HOW TO WRITE A FORMAL LETTER
Do NOT use contractions!! (can’t, don’t, I’m, it’s, you’re etc.)
Write the words out in full:
I cannot/I do not/ I am/ it is/ you are etc.
Do NOT use informal language. For example, say :
- “children” or “pupils”, not “kids”
- “I was angry”, not “I was really pissed”
- “The food was inedible,” NOT “the food was lousy”.
You get the point.
Don’t forget to use capital letters and correct punctuation:
Dear Ms. Livnat,
Very truly yours, (note that “truly” and “yours” do not take capital letters)
To Whom it May Concern,
February 31, 2003 (note the way dates are written in English!)
Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States
The White House
2600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Good Phrases to use when writing a formal letter:
- “It has come to my attention that…”
- “I would appreciate it if you took my comments INTO consideration”
- “In my HUMBLE opinion……………”
- “Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.”
- “I ask you to re-consider this matter/proposal/idea/ etc.”
- “I urge you to put this proposal into effect as soon as possible.”
- “I look forward to receiving a prompt reply” (only if it is
appropriate to write this; don’t write it, for example, if you’re writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper. Editors never reply to letters to the editor) .