English Writing Skill – Letter Writing | Formal and Informal Letters
- What is a letter?
- Types of Letters
- Difference between Formal Letter and Informal Letter
- Why is Letter Writing as a tool essential?
- Solved examples of letters
- Unsolved questions on letter writing
What is a letter?
A Letter is a written, typed, or printed communication, sent in an envelope by post or messenger. Basically it is a written form of communication where in one can write by hand or type information on paper and send through post or by hand.
For millennia, letter writing has been a popular mode of communication, serving a variety of objectives such as personal correspondence, business communication, official notifications, expressing thanks, making enquiries, and even creative expression. While the popularity of letter writing has waned with the rise of technological communication, it remains useful in situations when a more personal or official touch is sought.
Individuals can express themselves thoughtfully and clearly through letter writing, which provides a concrete and long-lasting record of contact. It can be used to make professional connections, maintain relationships, advocate for a cause, resolve disagreements, or communicate critical information.
Now we come to the next point, what do we mean by Letter writing?
The practice of drafting and conveying a letter is known as letter writing. It involves using written words to transmit structured and formal thoughts, ideas, emotions, or information. Letters can be handwritten or typed, and they are typically sent via regular mail or email. This makes us realize that ther is a set procedure required to be followed while writing a letter. We must know this set format of a letter but before that we must know the different types of letters. This is crucial because we follow different rules for writing different types of letters.
Types of Letters
Letter writing is classified into numerous forms based on its aim and content. Here are several examples:
- Informal Letters: Informal letter writing is a more casual and personal form of communication typically used between friends, family members, or acquaintances.
Informal letters can cover a wide range of topics and purposes.
Here are some common types of informal letters:
- Friendly Letters: These letters are casual and conversational, exchanged between friends, close relatives, or acquaintances. They can include personal updates, shared experiences, and friendly conversations.
- Thank-You Letters: Informal thank-you letters are used to express gratitude for a gift, favor, support, or any act of kindness. They often contain heartfelt appreciation and personal anecdotes.
- Invitation Letters: Informal invitations are sent to friends or family members to invite them to events such as parties, gatherings, celebrations, or informal get-togethers. These letters provide details about the event, including date, time, venue, and any specific instructions.
- Congratulations Letters: These letters are written to congratulate someone on an achievement, milestone, or special occasion. They can be sent to friends or family members to express joy and admiration.
- Condolence Letters: Informal condolence letters are written to express sympathy and support to someone who has experienced a loss or bereavement. These letters offer words of comfort, condolences, and personal memories of the deceased.
- Apology Letters: When you want to apologize for a mistake or wrongdoing to a friend or family member, you can write an informal apology letter. These letters express remorse, take responsibility for the actions, and seek forgiveness.
- Letters of Appreciation: Informal letters of appreciation are used to show appreciation for someone’s efforts, help, support, or any positive impact they have had on your life. These letters express gratitude and highlight the value of the person’s contribution.
- Formal Letters: Formal letter writing is a formal writing style used for professional or official correspondence. It adheres to a predetermined format and employs a courteous and respectful tone. Formal letters are frequently produced for a variety of reasons, including job applications, corporate correspondence, official complaints, requests, or inquiries.
There are various types of formal letters, each serving a specific purpose in professional or official communication. Here are some common types of formal letters:
- Business Letters: These letters are exchanged between businesses, companies, or individuals engaged in professional relationships. They can include letters of inquiry, sales letters, complaint letters, job application letters, recommendation letters, and more.
- Recommendation Letters: These letters are written to provide a reference or recommendation for an individual applying for a job, academic program, or other opportunities. They discuss the person’s skills, qualifications, and suitability for the position or program.
- Resignation Letters: Resignation letters are written by employees who wish to formally resign from their job positions. They include the date of resignation, reasons for leaving, and expressions of gratitude to the employer.
- Invitation Letters: These letters are sent to invite individuals or organizations to attend an event, such as conferences, seminars, meetings, or social gatherings. They provide details about the event, including the date, time, venue, and purpose.
- Complaint Letters: When a customer or client is dissatisfied with a product, service, or experience, they may write a complaint letter to express their concerns. These letters aim to seek resolution or compensation for the issue at hand.
- Academic Letters: Academic letters are often written by students or researchers. Examples include application letters for academic programs, formal communication with professors or institutions, and letters of recommendation for academic pursuits.
For details on the different types of formal letters, check these links-
- Letter to the editor
- Letter to the Government
- Letter to the police
- Letter to the principal
- Order letter
- Complaint letter
- Enquiry letter
- Business letter
- Application letter for job
- Letter to the Bank manager
- Invitation letter
- Resignation letter
- Leave Application
- Leave Application for marriage
- Leave Application for maternity
- 10 Examples of Informal Letter
- 10 Examples of Letter to the Government
- 18. 10 Examples of Letter to the Editor
- 19. 10 Examples of Letter to Principal
- 20. 10 Examples of Business Letter
- 10 Examples of Letter to Police
- 10 Examples of Letter to Bank Manager
- 23. 10 Examples of Complaint Letter
- 24. 10 Examples of Order Letter
- 10 Examples of Resignation Letter
Difference between Formal Letter and Informal Letter
Formal letters are usually written for official reasons. A formal letter, also known as an official letter, and it is written in a formal language with a specific structure and layout.
An informal letter is a personal letter, you may want to ask for something, or communicate with a friend far away.
Language and tone
Formal and polite
Business, officials, school / college authority, editor
Friend, cousin, siblings, parents, relatives
To be followed strictly
Not so strict, can vary
To be followed as given in question
To be followed as given in question
Let us now have a look into the format that has to be followed while writing letters.
As an overview we can say that the following compose a letter-
A formal greeting or salutation, an introduction that sets the tone and purpose of the letter, the main body containing the content or message, a conclusion or closing remarks, and a signature are all common components of a well-written letter. The letter’s style and tone might vary depending on its aim, readership, and cultural standards.
The format of a formal letter varies from that of an informal letter. Let us see both the formats-
Format of formal letter (the outer box is for representational purpose only)-
Informal letter format –
It is important to note that the format may vary depending on the specific type of letter and the country’s conventions. Additionally, informal letters may have a more relaxed format with variations in salutation, closing, and overall structure.However, the primary structure of a typical letter remains the same as given above.
Why is Letter Writing as a tool essential?
- Thoughtful and Personal Communication: Letter writing allows individuals to express themselves in a thoughtful and personal manner. It allows for meticulous composition of thoughts, emotions, and ideas, allowing for deeper reflection and meaningful expression. Letters, as opposed to instant messaging or short digital contact, provide for a more methodical and thoughtful form of communication.
- Letters create a concrete and long-lasting record of conversation. They can be saved and accessed in the future as a recorded record of shared events, emotions, and connections. Letters can be treasured as treasures and passed down through generations, providing a window into the past.
- Formal and Professional Communication: Formal letter writing is still important for professional and corporate communication in some situations. Formal letters uphold a professional tone, give a written record of agreements or discussions, and function as official documentation. They are frequently used in job applications, cover letters, business proposals, and formal correspondence.
- Emotional Connection: Letters have the ability to create emotional relationships. Letters may transmit feelings in a powerful and personal way, whether it’s a love letter expressing deep passion, a heartfelt apology, or a sympathy letter bringing consolation during tough times. Receiving a real letter can create feelings of care, thoughtfulness, and importance that digital communication may lack.
- Time, effort, and concentration are all required when writing a letter. It reflects the sender’s dedication to meaningful communication. The sender demonstrates respect and regard for the recipient by taking the time to create a letter, building better connections and relationships.
- Letter writing has been an important aspect of human history and culture for thousands of years. Letters have been used to document many key historical events and personal tales. Preserving the custom of letter writing helps to preserve cultural history and provides insight into the thoughts, values, and experiences of people from various times.
There are certain essential tips that one should follow and remember when writing a letter.
- Understand the Purpose: Before you begin writing, clearly understand the purpose of your letter. Having a clear aim will help you arrange your letter effectively, whether you’re making a request, offering information, or expressing a worry.
- Be Polite and Respectful: Throughout the letter, use courteous and respectful language. Avoid strong or confrontational tones, as well as unpleasant or insulting remarks. Maintain a courteous demeanor towards the receiver.
- Organize the Information: Divide your letter into paragraphs to make it more reasonable. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single point or issue. Begin with an introduction, then move on to supporting paragraphs before concluding with a clear conclusion or request.
- Include pertinent information: To reinforce your point, include pertinent information, facts, or supporting proof. To help the recipient comprehend your point of view or comply with your request, be specific and supply factual facts.
- Proofread and edit your message completely before sending it to ensure that it is free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation issues. Examine for clarity and coherence. Edit your letter to verify that it is well-organized and effectively expresses your message.
By following these tips, you would be able to effectively communicate important information through your letter and ensure that it is well-received by the intended audience.
Here are a few solved examples of letters
Example 1: Your friend, Utkarsh has been living abroad for several years. Write a letter to him describing some of the recent changes in your city. You are Alok living at B-3, Mansarovar Park, Nehru Nagar, Delhi.
B-3, Mansarovar Park,
5 January 2021
I was pleased to learn that you will be seeing your sister in India on August 12th. It would be fantastic to meet you. As the Metro rail begins and runs through the major roads, you will be unable to recognise the place. Many new retail malls have also proven popular with young people. You used to taunt the shopkeeper, but now he’s a big businessman who drives around in flashy new cars. You would also be unable to recognise our school, which has been renovated and given a new appearance. I’m waiting for you.
Example 2: Write a letter to the Editor about a road that needs repair.
Ans. 1, Rana Pratap Marg
01 March, 20XX
Subject: Repair of the road in Cheran Nagar
I would like to bring to your notice that the people in and around Rana Pratap Marg have been facing difficulties in traveling back and forth because of the bad condition of the roads there. We have appealed to the Municipality, but there has not been any response on the issue so far.
Because our petitions to their office have been ignored, we believe that a mention in the media would be extremely beneficial. Our neighborhood’s roads have been nearly impassable since the beginning of the month. The surface has been severely damaged by the heavy rains, and passing automobiles on a dark night is quite perilous. Furthermore, there are piles of road metal on both sides of the road, leaving very little space in the center. Residents in the region have been inconvenienced in this manner for several weeks.The situation is becoming worse. There have been multiple accidents happening due to this condition.
I request you to highlight the seriousness of the matter in your newspaper so that the road may be properly repaired without further delay.
Example 3: You are Aakriti/ Abhinav. Write a letter to your friend describing your boarding school in about 120-150 words.
Ans. H.No.58 Block-D
Sector 26, Rohini
New Delhi- 110085
11 February 2021
How have you been? I hope my letter finds you in the best of health and spirits. It has been almost a month since I moved to the boarding school. I am very happy in my new school. The classes and dormitories are very spacious. There are well equipped science laboratories and a library with a great collection of books. The school has amazing sports facilities such as a swimming pool, horse riding track and archery range.
I believe my life here will be interesting and enjoyable. Although I have made many new friends, I still miss you and the other friends. Please, pay my regards to your parents.
Example 4: You wish to do a Spanish learning course from the institute ‘Learn a Language’. Write a letter to enquire about course details, fees, duration etc. sign yourself as Kritika/Kartik. (100-150 words)
Ans 584, Defence Colony
21 February 2021
Learn a Language
Subject- Enquiry about Spanish learning course
I wish to inquire about the Spanish learning course offered by your institute. Since I have basic knowledge of Spanish language priorly, I wish to learn the language at an advanced level.
I request you to provide the following details relating to the advance level Spanish learning course-
- fee of the course
- duration of the course
- Course material
- Class schedule
- batch size (if any) and;
- other relevant details
Please attach the complete brochure along with the letter. I look forward to a quick response regarding the enquiry.
Example 5: Write a letter to your friend congratulating him/her on his/her success in class 12 board exam.
January 10, 2021
My happiness knew no bounds when I got to know that you have topped your school and achieved your dream. I felt so pleased that I wished I were there to congratulate you personally.
The result has proved that hard work, determination, and perseverance bring good results. You were so laborious and passionate about it. I know you were very nervous too, but I was always very confident that you would come out with flying colors. I apologize that I couldn’t even attend the celebration party despite my wishes.
Hope to see you soon. Please be encouraged and continue your hard work. Your future is very bright. My parents and elder sister have sent lots of love and heartiest congratulations.
With lots of love and best wishes.
Example 6:You went for a vacation with your family to Manali and stayed in hotel Vikrant & Co. However, you are not satisfied with their service. Write a letter of complaint describing your stay and providing relevant suggestions. You are Sudip/ Susheela Mishra. (100-150 words)
New Delhi- 110039
11 March 2021
The Hotel Manager
Vikrant & Co., Manali
Himachal Pradesh- 360087
Subject- Complaint and feedback letter
I wish to inform you about my stay at your hotel from 02/03/2021 to 06/03/2021. I regret to inform you that my family and I are quite unsatisfied with the stay at your hotel.
We came to know about your hotel from a travel site. Although the pictures and reviews were quite decent, the actual experience didn’t conform to the standards. For instance, the bed sheets and quilts were dirty; the staff was not cooperative and the room service was slow. We were made to pay separately for the cab service even though the website mentioned that the accommodation charges included a free cab.
I suggest you look into these matters carefully as they will help to improve your service and ensure a better experience for the customers. Moreover, it would be better if you could mention the correct information about the facilities, which you are willing to provide on the partner websites.
Example 7: Write a letter stating your inability to join a family function.
144, Stark Lane
Mumbai – 400054
15th March, 2020
It is extremely thoughtful of you to plan a get-together for all of us. I wish I could join you, but I am sorry to say that I have a project starting next month, and it would not be possible for me to be there. If there is any way of preponing the get-together to any time before the month-end, I can definitely make it to our gathering.
I hope we can reschedule the get-together and not miss the chance to meet up. Waiting to hear from you.
Example 8: People have adapted to wearing face masks as a ‘new normal’. But most of them do not know how to dispose of them properly. Spread awareness regarding the disposal of protective masks by writing a letter to an editor of a popular newspaper.
22, Airport Road
12th June 2022
Subject: An appeal to raise concern about the incorrect disposal of protective masks
With great respect and faith in the columns of your newspaper, I, ABC, a resident of Airport Road, am writing to you. I want to inform you that face masks, which are widely used for safety against Covid-19, are being discarded in inappropriate locations by a segment of the population.
Face masks are being worn by a growing number of individuals to be safe from the disease, but disposing them away anywhere is not acceptable as it can cause many health related as well as environmental issues. People dump these masks carelessly in places like roadsides, pavements, gardens, etc. The elastic bands on these can pose a death threat for the animals who mindlessly chew them. Also, these are a hub of germs and microbes and can spread infections. Proper disposal of face masks is crucial for prevention of spread of diseases.
I would like to request the residents, through the columns of your prestigious publication, to stop careless discarding of their used masks. The government agencies should sensitize people regarding this issue.
Thanking you in anticipation
Example 9: Write a letter to Your Cousin Enquiring about Her First Visit to Ethiopia
34, Park Avenue
Mumbai – 400023
24th September, 2021
I was so glad to hear from my mother that you are back home after the trip. Hope you had a safe and enjoyable trip. I have been waiting to hear all about the trip from you.
Since this was the first time you have been to a foreign land, I guess every little bit of the trip was as exciting as you expected it to be. I have heard from my friends residing there that the place is extremely beautiful and that the people there are very endearing. However, I was worried when I saw the news about the few bomb blasts during your stay there. Hope all of you there were safe. I hope everything else was fine except for this.
I had spoken to your mother earlier, and she told me that you would be coming home after two weeks. I saw your pictures on Instagram as well. I can’t wait to meet you and hear all your stories. Waiting eagerly for your reply.
Your loving cousin
Example 10: You are Naresh / Nandini of Safdarjung, New Delhi. You are deeply saddened by the attacks on elderly persons who live alone. Write a letter to the editor of ‘The New India News’ making people aware of the authorities to guarantee that such attacks do not occur.
12th June 2022
The New India News
Subject: Issue of lack of security and attacks on old people
I am a resident of Safdarjung and through the columns of your esteemed newspaper, I’d like to bring attention to the issue of elderly abuse. Physically, the elderly are often frail. As a result, they can’t face the rogues who usually come to rob them.
Any opposition from the elderly can be dangerous to their wellbeing. Many incidents of robbery, pickpocketing, and severe attacks on the elderly have occurred in the Safdarjung Area. Recently, an old aged couple was hacked to death in broad daylight. This has created fear among the seniors.
It is the government’s responsibility to safeguard the lives of senior residents. I suggest that the resident welfare associations should form small groups which visit the lonely couples a few times a day and keep a check on their wellbeing.
Unfortunately, there has been no action despite many inquiries and requests to the authorities.
Perhaps the words in your prestigious publication will do the needful.
Naresh / Nandini
Unsolved questions on letter writing
Example 1: Write a letter to your friend Rudra inviting him to spend the summer vacation at your place in Mumbai. You are Sakshi/ Saksham. Do not exceed 120-150 words.
Example 2: You are Sanjeet of 122, Arjun Nagar, New Delhi. A number of scooters and cars are parked in your locality without any order, causing blockage of the streets. Write a letter to the local Secretary of the Resident’s Association complaining about this problem.
Example 3:Write a letter to your friend who just met with an accident informing him about his speedy recovery in a consoling tone in about 120-150 words. You are Manvi/Manav.
Example 4: You are Rahul living at 7, Raven Organics, Orchard Road Mumbai. You purchased a washing machine last week from Tirupati Stores Nampally , Mumbai but it is not working properly. Write a complaint letter to the dealer to raise the issue regarding the same with necessary details.
Example 5: You are Sara/Sid. Write a letter to your friend congratulating him for his new job offer in about 120-150 words. He just graduated from college.
Example 6: You are Tejas / Tejaswi resident of 111, Jai Hind colony, Mumbai – 400589, a student of class 11 and want to take up a Summer course in Computer graphic design. Write a letter of inquiry to the Director of NIIT Computech seeking details on the course content, eligibility, fees, timings and future scope of the course.
Example 7: Write a letter to your friend appreciating his book that he wrote in Bangalore while pursuing his writing career. You are Robert/Robina. Word limit: 120-150 words.
Example 8: You are Christy, a resident of Modi Society, Kolkata. There is an outbreak of the Monkey virus in your area with a report of 50 new cases. Write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper India times, highlighting the problem and suggesting measures.
Example 9: You are Aditya Vikram of Gyan Gurukul School. Your friend has appeared for class XII Board Examination this year and has still not been able to make up his mind regarding the choice of vocation. You came across the information given below in a newspaper. You decide to write a letter to this friend of yours encouraging him to choose a career in the field of tourism. Write your letter to your friend.
Example 10: You are Suman of 19, TT Nagar, Bhopal. You would like to apply for the post of Marketing Manager in a reputed firm in Mumbai. Write a letter to the Public Relations Officer, Chantap Enterprises, Mumbai, applying for the job. Write the letter in 125-150 words giving your biodata.
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