1.06 How to write a formal letter
With the advent of email, it is becoming less and less common to write letters, but the few letters that you will write will probably be very important ones, such as covering letters for job applications, covering letters for questionnaires or surveys which are part of your research, or letters of complaint to your bank manager.
It is very important, therefore, that your letters have the desired effect on the reader. In order to achieve this, they should be:
in the correct format
short and to the point
free of any grammatical or spelling mistakes
polite, even if you’re complaining
This guide will give some general advice on letter writing and includes some sample letters.
If you are replying to a letter it can be a good idea to note how that letter has been formatted and expressed.
There are certain conventions that your reader will expect you to follow; if you don’t, you will create a bad impression.
Here is a letter in standard format. Refer to the notes afterwards for explanation.