Formal Letter Writing Conventions
There are a number of conventions that should be adhered to when producing a formal letter. It is important that the overall structure is as clear and concise as possible and that you avoid the use of colloquialisms.
1) Your Address
the top right-hand section
2) The Address of the person you are writing to
beneath your address on the left-hand side of your letter, remember to include the name of the person that you are writing to. (If known)
on the right-hand side of the page on the line beneath your address and should be written in full format: e.g. 1st January 2012
Salutation & Greeting:
1) Dear Sirs,
If you do not know the name of the person that you are writing to, use the greeting "Dear Sirs,". In some circumstances it is useful to find a name, especially if you are writing to make a request as this will show that you have done your homework and your letter is more likely to receive a response. 2) Dear Mr Jones,
If you know the name, use one of the following titles:
Mr - for a male
Mrs - for a married female
Miss - for an unmarried female
Ms - for a female whose status is unknown or would prefer to remain anonymous Dr - for a person with the status of a doctor
This should be followed by the surname only (not the first name).
Concluding a Letter:
1) Yours faithfully,
If you do not know the name of the person, end the letter with "Yours faithfully,". 2) Yours sincerely,
If you know the name of the person, end the letter with "Yours sincerely,". 3) Your signature
Sign your name, then print it underneath the signature. If it is potentially unclear what your title would be then include this in brackets next to your printed name.
Content of a Formal Letter
Formal writing – No casual approach
No internet/facebook/SMS style words
Should be concise and should clearly state the purpose of the formal letter whether it is to...
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