How to Write a Letter: Letter Writing Types and Examples

Whether for an exam or important communication on the professional front, letter writing is both scoring as well as a paramount need in your everyday life. A letter of recommendation a resignation letter or even a relieving letter – all three require good letter-writing skills! Sometimes, writing a simple, informal letter can also be confusing. There can never be sufficient information on how to write the perfect letter along with the right font, spacing, and formatting! So here is a step-by-step guide to help you write or improve your letter-writing skills, for any important day or exam of your life.

What is Letter Writing?

A letter is a type of written communication that can be handwritten or printed on paper. Although not required, it is often delivered to the recipient via mail or post in an envelope. A letter, or written discussion between two parties, is any message that is sent via mail.

The art of letter writing has now taken a back seat as e-mail (advantages and disadvantages), SMS and other means of communication have become the norm. However, letters are still used for most of our communications, especially official communications. Letters are still an important means of communication, whether it’s a job cover letter, a bank reminder, or a college acceptance letter. Therefore, we should understand the nuances of letter writing.

Also Read: Letter of Explanation

Why is it Important to Know How to Write a Letter?

Everyone needs to know how to write a letter, whether it is for professional or personal reasons. These letters can sometimes be short, informal emails. They will be well polished for corporate correspondence at other times. Today, printed letters are commonly used for business or professional communication, so it is essential to know how to write letters for business purposes. It is especially important to write the letter properly if you are sending the recipient a printed copy rather than an email.

How to Write a Letter?: Step-by-Step Guide

The following are the general guidelines for writing a letter:

Choose the right type of paper

You should type and print your letter on plain white paper. You may want to print on good resume paper depending on the circumstances, for example if you are sending a reference letter or a cover letter with your resume. If you are writing a business letter on behalf of your company, it is a good idea to use company letterhead.

Use fonts and formats

Your letter should be typed and printed on plain white paper. Depending on the circumstances – for example, if you are sending a reference letter or a cover letter with your resume – you may want to print on premium resume paper. It’s a good idea to use company letterhead when sending business letters on behalf of your company.

Enter the sender’s address

To get started, type your full address in the upper left corner, including your full name, street address, city, state, and zip code. If you are not comfortable with an address, learn to write it properly.

specify dateline

Specify the date by leaving a line. Use the date you are writing the letter.

arrive at the recipient’s address

Enter the recipient’s complete address by skipping one line. The firm name, the recipient’s name and title, and the mailing address should all be included in a professional letter. There is no reason to mention the name of the firm or the job position in an informal, personal letter.

insert greetings/greetings

Leave another line to write welcome words. This is called Namaskar. In a formal letter, you say “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs.” Last Name:” After the salutation, a colon is required in formal letters, while a comma is required in informal letters. It is acceptable to use a comma after the recipient’s first name in an informal letter.

body of letter

Start the letter by skipping a line. Separate your ideas into paragraphs in the body of your letter. You should never write a large block of text at once. Start a new paragraph for each new collection of thoughts or ideas. Leave a blank line in the middle of a paragraph.

Include complimentary closing

To include a complimentary closing, omit one of your last lines. “Sincerely,” “Yours truly,” “Regards” or something similar can be used as a closing. Whether the letter is official or casual, a comma should always follow the word or phrase you choose to close it.

signature text

Skip three lines (where your handwritten signature will be inserted) and input your full name. You should also add your job title on the next line of the formal letter.

attachments

If you are including an attachment with your letter, skip another line and type “Enclosure.” If there are multiple attachments, use parentheses to indicate how many there are, such as “attachments (4)”.

Types of Letter

Here are the different types of letters:

  • Chain letter
  • Letters patent
  • Audio letter
  • Cover letter
  • Recommendation Letter and the closely related employment reference letter
  • Letter of credence
  • Crossed letter
  • Informal letter
  • Poison pen letter
  • Hate mail
  • Business letter
  • Form letter
  • Letter of intent
  • Hybrid mail (semi-electronic delivery)
  • Letter of thanks
  • Dear John letter
  • Love letter
  • Letter of interest
  • Cease and desist letter
  • Complaint letter
  • Query letter
  • Letter of resignation
  • Letter to the editor
  • National Letter of Intent
  • Open letter
  • Letter of introduction
  • Letter of marque
  • Epistle

What Type of Letter Should You Write?

There are no hard and fast rules in this game. Depending on who you’re writing to, you may want to employ a different letter-writing structure. The best option is usually an informal discussion with a friend or close relative. Many different types of letters can be written for a close family or acquaintance. Here are a few examples:

  • Handwritten letters
  • Emailed letters
  • Typed social media messages

There are no hard and fast rules in this game. Depending on who you’re writing to, you may want to employ a different letter-writing structure. The best option is usually an informal discussion with a friend or close relative. Many different types of letters can be written for a close family or acquaintance. Here are a few examples:

Also Read: Reference Letter vs Letter of Recommendation

What is a Formal and Informal Letter?

Let us have a look at some significant differences between formal and informal types of letters:
FORMAL LETTER INFORMAL LETTER
It is written for professional or business purposes It is usually drafted for personal purposes
A completely formal writing tone is used A casual and emotional writing style is common in this type of letter-writing
It should be precise and to the point Informal letters can be lengthy
Examples– Clients, College or Institute Examples– Relatives or Friends

Types of Letter Writing

Let us talk about the different types of Letter Writing in a broader spectrum of formal and informal letters. Let us check some of the types of letter writing other than formal and informal letters:

  • Business Letter: This letter is written for business purposes and contains information like quotations, orders, claims, complaints, letters for collection, etc. These letters are extremely formal and follow a proper structure
  • Official Letter: This letter is written to inform offices, branches, and subordinates. These are for official information like rules, regulations, events, procedures, etc
  • Social Letter: A social letter is a personal letter written on the occasion of a special event. This includes invitations, congratulatory letters, condolence letters, etc
  • Circular Letter: A circular letter announces information to a large number of people. The letter is circulated to a large group to share information on change of address, change in management, the retirement of a partner etc.
  • Employment Letter: It is the type of letter that is written for the employment process like a joining letter, promotion letter, application letter, etc

Formal Letter Writing

While writing a formal letter, it is mandatory to stick to the format and follow a subtle and professional tone as these letters are written for official purposes and contain a professional issue to talk about. Following is a format of formal letter writing: 

  • Sender’s Address: Mention the complete and accurate sender’s address in the top left section.
  • Date: It is mandatory to put in the date just below the address.
  • Reciever’s Address: The appropriate address of the receiver has to be mentioned in a similar order to the sender’s with the exact designation of the concerned person.
  • Subject: The subject is a one-line summary of the issue that is mentioned in the letter. It should be written very briefly within one line.
  • Greetings: Keeping in mind that it is a formal letter, the salutation must be formal and respectful. You can use Sir or Madam in this case. 
  • Letter Body: It is the most important part of the letter. You can divide the content into two or three paragraphs as per the details. It should be formal and to the point.
  • Signature: While closing the letter, you can use ‘Yours Faithfully’ and then mention your name at the end. 

Write a Letter to the Editor

To clear all your letter-writing doubts, given below is a sample of how to craft an impeccable formal letter to the editor: 

Application for Leave in Office

Here is a sample Leave Letter for working professionals:

Informal Letter Writing

Although there is no strict format for writing an informal letter, it is advisable to follow a general pattern. As mentioned above, an informal letter is written to friends, relatives, classmates, etc. If you want to learn and score well in your English exam, here is a general pattern of informal letter writing that you can follow:

  • Address: Begin the letter by writing your address on the left-hand side of the sheet. It is mandatory to mention the address so that the receiver can reply and it is written on the top left.
  • Date: Immediately after the address, the date has to be written. It is compulsory to write and it should be in an expanded format.
  • Salutation: Be it informal or formal letter writing, you should greet the person you are writing the letter to. For example, if you are writing a letter to your friend then, you can use ‘Dear Kaysha’
  • First Paragraph: Since it is the introductory paragraph, you can start by asking about their well-being in a lighter and casual tone.
  • Second Paragraph: This is the main body where you can state your affairs. You can use a friendly tone for friends but if you are writing to an elderly relative, the tone should be polite and subtle.
  • Third Paragraph: It is the last paragraph where you have to summarise the message you want to convey through the letter. Conclude it with a goodbye message followed by a short statement mentioning that you await the reply.
  • Signature: While signing off, you can use a phrase like Best, Kindly, Lots of Love, etc.

Bonus:  

Ace your IELTS, and TOEFL with Ieltstuts!

Write a Letter to your Friend

Here is a sample for a letter to a friend:

Tips on How to Write a Letter

A well-written letter can ensure that you pass the right information to people. For every letter, the method changes. But there are a few things you must know about:

  • You must identify the type of letter you are writing
  • Ensure that the letter has a proper introduction and conclusion
  • Establish the intent of the letter
  • Be conscious of the language you use. It changes as per the type of letter you write
  • The length of the letter should be optimal. Not too long for the reader to get bored or too short that you are unable to share the information itself

Sending a Letter

Once you’ve determined that the envelope is the right type the hardest part is over. Now all you have to do is mail it. (If it is a personal letter you can deliver it yourself.) In this scenario write the name of the intended recipient on the outside of the envelope. Write your name and address in the upper left corner or use a mailing label. Carefully write the recipient’s address in the center of the envelope. International letters must include the country for both destination and return address, in addition to the state abbreviation and ZIP code. Postage costs vary. For current pricing, check the USPS website, or use Forever Stamp for US destinations.

Make sure everything is correct on the outside of the envelope. If so, fold your letter and tuck it inside neatly. Seal it only after you’ve double-checked that you’ve included all the pages you want to send. Isn’t it satisfying to send a letter that you know has been carefully crafted? Without a doubt a well-written letter has the best chance of being successful.

What’s P.S.?

The abbreviation P.S. stands for postscript. It’s something you add after the letter is finished at the last minute. In most cases, postscripts aren’t used in formal letters; if you need to add something, you’ll have to rewrite the entire text to include the new information.

The Envelope

In the United States a first class letter may weigh only 3.5 ounces. If your letter is longer than three pages or is printed on thick paper, you will need to weigh it to make sure it meets standards. The size and shape of the envelope is also important. It must be rectangular and the length must be less than 611 inches, otherwise it will be returned to you by the post office.

More Topics Under Writing

You can check out the writing formats by clicking on additional topics below.

Conclusion

Isn’t it satisfying to send a nicely crafted letter? A well-written letter, without a doubt, has the best chance of succeeding. To ensure that your letter truly shines, it must be error-free and create the appropriate tone. Use any writing assistance to detect spelling and grammatical errors, and provide formatting tips and guidance to help you produce clear, easy-to-follow emails that keep your recipient’s attention. Write the perfect letter and stand out for your amazing choice of words and structure.

FAQs

Q1. What is the best way to draft a letter?

Answer. To start writing a letter, you need to know who you are writing to and the reason behind the letter. With this in mind, you can begin drafting your letter with the sender’s address on the left side of the paper at the beginning, followed by the date.

Q2 What are the different types of letters?

Answer. Formal letters and informal letters are the two basic styles of letter writing. Informal letters are written to convey what you want to convey to your friends or family, while formal letters are prepared for official purposes.

Q3. What are the different components of a letter?

Answer. A letter can be divided into six parts. Sender’s address and date, recipient’s address and date, salutation, letter body, complimentary closing, and signature are all included.

Q4. What are the 5 steps of writing a letter?

Answer. There are five steps in writing a letter – writing the name, contact information and date, writing the recipient’s name and information, writing the salutation and body of the letter, a complimentary closing, writing your name and signature, and sending the letter.

Q5. How many types of letters are there?

Answer. There are three types of letters: formal letters, semi-formal letters and informal letters.

Thus, letter writing is an art that anyone can excel in with enough practice. If you don’t know how to proceed after 12th, take help from the professionals who will not only guide you in choosing the right university but will also help you in completing the admission formalities!

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Julia2296
Julia2296
1 month ago

Great Post. explain all the letter writing examples and very easy to understand. there is my website which provide the youtube mp3 songDownload music 2024 and listen online for free mp3.

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