Writing: Formal and Informal Letters


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about writing: formal and informal letters, etc. Enjoy the class!

Comprehension: A Railway Journey

The passage centres on transportation by rail. Transport by rail is the best approach in a spirit of adventure and with an uncluttered schedule. This is because the Nigerian railway Corporation is not renowned for getting there on time. The train is usually overcrowded and some passengers even travel on top of the carriages.


Questions, page 141

Formal Letters

These are letters we write to people in their official positions.

Features of a formal letter

  1. Writer’s address and date: This is written at the top right-hand corner. The date is written beneath the address.
  2. Receiver’s address: This is written at the left-hand corner beneath the writer’s address.
  3. Salutation: The acceptable salutation is Dear Sir or Dear Madam.
  4. Heading or topic or title: This is written below the salutation
  5. Introduction: This should be straight forward and precise
  6. Body of the letter: This should consist of at least three well-developed paragraphs.
  7. Conclusion: this should be done in a paragraph.
  8. Subscript (Complimentary close): The acceptable closing is ‘Yours faithfully’ followed by a comma. The signature is appended beneath the closing with the full name written below the signature.
Sample question

Write a letter to the Commissioner of Education, informing him about the plan of your council to engage in the expansion of the only secondary school in your town and how the council intends to implement its programme of aid to the school.



Baptist College,


P.O. Box 30,


Oyo State,

14th October, 2019


The Commissioner,

Ministry of Education,



Dear Sir,


Expansion programme for Baptist college


Body of the Letter


Yours faithfully,


Adeyanjuu Adedayo


Informal Letters

These are the letters we write to people who are very familiar to us.

Features of an informal letter
  1. Writer’s Address and Date
  2. Salutation
  3. Introduction
  4. Body of the letter
  5. Subscript


Write a letter to your friend who is in another school about your annual inter-house sports which you celebrated recently.

Nominalization of Infinitives

Nominalization is the changing of a part of speech into a noun by the addition of a suffix

Verbs                                                                                 Nouns

  1. Advise                                                                       advice
  2. Apologise                                                                 apology
  3. Authorise                                                                   authority
  4. Choose                                                                       Choice
  5. Fail                                                                              failure
  6. Fix                                                                               fixture
  7. Hate                                                                           hatred
  8. Enjoy                                                                          enjoyment
  9. Know                                                                         knowledge
  10. Live                                                                            life
  11. Oppose                                                                      opposition
  12. Obey                                                                         obedience
  13. Secure                                                                        security
  14. Rob                                                                            robbery
  15. See                                                                             sight
  16. Speak                                                                          speech
  17. Serve                                                                          service
  18. Think                                                                           thought
  19. Strike                                                                          stroke
  20. Weight                                                                        weight

Non-restrictive clause: In the non-restrictive, the clause provides additional information to the subject and is marked with commas.


  1. The young lawyer, who is 25, gave the closing remark.
  2. The house, which has been renovated, looks very new.
  3. The book, about which so much has been said, is not interesting.
  4. The principal, who I told you about, is a sadist.
  5. My brother, who lives in Abuja, visited me last week.


Make five sentences each on restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.

Hints on Writing Essays in anExamination

Every type of writing demands a distinctive style and approach. Candidates are expected to be able to write the following kinds of essays; narrative, descriptive expository argumentative.

Hints on essay writing

  1. Treat as many ideas in relations to the topics as can be discussed within the time allowed.
  2. Even though the ideas may be old, they should be presented in a new perspective because of human development, and in an orderly manner.
  3. The language used in writing should be appropriate and clear to the reader.
  4. Due emphasis should be placed on the correctness of language.
  5. There should be neither bias nor overzealousness in the writing.
  6. Keep within the time allocated for the essay.


Write an essay on ‘The day I will never forget


In our next class, we will be talking about Structure: Hints on Lexis and Structure.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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