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Features of a Formal Letter
- your address as the sender in the top right-hand corner;
- the receiver’s name and address (in the case of formal letters) on the left-hand side;
- the correct opening (Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Mr Smith, Dear Editor);
- a suitable and precisely worded opening sentence. Avoid opening with ‘I am writing to you…’;
- a number of well-developed paragraphs;
- a firm summing up of the purpose of the letter;
- avoidance of shortened forms (e.g. I’m, don’t, won’t, etc.);
- use of appropriate vocabulary;
- suitable and appropriate signing off (e.g. ‘Yours faithfully’ – very formal with ‘Dear Sir’, ‘Yours sincerely’ – less formal with ‘Dear Mr Pit').