Formal Letter Rules

A formal letter or formal email should follow certain tips to make sure that it remains formal. There are certain things to bear in mind about the format, which is explained in our pages on how to write a formal letter and how to write a formal email.

However, before printing or sending your formal letter you should always look over it once more and bear in mind the following:

  • Spelling: make sure there are no mistakes or any colloquial spellings
  • Grammar: avoid using contractions, unless they are formal ones (e.g. RSVP, pp, enc., cc)
  • Size: your letter font should be standard size and easy to read, appropriate spacing
  • Font: this should also be standardised, no use of bold or italics unless necessary, no fancy styles of font
  • Length: keep it concise and to the point, do not divert or change topic
  • Tone of voice: always be polite no matter what the topic, formality will depend upon who you are writing to and why, stay professional
  • Presentation: letterheads if necessary, clean paper and envelope for posted letters, include company logos in email if applicable, alignment of text, spacing between paragraphs

Check out some formal letter samples if you would like to see how this is put into use.


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