Formal letters still prove to be an important medium when it comes to communication. They can be used for personal use or business purposes. They can be used to relay any message that might be of importance to the recipient of the letter. They must be written with care and should be drafted in a manner that gives an impression of formality and professionalism whatever the purpose may be. The words used for these types of letters must be chosen carefully.
The Sample Letters in this article portray how one should write a formal letter. These letter templates will be your guide to writing an excellent letter.
Standard Formal Letter Layout
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Common Formal Letter Format
The format of a formal letter should be given attention because these are also essential. Listed below is how these letters are commonly formatted.
- Layout. The layout of this letters is usually in block form—all paragraphs should be left justified and must be single-spaced, or it may also be in Administrative Management Style (AMS), which is more straightforward and briefer. The AMS type of layout is usually used for memos and for situations that demand announcements to be direct.
- Font. Formal letters must be easy on the eyes to make it easy to read. Font style used should either be Times New Roman or Arial, and the font size should be 12. The color must only be black.
- Margins. The margins on all sides must be one inch.
- Paper. If you are going to send a physical formal letter, the paper must be unruled and should be short (8.5″ × 11″). Lengthy documents may be printed on long (8.5″ × 14″).
This is the recommended format of a formal letter, but depending on the sender’s preference and the purpose of the letter, the format may vary.
For business settings and situations, you may want to check out Business Letter Layouts.
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Formal Letter Layout in MS Word
Parts of a Formal Letter
- Sender’s information – This is the very first section that will be seen by the recipient. If the sender has a letterhead, they can use that instead. (See Company Letterheads.)
- Date – The date stated on a formal letter is the date the letter was written.
- Recipient’s information – This includes all the pertinent information about the recipient.
- Salutation – “Dear Mr. XXX”
- The body of the letter – This is where the purpose of the letter is stated.
- The complimentary close – “Sincerely,” “Regards,” “Yours truly,” etc.
- Signature line – Signature is affixed on top of the sender’s name.
How to Write an Excellent Formal Letter
- The first few lines of your letter must state your purpose. The briefer and more straight to the point your letter is, the better.
- Write your letter in a tone that emulates being polite and respectful. Make your choice of words professional.
- Review the letter multiple times before sending it.
- Follow the correct format.
A formal letter may be used in different situations, and whenever the need for one arises, you can always refer to this article by bookmarking it or you can choose to download a template or all of the templates. Just click on the green button with the word Download written on it.
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