Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

How to Write a Formal Letter

how to write a formal letter

If you're wondering how to write a formal letter, there are a few things you should pay attention to. These include the letter's format and salutation. You can also find useful tips about inside address and closing. In this article, we'll take a closer look at each of these areas. Once you have mastered these basics, you'll be well on your way to writing an effective formal letter.

Getting it right with a formal letter

The first step to getting it right with a formal letter is to proofread the letter carefully. You should check spelling, grammar, and complete sentences. While spellcheckers will catch many of these errors, you should make sure the sentence structure is clear and that the letter flows logically. Also, consider having someone else proofread the letter before you send it off. Never rush to finish writing a formal letter!

In addition to spelling and grammar, you should use appropriate salutations. You should use "to whom it may concern" when addressing formal letters. You should never use an informal salutation like "Dear Sir." Instead, use the formal greetings like "Dear Mr. X." This will create a personal connection with the recipient and encourage them to read the rest of the letter. Also, use the proper heading.

Format of a formal letter

The first thing to do when writing a formal letter is to state the purpose of the letter and its subject. The second paragraph should be dedicated to the subject matter and should include relevant details. The final paragraph should state the expectation the receiver should take and should be closed with a complimenting phrase. There are certain elements that should be included in every letter, including the recipient's name, title, and address. You can refer to the following examples to know how to format a formal letter.

In a formal letter, you should include the date, the sender's address, and the recipients' address. The letter should be written single-spaced with one-inch margins. You should also include your signature and closing. Moreover, make sure you use proper grammar and punctuation. You should also begin each sentence with a capital letter. The recipient should be appropriately named, and the designation of their name must be clearly indicated.


The salutation in a formal letter sets the tone of the correspondence, letting the recipient know what the letter is all about. The correct salutation for a formal letter is a title, such as "Dear Mr. Smith," but you may also use someone's first name if you aren't sure of the recipient's gender or age. Whether you choose to use a first or last name or a title depends on the context of the letter and its purpose.

The subject of a formal letter is just as important as the salutation for a casual letter. The subject lays out the main intention of the letter and gives the recipient maximum information with the least amount of words. A formal letter salutation is usually something along the lines of 'Dear Sir/Madam' or "Dear Madam," with a comma or colon after the name. After the salutation, the body of the letter should be left justified.

Inside address

The inside address is the part of a formal letter that the recipient receives. It should start with a courtesy title, such as Mrs. or Mr., and then the person's first name and last name. Men and women should use courtesy titles appropriately. If you are not sure, you can ask employees at the company or call the company. In general, women prefer to be addressed as Mrs., Ms., or Miss. If you're unsure of whether a particular woman will prefer a particular courtesy title, use it. If the recipient has another title, use that as well.

When writing an inside address, it's important to remember that the text of the letter should align with the outside. In other words, the letter should be read left to right. It should also include a left margin for the text, and the left margin should be at least one and a half inches. Besides, a margin should be left, which helps the recipient route the letter if the envelope gets damaged or lost. Lastly, the inside address should be short and concise.


You can't use a simple closing like 'yours truly' in every letter. You have to understand the reader's situation and the tone of the letter. Also, make sure that you are not too casual when closing the letter. Here are some ideas that will help you close a formal letter:

When closing a formal letter, avoid using your first name. Instead, use your full name to avoid confusion. Also, when capitalizing your letter, make sure you capitalize the first letter of the first word. This will make it easier for the reader to identify who you are. You can learn more about formal letter closings in our previous article. Just make sure to follow these tips to avoid mistakes and keep your correspondence professional. Good luck!