Letter writing is the art of writing messages, be it handwritten or printed, business or personal. It is a skill we all need to know. Now that emails and text messages exist, letter writing has taken a back seat. However, it is still a prominent feature, especially for formal communication.
A Formal Letter is framed for professional, business contracts, or letters to authorities. It includes cover letters, promotional letters, a business intent letter, application letter, bank letter, resignation letter. It is customarily typed in a specific format, and some companies may use a special paper called a letterhead.
An Informal Letter is a casual message written for friends and family, be it handwritten, emailed, or via social media platforms. They contain less structure compared to a formal letter, as they need not follow any formalities. It’s just a simple conversation put into written words.
While writing a letter, there are few points to keep in mind. Writing an address properly isn’t the only focal point for writing a structured letter. To begin with, you must identify what kind of letter you are going to write. Here are some of the basic steps of writing a letter that can be followed and will help in conveying the intended message to the receiver.
Formal letters are part of our career and profession. They are strictly kept professional and follow a specific writing pattern.
When you write a formal letter, stick to the subject as it is addressed to authorities, dignitaries, colleagues, etc. It requires good writing skills to communicate your thoughts and ideas effectively and precisely. Several precepts must adhere to writing constructive letters or emails. So, let's look at the steps to follow while writing a formal letter.
The subject comes after the salutation where the intent of the letter is stated. Write “Subject” followed by a colon and the summary line of the letter. This helps the receiver to focus on the intent of the letter at one glance.
Informal Letters are usually written to our friends, family, and acquaintances in a casual language. As they are mostly used for personal communication, they may have an emotional undertone and there is no need to follow any specific pattern or convention. It has less structure overall but contains few elements, the same as a formal letter. Let’s get into the guidelines to follow while writing an informal letter.
The salutation is a greeting that is customarily typed after leaving a line from the date. It can be casual, like “Hello” or “Dear” followed by a comma or an exclamation mark to create enthusiasm. It all depends on the relation to whom the letter is being addressed.
Even today, in this age of online communication, letter writing is an important skill to learn. By following the above guidelines on how to write a letter, you will write a decent-looking letter. One prominent factor that you must never leave out is proofreading. Double-check the address before sending out the letter via post or e-mail. Be on the lookout for formatting errors like paragraph spacing or line spacing. If it ticks these checkboxes, then your letter is good to go.
Vandana is a highly qualified IELTS (British Council trained), and TESOL holder, with over 15 years of experience. She is a proactive professional with a progressive approach to teaching and lesson planning. She has the sound ability to maintain curriculum development. She is a science graduate, Six Sigma and PMP trained individual who has also worked with multinational companies in the Training & Quality domain for more than a decade. Right now, Vandana is working as an IELTS Trainer with Edoxi Training Institute, Dubai.