Even though in the modern times of today people do not usually write letters nor do they really need to since they are conveniently able to write emails, yet at times for a much formal mode of correspondence, filled with proper manners and etiquettes, people prefer that they write a formal letter, whether the letter is for a professional purpose or simply to communicate with a loved one who is far away.
Nonetheless for a more sophisticated mode of communication and passing on your expressions through words, formal letters seem quite ideal, as long as they are well written and the person writing them knows about the format as well as how to write it. Knowing how to write a formal letter correctly is vital!
Balogun Owomide says “A properly written formal letter should in fact be rather concise. A sentence should not contain unnecessary words or phrases with unnecessary points for the same reason that the letter would seem unnecessary and lines would rather appear complicated.”
This does not mean that the writer writes all sentences short or avoids all detail and treats subjects only in outline, but that every word matters.
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How to write a formal letter In Nigeria?
When writing a formal letter, it is quite better if you adhere to the traditional rules and guidelines according to which formal letters have always been written, thus following the mentioned steps would be appropriate.
Here’s some steps on how to write a formal letter:
1. The page that is appropriate for a formal letter should have the dimensions of 8 1/2-by-11 inch and similarly the letter should measure the same as well.
The optimal shades of paper over which a letter can appropriately be written include white, beige or cream. For a formal letter, it does not really seem ideal to write over vivid sheets of paper.
2. Firstly the return address, i.e. your own complete address has to be written on top, right side along with the current date at the end of it, while the recipient’s address comes at the left hand side and the recipient’s name is also often mentioned there.
3. Once the above matter has been written, the date once again can be written down after skipping two lines and here it is even appropriate to fully spell out the month.
4. Once again, you are required to skip two lines and write down the salutation according to the person the letter is being addressed to. The salutation is in fact a form of greeting, yet it should be appropriate enough.
5. Again you need to skip two lines and this is where the body of the letter begins. It is ideal if the letter is split up into paragraphs, with the first paragraph acting as an introduction to the letter.
The rest of the letter can include the matter you are corresponding with the person regarding, yet the letter should not be too long as well.
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It is also appropriate if simple vocabulary is used within the letter so that the recipient is easily able to understand it.
6. Finally comes the closing of the letter which can be ended with the proper greeting and after skipping four lines you can write your name.
The closing part of the letter is a very important part to learning how to write a formal letter, so don’t slack on that section.