Formal letters are generally used for official communications. They follow a standard protocol of language conventions and stipulations. Letters addressed to the heads of educational institutions, managers, company HRs, authority, employees, etc., follow a formal tone in the letters. When we write personal letters to our families and friends, we do not follow any particular format; hence, they are addressed in an informal tone. Formal letters have to adhere to specific rules and regulations. Professionally suitable language with a formal tone should be used.
We have described the specific manner in which formal letters should be written in the following article. For instance, if we write a leave letter to the head of the institution, we have to highlight the reason for the absence in the letter. India accepts both English and Hindi languages in letters for all formal communications. Educational institutions impart letter-writing activities as part of the curriculum. Students can also refer to books and online resources for mastering the technique of formal letter writing.
How to Write a Formal Letter?
Writing techniques for a formal letter:
- Address the letter by affixing Sir/ Madam to the concerned person.
- Formal letters should have a brief and correct ‘subject’ matter quoted separately.
- Keep the letter short and concise. The main theme of the letter should ideally be covered in the first paragraph.
- Language usage should be formal, polite and carry an official tone.
- Present the letter in a neat description.
- Take care to write correct dates, addresses and names.
- Appropriately designate the recipient with the correct name.
- Complete the letter with proper closure. At appropriate places, use ‘thank you’, ‘yours sincerely’ and attach your name and signature.
Popular Formal Letter Writing Topics
Some of the common letters writing topics are given below:
- Leave Letters in case of sickness
- Letter of absence (to attend events/ marriages/ functions)
- Maternity leave letter
- Job resignation letter
- Appointment letter [Temporary/ permanent]
- Company offer letter
- Complaint letters to authorities
- Business correspondence letters.
Formal Letter Format
In this section, we present a few templates of a formal letter:
Formal Letter Format in CBSE
The CBSE curriculum follows a specific writing pattern for letters. All students studying in the CBSE board should adhere to the following rules and regulations explained below:
Formal Resignation Letter
This section shall provide a letter-writing template followed when employees want to write a resignation letter to their company superiors. A resignation letter is offered when an employee wishes to change/quit his job at his current company.
Formal Letter Sample
In this section, we have written a formal letter to a newspaper editor of a leading daily, drawing authorities’ attention to fix water woes as soon as possible.
Formal Invitation Letter
When there is an event lined up in front of us, before anything, the most important thing is the invite list and the corresponding invitation letter. With a beautiful letter addressed formally, we can expect a good turnout of guests. Here’s a formal sample of an invitation letter:
Difference Between Formal and Informal Letter
|Letter follows standard protocols and engages a professional tone of writing.
|Informal letters have no particular way of writing and follow a casual presentation of words.
|Professional matters, company announcements, declaration from authorities etc are generally written in formal letters.
|Non- official letters to friends and families are subject matters of informal letters.
|Letter should have a strict adherence to structure, format and syntax.
|No particular syntax or structural format is followed.
|Official letters are always formal letters.
|Personal and non-official communications are written in informal letters.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are formal letters?
Official letters written in professional language using standard rules and regulations generally by organisations, institutions, companies and authorities are called formal letters.
2. What are the different types of formal letters?
- Letters for business communication
- Letters for official purpose
- Appointment letters/ Job offer letters
- Resignation letters
- Letters to higher authorities
- Circulars/ Memo Notes
- Leave letters/ letters of absence
- Correspondence letters
- Invitation letters
- Tender letters
- Complaint letters
3. What are the standard protocols considered while writing a formal letter?
A standard structure and format accompanied by correct alignment and formal addressing are the elementary protocols used in formal letters.
4. When is a formal letter written/used?
Whenever we have to make an official communication or correspond to someone professionally, we have to address the matter and the concerned person in a formal letter.
5. What is the language used for formal letters?
In India, both Hindi and English are accepted as official languages of communication for formal correspondences.