8 Characteristics of a Formal Letter and Its Structure

8 Characteristics of a Formal Letter and Its Structure

Formal letters are the main correspondence media within the company. All forms of letters that are commonly issued by companies such as decrees, application letters, and summons are included in the category of formal letters. The characteristics of a formal letter must be considered at all times because of the nuances of the formality of this letter.

Check out the article below to get to know the structure and characteristics of a formal letter!

Functions of a Formal Letter

Basically, every type of letter aims to convey information and ideas from the sender to the recipient. However, formal letters have specific functions that are important in companies, such as:

  • As authentic written evidence in documents because the contents of a formal letter can be accounted for.
  • As a guide in carrying out work if the formal letter contains steps or parts of work standard operating procedures (SOP).
  • As a reminder to the recipient of the letter regarding matters that were conveyed formally before. Recipients can be individuals, groups, institutions, or other organizations. Formal letters need to be kept as documentation so that they can be used as data at a later date.
  • As historical and chronological evidence of each activity that has been carried out.
  • As a form of professionalism and company quality as a letter sender.

Read Also: Decision Letter: Definition, Functions, Examples, and How to Make It


characteristics of a formal letter, 8 Characteristics of a Formal Letter and Its Structure, Advance Innovations

Formal letters have distinct characteristics when compared to other types of letters. The following are the characteristics of a formal letter that you need to know.

1. Uses Formal Language

Every vocabulary, phrase, and grammar used in a formal letter must follow the Enhanced Spelling (EYD) rules. Formal letters also use words listed in the Indonesian Language Dictionary (KBBI) and avoid non-formal language styles.

2. Written Succinctly and Effectively

Formal letters must use clear language in which every vocabulary used contains a clear meaning. Formal letters are not allowed to use multi-interpreted implicit words.

3. Avoids Verbosity

Formal letters must be written briefly, clearly, and concisely according to the purpose or subject matter of the letter. The words used must be written effectively so that the contents of the letter are more easily understood by the recipient.

4. Written in Full or Semi Block

Formal letters must be written in full-block or semi-block form. In the full-block form, the entire structure of the letter is written starting from the left edge of the paper. Meanwhile, in the semi-block form, the initial part of the letter is indented.

5. Uses a Letterhead

The letterhead indicates the company or organization that issued the letter.

6. Attaches a Letter Number and Letter Subject

The formal letter section begins with the title, followed by the letter number, subject, date, and address to which the letter is intended.

7. Signed with a Valid Stamp or Signature

If necessary, a formal letter can be stamped as a form of legalization. The use of a stamp is usually required when you want to correspond with external parties of the company.

8. Written Systematically

Formal letters are written systematically based on a predetermined structure. The formal letter structure will be explained further in the next section.

Read Also: 10 Duties of Office Administrators that You Need to Know

Structure of a Formal Letter

characteristics of a formal letter, 8 Characteristics of a Formal Letter and Its Structure, Advance Innovations

A formal letter consists of 10 parts, such as:

1. Letterhead

Letterhead contains corporate identity that consists of a logo, agency name, complete address, telephone number, website (if any), and email address.

2. Letter Number

The letter number aims to make it easier for the letter sender to find out the number of letters issued each month or year. Each company has a different letter-number format. However, the commonly used format is [letter number]/[company code]/[page code]/year the letter was issued.

3. Date

Formal letters must include the date of writing. This date information is useful so that the recipient can find out when the letter was made or issued. The letter inventory process is also made easier by including the date of the letter.

4. Subject

The subject of the letter must be written concisely and precisely so that the recipient can understand the intent of the formal letter. Meanwhile, the attachment contains supporting documents for the letter. If there are no attachments, simply fill this section with a dash (-).

5. Address

The destination address only needs to be written briefly on the inside of the letter. However, you will need to write your full destination address on the cover for easy postal delivery.

6. Opening Remarks

Opening remarks must be written in a formal and standard way. Use clear and polite language in this section.

7. Contents

The body of the letter is useful for conveying information to the recipient. The content section must be written clearly, concisely, and directly to its purpose.

8. Closing Remarks

Formal letters need to end with closing remarks to show politeness. This remark consists of only one sentence stating the purpose or hope of the sender in making the letter.

9. Signature and Stamp

A formal letter only becomes valid after it is signed and stamped. This section contains the signature, full name, and position of the party responsible for making the letter.

Read Also: Are We Allowed to Change Signature? Read This Explanation First!

10. Copy

This section is optional but must be made if other parties need to receive the formal letter as well.

Now, you have complete guidelines about formal letters after understanding the characteristics of a formal letter and its structure. With the increasing sophistication of modern technology in this digital era, the process of making a formal letter can be done completely through a computer. Letters that have been created can be signed using the state-of-the-art AdIns Digital Signature so that the letter-writing process becomes more efficient.

AdIns Digital Signature does not only place a signature on a formal letter but guarantees the authenticity of the signature affixed and fulfills all the characteristics of a formal letter. This application is certainly what you’ll need in combating fraud in your company. Interested? Contact us through WhatsApp to get the demo version of our digital signature application!

characteristics of a formal letter, 8 Characteristics of a Formal Letter and Its Structure, Advance Innovations

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Published date :

16 March 2023