The tone of a business or formal letter should be appropriately serious and professional. A letter to a CEO or a boss has to be formally addressed and formatted, and the purpose stated clearly and effectively. A letter to the dean of a school needs careful drafting, with attention paid to the salutation, address, main body and closing details. The purpose should be to present your case emphatically, in a style that gets the attention of the dean.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Writing materials (pen, paper, envelope)
Every letter, formal or informal, begins with the salutation. This is the opening part of the letter in which you first address the person you are writing. In a letter to the dean, begin by writing the name, designation and full school address in the top left side of the paper. This gives the letter the appropriate starting tone.
Now for the main part of the letter. State the purpose clearly and immediately. Keep a formal and respectful tone, and make sure the paragraphs are well-expressed and organised. If it is a letter making a request or filing a complaint, at no time should the tone become familiar or indulgent.
The closing paragraph of the letter should not repeat or summarise the theme or purpose. It should give possible solutions or ideas to show seriousness of purpose or intent. The closing paragraphs should be brief but make a significant contribution to the main text of the letter. For example, if the letter is asking for extended canteen facilities, the final paragraph should give ideas of how the facilities can be extended.
The ending is the part in which you write your name and give details of where you can be reached, such as school grade, home address, telephone number. You should start this part with a "Sincerely", and then sign off, followed by the details.
The letter should be placed in an envelope and the name, designation and full school address of the dean written on the envelope.
Starting the letter
Tips and warnings
- Presentation is very important to make a good impression and to be taken seriously. Keep your presentation and writing neat.
- Remain respectful and formal throughout.
- Check for spellings at the end of your letter. This is part of your presentation and needs to be attended to.
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