Paper 3 Part B - Formal and Informal Letters Format From 1996 to 2004, there have been eight letters (five formal and three informal) tested. The table (right) will give you a better idea about format and style. Style A letter, either formal or informal, is usually composed of three parts - introductory paragraph, body paragraphs and concluding paragraph. Formal letter Introductory paragraph If you are writing on behalf of your school or company etc, use 'On behalf of (name of the organisation you are representing), I am writing to ... (state your purpose)'. Sometimes, you are writing in response to an advertisement or a request. You should start with 'With reference to / In response to ..., I am writing ...' If it is a reply letter, start with 'Thank you for your letter dated (DATE), I am writing to ...' Concluding paragraph If your letter is to provide information, you should end with 'I hope the above information will be useful.' If it is a request, you should say: 'I hope my request will be granted.' Do not use 'Thank you for your attention'. Informal letter Informal letters should be treated differently as the receiver is your friend. Personal emotions can score too. Usually in the exam, you write in reply providing the information your friend asks for. Introductory paragraph You should acknowledge receipt by saying that 'I am so glad to receive your letter'. Unlike formal letters, you don't need to give a clear purpose statement. You just go on writing what you should. You need to show your sympathy, surprise, or delight to what has happened to him/her. In such cases, you should write 'I am sorry/surprised/happy to know that you ...' Concluding paragraph The best way to conclude is to refer generally to the purpose and the context to get the bonus mark. Do not say 'I hope the information is useful to you. Please feel free to contact me for further enquiry. Thank you for your attention.'