How to Write Letters in the Higher Secondary English Examinations - Formal Letters

Formal Letter

Business letters, letters written to offices, letter to the editor, job application letters etc follow the format of formal letters.  Follow the following directions while writing a formal letter.

To make the format of the letter easily readable, try to start the answer on a new page.  You may finish the letter on the same page.  Avoid over writing and present it as neatly as possible.

From address

Write from address without name in the top right corner of the page.  Do not write the word 'From'. You will write your name at the end of the letter.


Write date in expanded form (30 January 2021) below the address after leaving one blank line in the right side itself.

To address

One line below the date, on the left hand side of the page write the name / designation and address


Dear Mr Sharma,

Dear Ashish Sharma,

Dear Sir,

Dear Madam,

Make sure you add a comma after the salutation.

Body of the letter

Formal letters need not be long. Get to the point straightaway in the opening sentence.  Use a businesslike tone.  Avoid casual language.  If you have many points to make, use different paragraphs.  

Finally mention it if you expect a replay / looking forward to hearing from them

Closing phrase / Conclusion

It depends on the salutation.  If you used a name in the salutation use 'Yours sincerely,'  If you used Sir/Madam use 'Yours faithfully,'

Put a signature.

Write the full name. First name and last name.  This is important.

Your's is wrong. Yours is right.


A sample letter is below.

Qn. Imagine that the Managing Director of Star Shipping, who owns Ranagangi decides to give promotion and corresponding rise in salary for Hasan.  Write a letter that he would write to Hasan.

Download PDF Sample Formal Letter


Managing Director

Star Shipping



03 August 2021



Lascar Grade I


Shipyard, Calcutta


Dear Mr Hasan,


Star Shipping is proud to learn that you have rendered exemplary service on board the ship Ranagangi on its voyage from London to Calcutta last week.  The captain and the doctor of the ship have informed the company about the risks you took in containing the spread of smallpox successfully on the ship. 


I am pleased to announce your well-deserved promotion to the post of Bosun of the ship Ranaganji.  Your salary will also be in line with the new post.  In addition, a cash reward will also be presented to you during the next board meeting


Yours sincerely,

 (sign here)

John Baldock

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