare only the subject part.
As a result, it's crucial to make your subject matter meaningful so that readers understand why you're writing.
When writing the subject, remember that one should write the entire subject in one line and that one line should make sense and assist the reader in understanding why you're sending the letter.
Your subject's first word varies depending on the type of letter. I'll illustrate how it varies. Let's see what happens.
- For the inquiry letter, your starting words should be Enquiry for (then reason).
- Your starting word should be a Complaint regarding/for (then reason) for the Complaint letter.
- For the application letter, your starting word should be an Application for (then reason).
- Your starting word should be a order regarding (then reason) for the order letter.
- For the Reply letter, your starting words should be Letters for/regarding (then reason).
If you are a student and reading this blog, then there is one more thing that you can do: underlining the subject part. It helps you to present your letter more superiorly.
Don't worry; you will get a clear idea once you look at the example I mentioned at the end of the blog.
Salutation is a type of greeting used in letter writing. In all types and formats of a formal letter, the salutation is aligned on the left side of the page.
The salutation consists of two words: one prefix and the person's profession or name.
The most popular prefix is "Dear"; however, one can also use other prefixes "Respected."
If you are writing the person's name, then with their name, you should use a prefix like Mr./Mrs./Dr. along with dear.
Otherwise, you can use a simple "Dear Sir" salutation appropriate for any formal letter.
Don’t forget to put a comma after the salutation.
An example is:-
Dear Mrs. Azad,
Respected Dr. Laik,
The actual section of letter-writing comes after the salutation, and this is where your conversation begins. In most cases, the communication section is written in three paragraphs.
- The first section is the introduction.
- The second section is a content body.
- And the third one contains the closing part.
However, before you start writing the paragraph, there are a few things you should keep in mind that will make your letter more engaging and intriguing.
- As I previously stated, one should do the letter writing in three paragraphs.
- The second is to utilize short and simple phrases. Make things as simple as possible. Make sure you know what you want to convey. Therefore keep your formal letter short and simple.
- The third tip is to write correctly. Keep in mind that the receiver will have to read it, so don't make it difficult.
- The fourth point is to use correct punctuation wherever it is necessary.
It becomes more spellbinding and obsessive when you keep all of these aspects in mind while composing a letter. Now let’s begin with the formal letter format.
5. Opening Paragraph
The opening paragraph is where you introduce yourself; write the reason for sending the letter after introducing.
In this paragraph, you should not elaborate on the reason; write a simple one-line reason.
While writing the opening paragraph, one thing to remember is, the paragraph should not be more than 2-3 sentences.
6. Body of Content
In this paragraph, you must explain why you are writing a letter in detail. The second paragraph is generally longer than the first and final.
This paragraph, however, should not be more than 5-6 sentences.
7. Closing Paragraph
The final paragraph is the closing paragraph, in which we wrap up the letter and ask the recipient to consider the issue.
Also thanks to them for giving their precise time for reading your letter. After ending the paragraph, use such sentences “Please do the needful.”
Whenever you write a particular word like “Thanking You,” never forget to put a comma(,) and the alignment of these words should be on the left side of the page.
Also, this word should be placed one line downward from the closing paragraph.
Now, the signature part is only remaining in this sign-off with phrases. “Yours Faithfully” is the most prevalent one, which can be use in almost every type of formal letter writing.
You can use these phrases in any letter. You can also use phrases like Your honestly, Your sincerely, Your cordially, etc.
Don’t forget to put a comma(,). After, it would be best if you write your name and then put a complete stop.
Along with the signed name, you should reveal your first name and surname along with your designation. These convey your identity to the reader.
In this, you must note that you should do signature alignment according to the format you are following.
Now let's see a few formal letter samples. The samples you see below are all semi-block format.
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Before going ahead check out the video on Formal Letter Writing.
Write an Official Invitation Letter for Diwali Party.
Credit: Master Handwriting
Sample of Formal Enquiry letter
Q. Write a formal letter for admission to the yoga classes present in your city.
Sample of Formal Complaint Letter
Q. Write a Complaint letter to the mayor of your municipality about needs for regular and Punctual supply of water.
Sample of Formal Application letter
Q. Write an application letter to the mayor of your municipality regarding the setup of street lights in your locality.
Sample of Formal Order letter
Q. Write an Order letter to the Seller of Khan Sports to place the sports equipment order.
What's the main difference between Formal and Informal Letter Format?
Formal Letter Format:
- Formal letters are written for government departments, chair holders, organizations, etc.
- In a formal letter, the individual to whom you are writing is not a friend or anyone else you know.
- In a formal letter, to make a good impression on the recipient, you employ formal words and sentences in your tone.
- In a formal letter, you write the recipient's name, designation, and address on the top left, and your own name and address on the top right.
- You sign off at the bottom left of the page with yours truly or faithfully.
Informal Letter Format:
- Informal letters are written to friends.
- The objective of writing a informal letter is not to lodge a complaint or inquire about something, and the tone is likewise light.
- Informal letters are similar to freestyle swimming in that you can write in any manner and tone you like.
- There is no standard framework to follow, and there is no need to be using formal style and tone.
- You sign off at the bottom with yours lovingly or with love.
FAQs on Formal Letter Format
Q.1. Formal Letter writing topics for grade 10.
- Resignation Letter
- Job offer letter
- Business letter
- Complaint letter
- Leave application for Marriage
- Sick leave application
- Appointment letter
Q.2. How many types of Letters are there?
Ans: In general, there are three types of letters, Formal letters, Informal letters & Semi formal letters.
Q.3. What exactly a formal letter is?
Ans: Formal letter are written for government departments, chair holders or to a organization's. In a formal letter, you write the recipient's name, designation, and address on the top left, and your own name and address on the top right.
Format Letter Format: Wrap Up!
Finally, I'd like to state that if you follow all of the above instructions, you will create a suitable professional sort of formal letter.
If you’re using this blog as a study guide for your exam, I’m damn sure if you follow all of the recommendations above, you will score excellent marks on your test.
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