A Guide to Writing a Formal Letter of Inquiry Effectively

A formal letter of inquiry is used to get information from the person, organization or institution. It generally includes the name of the person requested to provide the information. It might be a letter asking for information or requesting sponsorship for a project or for a person’s time.

What is a Letter of Inquiry?

A letter of inquiry is typically written to an individual requesting information on a subject matter. The letter of inquiry is a way to get information quickly without going through lengthy processes.

An inquiry letter requests for information about a business or service, an institution or course, or a person’s interest in sponsoring a project.

A Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is a formal document sent to a corporation or organization asking questions about their interest in doing business. It is an official request sent by a company to a potential business partner, investor, or sponsor. The primary purpose of this letter is to initiate contact with a company or individual for a potential business partnership or employment opportunity.

Format for Writing a Formal Letter of Inquiry

A letter of inquiry is a formal letter that is sent to someone else to inquire from them. The letter will always have a subject stating the letter’s purpose, followed by a salutation and the name of the person you are contacting. Among the items enclosed, the letter will generally have the contact information of the sender, an introduction, reason for writing, and a signature block.

A letter of inquiry typically follows the format below:

1. Sender’s Address

Your complete and accurate address should be provided. Include an email address and a phone number so that the reader can easily reach out.

2. Date

Write the complete date (i.e., day, month, and year). The date gives your letter an authentic and credible look.

3. Recipient’s Address

Write the receiver’s name and official title/position, followed by the complete and accurate address.

4. The Subject of the letter

The subject should tell the purpose of the letter in one line. This will give the receiver an overall idea of the letter even before they read it.

5. Salutation

Your greeting should be as formal and professional as possible, as it often sets the tone for the rest of the letter. You can use general greetings like “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam” or use Mr and Mrs with the recipient’s full name.

6. Body

The body is the main content of the letter. Each body paragraph must be carefully developed. Don’t forget to be straightforward and precise, so the recipient doesn’t lose interest.

  • Introduce yourself in the first paragraph. Include your position, course of study, institution/organization, whichever the case may be.
  • In the second paragraph, explain the purpose of writing the letter. Include a line stating how you will use the requested information. If the information you’re asking for is confidential, state that you will keep it that way.
  • The details of the inquiry should be stated in the third paragraph. This includes the precise information you need.
  • Conclude in the fourth paragraph and thank the reader for the time and opportunity. Include a line stating that you await a response.

7. Closing the Letter

Thank the reader for the opportunity. A complimentary closing should follow. Phrases like “Yours faithfully” and “Yours sincerely” are the most appropriate to use in a formal letter.

8. Signature

End your letter with a sign-off. Write your signature and name; if possible, add your designation.

man wearing blue shirt writing on white paper with pen
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

A formal letter of inquiry is a polite, courteous, and brief letter requesting information. It is typically to an individual or institution requesting information about a business or course of study.

In this guide, we have covered everything you need to know about writing a letter of inquiry using the correct style and format.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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