Formal Letter: Format of Letter Writing and Examples

In modern times of internet and social media, the whole world has become technologically advanced. Emails, social media chats, texts have become our favourite modes of communication apparently. However, letters still hold a great value especially the formal letters that are used a medium to communicate in a professional environment of written to authorities as these letters generally are preserved for the record. Now let’s take a quick look at what is a formal letter and what is the format of a formal letter?

Formal Letters – What is a Formal Letter?

A Formal letter is usually written to colleagues, authorities, dignitaries, seniors or professional contacts. These letters are not meant for family, friends and relatives as there is a certain fixed format to write one. However, when we say, ‘a certain format’, that doesn’t mean that there is only one format, there are various formats, the details are explained in the next section.

What is the format of a Formal Letter?

A formal letter should follow some pre-set rules and practice. Usage of such a decent convention helps us to convey the information of the message in the most professional way. As mentioned earlier, there are certain formats for writing a formal letter and people also follow different ones. Although, the format which is explained here is the most preferred format by people when writing a formal letter nowadays.

What are the Main Components of a Formal Letter?

Below given are the main components of a formal letter in the format which is used by most of the people. You can include these components in official letter format.

Sender’s Address

The address of the sender is normally put on the top right-hand side corner of the page. Always keep in mind that the address should be completely and accurately mentioned to make sure it is visible properly.


The date is included just after the address of the sender, or you can say that the sender’s address is followed by the date which is on the right-hand side of the page. The date which we are talking about is the date on which the letter has been written. The reason why it is important to include the date in a formal letter is they are often kept safe for record purpose.

Receiver’s Address

The address of the receiver is included by leaving some space after the sender’s address and the date. Receiver’s address in a formal letter is included on the left side of the page. Always make sure that you write the official designation/name etc of the receiver as the first line of the address.


This is the part of the letter where you greet the person you are sending the letter to. One thing to be kept in mind is that the greeting must be respectful as you are writing a formal letter and not a personal one. The common greetings that are used in a formal letter are “Sir” or “Madam”. If you know the name of the person, then you can also write the greeting as “Mr ABC” or “Ms XYZ”. But always remember to use either full name or the last name. Never use the first name as the greeting of a formal letter.


After the salutation/greeting part of your formal letter comes the subject of the letter which is of high importance. You need to write ‘Subject” with a colon in the centre of the line. The complete aim/purpose of writing the letter is summed up in only one line so you need to be careful while writing the subject line. A proper subject helps the receiver to get the basic idea of your letter in one glance.

Body of the Letter

This is where you write the main content of the letter. It is either divided into three paragraphs or minimum 2 paras if the letter can be winded up within 2 paras. The main aim of the letter should be made clear in the first paragraph itself. The tone of the content should be totally formal. One important to keep in mind while letter writing is that the letter should be precise and to the point. Always be respectful in your language while writing, no matter what the subject of your letter is.

Closing the Letter

Closing of the letter is nothing but how you end the letter in a respectful manner. Normally, words such as “Yours Sincerely” or “Yours Faithfully” are included on the right side of the paper. Generally, we use the former if the writer knows the name of the person.


Here, you finally put a signature of yours. And then you need to write your name in block letters just below the signature. This is included to let the receiver know who is sending the letter.

How to Write a Formal Letter - Solved Formal Letter Sample for You!

Question: Write a letter to the editor of a daily newspaper complaining about the power cut work in your locality every time causing inconveniences to the people of your locality.

Answer: A formal letter sample like this can be of the following format

Flat #406, Sungleam Society,

100 ft Road, Indiranagar

Bangalore 560038.

10th June 2019.


The Senior Editor,

ABC Times

MG Road,

Bangalore 560001.


Subject: Power cut at irregular times in our locality causing us a lot of troubles.


Through the medium of your distinguished and respected newspaper, I wish to make the authorities of municipality aware of the problems the residents of my locality are facing due to the power cut at irregular times currently happening in our area. As the summer season has started a few days ago, it is very difficult to manage with these power cut


This is the 4th week since this problem is happening. And now seeing the current weather conditions, this seems to be big trouble. Our daily routine is totally disturbed by this sort of power cut every time. Another cause of my concern is the exams going on and due to these power cuts, it is impossible for our children to study with full concentration.


Therefore, I would like to draw the attention of all the concerned authorities with the help of your newspaper as a medium. I hope you are now aware of our problems which we are facing every day and will be able to help us in drawing their attention and resolving this matter as soon as possible.


Thanking You,

Your Sincerely,

“Your signature”

[Mr. Your Name]