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DELE News

08/02/2012

HOW TO WRITE A FORMAL LETTER


One of the fundamental elements of preparing for the level C1 or C2 DELE exam is writing. The following tips, when put into regular practice, can help you gain the skills necessary to make writing a formal letter an achievable goal and something that will become natural and automatic, with practice of course.

Category: General

HOW TO WRITE A FORMAL LETTER
1.-If possible, use headings and /or letterheads. That way, the reader will understand the purpose of the letter, fax or memorandum, faster and easier.
2. Think and decide what you want to communicate before writing the letter. If not, your sentences will probably become redundant and you may have to think of a way to eliminate some. In other words, always plan in advance what you're going to say.
3. Whenever possible (and it almost always is), use short sentences, in a way that your formal letter can be understood on the first reading.
4. Put different ideas in separate paragraphs. In some cases, numbering the different paragraphs is recommended for formal letter writing, to make it easier for the reader to understand what's being said.
5. Use words that everybody can understand; always following the tone and style appropriate of the formal letter you're writing.
6. The three "C's" of good writing:
-Your letter must be CLEAR -Your reader must understand the exact message.
-Your letter must be COMPLETE -Your reader must receive all the necessary information.
-Your letter must be CONCISE-Your reader is probably a busy person.

PLANNING YOUR FORMAL LETTER
1.-Write what the objective/purpose of your letter is: Ask yourself: what's the goal of this formal letter that I wish to send?
2.-Gather all relevant information: previous correspondence, reports, numbers etc.
3.-Prioritize what you're going to talk about. Decide which points are irrelevant and which can be omitted. Remember to be as concise as possible.
4.-Create a rough draft and write down the points you're going to make. Consider the following questions:
Did I leave out anything important?
Can I change the presentation to make it clearer?
Did I include anything irrelevant?
5.-Write a first draft. Leave space between lines for notes and corrections.
6.-Go over your draft keeping in mind the following questions
INFORMATION: Did I cover all the points that I wanted to make?
Is the information RELEVANT, CORRECT AND COMPLETE?
STYLE: Is the appearance of the letter attractive?
Does it sound natural and sincere?
Is it CLEAR, CONCISE AND CORTIOUS?
Will you make the desired impression on the reader?
Is this the kind of letter that you would like to receive?

WRITE THE FINAL LETTER