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SSC CGL | CHSL Types of letters and formats

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There are several types of letters – like application and appreciation, enquiries and requests, complaint and recommendation, sales and promotion, welcome or invitation letters. Mainly we have to study two types of letters.



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These letters are written for official purposes only, such as writing a letter to the manager, to the superintendent of police, to an employee, to the Principal of the college or school, to a teacher, to the editor of a newspaper etc. But we do not use formal letters for personal use such as writing them to our family, relatives or friends. The proper format has to be followed while writing a formal letter. In general, what you put together will have one of the following purposes: 

1 Make a complaint 

A letter of complaint is sent to an individual or organisation in response to receiving poor service or a product that is not fit for purpose. An example of a letter of complaint would be one sent to a tour operator who has provided a bad service when you went on a holiday. 

2 Request something 

A letter of request is written when you request an individual or an organisation for something. An example of a letter of request would be one sent to the college principal to waiver tuition fees.

3 Make an enquiry 

A letter of enquiry is written when you request an individual or an organisation for some information. An example of a letter of enquiry would be one sent to a publisher requesting him to send a list of all the books that he publishes. 

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How to write a formal letter

Formal letter writing has to be done in a particular format. When putting it together, often you are addressing a person or organisation with whom in most cases you are not familiar. The quality of your content will be strongly scrutinised. Formal letters have to follow some rules in order to make an appropriate impact. 

  • It should be in the correct format and well presented. 
  • It should be relevant, short and to the point. 
  • It must be polite, even if you’re complaining. 

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Be concise and relevant

  • Formal letters should have relevant contents only. As a result, get straight to the point and stick to it, don’t include any unnecessary or supplementary information, don’t use any flowery language or long words just for the sake of it, and don’t repeat too much information.
  • Check your grammar and spelling very carefully. Mistakes will create a very bad impression; will lessen the effect of what you’re saying especially in the case of a job application letter. 

Use the right tone of language

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It’s important to use the right type of language. You should always be polite and respectful, even if complaining. One way of doing this is to use “modal verbs” such as would, could and should. 

Make sure the letter is well presented!!! 


There are certain conventions that you have to follow; if you don’t, you will create a bad impression. 

Senders address 

Designation of writer,

Address of company.

Date of letter


Receiver name,

Designation of receiver,


The subject of the letter

Dear Sir/Madam,

With reference to the subject mentioned above……………………………………………….. I hope that the above-mentioned deal will work better for us and I'm looking forward to your reply.

Thanking You,


Yours sincerely,



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  • The date can be written as 3rd March 2016 or 3rd March 2016 or 3 March, 2016.
  • The address must be complete.
  • Never write Your’s truly, always write “Yours truly”.
  • In all other formal letters, Sir/Madam or Dear Sir/Madam should be used. 
  • Stick to the point while writing the body or main contents of the letter and write everything clearly. 

What is an informal letter?

An informal letter is usually meant for a relative or close friend, to tell them something about yourself, your thoughts and feelings. It is written in a friendly way. 

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  • At the top, Writer’s address is mentioned.
  • Right after that, you have to mention the date and then use a salutation.
  • Write the body of the letter in 3 paras. The first paragraph will include the introduction of the subject. The second paragraph contains the main contents or the full description of the theme and the third paragraph will include the conclusion of the letter. 
  • The ending part of the letter includes a subscription or the name of the writer. This format is followed in exams for informal letters. 

Senders address




Dear Rashmi,

……. Body of the letter

With love/ Best wishes,


  • If an informal letter is written to people or relatives or friends of the same age - Dear friend/cousin should be used. 
  • While writing an informal letter to parents or any other elders, Respected Father/Mother/Uncle can be used. However, Dear Father/mother/Uncle/Aunty is more commonly used. 
  • Stick to the point while writing the body or main contents of the letter. If there is an incidence to be told, tell the incidence clearly. 
  • The body of the letter must end in three paragraphs. The first paragraph contains a short description of the incidence. The second paragraph contains the elaborated incidence or the reason for writing the letter and the third paragraph contains the conclusion or asking for help or anything else. 
  • The language has to be clear and simple. 

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How to start -Opening lines


  • How are you? 
  • How have you been? 
  •  How is life treating you? 
  • I received your letter last week.
  • I hope you are doing well 
  • I hope you and the kids are having a great time in. . . 

How to end-Closing Lines 

  • I am looking forward to seeing you.
  • I can't wait to see you soon. 
  • I am looking forward to hearing from you. 
  • See you soon. 
  • Give my regards to. . . 



  • Best wishes 
  • Best regards
  • Lots of love
  • Love

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