Formal letter writing basics

The basics of good formal letter writing are easy to learn. A formal letter has three main parts: introduction, details and conclusion.


The introduction part of a formal letter should clearly explain the reason for writing the letter. The letter was probably written with the objective of making polite enquiries about job vacancies or business opportunities. The recipient of your letter should be able to figure out the purpose of the letter as soon as they read the introduction or the opening paragraph.


A formal letter is written with the objective of accomplishing some goals. For example, if you are writing a letter to make a job enquiry you should be able to convince the reader that you are a suitable candidate for the job. The detail section of a formal letter is where you achieve this goal.


This is where you explain what you would like to happen in the future. Clearly state what should be the next step from the person reading your letter. The concluding part of a formal letter must include a call for action.

Sections in this article

What is an email
Subject line
Formats, grammar and spelling
Addresses and personal names
Courtesy and politeness
Privacy concerns

Formal letter writing

Address and date
Body of the letter
Subscription or leave-taking
The Tone and Language of a Letter
Personal Letter Writing Tips
Example of formal letter and envelope
Formal Letter Sample 2

Sections in this article

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Exclamations: common errors
Common mistakes with pronouns - Part 2
Common errors with adjectives - part 1
Common errors with adjectives - part 2

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