Writing 03 - Write a Formal Letter
When applying for a job it is vital that you are able to write a formal letter.

Writing 03 - Write a Formal Letter

Children today are well conversant with emails, Skype, Gmail, Hotmail, Google Talk and other such words that may look alien to more traditional people who are still communicating with the good old fashioned letter!

Communication nowadays is undertaken in several forms which include both written and oral communication. Whether a letter or an email, written communication is governed by spellings, grammar and sentences.

The written language follows definite rules so that the reader will be able to understand the communication properly. Different types of written communications have their own special rules, and none more so than the formal letter.

Letter writing is an important activity that is vital to both personal communication and for business. While personal communication is more or less informal, business communication takes a more formal form. One of the reasons why business communication needs to be formal is the need to keep track of the correspondence so that it can be referred back to by either of the two parties communicating as and when required.

Even though the modes of communication may have changed from hard copy to soft copy through the use of emails, the format of letter writing has not changed. Formal letter writing involves some basic rules that help everyone to communicate with each other more easily.

Another reason why formal letter writing is useful is because it is used for communication between businesses. Now, the human being heading the businesses may change and formal letter writing helps the new incumbent to continue the correspondence from where his predecessor left off.

Some of the conventions to be followed in formal letter writing include:
The way a letter is to be addressed
The way a letter is to be signed off
Where the date has to be recorded
Where the address has to be placed
How the letter should begin
and
How the letter should end.

You would be well advised to learn formal letter writing as it may come in handy when you grow up and need to apply for jobs. The quiz that follows helps you to understand more about how to write formal letters.
1.
Which of the following is an incorrect way of ending a formal letter?
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Awaiting a swift response from you.
Hope to see you soon.
Looking forward to meeting you.
'Hope to see you soon' is appropriate in an informal letter to a friend or relative but not in a formal letter to a potential boss!
2.
Choose the sentence that is correct while writing a formal letter.
The sender's name and address always goes in the top right corner of a formal letter.
The sender's name and address always goes in the top left corner of a formal letter.
The sender's name and address always goes in the bottom right corner of a formal letter.
The sender's name and address always goes in the bottom left corner of a formal letter.
The sender's name and address in a formal letter is conventionally written in the top right corner of a formal letter
3.
What should you always do when writing a formal letter?
Use paragraphs appropriately.
Use grammatically correct sentences.
Use correct spelling.
All of the above.
In a formal letter perfect and grammatically correct English is a must
4.
Which of these would not be acceptable in a formal letter?
Couldn't
Cannot
Do not
May not
Couldn't is a contraction of 'could not' and contractions should be avoided in formal letters
5.
Choose the correct way of introducing some bad news in a formal letter.
We regret to inform you…
We are sorry to break the bad news...
We have to inform you of some bad news...
Brace yourself for some bad news...
Using the word 'regret' is an acceptable word in a formal situation. The other options are more appropriate for informal letters
6.
Choose the correct way of starting a formal letter.
Received your letter sent sometime during this month.
Thank you for your letter dated 11th December 2014.
Your letter in hand and thanks for the same.
Thanks for your letter sent recently.
In a formal letter you acknowledge the receipt of a letter as per the exact date mentioned in the letter
7.
Which statement is true?
The main point of the letter is written in the body of the letter.
In the opening part of the letter you inform the recipient why you are writing the letter.
In the ending part of the letter you inform the recipient what he should be doing next.
All of the above are true.
A formal letter comprises an opening part, a body part and an ending part as per the statements in the options
8.
You've met a recent business acquaintance Mustaq. From the following choose the appropriate 'addressing and ending' pair of phrases for a formal letter?
Hi Mustaq, - Yours sincerely,
Dear Mr Mustaq, - Yours sincerely,
Dear Mustaq, - Yours sincerely,
Dear Mr Sir, - Yours sincerely,
Since Mustaq is a recent acquaintance the formal way of addressing him is 'Dear Mr Mustaq.' The ending is formally 'Yours sincerely,'
9.
From the following options choose the appropriate opening sentence for a formal complaint.
I am writing to request your assistance with…
I am writing to inform you about…
I am writing to demand…
I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with…
The formal complaint should quickly establish the fact of dissatisfaction
10.
Which of the following is not an appropriate form of address in a formal letter?
Respected Sir,
Dear Sir,
Dear Mr Prakrith,
My dear Prakrith,
Use of the address with 'My' is restricted to informal letters
Author:  V T Narendra

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