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Hi,
I'm a new user of this website.
Recently I have to write a lot of sem-formal letters using e-mails. Usually the letters are addressed to authority figures in our university. I would like to know how to start a letter? Is there other ways to start a letter beside "How are you?" or introduce myself? I want to keep the tone of letter formal but in a casual and polite way. I would be appreciated if someone can answer my questions.
Thank you
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What is the purpose of the e-mail? What do you want the reader to do after reading it?

Dear Dr. Morceau,

I work in the university's human resources department, and am writing to ask for your participation in a focus group on university benefits.

I work in the campus library and we are implementing a new system to ensure texts referenced by professors in their lectures remain available for all students. To that end, I am writing to request...

As you may have heard, the Chapman Building is undergoing renovation this summer. Your office will be one of the areas that must be entirely emptied. The facilities department has identified a number of steps that will facilitate this process, and I'd like to set up a time for you to meet with...
Comments  
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Thank you for your quick reply.

For the letter I was mentioned about, it was address to the dean's office.

Draft:

Dear Dr. K.

How are you? As you have known, Dr. D has hired me for the administrator position in this new program. I am very happy to work with Dr. D and the new students.

I am writing to let you know our schedule for the trip to London. We will be in London on June 20 until June 28. Usually, Dr. D booked his hotel at the university of London. The room is smaller, however, it is relatively clean. If you prefer to stay in the same hotel with us, I can book it for you. Please advice me on your departure date and the duration of your stay.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Diana J
It's too wordy for an business e-mail.

Dear Dr. K.,

We are in the process of finalizing the schedule for the trip to London you will be making with Dr. D.

1. Dr. D will leave [where you are] on June 20 and return from London on June 28. Could you please let me know your travel dates?

2. Dr D usually stays at [name of hotel]. Although the rooms can be a bit small, it's clean and conveniently located. I would be happy to book accommodations at the same hotel -- please let me know if you would like me to do so.

If you need any other assistance related to the trip, please let me know how I can help you.

Thank you,

Diana J
Administrative Assistant to Dr. D