English Language - Form - Letters

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There are lots of different forms you could be asked to write in... You might be asked to write a leaflet, a magazine article, a speech etc. This page is about writing a letter. 

Some letters need to be formal

  • If the question asks you to write a letter, look at the audience to see if it needs to be formal. If it's to people you don't know well, or to people in positions of authority, keep it formal, e.g. "Write a letter to the head of a national charity, explaining how your school wants to help fundraise."
  • Start with a formal greeting, e.g. 'Dear Sir/Madam' or 'Dear Mrs Jones'. Sign off formally too - 'Yours sincerely' if you've used their name, 'Yours faithfully' if you haven't.
  • Use standard English and formal vocabulary - don't get too chatty:
  • "So cheers, mate, thanks a lot for all your help. Its been a laugh eh?" - Don't use language like this in a formal letter - it's just too casual.
  • "In conclusion. Prime Minister, I would like to assure you…

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