Expanding areas of concern and influence have made letter writing one of the most indispensable activities of modern society. Commerce, trade, official correspondence, public representations and complaints, and other dealings and communications with people are carried out through letters. Hence, cultivating this skill of letter writing has become all the more important. The verbal inputs may contain hints, an outline, or a suggested beginning.
Basic English Grammar rules can be tricky. In this article, we’ll get you started with the basics of sentence structure, punctuation, parts of speech, and more.
We also providing Extra Questions for Class 11 English Chapter wise.
Formal Letter Writing Topics for Class 11 Format, Samples, Examples PDF
The letter types prescribed for the syllabus include:
Formal letters are written for a specific purpose. Therefore, they are serious compositions and provide no scope for irrelevant matter or frivolous language. Students should keep in mind the following when they actually start writing a letter:
- The purpose of the letter should be clear to the writer. The content, language and style of the letter are determined by this.
- Do not write anything unrelated to the subject. Extra, unnecessary statements weaken the letter.
- The tone of the letter should be polite but not unduly humble. Expressions like ‘I beg to state… ’ are outdated.
- In job applications, do not beg for the job or go to the other extreme of being boastful.
- In letters to the editor, the tone of the letter need not be excessively formal as you are expressing your opinion/problem. However, no irrelevant content should be allowed to creep in.
- The tone in a formal letter should never be sarcastic or frivolous. Do not attempt to be humorous.
- The detailed information about format, content and language is given below. The indented format is not in use nowadays; The block format is almost universally used these days. The examples given are of the block format. No commas are to be used in the address.
Letter Writing Rules
There are a number of conventions that should be used when writing a formal letter. Furthermore, write as simply and as clearly as possible, and do not make the letter longer than necessary.
Remember not to use informal language like contractions.
1. Your address
This should be written in the top left–hand corner of the letter. The letter could also be written on the Company’s letterhead in which case, you need not necessarily mention the address.
2. The address of the person you are writing to
This should be written on the left, starting a little below your address.
3. The date
Write this on the left, a little after the receiver’s address.
4. Subject statement
Write this on the left, leaving some space after the date.
(a) Dear Sir or Madam,
If you do not know the name of the person you are writing to use this salutation.
(b) Dear Mr. Joshi,
If you know the name, use the title (Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms, Dr, etc.) and the surname only. If you are writing to a woman and do not know if she uses Mrs or Miss, you can use Ms, which is used irrespective of marital status.
6. Yours faithfully
If you do not know the name of the person, end the letter this way.
7. Yours sincerely
If you know the name of the person, end the letter this way.
Abbreviations Used In Letters
The following abbreviations are widely used in letters:
- asap = as soon as possible
- cc = carbon copy (When you send a copy of a letter to more than one person, you use this abbreviation to let them know.)
- enc. = enclosure (When you include other papers with your letter.)
- pp = per procurationem (A Latin phrase meaning that you are signing the letter on somebody else’s behalf; if they are not there to sign it themselves etc.)
- Ps = postscript (When you want to add something after you’ve finished and signed it.)
- RSVP = please reply (abbreviation of a French phrase “répondez, s’il vous plaît’)
A. Business Letters include:
- letters of enquiry/asking for information
- replying to enquiry/giving information
- placing orders and sending replies
- cancelling orders
A business letter is the basic means of communication between two companies. It is a document typically sent externally to those outside a company but is also sent internally to those within a company.
A business letter should be written whenever you need a permanent record that you had sent the information enclosed. Because business letters, which are generally sent to other professionals, always include a formal salutation and closing. They are different from personal letters in form, tone, and content. Most business letters have a formal tone as opposed to the informal, friendly or personal tone, content, and style of the personal letter. The treatment of the subject is simple, systematic and formal. Begin by identifying yourself.
Then clearly state the purpose of writing.
- Give relevant details.
- Make a request for appropriate action.
- Be positive and polite – even if you are making a complaint.
- Use polite language and a pleasant tone.
- Quote, reference numbers, order number, cheque/demand draft number, file numbers etc.
- Convey your message briefly and in a straightforward manner.
B. Official letters include:
- letters of complaint
- making enquiries
- making requests/appeals
Official letters are written to various public or civil servants who generally head their respective departments, sections, branches, or zones.
- Show due respect to your boss but do not flatter or sound too servile.
- Clearly state the purpose of writing.
- Use polite language and a pleasant tone.
C. Job applications demand very formal and precise treatment. Their format is almost the same as that of the forwarding letter and is usually accompanied by a biodata. The biodata ought to include the name, address, date of birth, marital status, educational qualifications, experience, hobbies, present salary/expected salary, and references.
An outline for a cover letter is the one that accompanies your biodata when you are applying for a job. Here is a fairly conventional plan for the layout of the paragraphs:
Opening paragraph Briefly identifies yourself and the position you are applying for. Add how you found out about the vacancy.
Paragraph 2 Give the reasons why you are interested in working for the company and why you wish to be considered for that particular post. State your relevant qualifications and experience, as well as your personal qualities that make you a suitable candidate.
Paragraph 3 Inform the employer that you have enclosed your current biodata and add any further information that you think could help your case.
Closing Paragraph Give your availability for an interview, thank the employers for their consideration, restate your interest, and close the letter.
- A formal letter is written in formal language. Try to avoid using the first person. Keep sentences short and to the point. Do not use contractions (I’ve, won’t etc.).
- End with a short sentence that anticipates the response of the addressee.
- The tone in a formal letter should be polite and impersonal.
- Use the passive voice wherever possible.
D. Letters To The Editor
form the most important part of interactive journalism. The readers react to the news item or articles to express their agreement or disagreement. Readers also write to the Editor to draw the attention of the authorities towards problems that concern a large number of people.
They are written to:
- give suggestions on a public interest issue
- give suggestions on an issue already raised in an article/write – up/published letter
Keep the following in mind:
- Begin with reference to a recent development/event/issue.
- Give details of the topic – bring out a cause-effect relationship.
- Offer suggestions/solutions.
- Do NOT ask the editor to solve the problem as he can only voice your views and ideas.
- Be brief and to the point.
- Be clear and specific; state your purpose clearly and concisely.
- Be positive and polite even if you are writing a complaint. Remember, at the receiving end of your letter is another human being!
Salutations And Subscriptions
|Relationship with receiver||Salutation||Subscription|
|1. Blood relations older than the sender||My dear:
brother/sister your loving:
|2. Blood relations younger than the sender||My dear ……………………………….
(Name of the receiver)
Your loving ……………………………….
(relationship with receiver)
|3. Friends||My dear ……………………………….
(First name of receiver)
|4. Acquaintances||Dear Mr/Mrs ……………………………….
(Surname of receiver)
|5. Strangers||Dear Sir or Madam||Yours truly|
|6. Business letters/Job||Sir||Yours truly|
|7. Teachers/Principal||Sir/Madam||Yours faithfully/ Yours obediently|
|8. Letter to the editor||Sir||Yours truly|
Some useful expressions:
|Type of letter||Opening statement|
|Letter of enquiry||I am writing to enquire about…
I will/shall be grateful if you could send me the following details …
|Job application||I am interested in applying for the post of…
With reference to your advertisement in … dated … regarding the post of…
|Letter of apology||I am writing to apologise for …
I regret the inconvenience caused due to …
|Letter of complaint||With reference to our order no…dated …, I would like to complain about…
This is to inform you that we are not satisfied with the consignment sent by you…
I must insist…
|Expressing opinion||In reply to your letter dated.. .regarding.. .1 would like to express my views on the matter.
I was delighted/shocked/horrified/disgusted to leam that…
|Making a request||I would be grateful if…
I wonder if you could help me…
I’m writing to ask you for a favour…
|Giving information||This is just to let you know…|
|Giving advice||It would be a good idea to…
Have you thought about…