Letter Writing

We currently live in a tech-savvy world, where emails are used instead of letters to convey any message immediately. However, once upon a time, the art of letter writing was of utmost importance. Even before the invention of the telephone, letters acted as the only mode of sending and receiving information. However, all is not lost. Even today, there are various sectors where the letter acts as an essential means of communication. So, read till the end to know all the fine details of letter writing.

What Is Letter Writing?

A message that is written or printed on paper can be categorized as a letter. Although most letters are sent via post, after carefully placing the letter in an envelope and pasting the right kind of stamps on that said envelope, it is not a compulsion. Official letters are also still in trend. Sometimes, it is required to hand-deliver the letter personally, and it is not done via post, such as letters to the bank or for school admission. Hence, despite the advancement of technology, it is still vital for you to learn the art of letter writing as it will come in handy in life.

Types Of Letter

Formal Letter: A formal letter follows a set structure and is always professional in nature. Here, you must stick to the point and address whatever concerns you have directly. Letters to authorities or business letters belong to this segment.

Informal Letter: They are the opposite of formal letters, which means they are personal. Although a fine structure is followed here, it is not mandatory. These letters can contain any information and number of words. Writing letters to friends, relatives, etc., fall under this category.

Business Letter: When it comes to corresponding with business associates, business letters are used containing commercial information, such as claims, complaints, orders, etc. These letters follow a specific pattern and keep a formal tone.

Official Letter: Official letters are written to rely official information such as rules, regulations, procedures, etc. They carry a formal tone and maintain structure.

Social Letter: Letters that are written during a special or social event is known as social letter. Examples include; congratulatory letters, invitations, and more.

Circulatory Letter: A letter containing information that is meant for a larger group and is circulated amongst them is known as a circular letter. It can be a memo or contain information such as change of address, management details, and more.

Employment Letters: Employment letters include offer letters, appointment letters, and anything related to the employment process. These letters contain a set structure and follow a formal tone.

Letter Writing Format

You need to know the exact letter writing format because you might need it in the future, and also it is an important question in the examination. The content of the letter can change accordingly, but the gist of it remains the same. The two main types of letters include formal and informal letters. And we bring you the right structures for writing these letters.

Letter writing format of Formal Letter: When it comes to writing a formal letter, it is mandatory to adhere to proper rules. The writing format of the letter is given below.

The main components of the letter include;

  • Sender’s address
  • Date
  • Receiver’s address
  • The subject
  • Content of the letter
  • Closure
  • Signature along with sender’s name and designation (if applicable)

Sender’s address: The first main element of a formal letter includes the sender’s address. This is written on the top left corner. You write your address, starting with the name. Example; 

From

(Your name)

(Your address)

Date: As soon as you write your address, next comes the date you write the letter. You can follow DD/MM/YY or MM/DD/YY format. Example;

From

(Your name)

(Your address)

Date

Receiver’s address: Next comes the recipient’s address. You write it after the date and before the subject. The address should include the name, designation, and address. Example;

 From

(Your name)

(Designation)

(Your address)

Date 

To

(Name of the recipient)

(Designation)

(Recipient’s Address)

The subject: The subject of the letter must be kept brief and must be to the point. It helps the recipient understand what the letter is all about. Example;

 From

(Your name)

(Designation)

(Your address)

Date 

To

(Name of the recipient)

(Designation)

(Recipient’s Address)

Subject: (Not more than a sentence)

Salutation: This is where you greet the recipient. You can use Dear Sir/Madam if you are unaware of the recipient’s name and gender, or you can also use Respected, followed by the name of the recipient. Example;

 From

(Your name)

(Designation)

(Your address)

Date 

To

(Name of the recipient)

(Designation)

(Recipient’s Address)

Subject: (Not more than a sentence)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Body of the letter: Writing the body of the letter is crucial. In just a few sentences, you must be able to convey the whole purpose behind the letter. We can divide the letter’s body into three parts- The introduction, the middle part, and the end. 

As the name suggests, during the introduction, you state the main point behind the letter. Middle-part consists of any explanation necessary to support the main point of the letter. And, finally, you finish after stating any request that you are trying to make.

Closure: You end the letter in a polite manner with closing words such as Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely. Example;

From

(Your name)

(Designation)

(Your address)

Date 

To

(Name of the recipient)

(Designation)

(Recipient’s Address)

Subject: (Not more than a sentence)

Dear Sir/Madam,

(Introduction)

(Middle-part)

(Ending)

Yours faithfully, 

Signature line: You end the letter with your name, followed by the signature.

While writing a formal letter, always remember;

  • Do not make use of slangs, short forms, colloquial words, or abbreviations.
  • You cannot keep a formal letter lengthy. It must be to the point.
  • You should never skip the subject line.

Letter writing format of Informal Letter

The main components of an informal letter include;

  • Address
  • Date
  • Salutation
  • Content of the letter
  • Sender’s Name and Signature

Address: Unlike formal letters, here, you only mention the sender’s address while the receiver’s address is only mentioned on the envelope. Example;

 From

(Your address)

Date: You write the date on which you are writing the said letter. 

 From

(Your address)

Date 

Salutation: Since it is an informal letter, you can address the recipient as Dear, Dearest, or even use nicknames if you want to. 

From

(Your address)

Date 

Dearest (name),

Content: The content of the letter can be whatever you feel like. It can express emotions, feelings, and more. 

Sender’s name and signature: Sender’s name and signature are the same as formal letters. 

Letter Writing Tips You Must Know

Identify The Type Of Letter: When you write the letter, you must analyze whether it will go as a formal letter or an informal one. This is the very first step of letter writing. For instance, if you write a letter to your teacher, requesting leave is a formal letter. However, if you are writing a letter to your classmate, it can go as an informal one. So, before you begin writing the letter, make sure you identify the type.

Keep The Opening And Closing In Mind: While writing a letter, you must open and close the letters correctly. Otherwise, there are chances of the letters getting rejected and not doing the job you sought out to because of the incorrect format.

Be Clear: You must reach the intent of the letter sooner than later. This holds true, especially for formal letters.

Use Proper Language: The tone of the letter must always be polite, and you must courteously pen your words. If you are writing in English, make sure the entire letter is in that one language and not a mixture of your native tongue.

Length: While formal letters must be short, there is no limit on informal letters. However, from an examination point of view, keep it short.

Sample Letter Writing

Formal Letter Sample

In the below sample letter, I will be writing a letter to the news editor to inform him/her about the issues we are facing in society to ensure that it gets highlighted in the newspaper to draw the authorities’ attention.

From,

Sheetal Gupta 

106, Central Excise Layout 

Vijaynagar

Bangalore 560040

02-10-2020

To,

The Editor-in-Chief,

Deccan Herald

MG Road 

Bangalore 560001

Subject: Too many potholes in our society is causing difficulties 

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

I am writing this letter to inform you that due to the potholes in our society, we face many difficulties. As you already know, the monsoon season has also started, making the problem more severe. 

People driving are put at risk every day because the potholes are filled with water, and it is impossible to judge the depth of the said pothole. It even puts the pedestrians and the children playing outside in danger.

Therefore, I wish to draw the local authorities’ attention with the help of an article in your newspaper. Hopefully, you will be able to help out in resolving this matter at the earliest. 

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Sheetal Gupta 

Informal Letter Sample:

I will be writing a letter to a friend in the below letter, inviting her to stay in my city for a few days.

From,

Sheetal Gupta 

106, Central Excise Layout

Bangalore 560040 

Dearest Rinnie, 

How are you? I hope you are doing well. We are all doing great here. Since our summer holidays are about to begin, I wanted to invite you to come and stay with me for a few days in Bangalore. 

Do you know? Recently we adopted a puppy, and I know how much you adore dogs. Imagine all the fun we’ll have together. Also, I will show you around the whole city. We will have sleepovers with my other friends from school as well. You can meet them too and make new friends. Please talk to your parents and make this plan a possibility. 

I am looking forward to hearing from you! 

Yours faithfully,

Sheetal 

Solved Letter Writing Questions 

Question 1. Divya was to write a letter to her principal asking permission to skip school for a week on account of some personal matter. What type of letter will she be writing?

(A) Personal Letter

(B) Business Letter

(C) Formal Letter

(D) Any of the Above

Answer: Formal letter. The principal is a figure of authority, and Divya is not writing a personal letter here.

Question 2. Write a letter to your principal requesting to grant you leave for two weeks because of a medical issue. You must give reasons why you need to leave.

ANS: From,

Rohini Kumar

Class X ‘A’

Indore International School

To,

 The Principal

 Indore International School 

 Indore -411021

October 2nd, 2020

Subject: Leave Application 

Dear Sir,

I am a student of class X A in your school. I am suffering from viral fever and food poisoning. For this, I have been admitted to Bombay Hospital. I would like to apply for medical leave from October 5th to October 16th, 2020.

Kindly sanction the leave so that I do not fall short of attendance during the final exams. I shall be obliged to you.

Thanking you

Yours obediently

(Signature)

Rohini Kumar X ‘A’

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