Clues and Samples That Will Make You Succeed in Formal Letters


It has been observed that the problem that candidates have with informal letters is how to write an impeccable recipient’s address. Two things to master  – the designation or the post of the person occupy in that office and his/her address. Learn how to write the recipient’s addresses below.

 Presidents/Chairmen of the companies or the associations, e.g.


The President,

Ames Publishing Group,


Presidents in Government (Federal Government), e.g.

The President of Nigeria,

Presidential Villa,



Local Government Chairmen, e.g.

The Chairman,

Ibarapa East Local Government,


Managing Directors/Managers/Directors of any company or any firm, e.g.

The Managing Director,

Yale Foods Company, the




The Manager,

First Bank Plc,

Polytechnic Branch,


Commissioners working with the state government in different ministries like education, finance, agriculture, health, work, affairs, e.g.

The Commissioner,

Ministry of Finance,



In this case, do not say ‘the commissioner of finance’ since it is indicated in the ministry below.

Ministers working with the federal government in different ministries such as education, agriculture, finance, health, e.g.

The Minister,

Federal Ministry of Education,

Aso-Rock Villa, The


Chairmen/Directors/Managers of other establishments like corporations, institutions, etc. The corporation may be PHCN, NNPC, etc while the institutions may be schools, colleges, universities, e.g.

A letter to the Vice-Chancellor of a University

The Vice-Chancellor,

University of Ibadan,


A letter to the principal of a school

The Principal,

Ames International School,

P.M.B. 04,

Eruwa Road,


A letter to the secretary of a department

The Secretary,

Department of English,

University of Lagos,


A letter to the registrar of a college of education

The Registrar,

Oyo State College of Education,



The letter was written to the Chairman of the Parent-Teacher-Association representing a school, e.g.

The Chairman,


Baptist Grammar School,


A letter to the Director of PHCN, e.g.

The Director,

Power Holding Company of Nigeria,

Akoka Branch,


A letter to any divisional police officer, e.g.

The Divisional Police Officer,

Oke-Isa Police Station,

Osun State.

A letter to the editors of newspapers, magazines, or publishing houses, e.g.

The Editor,

Nigerian Tribune,




The Editor,

AMES  Press Limited.



Letter of Complaints/Requests

If you are complaining about something or requesting something from someone, the kind of letter you are writing is called a letter of complaints/requests.

The tone of a letter of complaint should be serious but not rude. Make sure that you use the auxiliaries ‘shall’ and ‘will’ to show strong requests, rather than politeness ‘should.’ and ‘would’.

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Processes in Writing a Letter of Complaints/Requests

There are steps to take in writing a good letter of complaints/requests as seen below.

Step one: Write an introduction after the addresses, the date, and the salutation.

After the addresses, the salutation, and the title, you will develop an introductory paragraph. Remember that you are complaining about what you are not pleased with, so you will start the paragraph thus:

I feel sad/unhappy/sorrowful/dissatisfied to inform you that…

            I regret to intimate you that…

            I am writing this letter to complain about…

            I write to request for…

Learn from the following paragraph:

I am unhappy about the rate at which accidents occur on our roads in Nigeria. This situation propels me to write about the causes of, and solutions to this problem.

Step two: Write the body of the letter.

After the introduction, you will discuss the causes of, or lodge your complaints about road accidents and provide solutions to them in the body of the letter. Learn from the paragraphs below.

In the first place, bad roads cause fatal accidents in Nigeria. Many roads in the big cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Kaduna, etc are not well constructed. There are sharp bends which…

Secondly, high speed causes road accidents. Many drivers do not follow traffic rules. A driver, for example, who is supposed to speed 100km per hour speeds 200km per hour and as…”

However, the solutions to the problems are identified. First, all bad roads and damaged bridges should be re-constructed

and re-built.

All the drivers who want to drive or ride or who are driving or riding a car on the roads should follow the

traffic rules and reduces high speed on the roads.

In the paragraphs above, some causes of, and complaints about road accidents as well as their solutions are discussed.

Step three: Write a conclusion.

After the body of the letter, you should create a concluding/closing paragraph where you have to sum

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up your points.  It may be in form of suggestions or solutions.

The following expressions may be used for a good conclusion.

  1. I am looking forward to an early reply.
  2. I expect urgent action from you.

Consider the following paragraph:

Sir, we are expecting urgent action from you on this issue so that road accidents in Nigeria can be minimized.   

Your letter has been concluded by letting the Minister of Road Transport be aware of the best urgent action to take on the situation.

Step four: Write a subscription.

After the conclusion, write the subscription (Yours faithfully) on the right-hand side. For example:

Yours faithfully,

Step five: Append your signature and full name.

After the subscription, then you should put your signature under the subscription on the next line, followed by the full name of the writer under the signature. For example:


Yours faithfully,

                                                                                                                               Oloja Bolu.

Letters to  the Press/Editor

In some cases, you may be asked to write to the editors of newspapers, magazines, or journals to contribute an article or express your opinions on an ongoing debate on a controversial topic.

Processes in Writing to the Press/Editor

In writing a good letter to the editor, there are steps to take. Consider the below.

Step one: Write the recipient’s address after the writer’s address.

After the writer’s address, you should write the recipient’s address as seen below.

The Editor,

Sunday Punch,



Step two: Write a salutation.

After the recipient’s address, you should write the salutation under the recipient’s address after you have left a line. Do not write ‘Dear Editor’ but write ‘Dear Sir’.

Step three: Write a captivating heading/title.

After the correct salutation, you should write a captivating title that can attract the attention of the readers. Consider the following:

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The Menace of Drug Abuse

Step four: Write an introduction.

After you have written a heading, you should create an introductory paragraph where you tell the readers what you want them to know. That is, you should introduce the topic and it must be interesting. Learn from the following paragraph:

I write this letter to the editor of Sunday Punch to publish my article on Drug Abuse: Its Menace to Society.

Step five: Write the body of the letter.

In the body of the letter, you should use polite and official language. Avoid the use of short forms, slang, etc. Your points should be developed in paragraphs. Learn from the paragraphs below.

There are lots of dangers in drug abuse. Many families have destroyed the lives of their members through self-medication

 In our society nowadays, it is common to see young children with one deformity or the other. This is because many pregnant women take drugs wrongly…

Step six: Write a conclusion.

After the body of the letter, you should create a concluding paragraph where you will sum up your opinions based on the topic. In most cases, a concluding paragraph may include suggestions and solutions to the problem. Learn from the following paragraph:

Since drug abuse has certainly posed a lot of dangers to our society, the government has to do something about it and our people need to be enlightened about the dangerous consequences of drug abuse.

Step seven: Write a subscription.

After the conclusion, write the subscription (Yours faithfully) at the right-hand side. For example:

Yours faithfully

Step eight: Append your signature and full name.

Under the subscription immediately on the next line, write your signature followed by your full name. For example:

                                                                                                                    Yours faithfully,

                                                                                                                    Eke Ijeoma.



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