An example of a template for a formal letter is the business letter template. This type of template adheres to formal writing conventions, such as using a formal tone, placing the sender's address in the right hand corner and the recipient's address flush left, and including a salutation, body and closing.
The salutation should address the recipient correctly and professionally. If the recipient's gender is in question, it is wise to use a gender-neutral title if available, such as "Professor Sullivan" or "Reverend Reed." The body of the letter should be written in a modified block letter format, single spaced and left justified with one line break between paragraphs. As in all formal letters, business letters should use formal language that avoids contractions, colloquialisms, abbreviations and other informalities.
Business letters should be as direct and brief as possible, addressing the main point in the opening paragraph. In the following two or three paragraphs, this point should be elaborated upon, justified and supported with background information. The closing paragraph should restate the main point and, if applicable, suggest a solution or type of action. In addition to the formal tone, the most effective business letters are phrased in a positive manner to engage the recipient and keep him open to the suggestions and solutions presented in the letter.