Formal Letter Sample

formal letter sample templateTips for Writing a Formal Letter

1.Consider your audience.  Who are you writing to?  An employer, a politician, a lawyer, a doctor?  Make sure you address this person appropriately (using Dr., Sir, Mr., Ms., etc…) and tailor your vocabulary to the purpose of the letter.  Use the appropriate language register (formal, not casual).  Remember that the person reading your letter will form an opinion of you based upon the way you write and the language you use.

2.Identify your purposes.  Why are you writing this letter?  What do you hope to accomplish?  Is this a persuasive letter, or merely an informative one?  What is the best way to let your audience know this?  Make sure that you let your audience know what you expect of him/her.  Don’t beat around the bush.

3.Practice with a list.  Write out everything you would like to say in the letter on a scratch piece of paper, and then review your list and underline the most important statements.  These should come first in you letter.  Cross out any extraneous details which seem unnecessary.  Use your notes while you compose the body of the letter.

4.Know your subject.  If you are discussing a matter about which your knowledge is limited, it’s time to do some research.  Even if you think you know a lot about your subject, find out important details and any information related to your topic.  Your letter will not be as convincing unless you show your audience that you know what you’re talking about.

5.Use powerful language.  By this I do not mean swearing or other forms of extreme language which may offend your audience unintentionally.  Use powerful vocabulary which eloquently conveys your message.  You may use a thesaurus to help in this aspect, but avoid words that are totally unfamiliar to you, as you may misuse them.  A letter written without passion and feeling will not get the attention of your audience, but don’t go overboard.  Too much emotion can also have a negative affect.

6.Follow the format.  Learn the appropriate format for the type of letter you are writing, and then follow it carefully.  Make sure you keep the right number of spaces between each section and don’t leave out anything.  Your letter will be more polished and professional looking, which will increase the chances of your audience taking your letter seriously.

7.Proofread your letter.  Check to make sure you have written the letter according to the proper form and style.  Ensure that your spelling and grammar are correct.  If you find you are using all simple sentences, or too many long, complex sentences, vary the structure.  Your letter should be easy and enjoyable to read, just like any other piece of writing

8.Get another opinion.  Have someone else whose writing skills you trust read over your letter to check for mistakes and to see if the language flows.  You should do this to make sure that your letter is clear and understandable to a reader other than yourself.  If your editor can read it, chances are so can your intended audience.

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