Letter Writing - What is Letter Writing? Different Types with Examples

Ever wondered how the practice of writing letters came into being? Letters were one of the earliest forms of passing communication across to family and friends, and it has continued to exist since then. Letter writing is no mere ornamental accomplishment. Even today, letter writing has been thought of as a necessary skill that every individual should acquire.

This article will take you through the following topics

What is Letter Writing?

Letter Writing has been deemed as one of the most useful forms learnt and used for various reasons. There are several kinds of letters, each of which has its own form and style. However, there are certain parts of the letter which remain the same. They include:

  • Sender’s address
  • Date
  • Greeting or Salutation
  • Body of the Letter
  • Subscription
  • Signature

Sender’s Address

The writer’s complete postal address has to be mentioned at the beginning of the letter on the left-hand side of the paper. This lets the receiver know where you wrote the letter from.

Date

The date is written just below the sender’s address, and It lets the recipient know when exactly the letter was written. The date may be written in any of the following ways:

4th July 2005

July 4, 2005

4/6/2005

4-6-2005

4.6.2005

Greeting or Salutation

The Salutation depends on the relationship between the sender and the receiver.

  • To members of your family and friends, it could be Dear Father, My Dearest Friend, Dear Uncle, Dear Diana, etc.
  • To Business people or any officer of higher rank, it could be Dear Sir, Dear Sirs, Sir/Ma’am, etc.

Body of the Letter

The message that you want to convey is stated in the body of the letter. The style, however, depends on the type of letter you are writing. The style of a friendly letter differs completely from that of a business letter or an official letter, but there are certain points that apply to both formal letters and informal letters.

Generally, when you draft the body of your letter, see to that you divide it into short paragraphs, according to the change in the subject matter. Use simple and direct language that is easy to comprehend. Put down all your points in a logical order. Mind your punctuation; incorrect punctuation will alter the meaning of the sentence completely.

Subscription

The subscription helps you end the letter in a polite and courteous manner. The subscriptions change according to the type of letter you are writing. It can be written as Yours faithfully, Yours lovingly, Yours sincerely, With love, etc.

Signature

The signature or the name of the writer should be written just before the subscription.

Different Types of Letters

Letters can be classified into two main types according to the purpose of the letter. Informal Letters, also known as Social Letters, include Friendly Letters and Notes of Invitations.

Formal Letters, also known as Business Letters, include Letters of Application, Letters to Higher Authorities, and Letters to Newspapers.

Informal Letter

Letters to friends and family can be written in a conversational style. They are just a composition of spontaneous thoughts, and they are easy and personal. When writing an informal letter, you are free to use colloquial language, which would be quite out of place in a formal letter. This does not mean that you can pen down random thoughts that are totally disconnected and make no sense. Wrong spelling, punctuation and grammar are not allowed even though the letter is informal and personal.

An informal letter can be written by following a basic format that includes the sender’s address, date, greeting, body of the letter, subscription and signature. To know more about how to write an informal letter, visit Informal Letter Format.

Formal Letter

Formal letters or Business letters should be clear and concise. You should always remember that formal letters are written to bring important information into consideration, so you should always take care to draft the letter carefully by providing only the necessary information.

The language used in formal letters is a lot more professional than informal letters. The format of formal letters is the same as explained above, with a few additions, viz., ‘the Receiver’s Address’, ‘Subject’ and ‘Signature’. Check out Formal Letter Writing in English for more information on formal letters.

Types of Letters Examples

Sample Informal Letter – Letter to a friend in reply to her about planning a trip together

16/65, Martins Castle

DB Road

Hyderabad 500023

20/05/2020

Dearest Caro,

I was happy to see your letter, and I loved your idea. I have been wanting to go on a trip with you for a long time, and I think both of us can finally make time to plan and make it happen.

I have a list of places that I thought would be fun to visit. I also do have a list of things I would like to do on our trip. I am too scared of heights, and I know you are too, but I have always wanted to try out bungee jumping with you. Let me know what you think about it. We can also find affordable and beautiful places to stay, and I am sure we can chart it all out. I cannot wait to go on this adventure with you. I know it is a secret to be kept since it is going to be just us, and that makes it all the more exciting. I know for sure that it is going to be worth it too.

I will make sure that I meet you next weekend and make plans for the trip. It would definitely be difficult to get our parents to allow us on this trip, but let’s try hard and make this work. See you soon.

Love,

Rose

Sample Formal Letter – Letter of Application

3, Old Gate

Nagpur 440003

20th April, 2018

The Principal

Taurina High School

Mumbai 500043

Subject: Application for the post of English Teacher

Dear Sir,

I am applying for the position of English Teacher in your organization with reference to the advertisement on The Indian Express dated 18/04/2018. I have great interest in this position and would highly appreciate it if you could consider my application.

I have completed my Post Graduation in English and have experience of working as a High School English Teacher for two years. In my teaching experience, I have come across various challenging situations with kids and parents, and I have learnt to handle all of them well. I have enjoyed connecting with the children and being a part of their growth and development as considerate and intelligent individuals.

I have attached my resume and experience certificate for your kind perusal and hope to hear from you in this regard.

Yours faithfully,

SEAN ALEXANDER

Explore More Sample Letters,

Writing a Letter to Your Friend

More Letter Formats,


FAQ on Letter Writing and its Types

How do I start writing a letter?

To start writing a letter, you will have to know who you are writing to and the reason behind the letter. With that in mind, you can start drafting your letter with the Sender’s address on the left-hand side of the paper at the beginning, followed by the date.

What are the types of letter writing?

Letter writing can be divided into two main types – Formal Letters and Informal Letters. Formal letters are letters that are written for official purposes, whereas informal letters are written about anything you want to let your friends or family know.

What are the parts of a letter?

A letter can be said to have six main parts. They include the Sender’s Address and Date, Receiver’s Address, Salutation, Body of the Letter, Complimentary Close and Signature.

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