8 Features Of Formal Letter or Characteristics

Unlike an informal letter written to acquaintances, friends, or family, a formal letter is written for official purposes. When writing this kind of letter, some rules must be followed. Some conventions must be adhered to while drafting formal letters.

Formal letters are Professional letters written or drafted carefully in a specific format. They are naturally much more formal in style and can be written to apply for a job, to the newspaper editor, etc.

When writing a formal letter, always be mindful of your language and manners of approach. Most importantly, you must be respectful in your writing.

Also, when writing this kind of letter, you must try to avoid

  • Using abbreviations
  • Unprofessional language
  • Over-emphatic vocabulary

Types of Formal Letters

  • Business Letters
  • Letters of Application
  • Letters to Newspapers

Characteristics Or Features of Formal Letter

Some features must be included in writing a formal letter.

Sender’s address: This must appear at the top right-hand side of your letter and follow by the date.

Receiver’s address: This comes next immediately after the sender’s address on the left-hand side. The receiver can be the firm’s name or the one who represents the firm.

Salutation: It comes immediately after the receiver’s address. In most cases, you use Dear Sir/Ma’am.

Subject of the letter: This is an overview of what you want to write about. It is a statement of the purpose of the letter.

The body of the letter: This is where the letter’s content will be. You can make it into 3 paragraphs. The first paragraph should be aimed at introducing yourself and stating the purpose of your letter, the second paragraph should furnish all the information about the matter, and the third paragraph can be concluding.

Complimentary clause. This is where you close the letter. You can use a complimentary closing like ‘Yours faithfully’. The format can be Yours faithfully, followed by your signature, then your full name.

Read: How to read and understand

Sample of Formal Letter Features

                                                                                                                No 2, Olugbogi street,

                                                                                                                Allen Avenue,

                                                                                                                Lagos state.

                                                                                                                14th March, 2022

The Registrar,

WSC University,

Bodija Avenue,


Dear Sir/Ma’am

                              Application for the Position of an Assistant Lecturer


Paragraph 1: introduce yourself and state the purpose of your letter

Paragraph 2: information about the matter

Paragraph 3: concluding paragraph. For example, I would be grateful if my application were favorably considered and granted.

Yours faithfully,


Oluwole Peace Joy

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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