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Formal letters

You write formal letters to people you don't know or to organisations, for example, newspapers or businesses.

A letter addressed Dear Madam
  1. Put your address in the top right hand corner of the page.
  2. Put the date underneath the address.
  3. If you don't know the person's name, start the letter with Dear Sir, Dear Madam, or Dear Sir or Madam and finish with Yours faithfully.
  4. If you do know the person's name, start the letter Dear Mr/Mrs (put the person's surname here) and finish with Yours sincerely.

Always use clear, simple English. Start by saying why you are writing then follow with the details. It's a good idea to list the points you want to make before you start writing.

Finish by saying what you would like to happen next, for example, I hope to hear from you soon.

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