SmartPrep guides you on how to write Formal Letters for your XII English Course.

Formal Letters

This section contains letters based on a verbal input. Marks allotted is 10. Letter types include:

  • Business or official letters (for making enquires, registering complaints, asking for or giving information, placing orders and sending replies.)
  • Letter to school and college authorities too would also be part of official letter
  • Letters to the editor (giving suggestions on an issue)

How to write effective Business correspondence

Business letters serve two main purposes:

1. They open the lines of communication to help you receive a desirable response, whether it is solving a problem, making arrangements, or seeking information; and

2. They serve as official records of correspondence, so that you can strengthen your case.

Useful guidelines:

Letters to the officials:

  • Begin by identifying yourself. Then clearly state the purpose of writing
  • Give details of what you want to do or to be done e.g. applying for a new telephone connection.
  • Make a request for an appropriate action.

Letters to the Editors:

  • You may begin with a reference to recent developments, new events etc.
  • Establish a context for writing.
  • Give details of the topic e.g. the problem of beggary, its causes and effects and possible solution.
  • DO NOT ASK THE EDITOR TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS. He / she can only give voice to your views, concerns, complaints, suggestions, suggestions, criticism or appreciation. He / She may also be approached for complaints against erring officials, departments, business houses etc.

  Letters to boss & colleagues, acquaintances:

  • Show due respect but do not flatter.
  • Clearly state the purpose of writing e.g. seeking action on a proposal or promise e.g. making enquiries.
  • Use polite language and pleasant tone.

Letters to business houses / customers

  • Always be polite even when you have to complain. Keep the tone friendly and pleasant.
  • Do quote reference numbers, order number, cheque / demand draft numbers, file numbers, code or ID numbers etc.
  • Convey your message in a brief and straight forward manner.
  • Give more importance to the reader.

FORMAT OF A FORMAL LETTER

  • HEADING: Sender’s Address is written here. Never put your name before address. Write the house number first, followed by the street, town/city and pin code.
  • Receiver’s name (if given) or designation & address in the next line
  • The DATE appears directly below the address in words (name of the month).
  • SUBJECT ( The central theme indicated concisely )
  • SALUTATION ( SALUTATION CHECK – LIST )
    • For Acquaintances / strangers / Officials / Editors:

Dear Sir / Madam

Dear Mr / Ms / Mrs + Name

  • For Authorities :

Sir / Madam

BODY OF THE LETTER

Para 1:  Who you are and why you are writing.

Para 2:  Details of the problem / topic / issue

Para 3:  What you would like the reader to do. Your hope, appeal, warning, conclusion, comment etc.

Para 4: CLOSING THE LETTER

Write YOURS with a capital ‘Y’ and sincerely/faithfully or truly with a small ‘s’,‘f’ or ‘t’ respectively .

REMEMBER : the word YOURS never takes an apostrophe .

SIGNATURE, Full NAME ( in capital letters ) and DESIGNATION of the person writing the letter is put here

 

MARKING SCHEME OF A FORMAL LETTER

FORMAT: 2 MARKS

(UPTO 2 MARKS MAY BE DEDUCTED FOR NOT USING PROPER LAYOUT) Layout should include date, receiver’s designation and address, salutation, subject, complementary close and designation of the writer.

CONTENT : 4 MARKS.

  • (It includes your creativity in presenting ideas which are relevant to the topic of the letter.)
  • If the letter is to THE EDITOR of a newspaper, you should try and present both sides of the picture.
  • If the issue raised is one which requires argumentative presentation or highlights a discursive topic, remember to present the pros and cons of the situation. Always give suggestions to overcome the problem or modify/improve the situation or resolve the issue (if any).

EXPRESSION :  4 MARKS

  • FLUENCY: It is your ability to present your ideas in a coherent and organised way. Before answering in the fair you should jot down your ideas. The process to follow before attempting his ‘letter’ answer is :
  • Think about the letter / topic. Brainstorm to chalk out the points to be written.
  • Use CODER – Collect ideas, Organise them to maintain a fluency, Draft the letter by putting together all the common ideas coherently & logically with a proper transition of paragraphs, Edit the letter and delete all the unnecessary or repeated points and then Revise the letter.
  • End with a positive note.
    • ACCURACYItinvolves grammatical correctness as well as structuring of sentences. Your effort should to present your content in simple, straightforward language by collating all your ideas coherently.

 

(PLEASE NOTE: NO MARKS ARE ALLOTTED FOR THE LAYOUT, IF THE CONTENT IS WRONG.

COMMON MISTAKES IN WRITING LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

  • Mistake in writing the format.
  • Sender’s address not written.
  • Ideas not presented in paragraphs.
  • Only problems written, suggested solutions not provided.
  • Editor asked to solve the problem.
  • Topic not understood.

SAMPLES:

  1. 1.    LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Suppose you are an educationist and feel strongly about the flaws in the existing system of education. You feel that the system neglects the talent and skills of the students and is restricted to classroom teaching. Write a letter to the editor of an English newspaper making a case for education beyond classroom teaching. Sign yourself as Dr. Amit Verma. (Word Limit: 200 Words)

27 University Enclave

New Delhi

 

The Editor

The Hindu

New Delhi

 

4 December 2010

Sir

Subject : Education Beyond Classroom Teaching .

The examination season has started. It has now become fashionable for some schools to go over-board with the examinations .The schedule for junior classes resembles that of the Civil Service examination.

Most schools seem to believe that classroom education is the only stepping stone to success. In the process, they overlook other talents and skills of students like music , painting and sports and qualities of head and heart such as courage , chivalry , personality , wit and friendship. What are these schools doing to inculcate these qualities in children? Instead of pushing and prodding the children like beasts of burden and leaving them dazed and flabbergasted, they should aim for the overall development of children.

The main problem is our inability to live peacefully with others and our selfish mentality. The schools should teach the students the age-old values of brotherhood, tolerance , team spirit , satisfaction .Co-curricular activities have a vital  role to play in this regard , Thus the schools should pay extra attention to it  while designing the curriculum . The interests of the students should be taken into consideration to develop their skills. The education imparted should be practical and relevant to their life. The examination system should stress more on understanding the subject than merely cramming facts.

Through the columns of your newspaper, i request you to create awareness among the public and the concerned authorities so that the education system can be re-vamped ang children start enjoying their studies and their school and college life.

Yours sincerely

Signature

Dr. Amit Verma

                       

  1. 2.    LETTERS OF ENQUIRY/ LETTERS OF INFORMATION

Write a letter to M/s Laxmi Stationary Mart, Chawri Bazar Delhi asking them to send their rates and terms of supply of stationary items. You are R. K. Mittal, Office Superintendent, Bundelkhand Public School, Jhansi. (Word limit 125 – 150 words.)

Bundelkand Public School

Jhansi

 

The Manager

M/s Laxmi Stationary Mart

Chawri Bazar

Delhi

20 December 2010

Reference No …………

 

Dear Sir

Subject : Inviting Rates and Terms of Supply

 

This is to bring to your notice that on behalf of Bundelkand Public School we would like to place a bulk order for the supply of stationary items for our school office and the administrative block for the session 2011-2012. We have selected a few leading stationers for the purpose of supply of these items. We have included your prestigious firm in the list, keeping in view the goodwill it enjoys in the stationery market. Kindly quote your rates and terms of supply and also state your discount rates if any which will also help get due weight and consideration.

We need the following items with their brands and number of items required

S.No Particulars Brand Numbers
1 Pencils HB Natraj 20 Dozens
2 Pencils HH Natraj 30 Dozens
3 Type Paper Star 20 Reams
4 Cyclostyling  Paper Star 20 Reams
5 Computer Paper Star 40 Reams
6 Carbon Ribbons Kores 40 Packets
7 Carbon Paper Kores 20 Packets

 

Let us remind you once again that maximum discounts and the suitable terms of supply will be important considerations before placing the order. The lists of rates and terms of supply received after 20 April 2010, will not be entertained .Please let us know whether it will be possible for you to supply us the above items. Kindly let us know the maximum time which you will require to supply us these items.

 

Yours sincerely

Signature

R.K.Mittal

 

  1. 3.    LETTER TO COLLEGE AUTHORITY – SEEKING INFORMATION

You are Mallika, student of class XII, Townvale Girls’ School, Shimla, is all eager to enter the National Film Academy, Shimla, after her board results. Write a letter to the director of the film academy seeking information regarding admission procedure, eligibility criteria, fee structure, placement opportunities, etc.

 

BB-101, Townvale Girls’ School
Shimla-112233

22 March 2012

The Director
National Film Academy
Shimla-112211

Sir

Subject: Seeking information about admission

I am greatly interested in joining your esteemed academy for the academic year 2012-13. I am a student of class XII at present and hope to be eligible for your admission criteria. Even though I have heard quite a lot about your institution from my friends and advertisements, I would like to clear some of my doubts regarding your admission procedure.

Kindly tell me know when is the right time to apply for a course? Where are the admission forms available? Can I download a form over the internet? I hope your institution welcomes payment of fee in installments. Are there scholarships for eligible students? Any entrance test conducted for the same?

I would also like to know further details such as the course duration, tuition and other fee, study centers and any placement assistance provided after the successful completion of the course.

I am looking forward to an early reply from your side.

Yours truly

signature
Mallika Sharma

 

  1. 4.    SAMPLE LETTER OF ORDER/PURCHASE

As Librarian, Model Secondary School, Neyveli, write a letter to M/s Sohanlal & Bros Booksellers, Agra, placing an order for books  (Mention at least 4 titles of the books) to be supplied immediately .

 

The Librarian

Model Secondary School

Neyveli

 

The Manager

M/s Sohanlal & Bros

Booksellers

Agra

 

26 November 2010

 

Dear Sir

Subject : Supply of books  for the school library .

 

This is with reference to your quotation dated 20th October 2010 we are pleased inform you that our management has decided to place an order with your esteemed firm. We want to place a bulk order to you for the supply of books to our school library . We shall not settle for less than 20 % discount on the purchase of the books. Besides, we hope to get another 5 % special discount that is usually granted to the institutional buyers. It goes without saying that you will have to bear the mail and other expenses involved in the despatch and delivery of books

The list of books with their particulars is attached here with .

List of Books

S. No

Name of the books

Authors/Publisher’s name

No of copies

1

History of India

L Prasad

20

2

Modern Trigonometry

Bansilal

30

3

Modern Algebra

S K Sen

25

4

The New Atlas of the World

Frank Bros

30

5

Wonder that was India

Bhasham

15

6

India Wins Freedom

M A Q Azad

10

The above books must reach us in proper shape and order not later than 15 December 2010, if our terms and conditions are acceptable to you.

 

Yours sincerely

Signature

 

Madan Mohan

Librarian

 

 

  1. 5.    LETTER OF COMPLAINT

You are Manisha, staying at 22, Kirti Nagar, Delhi. You bought a mobile phone from “Mobile Villa”, Roop Nagar, and Delhi.  The phone developed a problem within a few days of the purchase. Write a letter to Sales Manager of the showroom complaining about the defect and seeking immediate replacement.

 

22, Kirti Nagar

Delhi

15 December 2010

 

The Sales Manager

Mobile Villa

Roop Nagar

Delhi

 

Sir

 

Subject : Complaint against defective mobile phone

 

I bring to your kind notice that I bought NOKIA N73 mobile on 5th December 2010 vide receipt no.SE/099 from your showroom.

I regret to inform that after one week of using it, problems started to appear. The flash of the camera is no longer working. Also, the display screen is getting blurred which makes it difficult for me to see the SMS messages clearly.

Under the terms and conditions of the sale, the phone carries a guarantee of two years towards any defect. You are, therefore, requested to replace it at the earliest so that I would be spared from further inconvenience.

 

Yours faithfully

Signature

Manisha Thakur

 

Enclosed: 1) Cash Memo

2) Copy of the warranty

 

 

Tips for writing Formal Letters – XII English
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