Writing a Formal Letter? Here Are Some Things to Keep in Mind

October 13th, 2020

Reading time about 13 min

Know the Tricks of Writing a Formal Letter

Just like verbal communication, writing as a mode expression also requires some skills. What makes communication effective? Many of us may say the one which leads to the desired impact on the listener. The same applies to written communication modes, such as letters. While writing a formal letter may seem an easy task to accomplish for many, but writing an impactful formal letter is an entirely different task, including minute details. 

With numerous modes of communication being available, now one ought to wonder what makes a formal letter so significant even in today’s time.

Writing a formal letter

The answer is quite simple. Even with the arrival of different new age modes of communication, formal letters’ popularity as a traditional medium of communication has not faded.

Purpose Served by Formal Letters

In academics starting from admission, leave application, academic papers submission in all schools and colleges, formal letters are irreplaceable.

Similarly, in any organization, hiring managers or other employees requires a lot of paperwork, including formal letters as a part of the process.

Even while applying for a job, letters are essential. For example, cover letters are forwarded with the curriculum vitae for the easy reference of the employer.

The nitty-gritty of writing a formal letteris taught to students from very early childhood as part of the syllabus. However, just as the rules, methods of making a letter impactful can also be learned following some easy steps.

Follow These Useful Tips While Writing a Formal Letter

  • Less is more:

A formal letter should not be unnecessarily lengthy. Precision and to the point details are appreciated in any formal letter. Letters that are short and informative are easy to refer to by the readers.

The writer should keep in mind that the letter aims to express all the essential detail in an organized manner. However, one should be careful not to miss out on considerable detail.

Typically writing a formal letter includes the writer’s introduction, followed by a detailed discussion of the letter’s topic and concluding with a request or a concern raised.

  • Choice of words:

The language of the letter is always preferably formal, whether the reader is known or unknown. Especially in a “To Whom It May Concern letter,” the writer’s impression depends mostly on the choice of his or her words. The words need not be ornamented and grand, but they must forward the message as desired by the sender.

Writing a formal letter, to whom it may concern letter

Choose words that are easy to comprehend and, at the same time, do not make the sender look very pushy and demanding.

One must maintain the courtesy while writing a formal letter to any person of authority to represent the writer’s real personality. A polite and respectful letter works excellent for breaking the ice in long term communication.

  • Format of the letter:

As it is known to us, each letter has a unique layout, be it an application, writing a cover letter, letter for finalizing a business deal, or submission of an academic paper. The writer needs to make sure that the chosen format is ideal for the letter. 

  • Subject:

The subject is, no doubt, the most vital thing in any formal letter. The letter’s subject provides a kind of overview of the entire letter to the reader without going through the message itself.

The responsibility lies on the subject that it aptly reflects the entire idea of the letter. The subject need not be lengthy, or a complete sentence, but the chosen words should be such that the reader can grasp the whole idea.

  • Salutation:

The salutations too vary according to the topic and type of letter. It is wise to replace the greetings like ‘Dear’ with ‘Respected’ as the latter sounds more formal. Nonetheless, plenty of examples can be found using ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Ma’am’ in the formal letter. Thus the use of salutation is as per the writer’s discretion.

In case the sender is unsure about the receiver, a ‘To Whom It May Concern Letter’ can be written. In all instances, the process of addressing should be followed appropriately.

  • Personal details:

Before a face to face interview, the letter is what creates an image of the sender. In many cases, the letters are the only mode of communication between two parties.

The sender’s personal information should be carefully conveyed, keeping all these details in mind. It is especially true in case of an interview where skipping even one point may produce unfavorable results. 

  • Content checking:

Nothing spoils the first impression, like incorrect spelling and grammar errors. Not only that, but a silly mistake is also embarrassing. But thanks to the grammar checking tools available online, you can quickly rectify such careless mistakes and improve your writing.

Writing a formal letter, Correcting papers

The software helps people save their time of manual proofreading, which is a tedious task requiring the dedication of long hours. Before forwarding a final copy, one must go through the letter and look carefully for errors.

How to Prevent Content Plagiarism?

Content plagiarism is another issue that needs the attention of the writer. Often while writing a letter, we may gather information from various sources, including the internet, and include that as a part of our writing without any modification.

Such writing leads to the creation of plagiarized content. A content plagiarism checker helps the writer identify such flaws in the writing.

Writing plagiarism checkers, such as Copyleaks, alert the writer by highlighting the copied words, phrases, and sentences to prevent possible self-plagiarism. The anti-plagiarism tools are available for free of cost and are user-friendly.

The plagiarism checker tools provide the result and in-depth scrutiny. Thus, they provide an accurate result in just a few minutes. A plagiarism checker provides your letter the finishing touch by improving the quality of the writing.

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