CBSE, ICSE

Formal Letter: Format, Types, Samples and Writing Tips

Formal Letter

Formal letters are an essential part of the school curriculum—students from almost every grade till 10th must have their hands on writing formal letters. To write one, you must adhere to a particular format and a standard structure. The body of the letter is crucial, and you must include some unique inputs to get fine marks. 

If you need help with how to write a formal letter with detailed samples for reference, you’re at the right place. In this blog, I’ll take you through the formal letter, the points you need to remember while writing one and grade-wise examples for a clearer understanding.

Sounds exactly what you were looking for? Great. Let’s get to it.

formal letter

What is a Formal Letter?

A formal letter is a written communication for official purposes, including professional, business, academic, and other official settings. This type of letter maintains a formal tone and adheres to a specific structure, ensuring clear and official information communication.

Formal Letter Format

To write a formal letter, you must remember to abide by the general rules and structure to craft one. 

In the below section, we have provided a breakdown of the essential parts:

Sender’s Address: Start with the sender’s address at the top left corner. Include the full address, city and zip code. This means, that if you’re sending it, you have to put your address. 

Date: The next step is to write the date below the sender’s address. This shows when the letter was written.

Receiver’s Address: The receiver’s address is next in line, i.e., to whom you’re sending the letter. Include the name, title, organisation and complete address.

Subject: Next, you must include a small statement highlighting the purpose of the letter. It should be concise and to the point.

Salutation: You must begin with a formal greeting like “Respected Sir/Madam” or address the recipient by name if known. It depends on the relationship between you two. 

Body: Now comes the most crucial part: the body. The body of the letter is divided into three paragraphs:

  • Introduction: State the purpose of why you are writing the letter. 
  • Primary Content: Now, provide context, details, explanations or requests as necessary. 
  • Conclusion: Now, conclude the letter stating your desired outcome. 
  • Closing: Use a formal closing like “Yours faithfully” or “Yours sincerely”. 

Formal Letter Writing Format for CBSE 

As a CBSE student, you must follow the exact steps for formal letter writing. Here’s a quick format/template for your reference

Example

[Sender’s Address]

[Date]

[Receiver’s Address]

[Subject: Purpose of the Letter]

Dear [Recipient’s Name/Sir/Madam],

[Introduction]

[Main Content]

[Conclusion]

Yours sincerely/faithfully,

[Sender’s Name]

[Designation]

Types of Formal Letters

There are many formal letter types, depending on the nature and purpose of the letter. We have included some of the basic types in the section below. 

1. Official Letters: These are the letters that you send to government departments or organisations to convey a complaint, raise a request, or do anything related. 

2. Application Letters: This type is usually the most popular one. Applications are primarily written to apply for jobs, and admissions or to seek permission from the school authorities/principal. 

3. Letters to the Editor: These letters are submitted to newspapers or magazines to express opinions or concerns on public issues.

4. Invitation Letters: These are primarily Formal invitations for events, meetings or business meetups. 

Formal Letter Writing Topics

In the section below, we have curated a list of the most commonly asked formal letter questions in school-level examinations. Check it out! 

Application for Sick Leave: Write a letter to the school principal requesting sick leave for three days due to illness.

Permission to take a Retest: Write to the school authorities/principal requesting permission to take a Retest because you couldn’t attend it due to illness. 

Complaint About School Bus Service: Write to the transport manager about issues with the school bus service.

Permission for School Trip: Write a letter to the principal seeking permission for a class trip to a historical site.

Request for Library Books: Write to the Librarian requesting the addition of particular books to the school library.

Request for Extra Classes: Write to the subject teacher requesting extra classes so that you can better understand difficult topics as exams are approaching. 

Request for Participation in a Competition: Write to the principal to seek permission to represent the school in an inter-school competition.

Complaint About Food Quality in the Canteen: Write a letter to the school authorities highlighting the poor food quality in the school canteen and requesting necessary improvements.

Formal Letter Example 

We have included an example below in this next step of formal letter writing in English. Check it out for clarity.

Formal Letter Sample

15, JB Lane, Kolkata 700026 

6th June, 2024 

To the Librarian,

AB International School 

4, KD Road, Kolkata 700018 

Re: Addition of Books in School Library 

Respected Sir, 

I’m writing to request that you add a few books to the school library. It will help all the students with their academic preparations. 

The books that I request are:

  • Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children 
  • Referenced Books on Social Science
  • Literary Theory by Micheal Bikhtain

These books include some important chapters that are going to be essential for our upcoming examination.

I request you to consider my recommendation and take care of it. 

Yours faithfully, 

Shreyasi Das 

[Class X D, Roll No 25] 

How to Write a Formal Letter to the Principal 

In the next step on how to write a formal letter, we have included an example of how to write a formal letter to the principal for your reference. This will help you understand how to write it in a structured way. 

15, JB Lane, Kolkata 700015

6th June, 2024 

To the Principal 

KD Public School, Kolkata, 700041 

Re: Sick Leave Permission for Illness 

Respected Sir, 

I’m writing to inform you that I’ll be unable to attend classes for the next three days due to a viral fever. The doctor has prescribed bed rest. 

In this scenario, I request you kindly grant me sick leave from 6/6/2024 to 9/6/2024. I promise to take all my classmates’ class notes and other information after I resume classes. 

I will be highly obliged if you approve this leave request. 

Yours Faithfully, 

Priya Sarkar 

[Class VIII A, Roll No 29] 

How to Write a Formal Letter For Class 6th? 

Now that you know the basic formal letter format for school, we will explain, through an example, how to write a formal letter correctly. As you know from the previous examples, here is the basic format of the sender’s and receiver’s addresses. So, from the next examples, I will take you through the letter’s content. You can add the sender’s and receiver’s addresses when you practice or write in exams. 

Write to your class teacher about your absence as you will attend a family function. 

Subject: Regarding leave for three days

Respected Ma’am 

I would like to inform you that I am going to attend my cousin’s wedding on 10/06/24. Therefore, I will be unable to attend my classes from 9/06/24 to 11/06/24. 

Most humbly and respectfully, I request you to grant me leave for three days. Once I resume classes, I will make sure to complete all my notes and get help from my classmates. 

I would be grateful if you would allow me to leave for three days.

Yours obediently 

Sikha

[Class VI A, Roll No 31]

How to Write a Formal Letter For Class 7th?

Here’s another formal letter format for school that 7th graders can learn from. Remember to use polite and formal language while writing a formal letter.

You are the head boy/girl of your school. Write a letter to the publishers, asking them to send some books to the school library. 

Subject: Ordering books for school library 

Dear sir 

With due respect, I want to say that you have been supplying books to our school for many years. Recently, we have had a requirement for a few science fiction books, as mentioned below. So you are requested to send the following book as soon as possible. 

NameNo. of Copies
Unlocking the Universe by Stephan Hawking 5
Mysteries of the Universe by Peter Altman3
The Kid Who Came From Space by Ross Wellford4

You are requested to deliver the books in a nice condition like you have been doing. Kindly grant a discount of 30% as you do on all books supplied to our school library. You can send the bill with books and payment will be cleared within a week through check. 

Yours sincerely 

Rishabh 

Head boy

XYZ Public School 

How to Write a Formal Letter For Class 8th?

I hope you have got a hang on how to write a formal letter from your previous classes. In standard 8th, the letters become more elaborative and concise. Here’s an example.

Write a letter to the librarian requesting him to consider the delay in the book return.

Subject: Regarding consideration of delay in the book return 

Respected sir

I am writing to inform you about the delay in returning the book I borrowed from the library on 6/06/24. The book titled Unlocking the Universe by Stephan Hawking was due for return on 16/06/24. Due to a family emergency, I had to travel out of town, and I was unable to return the book on time. 

I apologise for the inconvenience this delay has caused. I assure you that I will return the book as soon as I return. I request your kind consideration regarding this matter and waive any late fine due to this delay. I will be grateful for your understanding and cooperation. 

Yours faithfully 

Shrija

[Class VIII B, Roll No 12]

How to Write a Formal Letter For Class 9th?

As a 9th-class student, you are aware of the formal letter format for school, but you need to practise crafting your words and writing a precise letter. So, let’s see how you can write a formal letter including all the necessary details. 

You are Jyoti of 65, Jamnagar, UP. You have experienced problems caused by unsanitary conditions due to the garbage dump on the roadside.

 Write a letter to the editor of any daily newspaper telling him about the matter. 

Subject: Regarding nuisance caused by garbage dump on the roadside

Dear Sir

Through the column of your esteemed newspaper, I want to draw the attention of the concerned authorities and residents towards the problems caused by garbage dump on the roadside. 

Whenever I pass through the Jamnagar road, a foul smell due to the garbage dump infuriates me just like other residents. It has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other fatal diseases. Plastic waste can cause health hazards for cattle and stray animals. 

We have already written to the municipal corporation’s authorities, but no action has been taken. I am raising this issue so that early action can be taken. 

Yours Truly

Jyoti 

A concerned citizen

formal Letter Example

How to Write a Formal Letter For Class 10th?

To excel in your English exam on-board exams, you must practice writing a formal letter. This question is asked every year and formal letters are useful for your future work as well. You can learn how to write a concise formal letter through the following example. 

You are participating in the inter-school debate competition. Write a letter to school authorities seeking permission for the same.

Subject: Request for permission to participate in inter-school competition 

Respected Sir 

I am writing to seek your permission to participate in the upcoming inter-school debate competition to be held on 18/06/24 organised by Grey Academy. 

I am glad I have been selected to represent our school in the debate competition. I am expressing my interest in the event as it is a great opportunity to improve my skills and boost my confidence. 

I request you to kindly permit me to participate in the event. I assure you that I will maintain the decorum and reputation of our school. I will also do my best, and your support will be appreciated. 

Yours sincerely 

Raman

[Class X-A, Roll No 25]

Tips and Tricks on How to Write a Formal Letter

While considering how to write a formal letter, there are certain points that you need to keep in mind. These are simple yet effective ones that will help you write a standard formal letter. These are: 

1. Use a formal tone and language.

2. Follow the standard format (sender’s address, date, receiver’s address, subject, salutation, body, closing, your designation).

3. Be clear and to the point. 

4. Use a polite and respectful tone.

5. Proofread for errors before sending.

6. Address the recipient properly, using the correct salutation. 

7. Keep paragraphs concise. 

Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Formal Letter

While understanding the format of formal letter writing in the CBSE board, you need to comprehend the probable mistakes. These errors can cost you marks. Hence, you need to be careful. 

Here are the most committed mistakes you must take care of. 

Using Informal Language: Avoid slang and casual expressions.

Omitting the Subject Line: Always include a clear subject line.

Incorrect Salutation: Use the appropriate salutation for the recipient.

Not Adhering to the Format: Stick to the format. Practise at home to memorise. 

Spelling and Grammar Errors: Proofread thoroughly to avoid mistakes and technical errors. 

What is the Difference Between Formal and Informal Letters?

While analysing how to write a formal letter, you need to have a strong understanding of the difference between formal letters and informal letters. In the table below, we have highlighted the difference between the two. 

Point of Difference Formal Letter Informal Letter
Purpose Professional/academic communication Personal Communication 
Approach Respectful Casual and friendly 
Language Formal & structured Informal 
Salutation Respected Sir/Madam or Receiver’s Title Dear ‘Name’ or Informal Greeting
Format A standard format Flexible 
Content To-the-point Personal anecdotes can be included 
Closing Yours Sincerely/Faithfully Yours Truly, Best Regards, etc. 
how to write a formal letter

Wrapping Up

That concludes our discussion on how to write a formal letter. You can get a strong grasp on it once you have practised it multiple times. We hope the grade-wise examples can help you with your confusion. 

For more practice, you can write a formal letter and have it checked by your teacher. Once they give you the feedback, it will be a lot easier for you to comprehend your current standing. This topic is usually very hard on the exams, so make sure you revise it well. 

Have you started with formal letter-writing practice? 

FAQs on Formal Letter

Q1. Should I include my address in a formal letter?

Ans – Yes, your address should be included in the top right-hand corner of the letter.


Q2. How should I start a formal letter?

Ans – A formal letter should start with a salutation, such as “Respected sir.”


Q3. Where should I write my address in a formal letter?

Ans – Your address should be written in the top right-hand corner of the letter.


Q4. Do I need to include the date in a formal letter?

Ans – Yes, the date should be included just below your address on the right-hand side of the page.

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