What is A Letter Writing? Introduction and Letter Writing Tips
What is A Letter Writing?
Letter writing is the act of composing and sending a letter, or written communication, to someone. Letters are typically written on paper and mailed through the postal service, but they can also be sent electronically as email or other types of digital messages.
Letters can be formal or informal and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as to communicate with friends and family, to apply for a job or scholarship, to make a complaint or request, or to express appreciation or congratulations.
There are several elements to consider when writing a letter, including the format, the tone, and the content. The format of a letter typically includes the date, the recipient’s address, the sender’s address, a salutation, the body of the letter, and a closing. The tone of a letter can be formal, casual, or somewhere in between, depending on the purpose of the letter and the relationship between the sender and the recipient. The content of a letter should be clear and concise and should include any necessary information or requests.
Letter writing can be a useful skill to have, as it allows you to communicate effectively and professionally in a variety of situations.
Before the advent of modern technology made communication so easy, the art of writing a letter was considered an important requirement. Even today a letter is an important means of communication in both the workspace as well as our personal lives. So let us educate ourselves with the nuances of letter writing.
Introduction, Types of Letters, Letter Writing Tips, Examples
A letter is a written message that can be handwritten or printed on paper. It is usually sent to the recipient via mail or post in an envelope, although this is not a requirement as such. Any such message that is transferred via post is a letter, a written conversation between two parties.
Now that E-mails (Advantages and disadvantages) and texts and other such forms have become the norm for communication, the art of letter writing has taken a backseat. However, even today a lot of our communication, especially the formal kind, is done via letters. Whether it is a cover letter for a job, the bank sending you a reminder, or a college acceptance letter, letters are still an important mode of communication. This is why it is important that we know the intricacies of letter writing.
Types of Letters
Let us first understand that there are broadly two types of letters, namely Formal Letters, and Informal Letters. But then there are also a few types of letters based on their contents, formalities, the purpose of letter writing, etc. Let us have a look at the few types of letters.
- Formal Letter: These letters follow a certain pattern and formality. They are strictly kept professional in nature, and directly address the issues concerned. Any type of business letter or letter to authorities falls within this given category.
- Informal Letter: These are personal letters. They need not follow any set pattern or adhere to any formalities. They contain personal information or are a written conversation. Informal letters are generally written to friends, acquaintances, relatives, etc.
- Business Letter: This letter is written among business correspondents, and generally contains commercial information such as quotations, orders, complaints, claims, letters for collections, etc. Such letters are always strictly formal and follow a structure and pattern of formalities.
- Official Letter: This type of letter is written to inform offices, branches, and subordinates of official information. It usually relays official information like rules, regulations, procedures, events, or any other such information. Official letters are also formal in nature and follow certain structures and decorum.
- Social Letter: A personal letter written on the occasion of a special event is known as a social letter. Congratulatory letters, condolence letters, invitation letters,s, etc are all social letters.
- Circular Letter: A letter that announces information to a large number of people is a circular letter. The same letter is circulated to a large group of people to correspond some important information like a change of address, change in management, the retirement of a partner, etc.
- Employment Letters: Any letters with respect to the employment process, like a joining letter, promotion letter, application letter, etc.
Letter Writing Tips
Now that we have learned the basics of communicating via letters and the types of letters as well, let us focus on some tips for actual letter writing.
1. Identify the type of letter
This obviously is the first step of the letter-writing process. You must be able to identify the type of letter you are to be writing. This will be dictated by the person the letter is addressed and the information that will be conveyed through the letter. Suppose you were writing to the principal of your college to ask for leave, this would be a formal letter (Types of formal letters with samples). But say you were writing to your old college professor catching up after a long time. Then this would be a personal (informal) letter.
2. Make sure you open and close the letter correctly
Opening a letter in the correct manner is of utmost importance. Formal letters open with a particular structure and greeting that is formal in nature. Informal letters can be addressed to the person’s name or any informal greeting as the writer wishes.
Even when closing the letter, it must be kept in mind what type of letter is being written. Formal letters end respectfully and impersonally, whereas informal letters may end with a more personal touch.
3. Establish the main intent of the letter
Once you start writing, make sure to get to the point as soon as possible. Especially in formal letters, it is important to immediately make clear the purpose of the letter.
4. Be careful of the language
A letter is always supposed to be polite and considerate. Even if it is a complaint letter, the point must be made in a careful and courteous manner. So it is necessary to use polite expressions and civil language in all types of letters.
5. Length of the letter
And the other important factor to be considered is the length of the letter you are writing. It should be kept in mind that formal letters are generally to the point, precise, and short. Lengthy formal letters tend to not have the desired effect on the reader. The length of an informal letter is determined by the message in the letter and the relation to the recipient.
Solved Example for You
Q: Alex was to write a letter to her class teacher asking permission to remain absent from school for 2 days on account of some personal matter. What type of letter will he be writing?
- Personal Letter
- Business Letter
- Formal Letter
- Any of the above
Ans: The correct option is C. While the teacher is a personal acquaintance of Alex, the situation demands a formal letter and not a personal letter.